Reaffirming the Christie Administration's commitment to making pro-growth and commonsense regulatory reform a cornerstone of New Jersey's economic development, Governor Chris Christie today signed Executive Order No. 155 renewing the charter of the bi-partisan Red Tape Review Commission (RTRC). As part of the announcement, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno issued the latest detailed report on the RTRC's work and recommendations to serve as a blueprint for further progress.
The Lt. Governor made the announcement at the Funplex in East Hanover, a premiere amusement and entertainment destination, and within an industry that the RTRC has actively assisted through its recommendations and reforms.
“Improving New Jersey's regulatory climate is essential to the State's economic growth, and the Red Tape Review Commission's work had been critical to that endeavor,” said Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno. “Working with the bi-partisan legislators and business leaders on the RTRC, we have helped change the narrative in Trenton. Instead of facing the former ‘death by a thousand paper cuts’ bureaucracy, businesses now enjoy a more streamlined, modernized and welcoming environment that promotes investment and job creation. With today's Executive Order, businesses in New Jersey and those that are looking to make the Garden State their home can be assured that these efforts will continue.”
Input received by the RTRC from the business community has led directly to much needed regulatory reforms, including:
· Streamlining the approval process for new carnival and amusement rides;
· Eliminating unnecessary paperwork and instituting cost savings for professional licensures; and
· Easing reporting requirements for non-profits, allowing them to focus their limited resources on service delivery.
In addition, the Department of State has established a devoted email account (firstname.lastname@example.org) to allow businesses to provide real time feedback.
“The Red Tape Review Commission's efforts have led to tangible wins. Testimony to the Commission led directly to the enactment of the Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act - a bill I sponsored along with Assemblymen John Burzichelli and Scott Rumana - that modernized New Jersey's laws and improved our reputation as a home for business,” said Senator Steven Oroho. “In addition, based on testimony we received and again with Assemblymen Burzichelli and Rumana, I co-sponsored legislation that improved processes at the Office of Administrative Law that, among other things, set time frames on agency head decisions. I look forward to continuing these efforts.”
Key recommendations of the Red Tape Review Commission Findings and Recommendations report released today include:
One-Stop-Shop in Every Department. Each statewide department or division, as appropriate, should consider establishing one or more staff members to function in a "one-stop" capacity. Constituents often need to speak with someone who is thoroughly familiar with the department/division for either guidance or clarification. Such a person would particularly benefit small businesses that may find it difficult to both navigate bureaucracy and to comply with the letter of the law (or rule) in every instance.
Continue Procurement Reforms. Efforts towards uniformity across State agencies to reduce idiosyncrasies such as varying electronic bid solicitation and acceptance, different closing times, and different treatment of late bids will help reduce the confusion and frustration of vendors.
More Acceptance of Accreditation. New Jersey has often held higher standards for licensing than other states or the federal government, however, when national standards, or certification by professional consortiums are comparable to New Jersey's requirements, departments should be more willing to recognize accreditation from outside bodies to help businesses avoid redundant paperwork and double-billing.
Expansion of General Permits and Permits by Rule. The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has taken a lead role in creating and encouraging the use of general permits and permits by rule. Such streamlined permitting ensures that the State's environmental protection goals are being advanced while not unduly costing applicants precious time and money in obtaining an individual permit. DEP should continue to advance such streamlined permitting and other departments and agencies should continue to follow suit where there is no risk to the public health, safety, and well-being.
Reduce Unnecessary Hidden Costs of Regulation. All permitting and licensing entities should carefully examine their regulatory requirements to reduce or eliminate unnecessary hidden costs where little or no such benefit is delivered.
Joining Lt. Governor Guadagno today were RTRC members, Assemblyman Rumana, Mayor Brian D. Levine, John Galandak, and Tony Monteiro, as well as Michael Egenton of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce.
A copy of Executive Order No. 155 is attached.
The full report of the RTRC's recommendations and findings can be found here.