Summary of New Jersey heat stress bill available

13 May 2024, Posted by admin in News, Science and Environmental Issues, State News, Weather

The first consideration of a bill (S2422/A3521) to establish an occupational heat stress standard was heard in the Senate Labor Committee on Monday this week. The Senate bill is sponsored by Sen. Joe Cryan (D-Union). The first group called to testify was NJ Farm Bureau, where newly appointed legislative coordinator Ashley Kerr with President Allen Carter in attendance announced NJFB’s opposition to the bill for its sheer impracticality, costs and industrial workplace-oriented standards that does not fit ag circumstances. Labor Committee member Sen. Paul Moriarty  immediately echoed those concerns, saying he had been contacted by local farmers in his district about the bill’s  impact to farmers. It was later agreed that the sponsor would meet with Farm Bureau representatives to review agriculture’s position. Chairman Joe Lagana commented that he hoped the sponsor “would work things through” with the farm sector.

Other groups weighed in pro and con after the NJFB testimony. Also opposed were the State Chamber of Commerce, NJ Business and Industry Association, National Federation of Independent Business and others. Opponents wondered how the heat stress restrictions would be managed by public employees like Corrections, road departments, law enforcement; the fines and penalties also drew strong objections. Groups in favor were labor
unions and worker advocacy groups. The bill eventually cleared the committee 4-0 and sent for “second reference” to the Senate Budget Committee.

Click here to read an NJFB-prepared a summary of the bill.

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