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

Capitol Report

November 17, 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

S-564/A-1498 (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 substituted for S-564, passed in the Senate (38-0) and was sent to the governor.

S-1768/A-2232 (Cryan) (Under review by the NJSBA) Permits the siting of the New Jersey Hall of Fame project anywhere in the state; clarifies the responsibility of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority to establish a corporation to operate the project and specifies the membership of the corporation. On Oct. 23, A-2232 substituted for S-1768, passed in the Senate (38-0) and was sent to the governor.

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

S-1119/A-2246 (Kean) (NJSBA takes no position) 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 substituted for A-2246, passed in the Assembly (80-0) and was sent to the governor.

S-1560/A-2617 (Turner) (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 the child support pass through. On Oct. 27, S-1560 substituted for A-2617, passed in the Assembly (65-14) and was sent to the governor.

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 substituted for A-3124, passed in the Assembly (79-0) and was sent to the governor.

Pending Legislation

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW

S-2208/A-3395 (Oroho/McHose) (Under review by the NJSBA) Revises the Administrative Procedure Act concerning the socio-economic impact statements for proposed rulemaking. On Oct. 27, A-3395 was introduced and referred to the Assembly State Government Committee.

BANKING LAW

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.

S-2327/A-2265 (Van Drew/Prieto) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires registration of certain additional securities investment advisers. On Oct. 27, A-2265 passed in the Assembly (78-0-1) and was referred to the Senate Commerce Committee.

A-2316 (Diegnan) (NJSA supports) Requires a creditor to provide a mortgage payoff balance to the borrower within five business days after a request. On Oct. 27, A-2316 passed in the Assembly (79-0) and was referred to the Senate Commerce Committee.

A-2496 (Holzapfel) (Under review by the NJSBA) Provides a uniform procedure for sheriffs to provide certain surplus notices in mortgage foreclosure actions. On Oct. 27, the bill was amended on the Assembly floor and is awaiting Assembly vote.

BUSINESS LAW

A-843 (Chivukula) (NJSBA takes no position) Provides for equal opportunity for businesses to apply for certain energy-related incentives and funding. On Oct. 27, A-843 passed in the Assembly (79-0) and was referred to the Senate Economic Growth Committee.

CHILDREN'S RIGHTS

A-1411 (Fisher) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes the New Jersey Council on Child Poverty. On Oct. 27, the bill was amended on the Assembly floor and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

CONSUMER PROTECTION

S-454/A1954 (Buono/Jasey) (Under review by the NJSBA) Expands consumer protections under New Jersey's motor vehicle lemon law. On Oct. 27, S-454 was amended on the Assembly floor and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

S-1334/A-803 (Sarlo/Gusciora) (NJSBA takes no position) Establishes the Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act. On Oct. 27, A-803 passed in the Assembly (49-22), was received in the Senate and 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 and was referred to the Senate Commerce Committee.

CRIMINAL LAW

S-242/ A-2116 (Adler/Gusciora) (Under review by the NJSBA) Revises the definition of "destructive device" to include weapons of 50 caliber or greater. On Oct. 27, A-2116 was amended on the Assembly floor and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

A-3404 (Evans) (NJSBA opposes) Establishes the crime of negligent homicide. On Oct. 27, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

A-3406 (Evans) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires an owner to immediately report the loss or theft of a firearm to police. On Oct. 27, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.

HEALTH AND HOSPITAL LAW

S-626/A-2549 (Vitale/Lampitt) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes the Nursing Faculty Incentive Loan and Loan Redemption Program Act. On Oct. 27, S-626 was released from the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee with amendments, referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and is awaiting Senate vote.

S-1711/A-3411 (Evans) (Under review by the NJSBA) Prohibits penalizing a pharmacist for dispensing a fraudulent prescription approved by Medicaid, PAAD or Senior Gold. On Oct. 27, S-1711 was released from the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee and is awaiting Senate vote.

S-1863 (Weinberg) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires each hospital trustee board to adopt a written policy governing conflicts of interest. On Oct. 27, the bill was released from the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee with amendments and is awaiting Senate vote.

INSURANCE LAW

S-996/A-3296 (Scutari/Voss) (Under review by the NJSBA) Limits motor bus owner responsibility for no-fault medical expense benefits coverage for certain injured passengers. On Oct. 27, A-3296 was amended on the Assembly floor and is awaiting Assembly vote.

LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LAW

A-3414 (Evans) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes the Healthy New Jersey Labor-Management Demonstration Program. On Oct. 17, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Labor Committee.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT LAW

S-770/A-1645 (Rice/McKeon) (Under review by the NJSBA) Redefines the role and qualifications of a purchasing agent in the Local Public Contracts Law. On Oct. 27, A-1645 passed in the Assembly, was received in the Senate without committee reference and is awaiting Senate vote.

S-2336/A-557 (Buono/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 the business registration from a bid proposal, provided the bidder was registered before the bid submission deadline. On Oct. 27, S-2336 was introduced and referred to the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.

A-3101 (Watson Coleman) (Under review by the NJSBA) Permits counties to create county homelessness trust funds. On Oct. 27, the bill passed in the Assembly (50-28-1) and was referred to the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.

MILITARY LAW AND VETERANS AFFAIRS

S-1453/A-769 (Girgenti/Conners) (Under review by the NJSBA) Expands the eligibility for veterans' civil service preference; creates additional preference benefits. On Oct. 27, S-1453 was released from the Senate Law and Public Safety and Veterans' Affairs Committee and is awaiting Senate vote.

S-1748/A-2430 (Bucco/Conners) (Under review by the NJSBA) Allows military personnel an extended period to qualify for the exclusion of capital gains from the income of the sale or exchange of a principal residence. On Oct. 27, S-1748 was released from the Senate Law and Public Safety and Veterans' Affairs Committee, referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and is awaiting Senate vote.

S-2181/A-3397 (Allen/Conners) (Under review by the NJSBA) Provides unemployment benefits for certain spouses of National Guard members. On Oct. 27, A-3397 was introduced and referred to the Assembly Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee.

REAL PROPERTY TRUST AND ESTATE LAW

S-874 (Turner) (Under review by the NJSBA) Enhances the penalties upon certain violators of housing codes. On Oct. 27, the bill was released from the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee with amendments and is awaiting Senate vote.

TAXATION

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 are exempt from property taxation. On Oct. 27, S-1604 was released from the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee with amendments and is awaiting Senate vote.

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.