Government Affairs & Lobbying

Case Studies

Crafting and negotiating amendments to ride-sharing transportation legislation
Crafting and negotiating amendments to ride-sharing transportation legislation

The recent rise of ride-sharing companies created confusion and disruption for New Jersey’s ground passenger transportation industry.  State lawmakers were faced with how to ensure the safety of passengers and at the same time, craft regulations that were fair, without causing harm to a new and evolving business model.

In late 2014, the Legislature decided it was time to establish statewide standards for ride-sharing companies.

Numerous bills were introduced in the Legislature intended to ensure the safety of passengers, but didn’t address the unfair advantages these companies had over traditional taxis and limousines. As a result, the Limousine Association of New Jersey (LANJ) turned to the Kaufman Zita Group to manage and lead their legislative program.

KZG acted quickly and decisively and intervened to protect the industry’s interests.  KZG negotiated significant amendments to the bill that sought to regulate transportation network companies (TNCs).  KZG worked directly with legislative sponsors, key members in the State Senate and Assembly and advocated with senior officials in the Governor’s Office to gain support for their proposed amendments.  KZG also coordinated with LANJ’s Public Relations team and helped craft external messaging that complimented and advanced the industry’s legislative goals.

KZG also spearheaded a separate piece of legislation that eliminated the sales tax on limousine services.  In 2007, sales and use tax was imposed on limousine services. As a result, the number of limousine companies in New Jersey declined and the tax made NJ limousine operators less competitive with their counterparts in surrounding states.  Also, NJ sales tax is not imposed on Taxis or TNC rides which created another level of disparity for limousine operators in the state.

KZG helped LANJ draft legislation.  We worked with Assembly and Senate sponsors, legislative leaders, and scheduled meetings with legislative Committee chairs and members to inform them of the need for such legislation.  After the bill passed both houses of the legislature, KZG met with officials from the governor’s office to answer any questions and address concerns.

In December 2016,  the Legislature passed both pieces of legislation which not only created rules and regulations on TNCs, but helped to level the playing field in our state’s ground passenger transportation industry and provide much needed economic relief to the limousine industry.

The bills were signed by Governor Chris Christie on February 10, 2017.

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Developing and negotiating amendments to complex energy legislation
Developing and negotiating amendments to complex energy legislation

When Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) ran into legislative and regulatory challenges in its planned construction of a 700 megawatt electric generation facility on a brownfield site in Woodbridge, NJ, the company turned to the Kaufman Zita Group (KZG) to advance its interests.

KZG developed and negotiated amendments to complex legislation that would create long-term capacity contracts and coordinated with CPV’s internal and external legal teams. KZG advocated with senior officials in the governor’s office, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) to garner support for the proposed amendments and closely collaborated with Woodbridge officials to gain support for the amendments.

As a result of these efforts, the state passed legislation allowing CPV to successfully bid for and win a contract to develop a power plant in Woodbridge, NJ. KZG continues to help the company foster relationships with key NJBPU and NJDEP leadership and staff.

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Preventing state budget cuts to children’s healthcare programs
Preventing state budget cuts to children’s healthcare programs

The Center for Family Guidance (CFG), which operates four partial-hospitalization programs for children and adolescents in New Jersey, was facing a severe reimbursement rate cut as a result of proposals included in the Fiscal Year 2009 State Budget. Recognized by the acronym CPH, these acute care programs provide intensive outpatient treatment for emotionally and behaviorally-disturbed children in a hospital setting.

KZG worked with CFG to develop an outreach strategy that focused both on promoting alternatives to these funding cuts and educating policymakers about the CPH program and the potentially detrimental impact these cuts in funding would have on the program. KZG also worked with CFG to develop focused messaging, position papers and talking points and identified partners to create a coalition of mental health providers to support our goal.  A coordinated lobbying effort was mounted both within the legislature and the Executive branch.

As a result, KZG was able to secure a reasonable daily reimbursement rate for the state’s partial hospitalization (CPH) programs in the FY09 Budget and new regulations were eventually established to more accurately reflect the cost of care these programs provide.

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Revolutionizing an industry through major legislative reform
Revolutionizing an industry through major legislative reform

Despite an explosion of interest in craft beer across the country, New Jersey breweries found themselves constrained by antiquated laws that dated back to the Prohibition era and restricted their ability to expand operations, market their products and compete with breweries in neighboring states. That’s when the Garden State Craft Brewers Guild, an association made up of production breweries and brewpubs licensed in New Jersey, turned to the Kaufman Zita Group (KZG) for help.

