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

Capitol Report

March 2, 2009

By Tamika Wilson, Legislative Administrator

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.

On The Governor's Desk

S-1880 (Smith) (NJSBA supports) Establishes the Criminal Sentencing Commission to study and review the criminal law and recommend revisions; repeals existing commissions. On Feb. 23, the bill passed in the Senate (33-4), and was sent to the governor.

S-2202/A-1239 (Madden/Wolfe) (NJSBA supports) Provides that an assisted living resident's security deposit is refundable if the resident leaves the facility. On Feb. 23, A-1239 substituted for S-2202, passed in the Senate (40-0), and was sent to the governor.

Pending Legislation

BANKING LAW

S-2560/A-2276 (Stack/Prieto) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires ATM operators to disclose balance inquiry fees. On Feb. 23, S-2560 was introduced and referred to the Senate Commerce Committee.

CONSUMER PROTECTION

S-1259 (Gill) (NJSBA takes no position) Concerns contracts for credit card accounts with certain individuals under 21 years of age. On Feb. 23, the bill passed in the Senate (36-2).

S-1774/A-339 (Cunningham/Quigley) (Under review by the NJSBA) Prohibits individuals from purchasing more than one handgun in a calendar month. On Feb. 23, S-1774 was substituted by A-339 and is awaiting Senate vote.

S-1927/A-3003 (Buono/Love) (Under review by the NJSBA) Regulates solicitation of credit cards on college campuses. On Feb. 23, S-1927 passed in the Senate (37-2).

S-2534/A-3731 (Buono/Conaway) (Under review by the NJSBA) Revises the New Jersey False Claims Act to comply with the federal Deficit Reduction Act for purposes of entitling the state to enhanced recovery in Medicaid fraud cases; establishes an annual reporting requirement for the attorney general. On Feb. 23, S-2534 passed in the Senate (40-0).

S-2561/A-1879 (Stack/Diegnan) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires a creditor to provide certain disclosures to a borrower prior to a residential mortgage loan closing. On Feb. 23, S-2561 was introduced and referred to the Senate Commerce Committee.

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

S-1303/A-3062 (Smith/McKeon) (Under review by the NJSBA) Defines "inherently beneficial use" for purposes of zoning use variance, and specifically includes facilities that supply electrical energy produced from wind, solar or photovoltaic technologies. On Feb. 23, S-1303 passed in the Senate (36-1).

S-2188/A-1642 (Van Drew/McKeon) (Under review by the NJSBA) Changes the riparian land grant and lease process and amends various parts of statutory law. On Feb. 23, S-2188 passed in the Senate (40-0).

LOCAL GOVERNMENT LAW

S-770/A-1645 (Rice/McKeon) (Under review by the NJSBA) Redefines the role and qualifications of a purchasing agent in local public contracts law. On Feb. 23, S-770 was amended on the Assembly floor and is awaiting Senate vote.

HEALTH & HOSPITAL LAW

S-119/A-804 (Scutari/Gusciora) (NJSBA takes no position) Establishes the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act. On Feb. 23, S-119 passed in the Senate (22-16).

MUNICIPAL COURT PRACTICE

S-2439 (Bateman) (Under review by the NJSBA) Clarifies when penalty points are to be assessed for convictions of driving in an unsafe manner. On Feb. 23, the bill was amended on the Senate floor and is awaiting Senate vote.

REAL PROPERTY TRUST & ESTATE LAW

S-2562/A-1550 (Stack/Greenstein) (NJSBA supports) Eliminates inheritance rights and the right of recovery in certain civil actions for a surviving parent who abandoned a decedent child. On Feb. 23, S-2562 was introduced and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Nominations

On Feb. 23, the following nominations were referred to Senate Judiciary Committee:

JUDAGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT
William Anklowitz, of West Windsor, NJSBA member
Robert Billmeier, of Pennington, NJSBA member
John Tassini, of Brielle, NJSBA member
Gary Wodlinger, of Millville, NJSBA member
Carolyn Wright, of East Orange

NEW JERSEY BOARD OF PUBLIC UTILITIES
Jeanne M. Fox, of New Brunswick, NJSBA member

NEW JERSEY TURNPIKE AUTHORITY
Ulises E. Diaz, of Rutherford
Michael R. Dupont, of Red Bank, NJSBA member

OCEAN COUNTY BOARD OF TAXATION
Nicholas C. Montenegro, of Point Pleasant, NJSBA member
Phil G. Waxman, of Lakewood

STATE ATHLETIC CONTROL BOARD
Steven W. Katz, of Livingston, NJSBA member

STATE RAROLE BOARD
Lloyd D. Henderson, of Lawnside, NJSBA member

SALEM COUNTY PROSECUTOR
John Lenahan, of Pilesgrove, NJSBA member

Regulatory Matters

Below please find proposed regulations with a deadline for comment of April 18, unless otherwise noted:

BANKING LAW

N.J.A.C. 3:27 Provides changes to Department of Banking and Insurance, Division of Banking, rules regarding money transmitters.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

N.J.A.C. 7:27D Provides changes to Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Policy, Planning and Science rules regarding the Global Warming Solutions Fund.

