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

Capitol Report

November 2, 2009

By Tamika Wilson

This is a status report on recently passed and pending legislation, regulations, and public notices of interest to lawyers. It is compiled by the government affairs department of the New Jersey State Bar Association. Following each bill number is the sponsor's name, the NJSBA position, if any, bill description and status.

New Laws

P.L.2009, c.143 (Barnes) Creates the Computer Crime Prevention Fund; imposes penalties on certain offenders. On Oct. 19, A-3763 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2009, c.142 (Scalera) Authorizes interception of wire or electronic communications of a suspected computer trespasser under certain circumstances. On Oct. 19, A-3761 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2009, c.141 (McKeon) Permits municipalities to set strict absentee policies for service on authorities, boards, and commissions. On Oct. 19, A-2784 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2009, c.140 (Sweeney) (NJSBA takes no position) Requires certain fiduciaries to post bond, and provides for accounting to the court if a beneficiary is developmentally disabled. On Oct. 19, S-550 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2009, c.139 (Girgenti) (NJSBA takes no position) Bars certain sex offenders from positions in youth-serving organizations. On Oct. 19, S-532 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2009, c.138 (Sacco) Requires drivers to make all reasonable efforts to remove ice or snow from a vehicle; creates a fine. On Oct. 19, S-520 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2009, c.137 (Haines) Requires the Office of Emergency Management to maintain a directory of emergency supplies. On Oct. 19, S-451 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2009, c.136 (Schaer) Establishes requirements concerning certain public contracts with private firms. On Oct. 12, A-2650 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2009, c.135 (Weinberg) 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 Oct. 2, S-930 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2009, c.134 (Wagner) Requires confirmation of financial assistance for eligible homeowners voluntarily closing or replacing petroleum underground storage tanks, and expands eligibility for financial assistance. On Oct. 1, A-3739 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2009, c.133 (Angelini) Grants immunity to certain underage persons for unlawful possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages. On Oct. 1, A-3160 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2009, c.132 (Barnes) Authorizes the establishment of the Dismal Swamp Preservation Commission. On Oct. 1, A-3072 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2009, c.131 (Vandervalk) Authorizes a parent or guardian to request the use of an individualized healthcare plan for a student with diabetes, and provides for the emergency administration of glucagon for certain students. On Oct. 1, A-267 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2009, c.130 (Kean) Permanently designates February as Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in New Jersey. On Oct. 1, S-2363 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2009, c.129 (Madden) Revises the criteria for eligibility to receive a senior and disabled homestead property tax reimbursement. On Oct. 1, S-661 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2009, c.128 (Buono) Expands consumer protections under New Jersey's motor vehicle lemon law. On Oct. 1, S-454 was signed by the governor.

Regulatory Matters

Below please find proposed regulations with a deadline for comment of Dec. 4, unless otherwise noted:

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

N.J.A.C. 7:14 Provides changes to Department of Environmental Protection rules regarding the Water Pollution Control Act.

INSURANCE LAW

N.J.A.C. 11:1-34.6 Provides changes to Department of Banking and Insurance rules regarding exportable lists, which allows admitted or authorized insurers that choose to write commercial coverages included on the list to be exempt from certain form filing requirements, and relieves insurance producers of the burden of obtaining three declinations in cases where no reasonable or adequate market among authorized insurers exists.

LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LAW

N.J.A.C. 12:17-9.11 Provides changes to Department of Labor and Workforce Development rules regarding unemployment benefit payments in instances of job abandonment.

N.J.A.C. 12:17-10.2 Provides changes to Department of Labor and Workforce Development rules regarding misconduct and unemployment insurance.

PUBLIC UTILITIES

N.J.A.C. 14:7-1.11 Provides changes to Board of Public Utilities rules regarding natural gas pipelines.

SCHOOL LAW

N.J.A.C. 6A:22 Provides changes to State Board of Education Rules regarding student residency.

N.J.A.C. 6A:30-1.2, 2.2, and 3.2; 6A:30 Appendix; 6A:30 Appendix B Provides changes to Department of Education rules regarding evaluation of school district performance.

The following rules were recently adopted:

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

N.J.A.C. 7:28-64.1 Provides notice of administrative changes to Department of Environmental Protection rules regarding radiation protection programs, radioactive materials license fees, purpose and applicability.

PUBLIC UTILITIES

N.J.A.C. 14:7-1.4, 1.8, 1.9, 1.11, 1.12, 1.14, 1.20, 1.24, 1.25 AND 2.3; 14:7-1.19 Provides changes to Board of Public Utilities rules regarding natural gas pipelines.

WORKERS' COMPENSATION

N.J.A.C. 12:235-3.2, 7.1 and 7.4; 12:235-3.14; 12:235-3.3, 3.4, and 3.16 Provides changes to Division of Workers' Compensation rules regarding motions for emergent medical care, insurance carrier or self-insured employer contact person procedures, enforcement and the Uninsured Employers Fund (UEF).

PUBLIC NOTICES

BANKING LAW

Take notice that the Department of Banking and Insurance has conducted an appraisal fee survey on third-party appraisers related to conforming, single-family primary-residence first-mortgage loans made by licensed lenders doing business in New Jersey, and has determined that during 2002 the usual customary and reasonable fee charged by licensed lenders for such third-party appraisals ranged between $250 and $275. Accordingly, for such appraisals performed and delivered in-house the fee charged by the lender shall be in the approximate range of $250 to $275. For such appraisals performed by third-party appraisers and delivered by an appraisal management company, the fee charged by the lenders shall be in the approximate range of $250 to $275, and shall not exceed the amount charged by the appraisal management company.

ELDER AND DISABILITY LAW

Take notice that the Department of Health and Senior Services has announced grant availability for NJCSCR individual research grants, postdoctoral and graduate student fellowship grants, and an exploratory research grant. Applications and guidelines are available online at https://proposalcentral.altum.com. For more information contact NJCSCR@doh.state.nj.us or call 609-292-4055.

LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LAW

Take notice that the Department of Labor and Workforce Development regularly publishes on its website, http://lwd.dol.state.nj/us/labor, all notices of fund availability pertaining to federal or state grant funds that may be awarded by the department under "Public Notices," subheading "Notice of Availability of Grant Program Funds."

LOCAL GOVERNMENT LAW

Take notice that the State Records Committee has announced the availability of grant funds and established a schedule for the application and reporting process for the Public Archives and Records Infrastructure Support (PARIS) grants for fiscal years Sept. 1, 2010, to Aug. 31, 2011. For application rules and guidelines, contact the PARIS grants administrator in the Division of Archives and Records Management at 2300 Stuyvesant Ave, Trenton, NJ 08618; mailing address: PO Box 307, Trenton, NJ 08625-0307; email address: paris.grants@sos.state.nj.us.