Gov. Chris Christie has signed a bill abolishing the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor and transferring their duties to the New Jersey State Police.
The bill authorizes the withdrawal from a bi-state compact with New York.
“While it served a purpose in the past, the commission and its restrictive oversight of hiring practices at the port has now become an impediment to economic growth,” said Assemblyman Tom Giblin (D-Montclair), a sponsor of the bill. “We cannot allow this at one of the busiest ports in the country. This allows for continued monitoring of port operations without the added red tape created by the commission.”
Assemblywomen Anette Quijano (D-Elizabeth) and Eliana Pintor Marin (D-Newark) were also sponsors of the bill. Two of the state’s largest ports are in Elizabeth and Newark. Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly (D-Paterson) was also a bill sponsor.
“The commission’s stranglehold on our ports is hurting business” Quijano said. “While there is still a need to regulate this business to ensure fairness and safety, this job should not be done by the commission. Handing this responsibility over to the state police will ensure that business at the port is being conducted as it should be, without hampering progress.”
The State Police The state police will be responsible for screening, registering, and licensing individuals who apply to work at the dock. The legislation authorizes the State Police to deny or revoke the registration or licenses of those who involve themselves in criminal activity.