Assemblyman Andrew Goodell (R,C-Chautauqua) recently co-sponsored a bill introduced by Assemblyman Charles Levine that would require state agencies to consider including a “cure period” before penalizing a small business or local government for a violation of state regulations. This would provide the party in question with time to adjust their operations to become compliant with the necessary guidelines, rather than being immediately faced with a fine.
“The primary focus of state agencies should be to ensure regulatory compliance, not impose expensive fines on small businesses and local governments,” said Goodell. “If a small business or local government successfully corrects a violation within a reasonable time period, then there should be no need for automatic fines and penalties, especially if the initial violation did not pose any significant threat to the health or safety of employees or the public.”
State agencies are currently required to consider establishing differing compliance requirements that take into account the resources available to small businesses or local governments, but are not specifically required to consider the inclusion of a cure period in current rules.
The approach being advanced by this bill would provide small-business owners with an opportunity to cure low-risk violations without having to pay fines or penalties, saving businesses time and money and allowing them to focus on business rather than deal with government. It also fosters a productive relationship between small-business owners and state agencies, as opposed to one that may be perceived as strictly punitive.
As noted in the bill memorandum, “requiring consideration of whether low-risk violations can be ameliorated without penalty imposition will assist the many small businesses who try to provide safe and high-quality goods and services to New Yorkers but may be caught in a minor or technical violation of the rules.”
“I am pleased to join this bi-partisan effort to improve the business climate in New York State, and I commend Mr. Levine for this initiative,” said Mr. Goodell. “I voted in favor of this excellent bill in committee, and I look forward to supporting this bill on the floor of the State Assembly.”