Bill Would Shield Small Businesses From Fines For First-Time Violations

Originally published in State of Politics on June 06, 2019.

From the Morning Memo:

A measure that is meant to shield small businesses from fines for first-time regulatory violations is gaining traction in the final days of the session.

The bill, backed by the NFIB, would waive fines for small businesses that are facing infractions for violating regulations for the first time. It would also provide a grace period for the business to come into compliance.

The measure does not apply to regulatory violations that are considered to be done on purpose, threaten safety and health or the environment. Fraud and civil rights violations are also not protected.

“Small businesses employ more than 4 million New Yorkers across every community in our state and continue to be the engine for New York’s economic growth,” said Greg Biryla, state director of NFIB in New York.

“Unfortunately, far too often and for too long, Albany has viewed small businesses not as job creators and community assets, but as ATMs. New York’s high tax burden is well known, but just as stifling to the small business economy is the aggressive, regressive, and punitive enforcement of newly enacted and often poorly communicated mandates and regulations.”

The bill is sponsored by Assemblyman John McDonald and Sen. Anna Kaplan.

“Assemblyman McDonald and Senator Kaplan have put forth common-sense, reform-minded legislation with bipartisan support that will make life easier for New York’s 2.1 million small businesses, while also ensuring new and changing state regulations are better communicated, understood, and compliance is less complex,” Biryla said.

“Any legislator who claims to be a supporter of the small businesses in their district should be working double time to pass this critical legislation before this session’s clock runs out on June 19.”