During the 2019 Legislative Session, a small business bill that I sponsored (A.7540B/S.5815C Kaplan) passed both houses of the Legislature. The legislation seeks to create a more cooperative relationship between small businesses and the agencies that oversee them from a regulatory perspective by providing small businesses with an cure period as opposed to an immediate fine for de minimus infractions.
First and foremost, it is important to note that violations impacting public health and safety were excluded from the cure provision along with any violations related to discrimination, harassment, employee wages or benefits etc. The purpose of the bill is to create a relationship between the agency and the small business in the event of a situation where the business may not be aware of a regulatory change resulting in an error in paperwork or something similar.
The issue was initially brought to may attention when a company had an error on their website resulting in an immediate fine. As a legislator who sees many of these changes as they are implemented, I know how difficult it is to keep track of the myriad regulatory changes and the ever-evolving landscape. Keeping that in mind, it does not seem out of the realm of possibility that a small business owner may miss one of those changes especially when getting a business up and running. If implemented into law, the bill allows the small business to work with the agency and establishes a cure period to allow the business to remedy the error and provides education on how the business may stay updated to avoid future errors. I believe this is a commonsense measure that would go a long way toward showing that New York is indeed “Open For Business.”
This is not the first time this bill has passed as it was approved last year by the Senate and the Assembly. It was vetoed by the Executive but as is the norm with vetoes, a veto message was assigned to the bill. We worked off the veto message to address the concerns expressed by the Executive and I am confident we captured those concerns in this amended version.
Please Click here to read a letter from the NYS Small Business Groups in support of my legislation and other pending bills. I am hopeful that this year we will see success in passage of this bill into law.