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

Captiol Report

April 23, 2012

 

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. The government affairs department of the association compiles the report. 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.

 

Special Edition

 

This special edition of the Capitol Report is the second in a series of updates on NJSBA priority legislation.

 

As with all high-priority bills, the Government Relations Department communicates the NJSBA’s position on priority legislation with letters to the sponsors of the bill, members of any legislative committees to which the bill has been referred for a hearing, members of the Senate or Assembly when the bill is scheduled for a vote before either body, and the Governor. In addition, when these priority bills are scheduled for committee review in the legislature, the NJSBA will prepare and coordinate written and/or oral testimony before legislative committees, testify before legislative committees where appropriate if experts from NJSBA sections and committees are not available, and coordinate meetings with legislators, interest groups and the Governor’s Office to advance the NJSBA’s position.

 

Pending Legislation

 

ELECTION LAW

S-858 (Cunningham)/A-596 (Spencer) (NJSBA supports) Allows persons on parole and probation to vote; provides registration assistance to persons on probation, parolees, and persons completing sentences. This legislation is currently pending review in the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee and Assembly State Government Committee, respectively.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

S-989 (Greenstein) (NJSBA opposes) Establishes special environmental prosecutor. This legislation is pending review in the Senate Environment and Energy Committee.

FAMILY LAW

S-185 (Connors)/A-648 (Rumpf) (NJSBA opposes) Requires court to consider results of domestic violence assessment before dissolving certain domestic violence restraining orders. This legislation is currently pending review in the Senate and Assembly Judiciary committees.

S-315 (Whelan)/A-700 (Ramos) (NJSBA supports) Authorizes the Office of Public Defender to provide legal representation for child in proceedings after parental rights have been terminated. This legislation is currently pending review by the Senate and Assembly Judiciary committees.

S-634 (Kean)/A-1977 (McKeon) (NJSBA opposes) Prohibits good faith allegations of child abuse from being used against the accuser in a child custody proceeding; makes it a disorderly persons offense to file a false allegation of child abuse. This legislation is currently pending review in the Senate and Assembly Judiciary committees.

S-832 (Vitale)/A-368 (Wolfe) (NJSBA opposes) Permits adopted persons and certain others access to an adopted person’s original birth certificate and other related information, and appropriates $90,000. This legislation is pending review in the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee and the Assembly Human Services Committee, respectively.

S-1029 (Greenstein) (NJSBA opposes) Establishes the "Domestic Violence Victim Protection Pilot Program.” This legislation is currently pending review in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

S-1031 (Greenstein) (NJSBA opposes) Creates the offense of impairing communications, which would constitute domestic violence in certain circumstances. This legislation is currently pending review in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

S-1151 (Weinberg)/A-1281 (Giblin) (NJSBA opposes) Establishes "Monica's Law" concerning domestic violence risk assessment pilot program. This legislation is currently pending review in the Senate and Assembly Judiciary committees.

S-1388 (Scutari)/A-685 (Kean) (NJSBA opposes) Provides for modifications of child support and certain alimony payments due to changed circumstances. This legislation is currently pending review in the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

S-1567 (Turner) (NJSBA opposes) Clarifies factors used to determine when child support orders can be terminated. This legislation is currently pending review in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

A-903 (Schepisi) (NJSBA supports) Revises New Jersey Safe Haven Infant Protection Act and other related laws. This legislation is pending review by the Assembly Human Services Committee.

 

A-1018 (Mainor) (NJSBA opposes) Provides for termination of child support obligation upon certain conditions. This legislation is currently pending review in the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

A-1105 (Fuentes) (NJSBA opposes) Requires prosecution of domestic violence-related cases in Superior Court; removes jurisdiction from municipal court. This legislation is currently pending review in the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

A-1121 (Fuentes) (NJSBA opposes) Requires people to report incidents of domestic violence to law enforcement and makes it a disorderly persons offense to fail to report such events. This legislation is currently pending review in the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

GAY LESBIAN BISEXUAL AND TRANSGENDER RIGHTS

S-1 (Weinberg) (NJSBA supports) Enacts the "Marriage Equality and Religious Exemption Act."   The governor’s conditional veto received in the Senate in February and the NJSBA is now awaiting action in the courts.

SCR-79 (Cardinale)/ACR-39 (McHose) (NJSBA opposes) Proposes constitutional amendment to provide that only the union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as marriage. This legislation is currently pending review in the Senate and Assembly Judiciary committees.

GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC SECTOR

A-1678 (Johnson) (NJSBA opposes) Requires three forms of identification when requesting birth certificate. This legislation is currently pending review in the Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee.

 

A-1728 (Green) (NJSBA opposes) Eliminates the state Council on Affordable Housing. This legislation is pending review in the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee.

 

INTERNET AND COMPUTER LAW

S-60 (Codey) (NJSBA supports with amendments) Enacts the Social Networking Safety Act. This legislation is currently pending review in the Senate Judiciary Committee.