Two separate bipartisan legislations focused on saving taxpayers money were recently approved by State Senate committees.
A bill sponsored by State Sens. Steve Oroho (R-24) and Paul Sarlo (D-36), would bolster government efficiency and reduce damaging economic regulations while a second to shut down do-nothing advisory groups is being proposed by the two party leaders in the Senate.
The Oroho-Sarlo legislation would establish the Government Efficiency and Regulatory Review Commission. The nine-member body would be charged with evaluating all proposed and adopted regulations, rules and executive orders to consider their impact on the economy and determine if their benefits outweigh the burdens placed on business and government.
“The plethora of red tape and bureaucracy has been suffocating New Jersey’s economy for too long, and conditions deteriorate more with every passing year,” said Oroho in a press statement. “The goal for creating this commission is to begin unraveling rules, regs and edicts that have a negative impact on the fiscal environment in the state.”
The members of the commission, representing the Executive and Legislative branches, would be committed to the goal of addressing the state’s economic viability and prosperity. The bill, passed by the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee, requires the commission to deliver an annual report to the governor and legislature with recommendations on items to repeal or amend. The findings are advisory only, and cannot be used for legal challenges.
“With this commission’s help, we can ease the impact of government regulation in New Jersey, something that is desperately needed and long overdue,” Oroho said. “The overwhelming glut of onerous laws and rules are responsible for our State’s reputation as unfriendly to business.”
“If we can target and eliminate the most damaging examples of counterproductive bureaucratic overreach, we can rebuild our competitive edge and restore New Jersey’s position as an economic powerhouse.”
Closing Dormant Boards
At the same time, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) and Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R-21) offered a bill to shut down dormant boards and authorities they consider “useless” to taxpayers.
“If a government-established body doesn’t conduct business, fails to accomplish anything, and hides in the shadows, there is no need to retain it,” said Kean. “We can eliminate these fruitless entities and reduce bureaucratic paralysis.”
The bill would deactivate authorities, boards, commissions, committees, councils, panels, and task forces which do not meet with a quorum at least once every year. The members of bodies deemed inactive by the bill would be released, and the group would no longer have access to the services of employees of any state, county, or municipality or agency.
“These government bodies that have outlived their purpose are costly and wasteful,” said Sweeney. “They might have served a purpose at one time, but there is no need to keep them in place if they have become inactive.”
Under the legislation, the Secretary of State is mandated to annually review the meeting records of all government bodies and determine if they are active.