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

Capitol Report

January 19, 2009

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, c127 (Rice) Establishes the Mortgage Stabilization and Relief Act; creates the Mortgage Stabilization Program and the Housing Assistance and Recovery Program; imposes additional requirements on a lender foreclosing a mortgage; appropriates $40 million from the Long-Term Obligation and Capital Expenditure Fund. (S-1599)

P.L. 2008, c. 126 (Buono) Establishes 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. (S-467)

On The Governor's Desk

BUSINESS LAW

A-2881 (Vas) (NJSBA supports) Allows the director of a corporation to provide notice of resignation, which is only effective upon occurrence of a certain event. On Dec. 15, A-2881 substituted for S-2284, passed in the Senate (37-0) and was sent to the governor.

A-2883 (DeAngelo) (NJSBA supports) Provides that corporate bylaws may allow a corporation to eliminate plurality voting for corporate directors. On Dec. 15, A-2883 substituted for S-2246, passed in the Senate (37-0) and was sent to the governor.

CRIMINAL LAW

S-1304 (Girgenti) (Under review by the NJSBA) Upgrades unlawful possession of a machine gun or assault firearm to a crime of the second degree. On Dec. 15, S-1304 substituted for A-3276, passed in the Assembly (51-17-6) and was sent to the governor.

GENERAL PRACTICE

A-3146 (Biondi) (NJSBA supports) Authorizes creation of a non-lapsing Attorney ID Card Program trust fund by counties. On Dec. 15, A-3146 substituted for S-2134, passed in the Senate (36-0) and was sent to the governor.

MUNICIPAL COURT PRACTICE

S-180 (Bucco) (NJSBA opposes) Imposes conditions on drivers approaching stopped emergency vehicles, tow trucks or highway maintenance vehicles displaying flashing lights. On Dec. 15, S-180 substituted for A-1179, passed in the Assembly (76-0-1) and was sent to the governor.

TAXATION

S-1604 (Rice) (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 Dec. 15, A-2693 was substituted by S-1604, passed in the Assembly (42-31) and was sent to the governor.

WORKERS' COMPENSATION

S-1918 (Sarlo) (NJSBA supports) Requires an insurance fraud prosecutor to establish a liaison with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, and authorizes its investigation of cases of failure to provide workers' compensation coverage. On Dec. 15, S-1918 passed in the Assembly (77-0) and was sent to the governor.

Regulatory Matters

The following rules were recently adopted:

BANKING LAW

N.J.A.C. 17:16-23 Adopts new Division of Investment, State Investment Council rules regarding bank loans.

BUSINESS LAW

N.J.A.C. 17:16-12.1, 12.2 and 12.4 Adopts amendments to Division of Investment, State Investment Council rules regarding definitions, permissible investments and limitations of corporate obligations.

N.J.A.C. 17:16-13.2 Adopts amendments to Division of Investment, State Investment Council rules regarding interest rate swap transactions and permissible investments.

N.J.A.C. 17:16-14 Adopts repeal to Division of Investment, State Investment Council rules regarding finance company debt.

N.J.A.C. 17:16-15 Adopts repeal to Division of Investment, State Investment Council rules regarding bank debentures.

N.J.A.C. 17:16-24 Adopts new Division of Investment, State Investment Council rules regarding credit default swap transactions.

N.J.A.C. 17:16-40 Adopts new Division of Investment, State Investment Council rules regarding non-convertible preferred stocks of U.S. corporations.

N.J.A.C. 17:16-41.1, 41.2 and 41.4 Adopts amendments to Division of Investment, State Investment Council rules regarding definitions, permissible investments and limitations of common and preferred stocks and debt issues (common stock of U.S. corporations and U.S. exchange-traded funds).

N.J.A.C. 17:16-58.2 Adopts amendments to Division of Investment, State Investment Council rules regarding permissible investments for mortgage-backed senior debt securities and mortgage-backed pass-through securities.

INTERNATIONAL LAW AND ORGANIZATIONS

N.J.A.C. 17:16-16.2 and 16.4 Adopts amendments to Division of Investment, State Investment Council rules regarding international corporate obligations, permissible investments and limitations.

N.J.A.C.17:16-44.1, 44.2 and 44.4 Adopts amendments to Division of Investment, State Investment Council rules regarding definitions, permissible investments and limitations of common and preferred stocks and debt issues (common stock of international corporations and international exchange-traded funds).

N.J.A.C. 17:16-46.1, 46.2 and 46.4 Adopts amendments to Division of Investment, State Investment Council rules regarding definitions, permissible investments and limitations of common and preferred stocks, and debt issues (common stock of international corporations and exchange-traded, global, regional, or country funds in emerging markets).

REAL PROPERTY, TRUST AND ESTATE LAW

N.J.A.C. 17;16-19.2 Adopts amendments to Division of Investment, State Investment Council rules regarding collateralized notes and mortgages, and permissible investments.

Notices

NEW JERSEY LAW REVISION COMMISSION

The New Jersey Law Revision Commission met on Thursday, Jan. 15, in the commission offices to discuss the following agenda:

  1. Poor-Consideration of a draft final teport.
  2. Uniform Environmental Covenants Act-Consideration of a memorandum evaluating the Uniform Environmental Covenants Act.
  3. Proposed Landlord/Tenant Project-A memorandum outlining the scope of a project to revise and recompile the landlord tenant statutes.
  4. Uniform Common Interest Owners Bill of Rights Act-Consideration of a memorandum proposing the Uniform Common Interest Owners Bill of Rights Act for review.
  5. Review of recently updated completed projects for possible distribution to appropriate members of the Legislature.

Related documents for the Jan. 15 New Jersey Law Commission agenda can be found online at www.lawrev.state.nj.us

NEW JERSEY LEGISLATURE

On Jan. 13, both the Senate and the House returned to the State Legislature for a joint session to receive the governor's State of the State Address.

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.