Huge Turnout at Public Hearing to Oppose Proposed Rules and Regulations for New Public Works Cont
By: New Jersey Electronic Security Association
The proposed rules and regulations require participation in a US DOL-registered apprenticeship program for registration as a Public Works Contractor. However, these proposed rules / regulations go far beyond the language of the law. Importantly, they require all apprenticeship programs to include participation in an "ERISA-covered apprenticeship training program trust fund." This would put a tremendous burden on small businesses, particularly since most that engage in public work also perform work in the private sector.
This proposal, combined with other aspects of the proposed rules / regulations, would make it virtually impossible for small businesses to comply. Therefore, thousands of small businesses and their employees throughout New Jersey would be disenfranchised when they are unable to comply with these proposed regulations, thereby barring them from registering as a Public Works Contractor in New Jersey.
The New Jersey Electronic Security Association, along with other trade associations in the electronic security, fire/life safety, and locksmithing industries urged members, along with all business owners and their employees, to attend the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development's public hearing and oppose these newly-proposed rules / regulations, regardless of whether they perform public work in N.J. Everyone was also encouraged to send their written opposition to the Department during this "comment period."
Thanks to the NJ ESA´s efforts, along with the support of the AFAA of NJ and the New Jersey chapter of NAFED, approximately 200 people from various industries attended the hearing.
To begin the proceedings, David Fish, Executive Director of Legal and Regulatory Services for the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development gave a summary of the rules and regulations. Mr. Fish then offered that the purpose of the public hearing was to allow attendees to be heard regarding the proposed rules / regulations directly to members of the Department. However, the Department staff could not provide opinions, or answers to any questions, at the hearing.
Thirty people stood up and voiced their opposition, including NJESA President Christine Marzano, Immediate Past President Jerry Duffy, Treasurer Casey Guagenti, Board Members Joe Cioffi and Jamie Kerth, and Chris Mosley, who also serves as the President of the national Electronic Security Association (ESA).
The opposition comments were fairly unanimous in stating that the law itself and the new apprenticeship program participation requirements put an onerous burden on small businesses that perform public work in New Jersey. The proposed rules / regulations virtually make it impossible for small businesses to continue to register for a Public Works Contractor Registration Certificate.
The overall effect of this new law, combined with these proposed rules / regulations, would be to exclude many thousands of small businesses and their employees throughout the state, by barring them from engaging in public work. This would lead to all public work costing the state and local municipalities even more, which consequently, will cost the taxpayers of New Jersey even more for all public work.
A number of speakers added that this new law and these proposed rules / regulations may force them out-of-business.
In addition, one state employee, who manages state facilities, shared that this new law and these proposed rules / regulations might cause him to lose all of his current vendors for the vital life safety and security systems in these buildings. He then rhetorically asked who he could call if there were an emergency and he needed someone immediately to service one of these systems, if all his vendors were effectively blocked from registering for a Public Works Contractor Registration Certificate. Ironically, the building where the public hearing was held is one of the buildings that he manages.
"I am proud of the efforts of our association and members," stated Marzano. "We believe that these proposed rules and regulations will potentially cause higher unemployment, lower tax revenue and the closure of more small businesses. The ultimate losers in this scenario are New Jersey's taxpayers and the state itself. We are urging the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development to reconsider adoption of these proposed rules and regulations."
The NJ ESA is advising all members to send their opposition letters to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, if they have not already done so. The deadline to submit comments to the Department is August 2, 2019.
For further information, contact Christine Higgins, by email at christine@nj-
The New Jersey Electronic Security Association (NJESA) represents electronic security professionals, system integrators, fire alarm companies, manufacturers and distributors that do business in New Jersey. Joining the NJESA opens the pathway to being licensed – a legal requirement in NJ for alarm installers. Plus, members enjoy many more benefits. The NJESA exists to promote public safety and foster positive relationships with police, fire and elected officials at the local, state and national level.