In an effort to streamline administrative law hearings, the New Jersey Assembly recently approved a bill granting the Office of Administrative Law final agency decision-making power in certain contested state agency cases, including those from the Department of Environmental Protection. Under A-1521, passed on April 29, 2013, the department heads of ten state agencies would no longer have the ability to reject or modify administrative decisions, thereby giving final effect to administrative law judge determinations. The nine other agencies include, the Department of Education, Department of Health and Senior Services, Department of Community Affairs, Department of Children and Families, Division of Family Development, Division of Civil Rights, Department of Law and Public Safety, Civil Service Commission, and the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. The bill also authorizes agency heads to issue orders, made available to the public, granting immediate final effect to administrative law decisions in other appropriate contested agency cases not specifically provided for in the legislation.
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