Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman John Burzichelli to help create jobs and economic development by cutting even more of the red tape that can prove to be an obstacle for businesses in New Jersey was released Monday by an Assembly panel.
The bill (A-1768) directs every state agency to identify permits that may be expedited by issuance of a general permit or permit-by-rule.
“We’ve done a lot to cut red tape and make it easier for businesses to create jobs and economic growth, but we have more work to complete,” said Burzichelli (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “A streamlined permitting process could go a long way toward allowing businesses to instead focus on employing residents and growing our economy.”
State law directs every state agency to periodically review those permits it issues to identify ones that can be administered through an expedited process, such as developing procedures for the electronic submission of permit applications.
This bill expands on that requirement by directing every state agency to identify those permits that may be expedited by issuance of a general permit or permits-by-rule.
For each permit identified as being able to be expedited through the use of a general permit or permit-by-rule, the state agency would be required to adopt, pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” rules and regulations providing for the issuance and use of such a general permit or permits-by-rule.
This bill also provides that if a state agency identifies a permit that could be administered through an expedited process, such as through a general permit or permit-by-rule, but finds, as a result of statutory law, that it does not have the necessary authority to establish an expedited process for that particular permit, the head of the agency would send written notice of this finding to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the General Assembly, the chairs of the Senate Legislative Oversight Committee and the Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee, or their successors, and the Secretary of State or the governor’s designee.
This bill implements one of the findings of the “Red Tape Review Commission Findings and Recommendations” report, issued February 2012.
The report states the following, on page 27: “DEP’s increased usage of general permits and general operating permits is another success worthy of replication. These pre-approved permits cover minor activities, do not require extensive submittal of data, and allow departmental staff to focus greater attention on individual permits which encompass more complex activities. Though DEP has made notable progress in this regard, DEP, as well as all other permit issuing departments and agencies, should expand the use of such permits.”
The bill was released by the Assembly Appropriations Committee, of which Burzichelli is chair.