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

Capitol Report

March 9, 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.

New Laws

P.L.2009, c.13 (Girgenti) Upgrades unlawful possession of a machine gun or assault firearm to a crime of the second degree. (A-3276)

Pending Legislation

CONSTRUCTION LAW

A-1009 (Wisniewski) (Under review by the NJSBA) Allows state or a state authority to terminate a construction contract upon transfer of the contractor's ownership or control; requires advance approval of subcontractor changes. On Feb. 26, the bill was released from the Assembly State Government Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

CONSUMER PROTECTION

S-470 (Buono) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes the New Jersey Residential Mortgage Lending Act; concerns certain licensed mortgage and consumer lending practices, supervision and enforcement. On Feb. 26, the bill was released from the Senate Commerce Committee with a substitute and is awaiting Assembly vote.

S-1259 (Gill) (NJSBA takes no position) Concerns contracts for credit card accounts with certain individuals under 21 years of age. On Feb. 26, the bill was received in the Assembly and referred to the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee.

S-1927/A-3003 (Buono/Love) (Under review by the NJSBA) Regulates solicitation of credit cards on college campuses. On Feb.26, S-1927 was received in the Assembly, without a committee reference, and is awaiting Assembly vote.

S-2534/A-3731 (Buono/) (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. 26, S-2534 was received in the Assembly and referred to Assembly Judiciary Committee.

S-2582/A-801 (Stack/Gusciora) (NJSBA supports) Creates a credit card do-not-solicit list for certain persons. On Feb. 26, S-2582 was introduced and referred to the Senate Commerce Committee.

CRIMINAL LAW

S-2651 (Scutari) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires all wireless telephones and electronic communication devices issued by public entities to be activated to receive Amber Alerts. On Feb. 26, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Law and Public Safety and Veterans' Affairs Committee.

S-2584/A-3734 (Haines/Rudder) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes as a crime the act of an adult misrepresenting his or her age in order to join a youth-serving organization. On Feb. 26, S-2584 was introduced and referred to the Senate Law and Public Safety and Veterans' Affairs Committee.

S-2608/A-667 (Karrow/Doherty) (Under review by the NJSBA) Clarifies that BB guns are not firearms under New Jersey law. On Feb. 26, S-2608 was introduced and referred to the Senate Law and Public Safety and Veterans' Affairs Committee.

S-2625/A-2864 (Karrow/Merkt) (Under review by the NJSBA) Restores the death penalty for certain murders. On Feb. 26, S-2625 was introduced and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

S-2641 (O'Toole) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes the New Jersey Right to Home Defense Law. On Feb. 26, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Law and Public Safety and Veterans' Affairs Committee.

S-2647 (Turner) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires a criminal history record check of school district volunteers. On Feb. 26, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Education Committee.

S-2657/A-3736 (Beck/Casagrande) (Under review by the NJSBA) Amends the Public Corruption Profiteering Penalty Act. On Feb. 26, S-2657 was introduced and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

A-3754 (Greenstein) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes permissive inferences related to conduct that serves as a predicate to sex offenses against minors. On Feb. 26, the bill was released from the Assembly Judiciary Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

A-3755 (Milam) (Under review by the NJSBA) Makes it a crime to communicate or transmit sexually suggestive communications to a minor under certain circumstances. On Feb. 26, the bill was released from the Assembly Judiciary Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

A-3756 (Greenstein) (Under review by the NJSBA) Upgrades certain sex crimes against minors. On Feb. 26, the bill was released from the Assembly Judiciary Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

A-3757 (Albano) (Under review by the NJSBA) Provides penalties for sexually offensive or abusive communication through social networking websites. On Feb. 26, the bill was released from the Assembly Judiciary Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

A-3758 (Greenstein) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires persons subject to Megan's Law registration to provide law enforcement with any Internet identifiers. On Feb. 26, the bill was released from the Assembly Judiciary Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

A-3759 (Evans) (Under review by the NJSBA) Upgrades the offense of harassment under certain circumstances. On Feb. 26, the bill was released from the Assembly Judiciary Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

A-3760 (Schaer) (Under review by the NJSBA) Authorizes wiretap orders for investigation of luring or enticing a child, identity theft, stalking and harassment under certain circumstances. On Feb. 26, the bill was released from the Assembly Judiciary Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

A-3761 (Scalera) (Under review by the NJSBA) Authorizes the interception of wire or electronic communications of a suspected computer trespasser under certain circumstances. On Feb. 26, the bill was released from the Assembly Judiciary Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

A-3762 (DeAngelo) (Under review by the NJSBA) Provides that information technology professionals who find child pornography on computers must report the finding to law enforcement. On Feb. 26, the bill was released from the Assembly Judiciary Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

A-3763 (Barnes) (Under review by the NJSBA) Creates the Computer Crime Prevention Fund; imposes penalties on certain offenders. On Feb. 26, the bill was released from the Assembly Judiciary Committee and referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

ELDER & DISABILITY LAW

S-615/A-1026 (Vitale/Wisniewski) (NJSBA takes no position) Exempts senior homeowners from municipal building permit fees. On Feb. 26, S-615 was released from the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee with amendments and is awaiting Senate vote.

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

S-1897/A-2962 (Smith/McKeon) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes a licensing program for site remediation professionals; changes laws concerning site remediation. On Feb. 26, A-2962 was released from the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee with a substitute and is waiting Assembly vote.

GENERAL PRACTICE

S-2590/A-3572 (Karrow) (Under review by the NJSBA) Allows a commercial farmer to recover reasonable costs and attorney fees of defending against unreasonable complaints under the Right to Farm Act. On Feb. 26, S-2590 was introduced and referred to the Senate Economic Growth Committee.

S-2667/A-2228 (Karrow/DeCroce) (Under review by the NJSBA) Caps bond counsel legal fees and costs on public issuers' bond transactions, and requires a competitive selection process for retaining bond counsel. On Feb. 26, S-2667 was introduced and referred to the Senate State Government Committee.

HEALTH & HOSPITAL LAW

S-119/A-804 (Scutari/Gusciora) (NJSBA takes no position) Establishes the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act. On Feb. 26, S-119 was received in the Assembly and referred to the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee.

INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS

S-2646 (Turner) (Under review by the NJSBA) Prohibits the possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages on private property by persons under legal drinking age. On Feb. 26, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Law and Public Safety and Veterans' Affairs Committee.

LAND USE 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. 26, S-1303 was received in the Assembly and referred to the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee.

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. 26, S-2188 was received in the Assembly, without a committee reference, and is awaiting Assembly vote.

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.