The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee today approved legislation that would streamline regulations for small businesses by enhancing the existing Regulatory Flexibility Act.

Meanwhile, the Senate Labor Committee approved three measures to support apprenticeship programs in New Jersey as way to alleviate a severe skilled labor shortage.

The New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA) has long supported enhancing the Regulatory Flexibility Act as a way to make it easier for small businesses to succeed, Vice President of Government Affairs Andrew Musick said.

“Enhancing the Regulatory Flexibility Act will help minimize the impact of rules and regulations on small businesses, allowing entrepreneurs and small business owners to focus on running their businesses, generating economic activity and creating jobs,” Musick said.

The bill, S-2345, would enhance the state’s Regulatory Flexibility Act by requiring agencies to consolidate or simplify compliance or reporting requirements for small businesses, as long as the public health, safety, or general public welfare is not endangered.  It also would establish a process for small businesses to petition the agency directly if they are adversely affected by the rule. If the agency rejects the petition, the businesses can appeal to the courts.

In the Labor Committee, senators approved bills to:

  • provide corporation business tax and gross income tax credits for businesses that participate in DOL registered apprenticeship programs (S-3061);
  • provide a tuition fee waiver for apprenticeship courses (S-3063); and
  • establish a youth apprenticeship pilot program in the Department of Education (S-3065).

Both the federal and state governments have ramped up apprenticeship programs because the nation is facing a severe labor shortage.

New Jersey has already created a $10 million Apprenticeship Network (NJAN) that Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo says will benefit workers and employers alike by supporting traditional apprenticeships, as well as new initiatives in high-growth sectors.

The three measures approved by the Labor Committee are designed to make the program more effective and affordable.