New Jersey State Bar Association - The voluntary Bar Association of New Jersey, serving members since 1899.

Capitol Report

April 11, 2011

This is a status report on recently passed and pending legislation, regulations, gubernatorial nominations and/or appointments of interest to lawyers. The report may also include information about appearances of NJSBA representatives before legislative committees, and the involvement of the NJSBA as amicus in appellate court matters. It is compiled by the government affairs department of the New Jersey State Bar Association. Following each bill number is the sponsor's name, the NJSBA position, if any, bill description and status. Full and previous versions of the Capitol Report with links to related text are available online at www.njsba.com.

New Laws

P.L.2011, c.39 (Schaer) Creates the Reinsurance and Surplus Lines Stimulus and Enhancement Act. On March 22, A-2670 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2011, c.40 (Barnes) Prohibits the practice of excluding unemployed individuals in advertisements for job vacancies. On March 29, A-3359 was signed by the governor.

Pending Legislation

Animal Law

A-1083 (Gusciora) Clarifies that failure to provide minimum care to an animal constitutes animal cruelty. On March 21, the bill was received in the Senate and referred to the Senate Economic Growth Committee.

Children's Rights

S-508 (Girgenti) Establishes a grant program in the Department of Consumer Affairs to provide funding to youth mentoring programs. On March 21, the bill passed in the Senate (22-12).

Consumer Protection

S-726 (Sacco) Prohibits a purchaser of a used motor vehicle from waiving a dealer's obligation regarding emissions control equipment. On March 21, the bill passed in the Senate (36-1).

S-847 (Turner) Requires signs posted by retail motor fuel dealers to indicate motor fuel prices for cash and credit card customers; establishes additional $1,000 penalty for violations. On March 21, the bill passed in the Senate (34-1).

Criminal Law

S-972 (Allen) Clarifies that sexual assault victims are not responsible for any costs of forensic sexual assault examinations or related services. On March 21, the bill passed in the Senate (37-0).

S-1219 (Bucco) Requires security guards at institutions of higher education that do not employ police officers to immediately report crimes committed on campus to the local police department. On March 21, the bill passed in the Senate (37-0).

A-832 (Albano) Establishes new crimes concerning service dogs and upgrades crimes against certain other animals. On March 21, the bill was received in the Senate and referred to the Senate Economic Growth Committee.

A-1561 (Lampitt) Creates a diversionary program for juveniles who are criminally charged for sexting or posting sexual images. On March 21, the bill was received in the Senate and referred to the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.

A-3086 (Barnes) Establishes a civil cause of action for gender-motivated violence. On March 21, the bill was received in the Senate and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

A-3536 (Coughlin) Clarifies that criminal impersonation committed by any means, including electronic communications or Internet website, shall be subject to criminal penalties. On March 21, the bill was received in the Senate and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

A-3591 (Johnson) Concerns certain limitations on claims for victim compensation. On March 21, the bill was received in the Senate and referred to the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.

Elder and Disability Law

S-2244 (Sweeney) Requires school buses transporting certain disabled persons to use flashing lights, and establishes penalties for drivers who fail to yield. On March 21, the bill passed in the Senate (37-0).

Election Law

S-2756 (Beach) Permits registered voters to receive mail-in ballots automatically for all future elections. On March 21, the bill passed in the Senate (24-13).

Family Law

A-412 (Diegnan) (support w/ amendments) Limits actions against court-appointed psychologists and psychiatrists in certain family court matters. On March 21, the bill was received in the Senate and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Government and Public Sector

S-2787 (Norcross) Authorizes the New Jersey Department of Transportation commissioner to procure revenue-generating sponsors for, and permit sponsorship acknowledgment and advertising on, safety and emergency service patrol vehicles and equipment. On March 21, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Transportation Committee.

A-2678 (Quijano) Requires the state treasurer to include designated space for an email address on application forms for notaries public. On March 21, the bill was received in the Senate and referred to the Senate Commerce Committee.

Health and Hospital Law

A-2095 (Conaway) Revises requirements for emergency medical services delivery. On March 21, the bill was received in the Senate and referred to the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.

A-3698 (Conaway) Requires monitoring of prescriptions for human growth hormones. On March 21, the bill was received in the Senate and referred to the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.

A-3744 (O'Donnell) Requires birthing facilities to screen newborns for congenital heart defects prior to discharge. On March 21, the bill was received in the Senate without committee reference and is awaiting Senate vote.

Nominations

The following nominations received advice and consent by the Senate on March 21:

JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT
Thomas Miller, of Hillsborough Township, NJSBA member
Philip Mizzone, of Woodland Park, NJSBA member
Edward Neafsey, of Avon-By-The-Sea, NJSBA member

CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION
Thomas J. Perna, of Berkeley Heights

NEW JERSEY ELECTION LAW ENFORCEMENT COMMISSION
Lawrence K. Weiss, of Westfield

NEW JERSEY INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY UNIVERSITY-
BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Anne S. Babineau, of Summit, NJSBA member

WORKERS' COMPENSATION JUDGE
Russell Wojtenko, of Princeton Junction, NJSBA member

The following nominations were referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 21:

JUDGE OF THE MADISON JOINT MUNICIPAL COURT
Gary Troxell, of Florham Park, NJSBA member

NEW JERSEY STATE BOARD OF MEDIATION
John R. Drake, of Newton

STATE ETHICS COMMISSION
Michael E. Levin, of Manalapan, NJSBA member

Note: "Under review by the NJSBA" means that the bill is currently being examined by NJSBA sections, committees and/or Board of Trustees and a final position has not yet been reached on the measure.