HEALTH & HOSPITAL LAW

N.J.A.C. 10:48B-7.3 Provides changes to Department of Human Services rules regarding decision making for the terminally ill.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT LAW

N.J.A.C. 13:43-1A, 2.2, 2.3, 3A.4, 3A.5 and Appendices A and B, 5.1A, 5.3-5.6, 5.8, 5.9 and 6.1 Provides changes to Division of Consumer Affairs rules regarding state board court reporting rules, specifically eligibility for registration as a temporary registered reporter, disclosure forms and penalties.

TAXATION

N.J.A.C. 18:17 Provides changes to Division of Taxation Rules regarding the Assessor Qualification Law.

Rule Adoptions

The following rules were recently adopted:

CONSTRUCTION LAW

N.J.A.C. 5:23-7.2, 7.5, 7.6, 7.10-12 Adopts amendments to Division of Codes and Standards rules regarding Uniform Construction Codes and Barrier-Free Subcodes.

CRIMINAL LAW

N.J.A.C. 10A:17-2.1, 4.2, 6.6, 6.8 and 9 Provides changes to Department of Corrections rules regarding social services for inmates.

FAMILY LAW

N.J.A.C. 10:120A-3.2 Provides notice of administrative correction to Division of Youth and Family Services rules regarding dispute resolution and dispositional review.

LABOR & EMPLOYMENT LAW

N.J.A.C. 12:16-5.3 and 13.7; 12:16-13.11 Provides changes to Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Division of Employer Accounts, rules regarding contributions, records and reports for wage reporting.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

N.J.A.C. 5:30 Adopts emergency new rules and concurrent proposed new rules for the Local Finance Board under the Division of Local Government Services.

Public Notices

CRIMINAL LAW

Take notice that the Division of Criminal Justice, in compliance with N.J.S.A. 52:14-34.4, has announced the availability of funds for the Safe and Secure Communities Grant Program, which provides eligible municipalities with state funding to help law enforcement personnel address crime in a focused, community-oriented manner. For more information, call 609-292-5939.

Take notice that the Division of State Police, Homeland Security Branch, published a notice of funding availability for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) in December 2008. The deadline to submit an application for funding to the Hazardous Material Response Unit has been extended for the 14 non-UASI counties until March 31, 2009.

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

N.J.A.C. 7:25-14.12 Provides notice of receipt of petition for rulemaking to amend Division of Fish and Wildlife rules.

Take notice that the Department of Environmental Protection, in accordance with N.J.S.A. 52:14-34.4, has announced the availability of funds for the Conserve Wildlife Matching Grant Program for projects that benefit New Jersey's nongame wildlife through education, outreach, research, conservation species protection or habitat management, or a combination of these, by certified nonprofit organizations in compliance with N.J.S.A. 39:3-33.11 et seq. Applicants may request a hard copy of the application and more information by calling 609-292-9400.

FAMILY LAW

Take notice that the Department of Human Services, in compliance with N.J.S.A. 52:14-34.4 and 34.6, has announced the availability of funds for the Childcare Resource and Referral Program for the administration of child care voucher programs and other programs that improve the provision of child care services. Applicants can obtain more information at www.state.nj.us/humanservices/grantan.html, or by calling 609-584-0404.

HIGHER EDUCATION

Take notice that the Commission on Higher Education, in compliance with N.J.S.A 52:14-34.4 et seq. (P.L. 1987, c.7), has announced the availability of funds for the Dual Enrollment Initiative Grant to expand dual enrollment of high school students in courses that award collegiate credits, so students can earn college credits while still enrolled in high school. For more information, contact Jane Oates, executive director of the NJ Commission on Higher Education at 609-292-4310.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT LAW

Take notice that the Division of Highway Traffic Safety, in compliance with N.J.S.A. 39:4-36.2 and authorized by N.J.S.A. 52:14-34.4, has announced the availability of funds for the Pedestrian, Enforcement and Education Fund Grant Program to engineer, design, purchase and/or install traffic signs; provide educational or training material or media campaigns on pedestrian safety; provide compensation for law enforcement officers or authorized crossing guards assigned to an intersection, crosswalk or roadway; for personnel or contracted services and other commodities. Applications and instructions can be found at www.njsaferoads.com, or by calling 609-633-9300.

NJSBA'S ADVOCACY TOWN HALL MEETING RESCHEDULED FOR MARCH 4, 2009

The Advocacy Town Hall Meeting will offer NJSBA members and legislators an opportunity to discuss and debate issues, while also helping to develop new and creative ways for the association to advocate on behalf of its membership.

The event has been rescheduled to take place as follows:

Wednesday, March 4, 2009
The War Memorial, George Washington Ballroom
1 Memorial Drive
Trenton, NJ
9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Registration for this event is available online at www.njsba.com. For questions regarding this event contact twilson@njsba.com.

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.