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

Capitol Report

May 25 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.

Pending Legislation

CONSUMER PROTECTION

S-2472/A-2653 (Van Drew/Cruz-Perez) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires disclosure when selling certain clothing apparel containing fur. On May 14, S-2472 was released from the Senate Commerce Committee and is awaiting vote in the Senate.

S-2534/A-3731 (Buono/Conaway) (Under review by the NJSBA) Revises the New Jersey False Claims Act to comply with federal Deficit Reduction Act for purposes of entitling the state to enhanced recovery in Medicaid fraud cases. On May 11, A-3731 was released from the Assembly Judiciary Committee, with committee amendments, and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

CRIMINAL LAW

S-2294/A-2143 (Lesniak/Cryan) (Under review by the NJSBA) Adds email messages to the list of prohibited contact enumerated in permanent restraining orders for convicted stalkers. On May 11, A-2143 was released from the Assembly Judiciary Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

A-243 (Vandervalk) (Under review by the NJSBA) Creates a civil rape shield law. On May 11, the bill was released from the Assembly Judiciary Committee, with a committee substitute, and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

A-3348 (Cryan) (Under review by the NJSBA) Creates an email registration requirement for convicted stalkers. On May 11, the bill was released from the Assembly Judiciary Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

ELDER AND DISABILITY LAW

S-1651/A?2238 (Vitale/Roberts) Requires health benefits coverage for certain therapies for the treatment of certain autism disorders. On May 18, A-2238 was released from the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee, referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and is awaiting vote in the Senate.

GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC SECTOR

S-2088/A-1479 (Kyrillos/Burzichelli) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires and permits preference in awarding certain contracts. On May 14, S-2088 was released from the Senate Economic Growth Committee with committee amendments, referred to Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and is awaiting vote in the Senate.

HIGHER EDUCATION

S-2776/A-2911 (Allen/Cryan) (Under review by the NJSBA) Creates the New Jersey College Student and Parent Consumer Information Act; requires each four-year public institution of higher education to provide on its website certain information regarding its costs, faculty, and graduation rates. On May 18, S-2776 was released from the Senate Education Committee and is awaiting vote in the Senate.

LAND USE

S-713/A-3239 (Smith/McKeon) (NJSBA takes no position) Establishes a forest stewardship and forest certification program in the Department of Environmental Protection; limits liability of certain landowners who allow sport or recreational activities on their lands for a fee. On May 11, A-3239 was released from the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, with committee amendments, and referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT LAW

S-2354/A-3101 (Redd/Watson Coleman) (Under review by the NJSBA) Permits counties to create county homelessness trust funds. On May 14, S-2354 was released from the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, with committee amendments, and is awaiting vote in the Senate.

MILITARY LAW AND VETERANS AFFAIRS

S-1834/A-3137 (Van Drew/Vainieri-Huttle) (Under review by the NJSBA) Extends burial of indigent veterans to those who did not serve in time of war; clarifies the role of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs in identifying deceased veterans; provides additional funding for the burial of indigent veterans. On May 11, A-3137 was released from the Assembly Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee and referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

MUNICIPAL COURT PRACTICE

S-2055/A-823 (Gordon/Gusciora) (Under review by the NJSBA) Regulates the operation of snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, dirt bikes, and certain other vehicles and off-road vehicles. On May 14, S-2055 was released from the Senate Environment Committee, with a committee substitute, referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, and is awaiting vote in the Senate.

REAL PROPERTY TRUST AND ESTATE LAW

S-130/A-2054 (Scutari/Wisniewski) (NJSBA opposes) Shortens the time periods for adverse possession, clarifies statutes, and repeals N.J.S.2A:14-30 and N.J.S.2A:14-31. On May 11, A-2054 was released from the Assembly Judiciary Committee, with committee amendments, and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

S-2505/A-3632 (Redd/Watson Coleman) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes the Smart Housing Incentives Act. On May 18, S-2505 was released from the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee, with committee amendments, referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, and is awaiting vote in the Senate.

Nominations

The following nominations were referred by the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 14:

JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT
Paul Escandon, of Loch Arbour, NJSBA member
Douglas Hurd, of Stockton, NJSBA member

MERCER COUNTY BOARD OF TAXATION
Edward A. Hoffman, of Ewing, NJSBA member

NEW JERSEY MARITIME PILOT AND DOCKING PILOT COMMISSION
Richard L. Amster, of Florham Park, NJSBA member
Thomas F. Daly, of Rumson, NJSBA member
Stanley E. Wiklinski, of Old Tappan
Charles Wowkanech, of Ocean City

The following nominations were reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 18:

JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT
Douglas Hurd, of Stockton, NJSBA member
Frederick Theemling, of Weehawken, NJSBA member

OCEAN COUNTY BOARD OF TAXATION
Geraldine Ambrosio, of Toms River, NJSBA member
Peter A. Maher, of Jackson
Charles P. Tivenan, of Brick, NJSBA member

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

MERCER COUNTY PROSECUTOR
Joseph Bocchini, of Hamilton Township

Notices

The New Jersey Law Revision Commission met on Thursday, May 21, 2009, at 4:30 p.m., to discuss the following agenda:

  1. Landlord Tenant-Consideration of (i) a further revised draft of the chapter on security deposits with comments; and (ii) approval of a draft tentative report on abandoned tenant property

     

  2. Title 9 Children-Consideration of a Draft Tentative Report revising the chapter on parentage.

     

  3. Uniform Environmental Covenants Act-Consideration of a rough draft tentative report recommending amendments to the Brownfield and Contaminated Site Remediation Act to implement the main purpose of the Uniform Environmental Covenants Act.

     

  4. Title 22A-Consideration of a draft final report revised in response to additional comments received.

     

  5. New Project-Consideration of a new project to revise the New Jersey Durable Power of Attorney Act.

Documentation related to the agenda above can be obtained online at http://www.lawrev.state.nj.us/agenda.html.

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.