Companies engaged in high-tech data storage, processing and distribution would get an economic "shot in the arm" under proposed legislation in Trenton.

The bill's sponsor, Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker, D-Somerset, says New Jersey has a rich history of innovation in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. And electronic data is a natural progression.

"This is the sector where we are watching 21st century job growth," the first-term lawmaker said.

His bill would give tax breaks and exemptions to high-tech data companies who commit at least $50 million dollars and employ at least 10 employees in the state.

"This bill, by providing incentives, makes sure that New Jersey is competing with our neighboring states," he said.

The assemblyman says the bill specifically targets two business sectors for growth and retention: so-called cloud technology and physical data centers.

Zwicker said this will help ensure that companies are growing their businesses and investing in infrastructure within the state.

He says as we look at not just making sure that our students are getting the education that they need to compete for these jobs, we want to make sure that companies and innovators are staying here.

Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5.