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

Capitol Report

November 3, 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.

On The Governor's Desk

FAMILY LAW

S-1560/A-2617 (Turner/Oliver) (NJSBA supports) Requires the Department of Human Services (DHS) to assess a $25 annual fee for the collection of certain child support payments and authorizes the DHS to increase child support pass through. On Oct. 27, S-1560 passed in Assembly (65-14-0) and was sent to the governor.

MUNICIPAL COURT PRACTICE

S-564/A-1498 (Sweeney/Burzichelli) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes Daniel Mackay's Law; requires certain information be given to the next of kin of relatives killed or incapacitated in a motor vehicle accident; caps certain abandoned vehicle storage fees. On Oct. 23, A-1498 passed in the Senate (38-0) and was sent to the governor.

REAL PROPERTY TRUST AND ESTATE LAW

S-1894/A-2871 (Madden/Evans) (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 a security deposit. On Oct. 23, S-1894 passed (37-0) in the Senate and was sent to the governor.

TAXATION

S-2130/A-3124 (Codey) (Under review by the NJSBA) Increases the carryover period of a net operating loss deduction under the corporation business tax. On Oct. 27, S-2130 passed in the Assembly (79-0) and was sent to the governor.

Pending Legislation

ANIMAL LAW

S-802/A-1669 (Sweeney/McHose) (NJSBA takes no position) Authorizes deer hunting with bow and arrow on Sundays. On Oct. 23, S-802 passed in the Senate (32-6) and was referred to the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.

BANKING LAW

S-1951/A-2735 (Cunningham/Smith) (Under review by the NJSBA) Prohibits employment and licensing background checks to go back further than seven years under certain circumstances. On Oct. 23, A-2735 was released from the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee with amendments, and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

S-1903/A-3268 (Sweeney/Spencer) (Under review by the NJSBA) Expands parity between certain state-chartered financial institutions and permits interstate banking by such institutions through de novo branching or expanded authority to acquire existing branches or institutions. On Oct. 27, A-3268 passed in the Assembly (78-0-1) and was referred to the Senate Commerce Committee.

BUSINESS LAW

S-1539/A-2491 (Smith/Cryan) (Under review by the NJSBA) Expands the definition of "place of business" under the Franchise Practices Act. On Oct. 23, A-2491 was released from the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

S-1951/A-2735 (Cunningham/Smith) (Under review by the NJSBA) Prohibits employment and licensing background checks to go back further than seven years under certain circumstances. On Oct. 23, A-2735 was released from the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee with amendments and referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

CONSUMER PROTECTION

A-803 (Sarlo/Gusciora) (NJSBA takes no position) Establishes the Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act. On Oct. 23, A-803 passed in the Assembly (49-22-8) and was referred to the Senate Commerce Committee.

A-1587 (Cruz-Perez) (NJSBA opposes) Provides an exemption from the three-day cancellation provision of a home improvement contract in case of a bona fide emergency. On Oct. 27, A-1587 passed in the Assembly (79-0) and was referred to the Senate Commerce Committee.

CRIMINAL LAW

S-532/A-1731 (Girgenti/Munoz) (NJSBA takes no position) Bars sex offenders from positions in youth-serving organizations. On Oct. 23, A-1731 was released from the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee with amendments and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

S-1106 (Buono/Greenstein) (NJSBA opposes) Amends the stalking law to broaden protections for victims. On Oct. 23, S-1106 was amended on the Senate floor (34-0) and is awaiting vote in the Senate.

S-1304/A-3276 (Girgenti/ Vainieri Huttle) (Under review by the NJSBA) Upgrades the unlawful possession of a machine gun or assault firearm to a crime of the second degree. On Oct. 23, A-3276 was released from the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

S-1536/A-3349 (Turner/Greenstein) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires victims of the criminally insane to be notified upon release, escape, or transfer of an offender from a mental health facility. On Oct. 23, A-3349 was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

S-2301/A-3260 (Ciesla/Rible) (Under review by the NJSBA) Enhances the penalty for leaving the scene of a boating accident. On Oct. 23, S-2301 was introduced and referred to the Senate Law and Public Safety and Veterans' Affairs Committee.

