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

Capitol Report

June 22, 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

BANKING LAW

S-2777/A-4063 (Rice/Watson Coleman) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes the New Jersey Foreclosure Fairness Act; imposes additional foreclosure notice requirements; amends the Mortgage Stabilization and Relief Act. On June 11, S-2777 was released from the Senate Commerce Committee with committee amendments and is awaiting Senate vote.

CONSTRUCTION LAW

S-1449 (Rice) (Under review by the NJSBA) Strengthens the state construction code. On June 11, the bill was released from the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee with committee amendments and is awaiting Senate vote.

CONSUMER PROTECTION LAW

S-1028 (Rice) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes the New Homebuyers' Bill of Rights Act. On June 11, the bill was released from the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and is awaiting Senate vote.

S-1029 (Rice) (Under review by the NJSBA) Enhances protections for new homebuyers. On June 11, the bill was released from the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and is awaiting Senate vote.

S-1450 (Rice) (Under review by the NJSBA) Enhances protections afforded purchasers in planned real estate developments. On June 11, the bill was released from the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and is awaiting Senate vote.

ELDER AND DISABILITY LAW

S-1551/A-2844 (Cunningham/Love) (NJSBA supports) Establishes a Silver Alert System. On June 11, S-1551 was released from the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and is awaiting Senate vote.

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

S-2191/A-3271 (Van Drew) (Under review by the NJSBA) Increases civil penalties for medical waste violations and intentional ocean pollution. On June 11, S-2191 was released from the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and is awaiting Senate vote.

REAL PROPERTY, TRUST AND ESTATE LAW

S-653 (Sarlo) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes certain standards for the sale of state surplus real property. On June 11, the bill was released from the Senate State Government Committee with committee amendments and is awaiting Senate vote.

S-1356/A-2406 (Madden/Rodriguez) (NJSBA supports) Clarifies the obligation of cemeteries to hold consumer prepayments for cemetery services in trust accounts. On June 11, S-1356 was released from the Senate Commerce Committee and is awaiting Senate vote.

Nominations

The following nominations were referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 11:

JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT
Terrence Cook, of Willingboro
Catherine Enright, of Mendham, NJSBA member
Catherine Fitzpatrick, of Princeton, NJSBA member
Colleen Flynn, of Old Bridge, NJSBA member
Margaret Foti, of Cresskill, NJSBA member
Robert Gilson, of Sparta, NJSBA member
Lawrence Jones, of Toms River, NJSBA member
Frances McGrogan, of Franklin Lakes, NJSBA member
Thomas Moore, of Roseland, NJSBA member
Maryann Nergaard, of Gillette, NJSBA member
Joseph Paone, of Colonia, NJSBA member
Charles Powers, of Maywood, NJSBA member
James Savio, of Margate
Ronny Siegal, of Alpine, NJSBA member
Stephanie Wauters, of Toms River, NJSBA member
Barry Weisberg, of Plainsboro, NJSBA member

JUDGE OF THE TAX COURT
Joseph Andresini, of Haworth, NJSBA member
Mala Narayanan, of West Windsor, NJSBA member

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE
Mark Infante, of West Orange, NJSBA member
Kelly Kirk, of Ramsey
Evelyn Marose, of Ridgewood, NJSBA member

WORKERS' COMPENSATION JUDGE
Theresa Yang, of Parlin, NJSBA member

DIRECTOR OF THE DIVISION OF INSURANCE
Douglas A. Wheeler, of Metuchen, NJSBA member

KEAN UNIVERSITY BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Lester Aron, of Livingston, NJSBA member
Michael D'Agostino, of Union
David Halpern, of Livingston
Joan Verplanck, of Pennington

NEW JERSEY PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS COMMISSION
Lawrence Henderson, of Scotch Plains, NJSBA member

Executive Orders

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

Executive Order No. 140 (2009) Orders and directs at sites where groundwater has been impacted by pollutants above remediation standards, or where the site may be used as residential housing, or for educational purposes, including use as a child care or day care center, a public, private, or charter school, or a playground or ball field, the Department of Environmental Protection shall increase its auditing, monitoring, and review of conditions at the site.

Regulatory Matters

Below please find proposed regulations with a deadline for comment of July 31, unless otherwise noted:

ELDER AND DISABILITY LAW

N.J.S.A. 10:44A-1.3, 1.4, 1.7, 2.9, 3.1, 4.1, 5.1, 5.4, 5.7, 6.1, 6.3, and 6.4; N.J.A.C. 10:44A Appendix Provides changes to Department of Human Services rules regarding standards for community residences for individuals with developmental diseases.

PUBLIC UTILITIES

N.J.A.C. 14:8-3.6 and 3.7; N.J.A.C. 14:8-3.9 and 14:8-3 Appendix H Provides changes to Board of Public Utilities rules regarding environmental information disclosure for renewable energy and energy efficiency.

The following rules were recently adopted:

ELDER AND DISABILITY LAW

N.J.A.C 10:37F-1.3 and 2.4 Adopts amendment to Division of Mental Health Services rules regarding partial care services standards.

HIGHER EDUCATION

N.J.A.C. 9A:10 Readopts, with amendments, Higher Education Student Assistance Authority rules regarding student loan and college savings programs.

INSURANCE LAW

N.J.A.C. 11:27 Adopts new rules for the Department of Banking and Insurance Law regarding bi-annual reporting of rate modifiers for medical malpractice liability insurers.

Notices

The New Jersey Law Revision Commission met on June 18 to discuss the following issues:

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

2. Landlord Tenant-Consideration of a (i) a memorandum on landlord liens and (ii) a draft tentative report on landlord remedies (other than eviction)

3. Durable Power of Attorney-Consideration of a memorandum on possible revision of New Jersey Durable Power of Attorney Law.

4. Title 9-Children-Consideration of a memorandum on revision of chapter 2 custody.

You can obtain documentation related to the agenda above 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.