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

Capitol Report

April 6, 2009

By 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.32 (Conners) (NJSBA supports) Makes permanent certain Special Civil Part fees. On March 21, A-3773 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2009, c.29 (Evans) (Under review by the NJSBA) Revises the membership of the New Jersey Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect. On March 21, A-2901 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2009, c.28 (Greenstein) (NJSBA opposes) Amends the stalking law to broaden protections for victims. On March 21, A-1563 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2009, c.24 (Codey) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires single operating room facilities to register with the Division of Health and Senior Services, permits practitioners to refer patients to ambulatory surgery facilities in which practitioners have a financial interest under certain circumstances. On March 21, S-787 was signed by the governor.

RULE ADOPTIONS

The following rules were recently adopted:

Election Law

N.J.A.C. 19:25-15.47B, 15.47C, 16.34A and 16.34B Adopts news rules for the Election Law Enforcement Commission regarding public financing for general and primary elections for the office of governor and termination of reporting with net liabilities by publicly funded gubernatorial candidates.

Public Utilities

N.J.A.C. 14:4-1.2 and 14:8-2.1, 2.2, 2.3, and 2.8 through 2.11 Provides changes to Board of Public Utilities rules regarding renewable energy portfolio standards.

N.J.A.C. 14:8-4.2 and 4.3 Provides notice that, in the notice of adopted amendments to N.J.A.C. 14:8-4.2 and 4.3, published in the March 2, 2009, New Jersey Register, the Board of Public Utilities omitted comments received on the proposal. The comments were submitted by the executive committee of the Mid-Atlantic Solar Energy Industries Association (MSEIA).

N.J.A.C. 16:25 Provides notice that the Department of Transportation readopted rules regarding utility accommodation for the Capital Management Program.

PUBLIC NOTICES

Notice of Availability of Funds

Take notice that the New Jersey State Parole Board has announced the availability of funds for the Parole Aftercare and Transitional Housing (PATH) Program for fiscal year 2010. Applicants interested in applying for, and providing services under the PATH Program should write to the address below or call 609-777-0181 for a copy of the program specifications:

Leonard Ward
Director, Community Programs Division
New Jersey State Parole Board
PO Box 862
Trenton, NJ 08625

A proposal must be written and received in response to the program by 3 p.m. on April 17, 2009. Applicants will be notified of approval status by May 15, 2009.

Take notice that, in compliance with N.J.S.A. 52:14-34.4, the Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ) has announced the availability of grant funding for the Governor's Grant-in-Aid Program, supported by the budget appropriation addressing violence against women. The purpose of this program is to develop, continue or expand services to victims of domestic violence and/or sexual assault and their families. Application packages are available by contacting the Division of Criminal Justice at the address below, by calling 609-292-6766 or online at www.njvw.org:

Heddy Levine-Sabol, Acting Chief
State Office of Victim Witness Advocacy
Division of criminal Justice
Richard J. Hughes complex
25 Market Street
PO Box 085
Trenton, NJ 08625-0085

Applications must be completed and filed before 4 p.m. on Monday, April 27, 2009. Applicants will be notified in writing on, or about June 8, 2009, regarding whether or not the agency's proposed project will be funded.

Minimum Net Worth Requirements for Health Maintenance Organizations

Take notice that the commissioner of banking and insurance, in compliance with N.J.A.C. 11:24-1.2, 11.1 and 11.4, has provided notice of an average 2.7 percent increase from December 2007 to December 2008 in the medical component of the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers in the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island region and the Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City region as reported by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Existing HMOs shall make adjustments for their minimum net worth no later than July 1, 2009.

Notice of Mandated Adjustments to Benefit Payments and Value for Services Schedule

Take notice that the commissioner of banking and insurance, in compliance with sections 3 through 8 of the Health Wellness Promotion Act, P.L.1993,c.327 (as codified: N.J.S.A. 17:48-6i, 17:48A-7h, 17:48E-35.6, 17B:26-2.1h, 17B:27-46.1h and 26:2J-4.6(c)), has adjusted the maximum dollar amounts for benefits or services carriers and HMOs are required to provide or allow for the schedule of screens, tests and services for a specific insured member when determined by a healthcare provider to be medically appropriate in accordance with the act. These adjustments are based on December 2007 to December 2008 changes in the medical component of the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers in the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island region and the Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City region as reported by the United States Department of Labor.

