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

Capitol Report

March 23, 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

ELECTION LAW

P.L.2009, c.17 (Quigley) (Under review by the NJSBA) Delays the requirement that voting machines produce an individual permanent paper record for each vote cast due to the state's critical economic situation and lack of appropriate technology. On March 6, A-3648 was signed by the governor.

On The Governor's Desk

CONSUMER PROTECTION

A-3816 (Buono) Establishes the New Jersey Residential Mortgage Lending Act; concerns certain licensed mortgage and consumer lending practices, supervision and enforcement.
On March 16, A-3816 was substituted for S-470, passed in Senate (36-0) and was sent to governor.

FAMILY LAW

A-2681 (Love) (Under review by the NJSBA) Prohibits alimony and awards concerning equitable distribution to persons who commit certain crimes; eliminates inheritance rights for parents who abuse or abandon children. On March 16, A-2684 substituted for S-1645/S-1641, passed in the Senate (38-0), and was sent to the governor.

LAND USE

A-2962 (McKeon) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes a licensing program for site remediation professionals; changes laws concerning site remediation. On March 16, A-2962 substituted for S-1897, passed in the Senate (34-4) and was sent to the governor.

SPECIAL CIVIL PART

A-3773 (Connors) (NJSBA supports) Makes permanent certain special civil part fees. On March 16, A-3773 substituted for S-2563, passed in the Senate (27-11) and was sent to the governor.

Pending Legislation

CONSUMER PROTECTION

S-914/A-2465 (Van Drew/DeAngelo) (NJSBA supports) Invalidates consumer contracts that require a waiver of right to file a consumer complaint. On March 16, A-2465 passed in the Assembly (79-0), was received in the Senate and was referred to the Senate Commerce Committee.

ELDER AND DISABILITY LAW

S-550/A-1478 (Sweeney) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires certain fiduciaries to post bond, and provides for accounting to the court if a beneficiary is developmentally disabled. On March 16, S-550 was amended on the Senate floor and is awaiting Senate vote.

S-1844/A-2844 (Cunningham/Love) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes a Silver Alert System. On March 16, A-2844 passed in the Assembly (79-0), was received in the Senate and was referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

ELECTION LAW

S-1380/A-2451 (Lesniak/Quigley) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes the Vote By Mail Law. On March 16, S-1380 was amended on the Senate floor, and is awaiting Senate vote.

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

S-2191/A-3271 (Van Drew/Milam) (Under review by the NJSBA) Increases the civil penalties for medical waste violations and intentional ocean pollution. On March 16, A-3271 passed in the Assembly (79-0), was received in the Senate without a committee reference, and is awaiting Senate vote.

FAMILY LAW

S-2091/A-2833 (Scutari/Carroll) (NJSBA opposes) Prohibits the enforcement of palimony agreements unless such agreements are in writing. On March 16, S-2091 passed in the Senate (21-14).

HEALTH AND HOSPITAL LAW

S-735/A-1618 (Codey/McKeon) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes involuntary outpatient commitment to treatment for persons in need of involuntary commitment to treatment. On March 16, S-735 passed in the Senate (37-0).

INTERNET AND COMPUTER LAW

S-230/A-2464 (Weinberg/Albano) (Under review by the NJSBA) Provides that reports and publications produced by the state be primarily available on the Internet, provides for notice of availability of reports and publications. On March 16, A-2464 passed in the Assembly (79-0), was received in the Senate and was referred to the Senate State Government Committee.

S-635/A-919 (Sarlo/Scalera) (Under review by the NJSBA) Regulates Internet pharmacies and electronic prescriptions. On March 16, A-919 passed in the Assembly (79-0), was received in the Senate and was referred to the Senate Commerce Committee.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT LAW

S-770/A-1645 (Rice/McKeon) (Under review by the NJSBA) Redefines the role and qualifications of a purchasing agent in the Local Public Contracts Law. On March 16, A-1645 substituted for S-770, passed in the Senate (22-9) and is awaiting Assembly vote to concur with Senate amendments.

REAL PROPERTY TRUST AND ESTATE LAW

S-139/A-373 (Scutari/Diegnan) (Under review by the NJSBA) Permits real estate brokers to provide rebates to purchasers. On March 16, A-373 passed in the Assembly (46-25-7), was received in the Senate and was referred to the Senate Commerce Committee.

S-1265/A-281 (Turner/Schaer) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes the Foreclosure Rescue Fraud Prevention Act. On March 16, A-281 passed in the Assembly (79-0), was received in the Senate and was referred to the Senate Commerce Committee.

WORKERS' COMPENSATION

S-668/A-2058 (Madden/Burzichelli) (Under review by the NJSBA) Provides surviving spouses of certain fire and police personnel who die in the line of duty with workers' compensation for the entire period of survivorship. On March 12, A-2058 was released from the Assembly Labor Committee and referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

S-2498/A-3569 (Madden/Egan) (Under review by the NJSBA) Concerns stop-work orders and certain violations of workers' compensation requirements. On March 16, A-3569 passed in the Assembly (46-24-7), was received in the Senate without a committee reference, and is awaiting vote in the Senate.

Nominations

The following nominations received advice and consent by the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 16:

JUDGE 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

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

The following nominations were referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 16:

JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT
Glenn Berman, of East Brunswick, NJSBA member
Greta Gooden Brown, of West Plainsboro
Richard Geiger, of Millville, NJSBA member
John Harrington, of Marlton, NJSBA member
Harold Johnson, of Bridgeton
Maureen Mantineo, of Guttenberg
Jessica Mayer, of East Brunswick, NJSBA member
Frederick McDaniel, of Westfield
Octavia Melendez, of Voorhees, NJSBA member
Louis Meloni, of Pennsauken, NJSBA member
Julio Mendez, of Vineland, NJSBA member
Bruno Mongiardo, of Wayne
Dennis Nieves, of Perth Amboy
Joseph Portelli, of Wayne
Kimarie Rahill, of Hackettstown, NJSBA member
John Rauh, of South Seaville
Barbara Stolte, of Monroe Township, NJSBA member
Frederick Theemling, of Weehawken, NJSBA member
Daniel Waldman, of Red Bank, NJSBA member

JUDGE OF THE TAX COURT
Gail Menyuk, of Lawrenceville, NJSBA member

PASSAIC COUNTY PROSECUTOR
Camelia Valdes, of Wayne Township, NJSBA member

SOMERSET COUNTY PROSECUTOR
John McDonald, of Watchung, 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.