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

Capitol Report

April 4, 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.38 (Gill) Provides a dedicated line item on property tax bills to fund municipal free public libraries and joint free public libraries. On March 21, S-2068 was signed by the governor.

On the Governor's Desk

Animal Law

S-1643 (Sweeney) Requires sterilization of all cats and dogs released for adoption from various facilities and updates the law concerning impoundment. On March 21, the bill passed in the Senate (32-3) and was sent to the governor.

Business Law

A-3722 (Coutinho) Revises provisions of the Franchise Practices Act relating to motor vehicle franchises. On March 21, the bill substituted for S-2704/S-2693, passed in the Senate (36-0) and was sent to the governor.

Environmental Law

S-2295 (Lesniak) Provides certain exemptions from disclosure requirements for licensing of solid waste and hazardous waste operations. On March 21, the bill passed in the Senate (30-3) and was sent to the governor.

Government and Public Sector

A-974 (Johnson) Expands membership of the Domestic Security Preparedness Task Force to include the commissioner of the Department of Banking and Insurance. On March 21, the bill substituted for S-2637, passed in the Senate (36-0) and was sent to the governor.

A-2173 (Vainieri Huttle) Requires the Department of State to establish and maintain a website to provide a clearinghouse of information for nonprofits. On March 21, the bill

Labor and Employment Law

S-2562 (Greenstein) Sets confidentiality standards for public employee assistance program records; prohibits employer actions against program participants. On March 21, the bill passed in the Senate (37-0) and was sent to the governor.

A-3359 (Barnes) Prohibits the practice of excluding unemployed individuals in advertisements for job vacancies. On March 21, the bill passed in the Senate (33-2) and was sent to the governor.

Municipal Court Practice

A-1471 (Wisniewski) Makes sundry changes to taxicab laws. On March 21, the bill substituted for S-1823, passed in the Senate (36-0) and was sent to the governor.

Public Utilities

A-2849 (Burzichelli) Requires Board of Public Utilities orders to be issued in writing and posted on the Internet. On March 21, the bill substituted for S-2441, passed in the Senate (37-0) and was sent to the governor.

Renewable Energy, Cleantech and Climate Change

S-2126 (Whelan) Permits development of solar and wind facilities and structures on landfills and resource extraction operations under certain circumstances. On March 21, the bill passed in the Senate (36-0) to concur with the governor's recommendations and was sent back to the governor.

School Law

A-2920 (Wolfe) Directs the Department of Education to develop a school district dating violence policy and requires school districts to provide dating violence education in the health curriculum. On March 21, the bill substituted for S-2114, passed in the Senate (37-0) and was sent to the governor.

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.