Van Drew-Ruiz Wheelchair Ramp Measure Advances

Bill Would Expedite Ramp Application Process, Allow Construction Sooner

TRENTON � The full Senate has unanimously approved legislation to help residents expedite the construction of wheelchair ramps through a quicker application review process.

The bill, S-1195, sponsored by Senator Jeff Van Drew, D-Cape May, Cumberland and Atlantic and Senator Teresa Ruiz, D-Essex and Union, 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.

�It�s unacceptable for anyone to have to wait weeks to get basic access to their home,� said Senator Van Drew. �This bill will require a quick three-day turnaround for permit applications, which will allow residents with limited mobility to begin the ramp construction process that much sooner.�

�Often, residents who submit permit applications for wheelchair ramps have just returned home from a hospital or a rehabilitation center, or have moved to another home,� said Senator Ruiz. �They are already dealing with enough under those circumstances. The least we can do is ensure they do not experience additional, undue hardship by eliminating unnecessary delays during the application process.�

The issuance of a permit for a wheelchair ramp is mostly a formality, but residents have reported experiencing lengthy waits for approvals.

The Senate approved the bill Monday by a vote of 38-0. The measure requires Assembly action before heading to the governor’s desk.

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