NJ State IUC

United Steelworkers District 4 — Health Professionals and Allied Employees
American Federation of Teachers Local 1766/Union of Rutgers Administrators
Communications Workers of America District 1
Teamsters Local 877
NJ State Industrial Union Council — NJ Work Environment Council

May 24, 2012 FINAL DRAFT

TO: Members of the NJ Assembly
RE: Please Support ACR37

Don’t Let Governor Christie “Waive” Our Jobs, Rights, and Health

Governor Christie has a new scheme to help Wall Street and wealthy campaign contributors at the expense of our health, workers' rights, and clean air and water.

Christie has issued an order requiring every state agency to set up a process for waiving most state laws that the agency is supposed to enforce. He's starting with the Department of Environmental Protection and the Division of Consumer Affairs.  All other agencies, including the NJ Departments of Labor, Education, Health, Veterans Affairs, etc. could soon follow.

This means Christie’s political appointees will be able to let any chemical, oil, banking, insurance, or drug corporation violate our safeguards — without even a meaningful opportunity for public comment — if they think a rule creates “an undue hardship.”

This is a clear overreach of a Governor’s constitutional authority.  Please reject this policy by voting for ACR37, which would block DEP’s waiver rule.

See the reverse side for more information. If you have questions, please contact Mo Kinberg at (510) 452-7178 or Rick Engler at (609) 472-9579. 

How Chris Christie’s Waiver Policy Threatens Our Safeguards

Governor Christie’s Executive Order #2 mandates every state agency to develop a process for “waiving” the state laws and standards they are supposed to enforce.

In March, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) was the first agency to adopt Christie’s new waiver policy. Wealthy corporations will be able to get exemptions from DEP standards that protect workers and communities from toxic chemicals, radiation, or pesticide exposures.  In April, the Division of Consumer Affairs became the next agency with waivers.  Corporations can now get permission to violate safeguards that protect consumers from fraud involving phones, loans, insurance, cars, home renovations, and many other products.

  1. In addition to endangering the environment, this waiver policy will endanger New Jersey workers. NJ regulations help create safer working conditions for employees in hazardous industries across the state. Every day these safeguards, such as those issued under the Worker and Community Right to Know Act, the Toxic Catastrophe Prevention Act, and the Spill Act, protect the lives of workers in our state’s chemical plants, oil refineries, and many other industries.
  2. The rule will hurt New Jersey’s small businesses. The proposed rule will make it harder for small business to compete with big corporations. To apply for a waiver, a company will need political influence and the resources to pay attorneys and experts. Only wealthy, well-connected corporations can afford such expenses.
  3. Waivers will be granted without public comment and with limited public notice. This will prevent NJ residents who will be affected by a waiver from protesting, and will make it easy to reward large campaign contributors with the right to violate state law.
  4. The rule violates NJ law and the state constitution. When the legislature wants an agency to grant waivers, it provides for that power by law. If Christie truly believes that safeguards we all count on should be repealed, he should go to the legislature — not unilaterally set up a process to let wealthy corporations and individuals simply ignore the law.

Please tell Chris Christie that NJ residents do not want our jobs, rights, and health to be “waived.”

Please support ACR37.

This flyer circulated by the New Jersey Work Environment Council, 142 West State St., Third Floor, Trenton, NJ  08608.  On the web at www.njwec.org.

USW4-149/CWA 38010/AFL-CIO

Mike and Banner

Carol and Banner