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NJ Bills To Protect Small Businesses, Create Jobs Advance Assembly

Job creation legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats to cut through the bureaucracy strangling New Jersey small businesses was released today by an Assembly panel.

Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula (NJ Legislature)

The bill  would revise the New Jersey Regulatory Flexibility Act to force the state, when implementing a new regulation, to minimize the rule’s impact on small businesses so long as the public health, safety,
or general welfare is not endangered.

The measure is part of the ongoing Assembly Democratic job creation and economic development effort. It was pocket vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie earlier this year when the previous legislative session expired.

“Untangling red tape for all businesses is a priority, and I’m enthused that we’ve been moving forward on that goal because small businesses in particular are hit hard by bureaucracy that can strangle their ability to create jobs,” said Chivukula (D-Somerset/Middlesex). “This is a key step toward helping small businesses avoid getting roped into a morass of red tape.”

Current law sets forth various approaches a government agency must utilize to accomplish statutory objectives, keeping in mind the limited resources available to small businesses.

The legislation requires an agency to, when developing rules, minimize the impact on small businesses so long as the public health, safety, or general welfare is not endangered.

“We need to do a lot more to make it clear to agencies that the impact on small businesses must get special attention,” said Singleton (D-Burlington). “Small businesses are the ones that create jobs and
drive our economy, and promoting economic growth remains a top priority.”

Under the bill, a small business is defined as one that employs fewer than 100 full-time employees or having gross annual sales of less than $6 million.

The bill establishes a process by which a small business that is adversely affected economically or aggrieved by final rule-making action may file a petition objecting to all or a part of a rule subject to regulatory flexibility analysis.

For cases in which the agency rejects the petition, this process addresses concerns about frivolous appeals without creating unprecedented procedures with respect to the courts.

Specifically, the bill, which was released by the Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee:

  • Establishes a petition process as a prerequisite for a court
    appeal;
  • Requires the appeal petition to be filed within 90 days after
    final rule-making action;
  • Creates an optional summary disposition process based on
    affidavits;
  • Sets sanctions for frivolous appeals; and
  • Places a restriction on appeals based on compliance with the
    regulatory flexibility process.

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