BURZICHELLI, COUGHLIN & BARNES AIM TO CUT THROUGH RED TAPE IMPAIRING N.J. BUSINESSES

Effort part of Continued Assembly Dem Job Creation effort

(TRENTON) – Assembly Democrats John Burzichelli, Craig J. Coughlin and Peter Barnes III continue to push job creation legislation to revise burdensome rules and regulations that impair New Jersey’s business climate.
Their bill (A-2922) was recently released by Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee. It was approved by the Assembly in January.
The measure would establish a new procedure for resolving conflicts or inconsistencies in adopted rules and regulations
“Common sense reforms that make it easier for businesses to hire New Jerseyans are the right thing to do” said Burzichelli (D-Gloucester/Cumberland/Salem), who has pushed for red tape-cutting bills throughout this legislative session.
“A better business climate means better jobs for working New Jersey families, which is especially important is this difficult economy,” said Coughlin (D-Middlesex).
“Promoting economic development and job creation is a top priority, and this bill is one way to help achieve that goal,” said Barnes (D-Middlesex).
The bill revises the Administrative Procedure Act to establish two procedures by which conflicts or inconsistencies between rules of different agencies can be resolved.
The measure requires an agency, prior to proposing a new rule, or proposing the amendment, repeal or re-adoption of an existing rule, to determine whether any other agency regulates the activity or has concurrent or conflicting jurisdiction over any aspect of the subject matter.
If a conflict or concurrent jurisdiction is found, the agency considering the proposed rule would be required to consult with the other agencies to determine each agency’s role in regulating the subject matter and would be required to prevent the proposed rule from conflicting with or being inconsistent with any existing rules.
If a conflict among agencies cannot be resolved, the agency considering the proposal would advise the director of the Office of Administrative Law of the impasse, at which point the director would assign an administrative law judge or other personnel to conduct arbitration, mediation or another form of alternative dispute resolution, which may include a public hearing and the opportunity for public comment, for resolution of the issue.
The bill also establishes a procedure whereby an interested or affected party or agency may petition the OAL director for resolution of an alleged conflict or inconsistency among adopted rules of different agencies. Upon receipt of a petition, the director would determine if a conflict or inconsistency exists. If so, the director would assign an administrative law judge or other personnel to conduct arbitration, mediation or another form of alternative dispute resolution, which may include a public hearing and the opportunity for public comment, on the matter raised in the petition.
Under both procedures established by the bill:
· if a resolution of the issue cannot be reached through arbitration, mediation or another form of alternative dispute resolution, the director would refer the matter to the Attorney General, and the Attorney General would have 45 days to issue a written, binding, decision;
· if the Attorney General finds that the conflict or inconsistency is the result of statutory law, the Attorney General is directed to send written notice of this finding to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the General Assembly, and the chairs of the Senate Legislative Oversight Committee and the Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee, or their successors, and
· All documents and decisions resulting from the procedure would be considered public records.
The bill has been referred to the Senate budget panel for more consideration.