Tracking Legislation and Other Items Important to the Business Community
LAST REPORT OF THE 215th LEGISLATIVE SESSION
Governor Christie signed the following State Chamber supported bills into law on January 21st:
Time Extension on Investigations
A-4543 (Spencer/D-29; Schepisi/R-39; Smith/D-17; Bateman/R-16; Whelan/D-2; Beck/R-11)
Governor signed into law. In the nearly five years since the Site Remediation Reform Act was signed into law on May 7, 2009, there have been many changes in the way site cleanups are implemented and administered, principally due to the advent of the Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) program. The goal of the LSRP program is to more rapidly turn idle properties into productive use. However, one constant has been looming -- the May 7, 2014 statutory deadline for all properties participating in the program to complete the remedial investigation for an entire contaminated site. This bill authorizes the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to offer a two-year extension for remedial investigations of certain contaminated sites to responsible parties that have made measureable progress with their sites. This measure will allow progress to continue and avoid placing these properties into the DEP's direct oversight.
Wastewater Service Area Extension
A-4531 (Greenwald/D-6; Bramnick/R-21; Chivukula/D-17; Sarlo/D-36; Oroho/R-24)
Governor signed into law. Provides for the extension of wastewater service area designations and sewer service area designations in wastewater management plans and water quality management plans. As the state identifies regional clusters of future growth, this measure will allow for the continued processing of certain amendments and revisions to wastewater management plans and water quality management plans by the DEP.
Governor signed into law. Makes changes to the process for contested case hearings handled by the Office of Administrative Law, as recommended by the Red Tape Review Commission. The State Chamber continues to support streamlined government procedures, which boosts New Jersey's economic competitiveness.
Governor signed into law. Requires the state's administrative agencies to use technology - including the Internet and email - to streamline rule-making notices and comment procedures, and to facilitate regulatory compliance. This legislation expedites the transfer of rules and procedures and the administrative process.
Governor signed into law. Prohibits state government departments and agencies from imposing a fee, fine or penalty on any applicant when it is imposed solely to correct clerical errors made by the applicant on an application for a permit, certificate or any other purpose. This legislation will provide easier regulatory access for businesses and would not apply to an applicant who provides false, misleading or fraudulent information.
Combating UI Fraud
A-3812 (DeAngelo/D-14; Space/R-24; Fuentes/D-5; McHose/R-24; Benson/D-14; Sumter/D-35; Madden/D-4; Sarlo/D-36; Cunningham/D-31; Van Drew/D-1)
Governor signed into law. Requires certain state agencies to notify the state Labor and Workforce Development Department when state residents die or are incarcerated to eliminate fraud in the unemployment insurance (UI) system. The State Chamber believes this bill will act as a safeguard for this important public benefit program.
Governor signed into law. This measure would prohibit the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey from imposing a cargo facility charge on users, ocean common carriers, and marine terminal operators. The exception to this legislation would be a written mutual agreement between the bi-state agency and the user. Banning fees that add to the cost of international commerce will make New Jersey more competitive, especially with other ports along the eastern seaboard, such as Baltimore and Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Thumbs up and down indicates the Chamber's support or opposition to issues. Call the New Jersey Chamber Government Relations Department at (609) 989-7888 with questions or comments.