Business Report: Student loan lawsuit, innovation economy, opioid settlement

Report finds New Jersey lags neighboring states in developing an innovation economy

Did New Jersey’s student loan borrowers end up paying more than they should have?  That’s what the state is alleging in a lawsuit filed against the company Navient, which used to be part of Sallie Mae. Attorney General Gurbir Grewal’s lawsuit accuses the company of abuses that made New Jersey borrowers worse off. Navient called the allegations against it “baseless,” and noted that federal student loan borrowers in New Jersey default 26% less than borrowers serviced by other companies.

The state is allocating $14 million in federal coronavirus relief funds to new workforce development programs. Some of the funding will be used to target unemployed and dislocated workers, and would create on-the-job training opportunities.

A new report from the state’s biggest business lobbying group finds New Jersey has some work to do on developing an innovation economy. The New Jersey Business & Industry Association report finds Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania ranked above New Jersey this year. The report finds the state has all the right assets to improve its ranking and includes numerous recommendations on how New Jersey can become more competitive, including partnering with investors to help fund companies.

The U.S. Justice Department has reached a more than $8 billion settlement with Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin. This settles numerous lawsuits filed by states and cities accusing the drugmaker of fueling the nation’s opioid crisis.