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

Capitol Report

September 22, 2008

By Valerie L. Brown and Tamika Wilson

This is a status report on recently passed and pending legislation and regulations, gubernatorial nominations and appointments of interest to lawyers. It is compiled by the legislative department of the New Jersey State Bar Association. Following each bill is the number, sponsor's name, NJSBA position, if any, bill description and status.

New Laws

P.L.2008, c.86 (Cohen) Provides for a period of extension for repayment of introductory rate mortgages on residential property under certain circumstances. (A-2780)

P.L.2008, c.84 (Watson Coleman) (NJSBA supports) Establishes a compelling circumstances exception to mandatory driver's license suspension under the conditional discharge statute; allows the court to revoke the remainder of a suspension for compelling circumstances. (A-1766)

P.L.2008, c.81 (Lesniak) (NJSBA opposes) Upgrades the penalties for tampering with witnesses and informants; upgrades hindering apprehension or prosecution under certain circumstances.

P.L.2008, c.78 (Greenwald) Establishes the Permit Extension Act of 2008. (A-2867)

P.L.2008, c.77 (Watson Coleman) Revises the regulation of landscape architects. (A-2146)

P.L.2008, c.71 (Connors) Requires certification by the purchaser or grantee that federal law will not be violated by a sale in an age-restricted community. (S-88)

Pending Legislation

BUSINESS LAW

S-2049/A-2882 (Adler/Diegnan) (Under review by the NJSBA) Provides one-hour and two-hour service options for expedited over-the-counter corporate service requests. On September 15, A-2882 was released from the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

S-2050/A-2879 (Adler/Diegnan) (Under review by the NJSBA) Allows certain corporate notices to be provided via electronic transmission. On September 15, A-2879 was released from the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

A-2880 (Diegnan) (Under review by the NJSBA) Eliminates the 10-day advance notification of proposed effective date of certain shareholder action. On September 15, the bill was released from the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

A-2881 (Diegnan) (Under review by the NJSBA) Allows the director of a corporation to provide a notice of resignation, which is only effective upon the occurrence of a certain event. On September 15, the bill was released from the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

A-2883 (Diegnan) (Under review by the NJSBA) Provides that corporate bylaws may allow a corporation to eliminate plurality voting for corporate directors. On September 15, the bill was released from the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

A-2884 (Diegnan) (Under review by the NJSBA) Expands the scope of unincorporated entities permitted to merge or consolidate with domestic corporations. On September 15, the bill was released from the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

A-2885 (Diegnan) (Under review by the NJSBA) Allows officers of a corporation to grant employees and officers of the corporation shares of stock, rights or options. On September 15, the bill was released from the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

CONSUMER PROTECTION

S-1927/A-3003 (Buono/Love) (Under review by the NJSBA) Regulates the solicitation of credit cards on college campuses. On September 15, A-3003 was released from the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

ELDER AND DISABILITY LAW

S-1551/A-277 (Baroni/Vandervalk) (Under review by the NJSBA) Creates an emergency alert plan for missing elderly individuals. On September 15, A-277 was combined with A-2844/A-2907.

FAMILY LAW

S-1894/A-2871 (Madden/Love) (Under review by the NJSBA) Permits a victim of domestic abuse to terminate a residential lease under certain circumstances; provides a procedure for a tenant to recover a security deposit. On September 15, A-2871 was released from the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee with amendments and is awaiting Assembly vote.

HEALTH AND HOSPITAL LAW

S-101/A-370 (Weingberg/Diegnan) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires a medical examiner to contact the next-of-kin in case of certain deaths. On September 15, A-370 was released from the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

A-2933 (Conaway) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes the Dietitian/Nutritionist Licensing Act. On September 15, the bill was released from the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

HIGHER EDUCATION

S-1263/A-2547 (Turner/Lampitt) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires textbook publishers to provide public institutions of higher education with information on the price and availability of textbooks. On June 12, S-1263 passed in the Senate (37-0) and was referred to Assembly Higher Education Committee.