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

S-1066/A-2065 (Smith/Mckeon) (Under review by the NJSBA) Permits a developer to qualify for a low-interest loan from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority when building a high-performance green building. On Oct. 23, S-1066 was released from the Senate Economic Growth Committee with amendments, referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and is awaiting vote in the Senate.

HEALTH AND HOSPITAL LAW

S-145/A-1902 (Lesniak/Conaway) (Under review by the NJSBA) Prohibits organized delivery systems from denying participation in a network to imaging centers willing to meet the terms of a contract. On Oct. 23, A-1902 was released from the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

S-2190/A-3270 (Van Drew/Milam) (Under review by the NJSBA) Permanently revokes the license of a health professional for illegal disposal of medical waste. On Oct. 23, A-3270 was released from the Assembly Regulated Professions Committee with a committee substitute and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

S-2307/A-1907 (Gordon/Conaway) (NJSBA takes no position) Provides additional enforcement provisions under the Health Care Quality Act; allows certain private causes of action for violations; expands administrative remedies; establishes an enforcement fund. On Oct. 23, S-2307 was introduced and referred to the Senate Commerce Committee.

HIGHER EDUCATION

S-1927/A-3003 (Buono/Love) (Under review by the NJSBA) Regulates solicitation of credit cards on college campuses. On Oct. 23, A-3003 was released from the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee with amendments and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

INSURANCE LAW

S-1258/A-2614 (Gill/Rodriguez) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes the Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Compact. On Oct. 23, A-2614 was released from the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee with amendments and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION

S-1785/A-2760 (Sweeney/Pou) (NJSBA opposes) Establishes the Court Security Enhancement Fund and increases court fees. On Oct. 23, A-2760 was released from the Assembly Appropriations Committee with amendments and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT LAW

S-1816/A-828 (Lesniak/Chivukula) (Under review by the NJSBA) Authorizes counties and municipalities to acquire real property, and to resell or lease it with agricultural deed restrictions attached, for farmland preservation purposes. On Oct. 23, S-1816 was released from the Senate Economic Growth Committee and is awaiting vote in the Senate.

A-3101 (Watson Coleman) (Under review by the NJSBA) Permits counties to create county homelessness trust funds; mandates preparation of a statewide homeless census and homeless housing strategic plan. On Oct. 27, A-3101 passed in the Assembly (50-28-1) and was referred to the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.

MUNICIPAL COURT PRACTICE

A-1926/A-3073 (Adler/Munoz) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes Ricci's Law; clarifies that use of an ignition interlock device is mandatory for all drunk driving offenses and requires installation during license suspension. On Oct. 23, A-3073 was released from the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee with amendments and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

PROFESSIONAL MALPRACTICE

S-1815/A-2858 (Lesniak/Cryan) (NJSBA supports) Requires legal action against certain licensed persons to be brought within two years. On Oct. 23, A-2858 was released from the Assembly Regulated Professions Committee and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

REAL PROPERTY TRUST AND ESTATE LAW

S-1265/A-281 (Turner/Schaer) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes the Foreclosure Rescue Fraud Prevention Act. On Oct. 23, A-281 was released from the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee with amendments and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

SCHOOL LAW

S-2160/A-2975 (Turner/Greenstein) (Under review by the NJSBA) Includes limitations on the amount of retirement compensation that may be provided by a school board in the employment contracts of superintendents of schools, assistant superintendents of schools, and school business administrators. On Oct. 23, A-2975 passed in the Senate (38-0) and is awaiting vote in the Assembly to concur with Senate amendments.

TAXATION LAW

S-1604/A-2693 (Rice/Spencer) (Under review by the NJSBA) Clarifies that certain sports and entertainment projects are an essential public and governmental use and purpose, and exempt from property taxation. On Oct. 27, S-1604 was released from the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee with amendments and is awaiting vote in the Senate.

WORKERS' COMPENSATION

S-2189/A-3353 (Van Drew/Albano) (Under review by the NJSBA) Authorizes establishment through collective bargaining of alternative workers' compensation programs and group self-insurance plans. On Oct. 23, A-3353 was introduced and referred to the Assembly Labor 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.