STATE OF NEW JERSEY
PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2018 SESSION
Assemblyman RONALD S. DANCER
District 12 (Burlington, Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean)
Assemblyman ERIC HOUGHTALING
District 11 (Monmouth)
Assemblywoman JOANN DOWNEY
District 11 (Monmouth)
Assemblyman ANTHONY M. BUCCO
District 25 (Morris and Somerset)
Assemblymen Rooney, Coughlin and Assemblywoman B.DeCroce
Suspends fines for certain first-time paperwork violations committed by small businesses.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.
An Act suspending fines for certain first-time paperwork violations committed by small businesses and supplementing Title 52 of the Revised Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. a. For any small business that commits a paperwork violation of a requirement regarding the collection of information by a State agency or regulatory authority, the State agency or regulatory authority shall suspend any administrative fine or civil penalty to be assessed against a business for the violation, if the paperwork violation is a first-time offense, unless the State agency or authority determines:
(1) the violation has the potential to cause serious harm to the public interest;
(2) failure to impose a fine or penalty would impede or interfere with the detection of criminal activity;
(3) the violation is a violation of a law concerning the assessment or collection of any tax, debt, revenue, or receipt;
(4) the violation was not corrected on or before the date that is six months after the date on which the small business receives notification of the violation in writing from the agency or authority; or
(5) except as provided in subsection b. of this section, the violation presents a danger to the public safety.
b. If a State agency or regulatory authority makes a determination that a violation committed by a small business presents a danger to public safety, the agency or authority shall have the discretion to determine whether the imposition of a fine or penalty is appropriate if the violation is corrected not later than 24 hours after the receipt by the owner of the small business of notification of the violation in writing.
In determining whether to allow a small business 24 hours to correct a violation under this subsection, the agency or regulatory authority shall take into account all of the facts and circumstances regarding the violation, including:
(1) the nature and seriousness of the violation, including whether the violation is technical or inadvertent or involves willful or criminal conduct;
(2) whether the small business has made a good faith effort to comply with applicable laws and to remedy the violation within the shortest practicable period of time; and
(3) whether the small business has obtained a significant economic benefit from the violation.
c. As used in this act, “small business” means a business entity that employs not more than 50 full-time employees or the equivalent thereof and qualifies as a small business concern within the meaning of the federal “Small Business Act,” Pub.L.85-536 (15 U.S.C. s.631 et seq.).
d. This act shall not apply to any violation by a small business of a requirement regarding collection of information by a State agency or regulatory authority if the small business previously violated any requirement regarding collection of information by the agency or authority.
For purposes of making a determination under this subsection, the State agency or regulatory authority shall not take into account any violation of a requirement regarding collection of information by another agency or regulatory authority.
e. A State agency or authority shall adopt rules and regulations pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), as may be needed to effectuate this section.
2. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill would suspend the assessment of fines against small businesses for certain minor first-time paperwork violations. Under the bill, a small business means a business entity that employs 50 full-time employees or fewer and qualifies as a small business concern as defined in the federal “Small Business Act.”
Under the bill, a fine would not be suspended if:
· the violation has the potential to cause serious harm to the public interest;
· failure to impose a fine or penalty would impede or interfere with the detection of criminal activity;
· the violation concerns the assessment or collection of any tax, debt, revenue, or receipt;
· the violation was not corrected within six months of the date the small business received notification of the violation; or
· except as provided below, the violation presents a danger to public safety.
If a State agency or regulatory authority determines that the violation presents a danger to the public safety, the agency or regulatory authority may nevertheless suspend the assessment of a fine under certain circumstances if the violation is corrected within 24 hours after notification to the business of the violation.
This bill is based upon a federal bill that was sponsored in the 114th United States Congress, introduced on January 7, 2015. The federal bill provided for the suspension of fines under certain circumstances for first-time paperwork violations by small businesses.