TRENTON – Legislation to help residents expedite the construction of wheelchair ramps through a quicker application review process was unanimously approved Thursday by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.
The bill, S-1195, sponsored by Senator Jeff Van Drew, D-Cape May, Cumberland and Atlantic, would require construction officials to issue a permit for a wheelchair ramp at a residence within three business days of receiving an application, instead of the current time frame of 20 business days.
“This bill is about compassion. No one should have to wait weeks for a permit to get basic access to their home,” said Senator Van Drew, chair of the Community and Urban Affairs Committee. “Speeding the approval process will cause few, if any, hiccups within the system, but getting residents with limited mobility a quick response to their applications is necessary. It only makes sense to make them a priority.”
The issuance of a permit for a wheelchair ramp is mostly a formality, but residents have reported experiencing lengthy waits for approvals when leaving the hospital or a rehabilitation facility or moving to another residence. The measure would require an expedited application review process.
The committee approved the legislation by a vote of 5-0. It now heads to the full Senate.