LEGISLATIVE UPDATE (CONT’D. FROM PAGE 2.)
Mr. Brown’s second point discussed employment data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics report that states, “Minimum wage workers tend to be young. Although workers under age 25 represented only about one-fifth of hourly-paid workers, they made up about half of those paid the Federal minimum wage or less. Among employed teenagers paid by the hour, about 25 percent earned the minimum wage or less, compared with about 4 percent of workers age 25 and over.”
Mr. Brown concluded his testimony with suggesting to the committee that the focus of public policy should be on creating jobs for the unemployed, training lower skilled workers, creating educational opportunities to allow students to achieve their maximum potential and finding ways to reduce the cost of living in New Jersey, including reducing spending at all levels of government.
While the Chamber, along with other representatives of the business community, displayed a united front
against the legislation, S-3 was ultimately passed by the Senate Labor Committee by a vote of 3 - 1. All Democrats on the committee voted for the legislation and Senator Dawn Marie Addiego (R-8) voted against the bill. The Chamber will continue to oppose this legislation as it is debated by the Legislature.
To read a copy of the Chamber’s testimony, click here.
DEP FINALIZES WAIVER RULE On March 8, 2012 the NJ Department of Environmental Protection adopted a rule that will give the DEP flexibility to modify compliance with rules in specific circumstances. The new rule, which will be published in the April 2, 2012 New Jersey Register and go into effect on August 1, 2012, would allow the DEP to consider a rule waiver if at least one of the following criteria were met: •A rule conflicts with another DEP rule. •Strict rule compliance creates a burdensome situation. •A rule waiver creates a net environmental benefit. •In the event a public emergency takes place.
This proposed rule change, which the CHAMBER OF COMMERCE SOUTHERN NEW JERSEY | THE REVIEW 03-12 | PAGE 7
Chamber submitted a letter of support, will give the DEP more flexibility in making permitting decisions, while maintaining its oversight of environmental protection policy in the state. The rule was developed as a result of Governor Chris Christie’s Executive Order Number 2 which directs New Jersey state agencies to develop common sense principles of government reform.
Click here for more information on the waiver rule from the NJ Department of Environmental Protection website.
Click here to read a copy of the Chamber’s comment letter in support of this initiative.
If you have any questions or thoughts on any of the issues covered in this edition of Legislative Update, please contact Christopher R. Brown, CAE, Director, Government Relations at email@example.com
or 856-424- 7776 ext. 127.
*The opinions and statements expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily the views of this newsletter’s sponsors.
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