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An NJBIA-championed bill that would have required boards within the Division of Consumer Affairs to identify the national average time for approving credentialing applications and implement best practices to effectively process those applications was vetoed by Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday.

Bill A-5283 (Tully, D-38; Greenwald, D-6) also had called for the reinvestment of the State’s licensure fee revenue into the Division so it can process and approve applications more efficiently.

It had received unanimous approval by the Senate and Legislature before reaching Murphy’s desk.

NJBIA Vice President of Government Affairs Althea D. Ford said Murphy’s veto was disappointing.

“The Division of Consumer Affairs collects millions in licensure fees from more than 720,000 individuals and businesses,” Ford said. “However, most of that money is diverted to other areas of the state budget, leaving the Division with insufficient resources to modernize its operations and reduce backlogs.

“This bill represented a tremendous opportunity to address the long wait time on the approval of applications for professional and occupational licenses. The backlog of these applications has only increased in recent years, creating critical shortages in professionals ranging from social work and nursing to engineering and accounting.

“With this veto, unfortunately, the State has missed a critical chance to provide each board missed with the resources necessary to implement best practices that would have reduced those delays. That’s a disservice to our businesses and professionals who need more expedient processing of credentialing applications,” Ford said.