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

Capitol Report

August 10, 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.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT LAW

A-3541 (Doherty) (Under review by the NJSBA) Extends the deadline for municipal certified recycling coordinator requirements. On June 25, the bill substituted for S-2609, passed in the Senate (39-0), and was sent to the governor.

A-3903 (Roberts) (Under review by the NJSBA) Authorizes the state treasurer to sell surplus real property in the city of Trenton and the township of Ewing to a winning auction bidder. On June 25, the bill substituted for S-2869, passed in the Senate (34-1), and was sent to the governor.

A-3935 (Johnson) (Under review by the NJSBA) Codifies recommendations of the governor's Advisory Committee on Police Standards. On June 25, the bill substituted for S-2868, passed in the Assembly (77-2) and the Senate (39-0), and was sent to the governor.

A-4048 (Roberts) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes the New Jersey Economic Stimulus Act of 2009; appropriates $15 million to the New Jersey Affordable Housing Trust Fund. On June 25, the bill substituted for S-2299, passed in the Assembly (50-27-2) and the Senate (24-12), and was sent to the governor.

MILITARY LAW AND VETERANS' AFFAIRS

A-1707 (Munoz) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes the Veterans' Oral History Foundation. On June 25, the bill substituted for S-288, passed in the Senate (39-0), and was sent to the governor.

A-2406 (Rodriguez) (NJSBA supports) Clarifies obligation of cemeteries to hold consumer prepayments for cemetery services in trust accounts. On June 25, the bill substituted for S-1356, passed in the Senate (38-0), and was sent to the governor.

A-3360 (Diegnan) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes the Troops to College Program in the Commission on Higher Education to assist veterans in making the transition into the college classroom. On June 25, the bill substituted for S-2171, passed in the Senate (37-0), and was sent to the governor.

MUNICIPAL COURT PRACTICE

S-520 (Sacco) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires drivers to make all reasonable efforts to remove ice or snow from their vehicles; creates a fine for failure to do so. On June 25, the bill substituted for A-1718, passed in the Assembly (76-0-3) and the Senate (35-0), and was sent to the governor.

S-1122 (Sacco) (Under review by the NJSBA) Authorizes construction of curb extensions for pedestrian safety on local roadways without the commissioner of transportation's approval. On May 21, the bill substituted for A-2905, passed in the Assembly (76-0-1), and was sent to the governor.

S-1171 (Connors) (Under review by the NJSBA) Revises laws restricting the operation of personal watercraft and permits local police enforcement. On June 25, the bill substituted for A-2736, passed in the Assembly (79-0), and in the Senate (39-0), and was sent to the governor.

REAL PROPERTY TRUST AND ESTATE LAW

S-250 (Wisniewski) (NJSBA supports) Provides a statute of limitations for residential mortgage foreclosures. On May 21, the bill substituted for A-3269, passed in the Assembly (76-0-1), and was sent to the governor.

S-1816 (Lesniak) (Under review by the NJSBA) Authorizes counties and municipalities to acquire real property, and to resell or lease it with agricultural deed restrictions attached, for farmland preservation purposes. On June 25, the bill substituted for A-828, passed in the Assembly (78-0-1), and was sent to the governor.

SCHOOL LAW

A-930 (Scalera) (Under review by the NJSBA) Directs the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association to establish adapted athletic programs. On June 18, the bill substituted for S-655, passed in the Senate (39-0), and was sent to the governor.

A-1943 (Schaer) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes a pilot program in the Department of Education to provide instruction in personal finance to high school seniors. On June 18, the bill substituted for S-2211, passed in the Senate (35-1), and was sent to the governor.

A-2655 (Burzichelli) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires a law enforcement agency to inform a school principal of certain crimes committed by students. On June 25, the bill passed in the Assembly (79-0) and was sent to the governor.

TAXATION

S-562 (Sweeney) (Under review by the NJSBA) Provides triggers for reductions of employer unemployment insurance taxes. On June 18, the bill substituted for A-1503, passed in the Assembly (77-0), and was sent to the governor.

S-661 (Madden) (Under review by the NJSBA) Revises the criteria for eligibility to receive a senior and disabled homestead property tax reimbursement. On June 25, the bill passed in the Senate (38-0) and in the Assembly (77-2), and was sent to the governor.

S-2372 (Sarlo) (Under review by the NJSBA) Permits the revenue received by a municipality as payment in lieu of taxes to increase the cap base upon which permissible increases to final appropriations are calculated under local cap law. On June 25, the bill substituted for A-3464, passed in the Assembly (54-25), and the Senate (27-10), and was sent to the governor.

S-2356 (Sweeney) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes a pilot program in Gloucester County, transferring the municipal tax assessment function to the county through the appointment of a county assessor and deputy county assessors. On June 25, the bill substituted for A-3722, passed in the Senate (25-7), in the Assembly (55-23-1), and was sent to the governor.

A-2623 (McKeon) (Under review by the NJSBA) Extends program eligibility to areas located in municipalities contiguous to those currently qualified to participate in the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit Program. On June 25, the bill passed in the Senate (26-12), and was sent to the governor.

Regulatory Matters

Below please find proposed regulations with a deadline for comment of September 18, unless otherwise noted:

CRIMINAL LAW

N.J.A.C. 13:96 Provides changes to Juvenile Justice Commission rules regarding juvenile parole and transition services.

N.J.A.C. 13:101-4.1 and 6.17 Provides changes to Juvenile Justice Commission rules regarding juvenile discipline.

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

N.J.A.C. 7:1I Provides changes to Department of Environmental Protection rules regarding processing damage claims pursuant to the Sanitary Landfill Closure and Contingency Fund Act.

INSURANCE LAW

N.J.A.C. 11:22-1.6 Provides changes to Department of Banking and Insurance, Division of Insurance, rules regarding health benefit plans and prompt payment of claims.

LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LAW

N.J.A.C. 12:66 Provides changes to Department of Labor and Workforce Development rules regarding prevailing wages and safety training for construction work on public utilities.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT LAW

N.J.A.C. 5:15 Provides changes to Department of Community Affairs, Division of Codes and Standards, rules regarding emergency shelters for the homeless.

REAL PROPERTY TRUST AND ESTATE LAW

N.J.A.C. 5:93 Provides changes to substantive rules of the New Jersey Council on Affordable Housing for the period beginning on June 6, 1994.

WOMEN IN THE PROFESSION

N.J.A.C. 5:60 Provides changes to Department of Community Affairs, Division of Women regarding displaced homemaker programs.

WORKERS' COMPENSATION

N.J.A.C. 12:235-4.1, 4.2, 4.4, 4.5, 4.6, 4.8 through 4.13, 4.15, 4.16 and 4.17; 12:235-4.3, 4.7 and 4.14 Provides changes to Division of Workers' Compensation rules regarding informal processes.

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.