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

Capitol Report

February 2, 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, the NJSBA position, if any, bill description and status.

NEW LAWS

P.L.2009, c.2 (Barnes) Concerns the hospital asset transformation program. On Jan. 15, A-3389 was signed by the governor. (A 3389)

Pending Legislation

ANIMAL LAW

S-2489 (Turner) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes cruel restraint of a dog as an animal cruelty offense. On Jan. 13, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Economic Growth Committee.

A-3575 (Addiego) (Under review by the NJSBA) Authorizes the creation of local animal health and population control commissions. On Jan. 13, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.

BUSINESS LAW

A-3608 (Moriarty) (Under review by the NJSBA) Prohibits credit card foreign transaction fees. On Jan. 13, the bill was introduced and referred to Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee.

CONSUMER PROTECTION

S-1222/A-2079 (Weinberg/Vainieri Huttle) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires retailers to post warnings of lead poisoning from improper paint removal. On Jan. 15, A-2079 was released from the Assembly Consumer Affairs with amendments and is awaiting Assembly vote.

S-2175/A-3666 (Allen/Love) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires restitution in identity theft cases. On Jan. 26, S-2175 was released from the Senate Judiciary Committee and is awaiting Senate vote.

A-2230 (Albano) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes Chloe and Samantha's Law; requires notice to consumers of availability of products to prevent tip-over accidents involving certain furniture or televisions. On Jan. 15, A-2230 was released from the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee with amendments and is awaiting Assembly vote.

A-3611 (Spencer) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes a do not leave list. On Jan. 13, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee.

CRIMINAL LAW

S-2395/A-3604 (Kean/Angelini) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires the attorney general to seize campaign funds of convicted candidates; prohibits convicted criminal offenders from making contributions to candidates and committees. On Jan. 13, A-3604 was introduced and referred to the Assembly State Government Committee.

S-2455/A-172 (Beck/Merkt) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes the Corrupt Gains Restitution Act. On Jan. 13, A-2455 was introduced and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

A 749 (Prieto) (Under review by the NJSBA) Provides for issuance of a uniform identification card for all law enforcement officers. On Jan. 15, the bill was released from the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

A-3618 (Polistina) (Under review by the NJSBA) Increases the fine for defacement of private property, including property used for religious purposes. On Jan. 13, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

A 3659 (Casagrande) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires disclosure to certain prison guards of AIDS status of inmates. On Jan. 15, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee.

ELECTION LAW

A-3599 (Vainieri Huttle) (Under review by the NJSBA) Presumes a motor vehicle registrant wants to register to vote at the time of registration, unless the person specifically declines. On Jan. 13, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly State Government Committee.

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

A-3654 (Wagner) (Under review by the NJSBA) Provides an exception to the local cap law for purchases of fuel-efficient vehicles, and permits loans by the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust for those purchases. On Jan. 15, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee.

FAMILY LAW

A 3653 (Evans) (Under review by the NJSBA) Designates an unmarried ex spouse of a marriage of 25 or more years as the widow or widower eligible for a Police and Firemen's Retirement System pension. On Jan. 15, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly State Government Committee.

A-3620 (Love) (Under review by the NJSBA) Denies the surviving spouse with a domestic violence restraining order, or charged with intentional killing of the decedent, the right to determine disposition of the human remains of the deceased spouse. On Jan. 13, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

HEALTH AND HOSPITAL LAW

A-269 (Vandervalk) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires licensing of genetic counselors. On Jan. 13, the bill was received in the Assembly, and is awaiting Assembly vote to concur with Senate amendments.

HIGHER EDUCATION

S-148/A-3606 (Lesniak/Chivukula) (Under review by the NJSBA) Improves the capacity of the Commission on Higher Education and the New Jersey Educational Facilities Authority to aid in planning and development of higher education in the state. On Jan. 13, A-3606 was introduced and referred to the Assembly Higher Education Committee.

S-1609/A 3245 (Lesniak/Diegnan) (Under review by the NJSBA) Provides for improved structure, financing, and fiscal management of higher education in New Jersey. On Jan. 15, A-3245 was released from the Assembly Higher Education Committee with amendments and is awaiting Assembly vote.

S-2454 (Beck) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires a healthcare representative to make healthcare decisions for an incapacitated patient in accordance with the patient's religious beliefs. On Jan. 13, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.

INSURANCE LAW

A 318 (Quigley) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires insurers to inform insureds whether certain coverages extend to rental automobiles. On Jan. 15, the bill was released from the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION

S-2341/A 3479 (Singer/Prieto) (Under review by the NJSBA) Concerns regulation of court reporting agencies. On Jan. 15, A-3479 was released from the Assembly Regulated Professions Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

ACR-212 (Carroll) (Under review by the NJSBA) Proposes a constitutional amendment abolishing tenure for Supreme Court justices and establishing retention elections as part of the reappointment process. On Jan. 13, the resolution was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT LAW

S-2514/A 3657 (Sweeney/Burzichelli) (Under review by the NJSBA) Concerns extension of certain local government financial agreements. On Jan. 26, S-2514 was introduced and referred to the Senate Community and Urban affairs Committee.

MUNICIPAL COURT PRACTICE

S-2504/A 3652 (Connors/Rumpf) (Under review by the NJSBA) Provides for immediate driver's license suspension under certain circumstances. On Jan. 26, S-2504 was introduced and referred to the Senate Law and Public Safety and Veterans' Affairs Committee.

PUBLIC UTILITY LAW

A-3588 (Karrow) (Under review by the NJSBA) Prohibits public utilities from recovering certain charges from customers. On Jan. 13, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee.

REAL PROPERTY, TRUST AND ESTATE LAW

A 1879 (Diegnan) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires a creditor to provide certain disclosures to a borrower prior to a residential mortgage loan closing. On Jan. 15, the bill was released from the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

WORKERS' COMPENSATION

S 2495/A 3669 (Madden/Quijano) (Under review by the NJSBA) Concerns court actions against uninsured employers for nonpayment of workers' compensation. On Jan. 26, both bills were released from the Senate and Assembly Labor Committees and are awaiting vote in both houses.

Nominations

The following nominations were referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Dec. 8:The following nominations were referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Jan. 13:

JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT
Rochelle Gizinski, of Brick, NJSBA member
James Palmer, of Jackson
Joseph Rosa, of Wallington, NJSBA member
Mary F. Thurber, of Franklin Lakes, NJSBA member
Mark Troncone, of Brick

HORIZON BLUE CROSS / BLUE SHIELD INC. OF NEW JERSEY - BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Daniel J. McCarthy, of Cranford, NJSBA member

PALISADES INTERSTATE PARK COMMISSION
Kevin J. Collins, of Saddle River, NJSBA member

ROWAN UNIVERSITY - BOARD OF TRUSTEES
James J. Gruccio, of Vineland, NJSBA member
Helene M. Reed, of Williamstown

WORKERS' COMPENSATION JUDGE
Dolores McNamee, of Medford
Eugene Mulvaney, of Toms River, NJSBA member
Carmine J. Taglialatella, of Smithville, NJSBA member

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE
Ellen S. Bass, of Westfield
Edward Delanoy, of Toms River
Elia A. Pelios, of Somerville
Susan M. Scarola, of Old Bridge, NJSBA member

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.