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VOLUME 37, ISSUE 20
ISSUE DATE: OCTOBER 17, 2005
RULE PROPOSALS
LAW AND PUBLIC SAFETY
DIVISION OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS
AUDIOLOGY AND SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY ADVISORY COMMITTEE

37 N.J.R. 3910(a)

Proposed Amendment: N.J.A.C. 13:44C-2.2

Fees and Charges

Authorized By: Kimberly Ricketts, Director, Division of Consumer Affairs.

Authority: N.J.S.A. 45:1-15, 45:3B-20 and 45:3B-24.

Calendar Reference: See Summary below for explanation of exception to calendar requirement.

Proposal Number: PRN 2005-373.

Submit written comments by December 16, 2005 to:
Renee Clark, Executive Director
Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Committee
Division of Consumer Affairs
124 Halsey Street
PO Box 45002
Newark, New Jersey 07101

The agency proposal follows:

Summary

Pursuant to the rulemaking authority in N.J.S.A. 45:3B-24, the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs (the "Director") proposes amendments to N.J.A.C. 13:44C-2.2. N.J.A.C. 13:44C-2.2 currently requires applicants for licensure to pay an initial license fee of $ 100.00, if paid during the first year of the biennial renewal period, or $ 50.00, if paid during the second year. The rule also requires applicants for renewal of licensure to pay a renewal fee of $ 100.00. The Director proposes to amend N.J.A.C. 13:44C-2.2 to raise the initial license fee to $ 170.00, if paid during the first year of the biennial renewal period, or $ 85.00, if paid during the second year. The Director also proposes to raise the renewal fee to $ 170.00.

Pursuant to the statutory mandate set forth in N.J.S.A. 45:3B-20, the fees charged by the Director and the Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Committee (the Committee) for licensure as an audiologist or speech-language pathologist must defray the expenses incurred in regulating audiologists and speech-language pathologists, but they may not exceed those expenses. A Division of Consumer Affairs fiscal officer recently completed a financial analysis which revealed that adjustments to the initial license and renewal fees are necessary and appropriate to satisfy current and anticipated expense levels and to comport with N.J.S.A. 45:3B-20.

The Committee will be incurring a new cost for processing criminal history background checks that will begin to be administered in fiscal year 2005. While applicants will be required to directly pay for the criminal history background check, the Committee will incur costs in reviewing the results of these checks and for data entry associated with these checks. The fiscal officer has also projected increases in a number of expense categories from fiscal year 2005 to fiscal year 2006.

The Director has determined that the comment period for this proposal will be 60 days; therefore, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 1:30-3.3(a)5, this proposal is excepted from the rulemaking calendar requirement.

Social Impact

The proposed amendments to the fee schedule at N.J.A.C. 13:44C-2.2 should produce a positive impact upon the public as the fee increase will provide the Director and the Committee with the appropriate funding to continue the licensure program and to oversee the conduct of the professionals who render audiology and speech-language pathology services to the general public.

Economic Impact

The proposed amendments to N.J.A.C. 13:44C-2.2 will have an economic impact upon all applicants and licensees by increasing fees for initial licenses and biennial renewals. The Director has determined that the proposed fee increases are essential in order for the Division of Consumer Affairs to raise the revenue necessary to continue to discharge its statutory obligation to regulate the audiology and speech-language pathology profession. The Director believes that the increases are consistent with the statutory provisions contained in N.J.S.A. 45:3B-20, which allows the Director to charge licensure fees to defray the expenses incurred in regulating audiologists and speech-language pathologists.

Federal Standards Statement

A Federal standards analysis is not required because there are no Federal laws or standards applicable to the proposed amendments.

Jobs Impact

The Director does not believe that the proposed amendments will result in an increase or decrease of jobs in this State.

Agriculture Industry Impact

The Director does not believe that the proposed amendments will have any impact on the agriculture industry of this State.

Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

If, for the purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, N.J.S.A. 52:14B-16 et seq., the approximately 4,400 licensed speech-language pathologists are deemed "small businesses," then the following analysis applies.

The Act requires the Director to set forth the reporting, recordkeeping and other compliance requirements of the proposal including the kinds of professional services likely to be needed to comply with the requirements. The Act further requires the Director to estimate the initial and annual compliance costs of the proposed amendments with an indication of the varying impact on small businesses of differing types and sizes and to outline the manner in which it has designed the rules to minimize any adverse economic impact upon small businesses. The proposed amendments to N.J.A.C. 13:44C-2.2 impose fee compliance requirements on all licensees and applicants for initial licensure and renewal. There are no further compliance requirements and no professional services are necessary to comply with the proposed amendments. The economic impact on small businesses will be the same as that imposed on all businesses as detailed in the economic impact statement.

The proposed fee increases are designed to accommodate the ongoing costs associated with regulating audiologists and speech-language pathologists. The Director proposes a uniform increase in fees for all licensees and applicants. Therefore, no differing compliance requirements are available to any licensee or applicants for licensure.

Smart Growth Impact

The Board does not anticipate that the proposed amendments will have any impact on the achievement of smart growth and implementation of the State Development and Redevelopment Plan, otherwise known as the State Plan.

Full text of the proposal follows (additions indicated in boldface thus; deletions indicated in brackets [thus]):

13:44C-2.2 Fees and charges

(a) The following fees shall be charged by the Advisory Committee:

1. (No change.)

2. Initial license fee

i. If paid during the first year of a biennial license renewal period $[100.00] 170.00

ii. If paid during the second year of a biennial license renewal period $[50.00] 85.00

3. License renewal fee, biennial... $[100.00] 170.00

4.-10. (No change.)





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