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

Capitol Report

December 15, 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

ENTERTAINMENT, ARTS & SPORTS LAW

P.L.2008, c. 109 (Cryan) (Under review by the NJSBA) Permits siting of NJ Hall of Fame project anywhere in State; clarifies responsibility of NJ Sports and Exposition Authority to establish corporation to operate project and specifies membership of corporation. (A-2232)

FAMILY LAW

P.L.2008, c. 111 (Love) (Under review by the NJSBA) Permits victim of domestic abuse to terminate residential lease under certain circumstances; provides procedure for tenant to recover security deposit. (A-2871)

MUNICIPAL COURT PRACTICE

P.L.2008, c.107 (Burzichelli) (Under review by the NJSBA) Daniel Mackay's Law; requires certain information be given to next of kin of relatives killed or incapacitated in motor vehicle accident; caps certain abandoned vehicle storage fees. (A-1498)

Pending Legislation

CASINO LAW

S-1987 (Whelan) (Under review by the NJSBA) Permits casino employees to serve on Atlantic City governing body in certain circumstances. On Dec. 8, the bill was received in the Assembly without committee reference and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

CONSTRUCTION LAW

S-445/A-3518 (Pennacchio/McHose) (Under review by the NJSBA) "Transparency in Government Act;" provides for establishment of State public finance website. On Dec. 8, A-3518 was introduced and referred to Assembly Budget Committee.

CRIMINAL LAW

S-1774/A-339 (Cunningham/Quigley) (Under review by the NJSBA) Prohibits individuals from purchasing more than one handgun in a calendar month. On Dec. 8, S-1774 was released from the Senate Law and Public Safety and Veterans' Affairs Committee and is awaiting vote in the Senate.

S-1779/A-2848 (Girgenti/Chiappone) (Under review by the NJSBA) Upgrades penalties for assaulting a nurse. On Dec. 8, A-2848 was released from the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee with amendments and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

ENTERTAINMENT, ARTS & SPORTS LAW

S-2405/A-3476 (Rice/Evans) (Under review by the NJSBA) Provides for registration and regulation of athlete agents. On Dec. 8, S-2405 was introduced and referred to the Senate Commerce Committee.

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

S-713 (Smith/McKeon) (NJSBA takes no position) Establishes forest stewardship and forest certification programs in DEP; establishes Forest Stewardship Incentive Fund. On Dec. 8, the bill was received in the Assembly and referred to the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.

S-2264/A-3281 (Cunningham/Chivukula) (Under review by the NJSBA) Amends P.L.1999, c.23 concerning renewable energy. On Dec. 8, A-3281 was released from the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee with amendments and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

FAMILY LAW

S-1985/A-2878 (Ruiz/Evans) (NJSBA supports) Permits payments in subsidized adoption until child becomes 21 years of age under certain circumstances. On Dec. 8, was released from the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee and is awaiting vote in the Senate.

GENERAL PRACTICE

S-2134/A-3146 (Bateman/Biondi) (Under review by the NJSBA) Authorizes creation of non-lapsing Attorney ID Card Program trust fund by counties. On Dec. 8, S-2134/A-3146 were released from the Senate Community and Urban Affairs and Assembly Housing and Local Government Committees and are awaiting vote in both Houses.

HEALTH & HOSPITAL LAW

S-96/A-118 (Weinberg/Vainieri Huttle) (Under review by the NJSBA) Permits physicians to earn continuing medical education credits by providing free medical care to low-income, uninsured patients. On Dec. 8, A-118 was released from the Assembly Regulated Professions and Independent Authorities Committee and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

S-467/A-1571 (Buono/Roberts) (Under review by the NJSBA) "Grace's Law;" requires health insurers, State Health Benefits Program and NJ FamilyCare to provide coverage for hearing aids for covered persons 15 and younger. On Dec. 8, A-1571 was received in the Assembly without committee reference and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

S-1711/A-3411 (Allen/Evans) (Under review by the NJSBA) Prohibits penalizing pharmacist for dispensing fraudulent prescription approved by Medicaid, PAAD or Senior Gold. On Dec. 8, A-3411 was released from the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee with amendments and referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

S-2261/A-3211 (Vitale/Conaway) (Under review by the NJSBA) Makes reforms to "Health Care Quality Act;" requires audits of provider networks. On Dec. 8, A-3211 was released from the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION

A-2532 (Gusciora) (Under review by the NJSBA) Allows lawsuits against home improvement contractors to be brought in county in which residential or non-commercial property is located. On Dec. 8, the bill was released from the Assembly Regulated Professions and Independent Authorities Committee and referred to Assembly Judiciary Committee.

