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Lt. gov.: Eased regulations making N.J. more business-friendly

New Jersey’s lieutenant governor says New Jersey is becoming more business-friendly thanks to scaled-back regulations and the elimination of a lot of red tape, according to a report released today by her office. The report, completed by a commission formed to pinpoint inefficiencies and laws that are too strict, outdated or unnecessary, may be good news for those who want to form businesses in the state.

The Red Tape Commission was created in 2010 by Executive Order and held several public meetings in 2011. Its nine members include a Democrat and a Republican from both houses of the state Legislature. The aptly named commission mentions “red tape” in its report 90 times in its descriptions of improvements and recommendations it’s made.

As an example of the commission’s accomplishments, the report mentions that some paper procedures have shifted to online-only and recommends making more government services available online, such as orientation classes for professionals that are currently offered only a few times a year in person. Some government functions have been condensed and others eliminated altogether.

When it came to laws, the commission traded red tape for a red pen, striking out “rules defying common sense.” For example, it changed school bus inspections from a mileage basis to every three months, which the report says will help rural school districts save money. It also makes several recommendations for state legislators, such as unifying the bidding process for all state agencies and cutting back on some licensing requirements.

The report also suggests moving some functions to other departments, like having auto body repair shops apply to the Department of Environmental Protection or Consumer Affairs, which regulates the shops. Currently auto body shops have to apply to the Motor Vehicle Commission to get licenses, even though “the actual business of auto body repair has no logical connection to the MVC other than the fact that repair work is done on motor vehicles,” the report states.

If the commission’s recommendations are heeded, they could very well improve New Jersey’s business climate.

“It is beginning to work,” the lieutenant governor said. “If we all work together, we streamline government, we cut red tape.”

Source: NJ.com, “Lt. Gov. Guadagno: Scaling back N.J. regulations has had positive impact on business relations,” Megan DeMarco, Feb. 8, 2012

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