Roseland, N.J. (Feb. 25, 2003) -- A legislative bill that would have barred accountants in New Jersey from providing virtually any non-audit service to their audit clients, has died a quick and quiet death.

State Assemblyman Neil M. Cohen of Union, N.J., has withdrawn House Bill 2684, a measure he introduced last September after Congress enacted the Sarbanes-Oxley federal law regulating the audit industry. Cohen's bill called for many of same service bans set in Sarbanes-Oxley, but, while the federal law applies only to publicly-owned companies, the state proposal restricted accountants' services to both public and private company audit clients based in New Jersey.

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