Wednesday, June 16, 2010

More rulemaking changes weighed in New Jersey

The Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee, which previously released bills that would impose new limits on use of regulatory guidance documents by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (A2464) and restrict the adoption of rules that exceed federal standards (A2486), will take up additional rule-making legislation tomorrow in Trenton.

The panel will take testimony on three bills all sponsored by committee chairman John Burzichelli, a Democrat from Paulsboro.   

A2720  - Following a notice of proposal, if an executive branch agency determines it needs to make changes in a proposed rule which are “so substantial that the changes effectively destroy the value of the original notice,” the agency currently is required by law to start the rule-making over from the beginning by issuing a new notice of proposal. 

This bill would provide the ability for an agency to make substantial changes upon adoption through the issuance of a public notice and a 60 day public comment period, without starting the rule-making process over with a new notice of proposal.

A2721 - This bill also amends current law concerning State agency rule-making by changing the chapter expiration dates of rules from five years to seven years, and establishing a new procedure for the re-adoption of rules without substantive changes.  

A2922 The state's Administrative Procedure Act establishes procedures by which conflicts between proposed and existing rules and regulations of different agencies can be resolved.  

This bill expands these procedures to require that, prior to proposing a new rule or regulation, an agency must determine whether any other agency regulates the activity or has concurrent or conflicting jurisdiction over any aspect of the subject matter. 

Under the bill, if a conflict or concurrent jurisdiction is found, the agency considering the proposed rule must consult with the other agencies to determine each agency’s role in regulating the subject matter and shall also prevent the proposed rule from conflicting with or being inconsistent with any existing rules.   

If a conflict among agencies cannot be resolved, the agency considering the proposal would be required to advise the director of the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) as to the impasse, at which point the director would assign the matter to an administrative law judge for resolution of the conflict.

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