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From the Burlington County Times: https://www.burlingtoncountytimes.com
“Protesters greet Norcross testimony on tax incentives
By David Levinsky Posted Nov 18, 2019 at 10:35 AM
George Norcross testified about the state’s tax incentive program, but his appearance sparked protesters at the Statehouse on Monday.
TRENTON — George Norcross, the influential South Jersey political boss, made a rare appearance at the Statehouse on Monday to speak about the state’s now-expired tax incentive programs and what he described as “mischaracterizations” and “mistruths” about the millions awarded to Cooper Health and other companies tied to him.
Norcross testified for over an hour before the Senate Select Committee on Economic Growth Strategies, a special legislative panel formed by Senate President Stephen Sweeney earlier this year to examine the state’s Grow New Jersey and Economic Redevelopment & Growth incentives programs and make recommendations on how they can be improved in hope that a compromise with Gov. Phil Murphy might materialize.
Both programs expired July 1 after Murphy and state lawmakers failed to reach an agreement on either a short-term extension or replacement programs.
“I am here today to speak for myself, not from lawyers or spokespeople, to defend Camden and to correct many misstatements, mischaracterizations and outright mistruths that are having a serious negative impact on the revitalization of our city,” Norcross said. “They need to stop. The residents of Camden and New Jersey deserve better.”
His appearance was highly anticipated and drew hundreds to the Statehouse Annex for the hearing, including large groups from the South Jersey building trades unions and activists and residents from Camden.
Norcross, who is chairman of Cooper University hospital and the CEO of insurance brokerage firm Conner Strong, was greeted by chants of “Down with King George!” and “FBI!” by activists. The latter chant references reports of an ongoing investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office into tax breaks awarded to companies with ties to the unelected political leader.
But members of the building trades applauded him and offered words of encouragement.
“We’re behind you George!” yelled one union member in the crowd.
Protesters greet Norcross testimony on tax incentives”
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