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

Capitol Report

December 1, 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.

Executive Orders

Executive Order No. 117 (2008) Orders and directs loopholes closed in pay-to-play ban.

Executive Order No. 118 (2008) Orders and directs new ban on pay-to-play for all state redevelopment contracts.

Executive Order No. 119 (2008) Establishes the Governor's Local Government Ethics Task Force.

Executive Order No. 120 (2008) Amends Executive Order No. 1 (2006), which required financial disclosure from all public employees and public officers.

Executive Order No. 121 (2008) Establishes a Workforce Reduction Planning Board.

Executive Order No. 122 (2008) Adopts recommendations of a report issued by the New Jersey Committee on Native American Community Affairs.

New Laws

P.L.2008, c.100 (Kean) (No position) Permits parent of a stillborn child to request a certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth directly from the state registrar. (S-1119)

P.L.2008, c.101 (Turner) Requires the DHS to assess $25 annual fee for collection of certain child support payments, and authorizes the DHS to increase child support pass through. (S-1560)

On The Governor's Desk

S-111/A-2750 (Weinberg/Vainieri Huttle) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires staff members of adoption agencies to undergo criminal history record background and child abuse record information checks. On Nov. 17, S-111 substituted for A-2750, passed in the Assembly (78-0) and was sent to the governor.

Pending Legislation

ANIMAL LAW

S-2028/A-3052 (Van Drew/Albano) (Under review by the NJSBA) Expands emergency operations plans to include care for domestic animals. On Nov. 13, A-3052 passed in the Assembly (76-2-0).

BUSINESS LAW

A-2243 (Cryan) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes timeframes for certain stages in interest arbitration procedures. On Nov. 17, the bill passed in the Assembly (47-31).

CRIMINAL LAW

S-242/A-2116 (Adler/Gusciora) (Under review by the NJSBA) Revises the definition of a destructive device to include weapons of 50 caliber or greater. On Nov. 17, A-2116 was amended on the Assembly floor and is awaiting Assembly vote.

CONSTRUCTION LAW

A-2359 (Greenstein) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires contractors to provide the Department of the Treasury with employment information about contracts with public bodies. On Nov. 17, the bill was amended on the Assembly floor and is awaiting Assembly vote.

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

S-2190/A-3270 (Van Drew/Milam) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires license suspension of certain healthcare professionals and medical waste facilities, generators, and transporters for willful illegal or improper medical waste disposal. On Nov. 17, A-3270 passed in the Assembly (78-0).

FAMILY LAW

S-1985/A-2878 (Ruiz/Evans) (NJSBA supports) Permits payments in a subsidized adoption until the child becomes 21 years of age under certain circumstances. On Nov. 17, A-2878 passed in the Assembly (70-5-3).

LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LAW

A-3437 (DeAngelo) (NJSBA opposes) Prohibits certain provisions in employment contracts. On Nov. 13, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Labor Committee.

MILITARY LAW AND VETERAN AFFAIRS

S-1453/A-769 Girgenti/Conners) (Under review by the NJSBA) Expands eligibility for veterans' civil service preference; creates additional preference benefits. On Nov. 17, A-769 passed in the Assembly (76-1-1).

AR-64 (Conners) (Under review by the NJSBA) Expresses support for Hire a Veteran Week; encourages U.S. presidential support. On Nov. 17, the resolution passed in the Assembly (77-0-1).

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 Nov. 17, A-281 was amended on the Assembly floor and is awaiting Assembly vote.

S-1356/A-2406 (Madden/Rodriguez) (NJSBA supports) Clarifies the obligation of cemeteries to hold consumer prepayments for cemetery services in trust accounts. On Nov. 17, A-2406 passed in the Assembly (77-0).

WORKERS' COMPENSATION

S-1570/A-2947 (Turner/Watson Coleman) (NJSBA opposes) Establishes Qua-Daishia's Law; bars disclosure of personal identifying information contained in grand jury materials; creates fourth-degree offense for unauthorized disclosure. On Nov. 17, A-2947 passed in the Assembly (73-0-5).

Regulatory Matters

Below please find proposed regulations with a deadline for comment of Jan. 2, 2009, unless otherwise noted:

CRIMINAL LAW

N.J.A.C. 10A:4-8.3; 10A:10-3.4 and 6.3; 10A:16-13.5; and 10A:19-2.4; N.J.A.C. 10A:19-3.2 Provides changes to Department of Corrections rules regarding the composition of the Adjustment Committee, including eligibility criteria for interstate transfer consideration, eligibility criteria for international transfer, screening service commitment of inmates, newsworthy events, and news media presence at executions.

HIGHER EDUCATION

N.J.A.C. 9A:4 Provides changes to Commission on Higher Education rules regarding community college chargebacks.

N.J.A.C. 9A:11; N.J.A.C. 9A:11-2.3 Provides changes to Commission on Higher Education rules regarding the Educational Opportunity Fund's (EOF) administrative procedures and policies.

INSURANCE LAW

N.J.A.C. 11:3-29 Appendix, Exhibit 3 Provides changes to Department of Banking and Insurance Division of Property and Casualty rules regarding medical fee schedules, including automobile insurance personal injury protection (PIP) and motor bus medical expense insurance coverage and homecare services.

N.J.A.C. 11:4-34.29 and 34.30, and 11:4-34 Appendices J and K; N.J.A.C. 11:4-34.2 Provides changes to Department of Banking and Insurance Office of Life and Health rules regarding long-term care insurance, including training requirements for partnership policies.

N.J.A.C. 11:27-13 Provides changes to Department of Banking and Insurance Division of Property and Casualty rules regarding medical malpractice liability insurers biennial reporting of rate modifiers.

The following rules were recently adopted:

BANKING

N.J.A.C. 3:7-3.1, 3.2, 3.7 and 3.9; 3:29-1.7; N.J.A.C. 3:7-3.10 Amends and adopts new Department of Banking and Insurance, Division of Banking rules regarding safe and sound methods of banking, including examination of banks and savings banks under the direction of a board of directors, board managers or board of trustees and audit requirements of state associations.

FAMILY LAW

N.J.A.C. 10:121A Adopts new Department of Children and Families, Office of Licensing rules regarding the manual of requirements for adoption agencies.

INSURANCE LAW

N.J.A.C. 11:13-7.3 Amends Department of Banking and Insurance, Office of Property and Casualty rules regarding commercial lines insurance, including policy form standards and defense cost within policy limits.

N.J.A.C. 11:19; N.J.A.C. 11:19-1 and 2.5 Provides changes to Department of Banking, Office of Solvency Regulation rules regarding financial examination monitoring systems (FEMS).

Public Notices

INSURANCE LAW

Notice of the Imposition of a Surcharge for Recoupment of the Property-Liability Insurance Guaranty Association Assessment Take notice that pursuant to N.J.S.A. 17:30A-16 and N.J.A.C. 11:1-6, the commissioner of Banking and Insurance issued order No. A08-119 on Sept. 29, 2008, which provides that every member of the New Jersey Property-Liability Insurance Guaranty Association that has paid an assessment to the association, due Oct. 16, 2008, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 17:30A-8a(3), may impose upon policyholders a surcharge, in an amount not to exceed 0.9 percent of the net direct written premiums per annum for all kinds of insurance written by the member insurer except life insurance, accident and health insurance, workers' compensation insurance, title insurances, annuities, surety bonds, credit insurance, mortgage guaranty insurance, municipal bond coverage, fidelity insurance, investment return assurance, ocean marine insurance, and pet health insurance. The surcharge may be applied to policies that are issued or renewed on or after Nov. 1, 2008. This order may be viewed at www.njdobi.org.

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