Notice of the Availability of the Fourth Quarter ELEC Report of Governmental Affairs Agents

Take notice that the Election Law Enforcement Commission, in compliance with N.J.S.A. 52:13C-23, has published the fourth quarter 2008 Report Governmental Affairs Agents. A copy of the report is on file with the office of the governor, the Election Law Enforcement Commission, the State Library, and the Office of Legislative Services.

Senate and Assembly Budget Hearings

The state Legislature is currently in budget recess and should be back in session at the end of May 2009.

On March 24, NJSBA President Peggy Sheahan Knee testified before the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee at a public hearing on the Fiscal Year 2010 budget in support of continued funding for Legal Services of New Jersey and the Office of the Public Defender. The state bar also submitted written testimony to the Assembly Budget Committee for April 2 on the same issues.

Below is a current schedule of the remaining Senate and Assembly Committee meetings for the Fiscal Year 2010 budget review:

Monday, April 6, 2009

Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, 10 a.m., budget overview and revenue forecast (Office of Legislative Services); 1 p.m., budget overview (state treasurer), 1st Floor, Committee Room 4, Annex.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Assembly Budget Committee, 10 a.m., budget overview and revenue forecast (Office of Legislative Services); 2 p.m. budget overview (state treasurer), 4th Floor, Committee Room 11, Annex.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, 10 a.m., Department of Human Services; 2 p.m. Department of Community Affairs, 1st Floor, Committee Room 4, Annex.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Assembly Budget Committee, 10 a.m., Department of Human Services, 4th Floor, Committee Room 11, Annex.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, 10 a.m., Department of Environmental Protection; 11:30 a.m., Department of Corrections/State Parole Board; 2 p.m., Department of the Public Advocate, 1st Floor, Committee Room 4, Annex.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Assembly Budget Committee, 10 a.m., Department of Health and Senior Services; 2 p.m., Department of Law and Public Safety, 4th Floor, Committee Room 11, Annex.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, 10 a.m., Department of Health and Senior Services; 2 p.m., Department of Law and Public Safety, 1st Floor, Committee Room 4, Annex.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

New Jersey Law Revision Commission, 4:30 p.m., Commission Offices, 153 Halsey Street, 7th Floor, Newark, NJ 07102. Agenda to be determined.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, 10 a.m., Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs; 11:00a Department of Agriculture; 1 p.m., the Judiciary; 2:30 p.m., Department of State, 1st Floor, Committee Room 4, Annex.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Assembly Budget Committee, 10 a.m., Department of Education; 2 p.m., Higher Educational Services, 4th Floor, Committee Room 11, Annex.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, 10 a.m., Department of Education; 1:30 p.m., Higher Educational Services, 1st Floor, Committee Room 4, Annex.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Assembly Budget Committee, 10 a.m., Department of Transportation, NJ Transit and Motor Vehicle Commission; 2 p.m., Department of Labor and Workforce Development, 4th Floor, Committee Room 11, Annex.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Assembly Budget Committee, 10 a.m., Department of Children and Families; 2 p.m., Department of Community Affairs, 4th Floor, Committee Room 11, Annex.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Assembly Budget Committee, 10 a.m., Department of Environmental Protection; 2 p.m., Department of Corrections/State Parole Board, 4th Floor, Committee Room 11, Annex.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, 10 a.m., Department of Transportation, NJ Transit and Motor Vehicle Commission; 1:30 p.m., Department of Labor and Workforce Development, 1st Floor, Committee Room 4, Annex.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Assembly Budget Committee, 10 a.m., Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs; 2 p.m., Department of Banking and Insurance; 3 p.m., Department of Agriculture, 4th Floor, Committee Room 11, Annex.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, 10 a.m., Department of Children and Families; 1:30 p.m, Department Banking and Insurance, 1st Floor, Committee Room 4, Annex.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Assembly Budget Committee, 10 a.m., the Judiciary; 1 p.m., Department of State; 3 p.m., Department of the Public Advocate, 4th Floor, Committee Room 11, Annex.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Assembly Budget Committee, 10 a.m., revenue update (Office of Legislative Services); 1 p.m. revenue update (state treasurer); 3 p.m., Department of Treasury and Interdepartmental Accounts, 4th Floor, Committee Room 11, Annex.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, 11 a.m., revenue update (Office of Legislative Services); 1 p.m. revenue update (state treasurer); 3 p.m., Department of Treasury and Interdepartmental Accounts, 1st Floor, Committee Room 4, Annex.

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.