(TRENTON) – During the Great Recession, projects in the construction, real estate and banking sectors were severely impacted by the severe economic downturn. To provide relief, New Jersey enacted the Permit Extension Act of 2008 to revive and extend government approvals so that the projects would not be abandoned.
In anticipation that these industries will face similar challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee cleared legislation (A-3919) to amend the Permit Extension Act to extend State, regional, county and municipal agency permits for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. Government approvals granted after March 9, 2020 would be eligible.
The bill’s sponsors, Assembly Democrats Clinton Calabrese (D-Bergen, Passaic), William Spearman (Camden, Gloucester) and Carol Murphy (D-Burlington, Camden), released the following joint statement:
“In taking necessary steps to slow the spread of COVID-19 – steps that have undoubtedly saved lives in New Jersey – much business and government activity has been placed on hold. Most construction and real estate projects that were approved a short time ago have needed to cease operations. We aren’t yet sure when it will be safe for workers to resume these projects, even if their permits are due to expire, or when government agencies will be in a position to issue new permits.
“We don’t want to see projects abandoned or resources wasted because of issues with expired permits, particularly when the circumstances are out of the permit holder’s control. As we work toward recovery, we want to put businesses in the best position possible to finish the projects they began.”