LABOR & EMPLOYMENT LAW

S-2241/A-3510 (Weinberg/Vainieri Huttle) (Under review by the NJSBA) Concerns pay equity in the workplace. On Dec. 8, A-3510 was introduced and referred to Assembly Labor Committee.

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 Dec. 8, A-828 was received in the Assembly without committee reference and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

S-2354/A-3101 (Redd/Watson Coleman) (Under review by the NJSBA) Permits counties to create County Homelessness Trust Funds. On Dec. 8, S-2354 was released from the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee with amendments and is awaiting vote in the Senate.

MILITARY LAW & VETERAN'S AFFAIRS

SR-103/AR-64 (Van Drew/Conners) (Under review by the NJSBA) Expresses support for "Hire a Veteran Week"; encourages U.S. Presidential support. On Dec. 8, SR-103 was introduced and referred to the Senate Law and Public Safety and Veterans' Affairs Committee.

MUNICIPAL COURT PRACTICE

A-3513 (Evans) (NJSBA opposes) Prohibits false or secret compartments in motor vehicles under certain circumstances. On Dec. 8, the bill was introduced and referred to Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.

REAL PROPERTY TRUST & ESTATE

S-615/A-1026 (Vitale/Wisniewski) (NJSBA takes no position) Exempts senior homeowners from municipal building permit fees. On Dec. 8, S-615 was released from the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee with amendments, referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and is awaiting vote in the Senate.

S-780/A-2915/A-3164 (Connors/Bramnick/Johnson) (Under review by the NJSBA) Exempts from realty transfer fees, sales of homes of certain New Jersey members of the military. On Dec. 8, S-780 was released from the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee with amendments, referred Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and is awaiting vote in the Senate.

S-869/A-1750/A-3056 (Kean/Watson Coleman/ Wisniewski) (Under review by the NJSBA) Permits municipalities to adopt ordinances requiring bond from landlords in certain circumstances. On Dec. 8, S-869 was received in Assembly and referred to Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee.

S-1599 (Rice) (Under review by the NJSBA) "Mortgage Stabilization and Relief Act"; creates Mortgage Stabilization Program and Housing Assistance and Recovery Program; imposes additional requirements on lender foreclosing mortgage; appropriates $40 million from the "Long Term Funding Obligation and Capital Expenditure Fund." On Dec. 8, the bill was released from the Assembly Appropriations Committee with amendments and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

S-1622 (Rice) (Under review by the NJSBA) Provides that deed restrictions on affordable housing units are not extinguished by foreclosure proceedings. On Dec. 8, the bill was released from the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee with amendments and is awaiting vote in the Senate.

S-2221/A-3496 (Adler/Greenstein) (Under review by the NJSBA) "Uniform Trust Code." On Dec. 8, A-3496 was introduced and referred to Assembly Judiciary Committee.

SPECIAL CIVIL PART

S-1420/A-2707 (Cardinale/Conners) (Under review by the NJSBA) Increases certain fees in Special Civil Part; increases certain fees paid to persons to serve process in Special Civil Part. On Dec. 8, A-2707 was released from the Assembly Appropriations Committee with amendments and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

WORKERS' COMPENSATION

S-1918 (Sarlo) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires Insurance Fraud Prosecutor to establish liaison with DOLWD and authorizes its investigation of cases of failure to provide workers' compensation coverage. On Dec. 8, the bill was received in the Assembly and is awaiting vote in the Assembly to concur with Governor's recommendations.

A-3286 (Biondi) (Under review by the NJSBA) Grants workers' compensation coverage to volunteer firefighters going to or returning from their stations when called to a fire. On Dec. 8, the bill was released from the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee and referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

TAXATION

A-3308 (Burzichelli) (Under review by the NJSBA) Protects property taxpayers by requiring removal of certain property tax deduction and credit information from documents available for public inspection. On Dec. 8, the bill was released from the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee with amendments and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

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.