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

Capitol Report

August 3, 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.

On the Governor's Desk

HEALTH AND HOSPITAL LAW

A-370 (Diegnan) (NJSBA supports) Requires a facility where a patient dies to provide the medical examiner with contact information for next-of-kin so the medical examiner may obtain additional information about the death. On June 25, the bill passed in the Assembly (79-0) and was sent to the governor.

A-2038 (Gusciora) (Under review by the NJSBA) Denies public access to extinguished psychiatric liens. On June 25, the bill passed in the Senate (39-0) and the Assembly (79-0), and was sent to the governor.

A-2238 (Roberts) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires health benefits coverage for certain therapies for the treatment of autism and other developmental disabilities. On June 25, the bill passed in the Assembly (74-5) and was sent to the governor.

A-2539 (Rodriguez) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires installment payments for maternity services covered by certain health benefits plans. On June 25, the bill substituted for S-1125, passed in the Senate (39-0) and the Assembly (76-3), and was sent to the governor.

A-3799 (Conaway) (Under review by the NJSBA) Permits physicians to issue multiple prescriptions for a total of up to a 90-day supply of Schedule II drugs. On June 25, the bill substituted for S-2550, passed in the Senate (39-0), and was sent to the governor.

LAND USE LAW

S-1303 (Smith) (Under review by the NJSBA) Defines "inherently beneficial use" for purposes of zoning variance, and specifically includes facilities and structures that supply electrical energy produced from wind, solar, or photovoltaic technologies. On June 25, the bill substituted for A-3062, passed in the Assembly (55-21-2) and the Senate (35-2), and was sent to the governor.

S-2712 (Madden) (Under review by the NJSBA) Appropriates $27.75 million from the 2007 Farmland Preservation Fund and the Garden State Farmland Preservation Fund for planning incentive grants to municipalities for farmland preservation purposes. On June 25, the bill substituted for A-3891, passed in the Assembly (79-0), and was sent to the governor.

S-2713 (Beach) (Under review by the NJSBA) Appropriates $49.65 million from the 2007 Farmland Preservation Fund for farmland preservation purposes. On June 25, the bill substituted for A-3892, passed in the Assembly (79-0), and was sent to the governor.

S-2714 (Sweeney) (Under review by the NJSBA) Appropriates $6.45 million from the 2007 Farmland Preservation Fund and Garden State Farmland Preservation Trust Fund for grants to certain nonprofit organizations for farmland preservation purposes. On June 25, the bill substituted for A-3893, passed in the Assembly (79-0), and was sent to the governor.

S-2715 (Karrow) (Under review by the NJSBA) Appropriates $11,293,478 from various farmland preservation bond funds and the Garden State Farmland Preservation Trust Fund for farmland preservation purposes. On June 25, the bill substituted for A-3894, passed in the Assembly (79-0), and was sent to the governor.

S-2767 (Sweeney) (Under review by the NJSBA) Appropriates $66 million from the Garden State Green Acres Preservation Trust Fund, 2007 Green Acres Fund, and 2007 Blue Acres Fund for state acquisition of lands for recreation and conservation purposes, including Blue Acres projects. On June 25, the bill substituted for A-3896, passed in the Assembly (79-0), and was sent to the governor.

S-2768 (Codey) (Under review by the NJSBA) Appropriates $120,123,420 from various Green Acres funds for local government open space acquisition and park development projects. On June 25, the bill substituted for A-3897, passed in the Assembly (79-0), and was sent to the governor.

S-2770 (Girgenti) (Under review by the NJSBA) Appropriates $15,557,201 from various historic preservation funds to provide grants for certain historic preservation projects, and appropriates $574,805 from certain historic preservation bond funds for associated administrative expenses. On June 25, the bill substituted for A-3899, passed in the Assembly (79-0), and was sent to the governor.

S-2771 (Cunningham) Appropriates $19,919,700 from various Green Acres funds for grants to certain nonprofit entities to acquire or develop lands for recreation and conservation purposes. On June 25, the bill substituted for A-3898, passed in the Assembly (79-0), and was sent to the governor.

S-2887 (Beach) (Under review by the NJSBA) Authorizes the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust to expend certain sums to make loans for environmental infrastructure projects. On June 25, the bill substituted for A-4046, passed in the Assembly (78-0-1), and was sent to the governor.

S-2888 (Whelan) (Under review by the NJSBA) Appropriates funds to the Department of Environmental Protection for environmental infrastructure projects. On June 25, the bill substituted for A-4045, passed in the Assembly (75-3-1), and was sent to the governor.

S-2889 (Gordon) (Under review by the NJSBA) Makes certain changes to the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust Financing Program. On June 25, the bill substituted for A-4047, passed in the Assembly (64-11-2) and was sent to the governor.

A-3901(McKeon) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes the Green Acres, Water Supply and Floodplain Protection, and Farmland and Historic Preservation Bond Act of 2009; authorizes bonds for $400 million; appropriates $5,000. On June 25, the bill substituted for S-1858, passed in the Assembly (66-9-3) and the Senate (26-7), and was sent to the governor.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT LAW

S-451 (Haines) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires the Office of Emergency Management to maintain a directory of emergency supplies. On June 25, the bill substituted for A-2467, passed in the Assembly (79-0), and was sent to the governor.

S-930 (Weinberg) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires adoption of constitutions and bylaws by county political party committees; requires certain information concerning committee members to be filed with the county clerk; eliminates fixed terms for committee members and chairs. On June 25, the bill substituted for A-1904, passed in the Assembly (73-0-6) and the Senate (35-4), and was sent to the governor.

S-2552 (Sweeney) (Under review by the NJSBA) Extends the range of investment vehicles in which the director of the Division of Investment and State Investment Council may invest moneys in the state of New Jersey Cash Management Fund and state pension funds. On June 25, the bill substituted for A-3817, passed in the Assembly (65-12-2), and was sent to the governor.

A-2784 (McKeon) (Under review by the NJSBA) Permits municipalities to set strict absentee policies for service on authorities, boards, and commissions. On June 25, the bill substituted for S-1426, passed in the Senate (38-0), and was sent to the governor.

A-2650 (Schaer) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes requirements concerning certain public contracts with private firms. On June 25, the bill substituted for S-1769, passed in the Senate (38-1) and the Assembly (65-11-1), and was sent to the governor.

A-2889 (Burzichelli) (Under review by the NJSBA) Makes revisions to the Personal Assistance Services program in the Department of Human Services. On June 25, the bill passed in the Assembly (78-1), and was sent to the governor.

A-2949 (Oliver) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires the Department of Human Services to report physical assaults and deaths at state psychiatric hospitals on its website, and report deaths to the public advocate. On June 25, the bill substituted for S-2494, passed in the Senate (39-0) and the Assembly (79-0), and was sent to the governor.

A-3101 (Watson Coleman) (Under review by the NJSBA) Permits counties to create county homelessness trust funds. On June 25, the bill passed in the Assembly (52-27), and was sent to the governor.

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.