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

Capitol Report

October 6, 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.88 (Adler) Provides marketing, information disclosure, and suitability requirements for certain annuities directly solicited to consumers. (S-1165)

On The Governor's Desk

FAMILY LAW

S-1119/A-2246 (Kean/Cryan) (Under review by the NJSBA) Permits the parent of a stillborn child to request a certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth directly from the state registrar. On Sept. 25, S-1119 passed in the Assembly (80-0) and was sent to governor.

WORKERS' COMPENSATION

S-1913 (Sarlo) (NJSBA supports with amendments) Increases the power of judges of compensation to enforce workers' compensation law. On June 23, the bill passed in the Assembly (78-1) and was sent to the governor.

S-1914 (Sarlo) (NJSBA supports) Strengthens enforcement against employers for failure to provide workers' compensation coverage. On June 23, the bill passed in the Senate (39-0) and was sent to the governor.

S-1915 (Sarlo) (NJSBA supports) Concerns workers' compensation coverage and certain licenses, certificates, permits and registrations. On June 23, the bill passed in the Assembly (77-2) and was sent to the governor.

S-1916 (Sarlo) (NJSBA supports) Concerns emergent medical care under workers' compensation. On June 23, the bill passed in the Assembly (78-1) and was sent to the governor.

S-1917 (Sarlo) (NJSBA supports) Expands the membership of the Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau. On June 23, the bill passed in the Assembly (78-1) and was sent to the governor.

S-1918 (Sarlo) (Under review by the NJSBA) Makes failure to provide workers' compensation coverage a violation of the New Jersey Insurance Fraud Prevention Act, and a crime of insurance fraud. On June 23, the bill passed in the Assembly (79-0) and was sent to the governor.

Pending Legislation

BUSINESS LAW

S-2050/A-2879 (Adler/Diegnan) (Under review by the NJSBA) Allows certain corporate notices to be provided via electronic transmission. On Sept. 25, A-2879 passed in the Assembly (79-0).

A-2880 (Diegnan) (Under review by the NJSBA) Eliminates 10-day advance notification of proposed effective date of certain shareholder action. On Sept. 25, A-2880 passed in the Assembly (79-0).

A-2881 (Vas) (Under review by the NJSBA) Allows the director of a corporation to provide notice of resignation, which is only effective upon the occurrence of a certain event. On Sept. 25, the bill passed in the Assembly (79-0).

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 Sept. 25, A-2882 passed in the Assembly (79-0).

A-2883 (DeAngelo) (Under review by the NJSBA) Provides that corporate bylaws may allow a corporation to eliminate plurality voting for corporate directors. On Sept. 25, the bill passed in the Assembly (79-0).

A-2884 (Albano) (Under review by the NJSBA) Expands the scope of unincorporated entities permitted to merge or consolidate with domestic corporations. On Sept. 25, the bill passed in the Assembly (79-0).

A-3209 (Webber) (Under review by the NJSBA) Caps noneconomic damages in medical malpractice actions at $250,000. On Sept. 25, the bill passed in the Assembly (79-0).

CIVIL TRIAL BAR

S-1815/A-2858 (Lesniak/Cryan) (NJSBA supports) Requires legal action against certain licensed persons to be brought within two years. On Sept. 25, A-2858 was transferred to the Assembly Regulated Professions and Independent Authorities Committee.

CONSUMER PROTECTION LAW

S-1653/A-2355 (Weinberg/Gusciora) (Under review by the NJSBA) Prohibits a cemetery company from charging an additional fee for rendering certain services on Sunday. On Sept. 25, A-2355 was transferred to the Assembly Regulated Professions and Independent Authorities Committee.

CRIMINAL LAW

S-1865/A-2723 (Weinberg/Greenstein) (Under review by the NJSBA) Enhances crime victims' rights under the Crime Victim's Bill of Rights. On Sept. 25, A-2723 passed in the Assembly (79-0).

A-571 (Voss) (Under review by the NJSBA) Creates the offense of impairing communications, which would constitute domestic violence in certain circumstances. On Sept. 25, the bill passed in the Assembly (77-2).

A-2234 (Cryan) (Under review by the NJSBA) Outlines procedures for conducting drug tests involving state law enforcement officers. On Sept. 25, the bill passed in the Assembly (79-0).

ELDER AND DISABILITY LAW

A-1239 (Wolfe) (Under review by the NJSBA) Provides that an assisted living resident's security deposit is refundable if the resident leaves the facility. On Sept. 25, the bill passed in the Assembly (80-0).

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

A-1344 (Prieto) (Under review by the NJSBA) Provides for registration of mold inspectors and remediators. On Sept. 25, the bill was transferred to the Assembly Regulated Professions and Independent Authorities Committee.

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 the tenant to recover his or her security deposit. On Sept. 25, A-2871 passed in the Assembly (79-0).

HEALTH AND HOSPITAL LAW

S-101/A-370 (Weinberg/Diegnan) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires a medical examiner to contact the next-of-kin in case of certain deaths. On Sept. 25, the bill passed in the Assembly (78-1).

S-227/A-2574 (Cardinale/Chivukula) (Under review by the NJSBA) Provides that the practice of chiropractic includes diagnosis and adjustment of articulations of spinal column and other joints. On Sept. 25, A-2574 was transferred to the Assembly Regulated Professions and Independent Authorities Committee.

S-565/A-2029 (Sweeney/Watson Coleman) (Under review by the NJSBA) Permits revised methods of treatment for chiropractors, and establishes continuing education requirements. On Sept. 25, the bill was transferred to the Assembly Regulated Professions and Independent Authorities Committee.

INTERNET AND COMPUTER LAW

S-635/A-919 (Sarlo/Scalera) (Under review by the NJSBA) Regulates Internet pharmacies and electronic prescriptions. On Sept. 25, the bill was transferred to the Assembly Regulated Professions and Independent Authorities Committee.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT LAW

S-1563/A-1917 (Turner/Gusciora) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires qualification of bidders for publicly bid contracts of local units. On Sept. 25, A-1917 was substituted on the Assembly floor and is awaiting Assembly vote.

PUBLIC UTILITY LAW

A-265 (Vandervalk) 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 Sept. 25, the bill passed in the Assembly (80-0).

A-557 (Dancer) (Under review by the NJSBA) Repeals the bidding requirement for local public contracts to allow bidders to avoid an unresponsive bid if they inadvertently omit their business registration from a bid proposal, provided the bidder was registered before the bid submission deadline. On Sept. 25, the bill was amended on the Assembly floor and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

REAL PROPERTY TRUST AND ESTATE LAW

A-114 (Vainieri Huttle) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires notice of development applications be given to residential tenants on that property. On Sept. 25, the bill was amended on the Assembly floor and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

A-1343 (Prieto) (Under review by the NJSBA) Revises various provisions of the New Jersey Cemetery Act of 2003. On Sept. 25, the bill was transferred to the Assembly Regulated Professions and Independent Authorities Committee.

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.