PUBLIC UTILITY LAW

A-265 (Vandervalk) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires certain public utilities to notify an appropriate law enforcement officer of service shutoffs to multi-family housing unit customers or any other residential customers under certain circumstances. On September 15, the bill was released from the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

TAXATION

A-1067 (Wagner) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires vendors collecting New Jersey sales tax for locations in New Jersey to record and report on their returns the amount of sales tax collected within each municipality in New Jersey. On September 15, the bill was released from the Assembly Appropriations Committee with amendments and is awaiting Assembly vote.

Regulatory Matters

Below are proposed regulations with a deadline for comment of November 1, unless otherwise noted:

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

N.J.A.C 2:76-23.6 Provides changes to state Agriculture Development Committee rules regarding a special permit for installation of a personal wireless service facility on preserved farmland.

EDUCATION

N.J.A.C 6A:9 Provides changes to New Jersey Board of Education rules regarding professional licensure and standards.

WORKERS' COMPENSATION

N.J.A.C 12:15-1.2, 1.3, 1.4, and 1.5 Provides changes to New Jersey Labor and Workforce Development rules regarding 2009 maximum weekly benefit rates, 2009 taxable wage base under the Unemployment Compensation Law, 2009 contribution rate of government entities and instrumentalities, and 2009 base week.

N.J.A.C 12:235-1.6 Provides changes to Division of Workers' Compensation rules regarding 2009 maximum workers' compensation benefit rates.

N.J.A.C 17:1-1 through 15; 17:1-1.1A, 1.13, 2.17, 5.5, 5.6, 5.8, 6.3 and 15; 17:1-2.11, 7.1 and 14.6 Provides changes to Division of Pensions and Benefits rules regarding general administration.

N.J.A.C 17:10 Provides changes to Division of Pensions and Benefits rules regarding the judicial retirement system.

PUBLIC UTILITY LAW

N.J.A.C 14:7; 14:7-1.5, 1.10, 1.12, 1.16, 1.18 through 1.23 and 1.28; 14:7-1.6, 1.24. 1.25, and 1.26; 14:7-1.9 and 2.4 Provides changes to New Jersey Board of Utilities rules regarding natural gas pipelines.

The following regulations were adopted as noted below:

BUSINESS LAW

N.J.A.C. 16:50; 16:50-3, 5.2 and 8; 16:50-1.1 and 1.2; 16:50-5.1 Provides changes to Division of Multimodal Services rules regarding the Smart Moves Program.

CONSTRUCTION LAW

N.J.A.C. 5:23-7.4 Provides notice of administrative correction to Division of Codes and Standards rules regarding Uniform Construction Code, Barrier-free Subcode, and nonresidential buildings and buildings use group R-1.

CRIMINAL LAW

N.J.A.C. 10A:20; 10A:1-2.2 Provides changes to Department of Corrections rules regarding residential community programs.

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

N.J.A.C. 7:4 and 7:4-8.4 through 8.9 Provides changes to Department of Environmental Protection rules regarding the New Jersey Register of Historic Places.

N.J.A.C 7:26c-10.4 and 7:26E-1.4, 1.11, 3.7, 4.1, 5.1 and 8.2 Provides notification of the remediation of contaminated sites and public outreach.

HIGHER EDUCATION

N.J.A.C. 9A:1 Provides changes to New Jersey Commission of Higher Education rules regarding licensure rules.

INSURANCE LAW

N.J.A.C. 11:3-7.6 Provides notice of administrative correction to Division of Insurance rules regarding automobile insurance, the Automotive Reparation Reform Act, and cancellation of automobile coverage for nonpayment of premium.

LAND USE

N.J.A.C. 7:15-5.8 Provides notice of administrative correction to Division of Watershed Management rules regarding water quality management planning, wastewater management planning requirements and the responsibility of municipalities.

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.