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

Capitol Report

April 13, 2009

By Tamika Wilson

This special edition of the Capitol Report highlights some bills that the NJSBA is monitoring as a high priority. All of these bills have passed at least one house in the state Legislature during the 213th Legislative Session. This report is compiled by the legislative department of the New Jersey State Bar Association. Following each bill is the number, sponsor's name, NJSBA position, if any, bill description and status.

New Laws

GENERAL PRACTICE

P.L.2009, c.11 (Biondi) (NJSBA supports) Authorizes the creation of a non-lapsing Attorney ID Card Program trust fund by counties. On Jan. 27, A-3146 was signed by the governor.

MUNICIPAL COURT PRACTICE

P.L.2008, c.84 (Watson Coleman) Establishes a compelling circumstances exception to mandatory driver's license suspension under the conditional discharge statute; allows the court to revoke the remainder of a suspension for compelling circumstances. On Sept. 10, 2008, A-1766 was signed by the governor.

WORKERS' COMPENSATION

P.L.2008, c.93 (Sarlo) Increases the power of judges of compensation to enforce workers' compensation law. On Oct. 1, 2008, S-1913 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2008, c.94 (Sarlo) Strengthens enforcement against employers for failure to provide workers' compensation coverage. On Oct. 1, 2008, S-1914 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2008, c.95 (Sarlo) Requires proof of workers' compensation coverage with certain legally required annual reports of employers. On Oct. 1, 2008, S-1915 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2008, c.96 (Sarlo) Concerns emergent medical care under workers' compensation. On Oct. 1, 2008, S-1916 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2008, c.97 (Sarlo) Revises membership of the Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau and clarifies its authority. On Oct. 1, 2008, S-1917 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2008, c.121 (Sarlo) (NJSBA supports) Requires an insurance fraud prosecutor to establish a liaison with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development and authorizes its investigation of cases of failure to provide workers' compensation coverage. On Dec. 19, 2008, S-1918 was signed by the governor.

On The Governor's Desk

CRIMINAL LAW

S-1880 (Smith) (NJSBA supports) Establishes a 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.

Pending Legislation

BUSINESS LAW

S-2049/A-2882 (Adler/Diegnan) (NJSBA supports) Provides one-hour and two-hour service options for expedited over-the-counter corporate service requests. On Oct. 20, 2008, S-2049 was released from the Senate Commerce Committee and is awaiting Senate vote.

S-2050/A-2879 (Alder/Diegnan) (NJSBA supports) Allows certain corporate notices to be provided via electronic transmission. On Oct. 20, 2008, S-2050 was released from the Senate Commerce Committee and is awaiting Senate vote.

S-2244/A-2880 (Gill/Diegnan) (NJSBA supports) Eliminates 10-day advance notification of proposed effective date of certain shareholder action. On Nov. 13, 2008, S-2244 was released from the Senate Commerce Committee and is awaiting Senate vote.

CRIMINAL LAW

S-514/A-2489 (Sacco/Quigley) (NJSBA opposes) Expands DNA database to include samples from disorderly persons and certain violent arrestees. On May 15, 2008, S-514 was released from the Senate Law and Public Safety and Veterans' Affairs Committee with amendments, referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, and is awaiting Senate vote.

S-1570/A-2947 (Turner/Watson Coleman) (NJSBA opposes) Establishes Qua-Daishia's Law; bars disclosure of personal identifying information contained in grand jury materials; creates fourth-degree offense for unauthorized disclosure. On Nov. 24, 2008, S-1570 was received in the Senate and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

S-1761/A-2370 (Bucco/Bramnick) (NJSBA opposes) Grants immunity from civil liability to persons reporting information concerning crimes related to terrorism. On May 12, 2008, A-2370 was released from the Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee with a substitute and is awaiting Assembly vote.

S-1866/A-2762 (Watson Coleman) (NJSBA supports) Authorizes the court to waive or reduce parole ineligibility or grant probation for drug-free school zone violations under certain circumstances. On Oct. 2, 2008, S-1866 was received in the Senate and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

ELDER AND DISABILITY LAW

S-550/A-1478 (Burzichelli) (NJSBA opposes) Requires executors to post bond and provide periodic accountings to the court where a beneficiary is developmentally disabled. On March 16, S-550 was amended on the Senate floor and is awaiting Senate vote.

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

S-1922/A-2963 (Smith/McKeon) (NJSBA opposes) Concerns Department of Environmental Protection government records requests. On June 12, 2008, A-2963 was released from the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee with amendments and is awaiting Assembly vote.

FAMILY LAW

S-611/A-752/A-1224 (Vitale/Prieto/Wolfe) (NJSBA opposes) Permits an adopted person and certain others access to the adopted person's original birth certificate and other related information. On March 3, 2008, S-611 passed in the Senate (31-7), was received in the Assembly and referred to the Assembly Human Services Committee.

A-571 (Voss) (NJSBA opposes) Creates an offense of impairing communications, which would constitute domestic violence in certain circumstances. The bill passed in the Assembly (77-2) on Sept. 25, 2008.On Oct. 2, 2008, the bill was received in the Senate and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

A-2321 (Scalera) (NJSBA opposes) Requires three forms of identification when requesting a birth certificate. On Dec. 15, 2008, the bill passed in the Assembly (77-0) and was referred to the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.

JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION

S-1784/A-2789 (Sweeney/Burzichelli) (NJSBA supports) Creates eight additional judgeships; increases certain court fees to fund judgeships and to supplement funding for Legal Services of New Jersey. On June 12, 2008, A-2789 was released from the Assembly Judiciary Committee with amendments and referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

S-1815/A-2858 (Lesniak/Cryan) (NJSBA supports) Requires legal action against certain licensed persons to be brought within two years. On Oct. 23, 2008, A-2858 was released from the Assembly Regulated Professions and Independent Authorities Committee and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

A-2715 (Roberts) (NJSBA opposes) Provides that the New Jersey Supreme Court shall have the authority to administer juror challenges through its rulemaking process. On June 23, 2008, A-2715 was substituted for S-1981 and is awaiting Senate vote.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT LAW

S-559/A-1492 (Rice/Burzichelli) (NJSBA opposes) Revises laws concerning local redevelopment, relocation assistance and eminent domain. On June 19, 2008, S-559 was released from the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee with a committee substitute and is awaiting Senate vote.

Notices

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. Below is a current schedule of some of the remaining Senate and Assembly Committee meetings for the Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Review:

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

Monday, April 27, 2009
Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, 10 a.m., Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs; 11 a.m., 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 Transportation, NJ Transit and Motor Vehicle Commission; 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 Education; 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; 2:00p 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., 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); 1:00p Revenue Update (State Treasurer); 3 p.m., 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 Interdepartment 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.