Yesterday, the Senate approved S-3095/A-4850, which the League opposes, sending the measure to Governor Murphy for his action. The legislation would establish an expedited construction inspection program that would allow able and willing property owners to pay an additional fee to jump the inspection line and receive an inspection within two days rather than the current three days.
While S-3095/A-4850 ostensibly provides for a mechanism for expedited inspections, the more likely unintended consequence of this bill is a complete shift from inspections being performed by municipal officials to third-party entities. This would be a tectonic shift in the nature and function of construction inspections and is something that needs far more consideration and discussion with a host of impacted stakeholders.
Further, language within S-3095/A-4850 would make the municipal building department a transaction agent for third-party inspection entities – with enforcing agencies acting as a middleman for the collection of fees from applicants only to be turned over to the third-party inspection entities. This comes at an administrative cost to municipal building departments, for which the legislation provides no means by which the building department would offset or recoup such costs.
The League hoped to work with the bills’ sponsors on certain amendments to address these issues but, ultimately, these concerns were left unaddressed. League efforts now turn to the Governor’s office where we will seek a conditional veto to return to the bill to the legislature to address municipal concerns.
Contact: Frank Marshall, Esq., Associate General Counsel, FMarshall@njlm.org or 609-695-3481 ext. 137.