In order modernize New Jersey’s laws and unleash the economic potential of the industry,  the KZG team developed and executed a comprehensive public affairs plan. From helping draft legislation to relax the constraints on the industry to navigating the numerous political hurdles that arose during the legislative process, KZG managed a complex policy initiative and negotiated a successful outcome. In the end, KZG’s efforts yielded a law that created a more friendly business environment that attracted new investment, enabled many of the Guild’s existing members to expand their facilities and allowed new breweries and brewpubs to enter the New Jersey market.

This landmark legislation was signed into law in September 2012.  Since then, the number of craft beer production facilities in New Jersey has increased over 100 percent.

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Creating a government affairs program and raising the profile of healthcare professionals in New Jersey
Creating a government affairs program and raising the profile of healthcare professionals in New Jersey

Seeking toadvance the profession of athletic training, the Athletic Trainers Society of New Jersey (ATSNJ) engaged the Kaufman Zita Group (KZG) nearly twenty years ago to help it navigate the legislative and regulatory landscape of New Jersey state government.

KZG helped ATSNJ to establish a government affairs program able to react quickly to political developments and helped it shape policy discussions in Trenton.  We first helped elevate the stature of the profession by securing passage of legislation recognizing athletic trainers as licensed professionals. KZG later directed an effort to modify licensure restrictions and expand professional opportunities for athletic trainers.

New Jersey law limited athletic trainers’ scope of work to scholastic, collegiate and professional athletic settings. The ATSNJ wanted their members to have the same opportunities as athletic trainers in other states who are able to offer their services to the general public. KZG worked with the ATSNJ to change the law to enable them to do so. As a result, licensed athletic trainers in New Jersey can now treat all athletes, regardless of the setting, within the limits of their professional training.

This professional trade group is now recognized and respected, and their opinions are sought out by policy makers when issues relating to athlete protection, injury prevention, and treatment are under consideration.

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Forming and managing a trade association to advance the interests of NJ’s private electric generating companies
Forming and managing a trade association to advance the interests of NJ’s private electric generating companies

Since 1992, Kaufman Zita Group (KZG) Principal Adam Kaufman has represented the Independent Energy Producers of New Jersey (IEPNJ), a not-for-profit trade association that represents owners, developers and operators of non-utility electric generating facilities. Adam also serves as IEPNJ’s executive director.

While these companies invested billions of dollars in energy technologies and infrastructure, including district heating, cooling and cogeneration, they were not acting collectively to advance and protect their common interests. They were having difficulty developing and executing effective government relations strategies with key policy makers and other interested parties in New Jersey.

Adam created a distinct identity and an effective political program for an industry that had been unrecognized in governmental and political circles. IEPNJ has been and continues to be very successful at gaining the attention of key policy makers. Directed by Adam and the rest of the KZG team, IEPNJ has established and fostered relationships with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, legislators influential in the energy sector, and environmental and energy reporters. As a result of this consistent and comprehensive outreach effort, IEPNJ is now a recognized leader in the independent power industry and a trusted voice in Trenton.

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Legislative Intervention
Whether we’re trying to pass, amend or defeat a bill, impacting the legislative process requires good strategy, good messaging, good contacts and good timing. Our team works extensively with the legislative leadership, committee chairs, members and staff. We routinely draft bills and amendments, prepare testimony, brief staff, engage the Executive Branch and coordinate the many moving parts involved in the process. We understand what our target audience cares about and how to make your issues relevant to the decision makers.
Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting
Information is power. We employ a state-of-the-art monitoring system that keeps you abreast of every move the Legislature makes on the issues you care about. We provide bill tracking, calendar reports and activity reports to clients every time the legislature conducts business. More importantly, we provide intelligence gleaned from personal interaction with those in and around the process. We will help you understand what is happening, why and how best to impact the process.
Coalition Building & Management
Rare is the issue that impacts an audience of one. Organizing, leading or joining a coalition of individuals or organizations who share your goals can help improve the prospects for success. We help our clients identify potential partnerships, evaluate the potential benefits and liabilities and purse those relationships that make sense.
Regulatory Compliance
Engaging government can often trigger a dizzying array of rules, regulations, laws and reporting requirements. Our clients appreciate our strict attention to detail when it comes to helping them understand and comply with those rules.

We provide, for example, assistance with the standards for ethical business conduct and compliance with restrictions on political contributions. Whether you require our assistance with an isolated regulatory matter or broader insight into best practices and upcoming trends, the Kaufman Zita Group will provide you with strategic counsel to help you get the job done in compliance with – and adherence to – the constraints of the law.