Trenton – In an effort to grant some relief from the regulatory burden placed on businesses in the State, the Senate passed legislation sponsored by Senator Vin Gopal and Senator Andrew Zwicker that would allow for a “cure period” for businesses to address and resolve certain violations.
The bill would provide a State agency with the discretion to suspend enforcement of any administrative fine or civil penalty against a business for certain first-time violations that would not result in a significant adverse impact to public safety or the welfare of residents.
“We live in an economic atmosphere still marked by uncertainty and anxiety. The last thing business owners need to worry about is a steep fine or punishment for a minor, often unintentional violation. This bill would buy these businesses some time, and give them a little breathing room to come into full compliance,” said Senator Gopal (D-Monmouth).
Under the bill, A-4753/S-3208, a business would have 60 calendar days to address and resolve the violation or be assessed all fines and penalties available under the law upon the expiration of that term. A business would not be eligible to seek relief under some cases, including if the violation is of a criminal nature, an intentional or knowing act, or if the violation is in regard to State employment or labor-related law.
“Running a business can be daunting, especially while trying to adhere to all manner of governmental code and regulation. Undoubtedly, mistakes get made, and unintentional violations occur. Instead of ham-stringing businesses with excessive fines for minor infractions, we need to give them a chance to make amends and keep their operation running,” said Senator Zwicker (D-Middlesex/Mercer/Somerset/Hunterdon).
The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 38-0.