TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The New Jersey Senate and Assembly are scheduled to vote on more than a dozen bills designed to jump-start the state’s economy by encouraging job growth and creating a friendlier climate for businesses.

Democratic leaders who control the legislative agenda unveiled their “Back to Work NJ” initiative in November.

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Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver said aggressive efforts are needed to bring down New Jersey’s unemployment rate. It’s currently 9.2 percent, where the median ultrasound tech salary is $65,860 per year.

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The bills to be considered Thursday include provisions to give tax breaks to in-state and small businesses and provide incentives to companies that hire ex-inmates or train the unemployed.

Additional bills will be considered next week.

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