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

Capitol Report

November 30, 2009

This is a status report on recently passed and pending legislation, regulations, gubernatorial nominations and/or appointments 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

ANIMAL LAW

P.L.2009, c.156 (Cruz-Perez) Requires disclosure when selling certain clothing apparel containing fur. On Nov. 20, A-2653 was signed by the governor.

BANKING LAW

P.L.2009, c.150 (Sweeney) 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 Nov. 20, S-2552 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2009, c.154 (Gusciora) Denies public access to extinguished psychiatric liens. On Nov. 20, A-2038 was signed by the governor.

BUSINESS LAW

P.L.2009, c.158 (Albano) (NJSBA supports) Expands the scope of unincorporated entities permitted to merge or consolidate with domestic corporations. On Nov. 20, A-2884 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2009, c.159 (Milam) (NJSBA supports) Allows officers of a corporation to grant employees and officers of the corporation shares of stock, rights or options. On Nov. 20, A-2885 was signed by the governor.

CONSUMER PROTECTION

P.L.2009, c.148 (Buono) Regulates solicitation of credit cards on college campuses. On Nov. 20, S-1927 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2009, c.155 (Rodriguez) (NJSBA supports) Clarifies the obligation of cemeteries to hold consumer prepayments for cemetery services in trust accounts. On Nov. 20, A-2406 was signed by the governor.

CRIMINAL LAW

P.L.2009, c.157 (Burzichelli) Requires a law enforcement agency to inform the school principal of certain crimes committed by students. On Nov. 20, A-2655 was signed by the governor.

HEALTH AND HOSPITAL LAW

P.L.2009, c.151 (Diegnan) (NJSBA supports) Requires the 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 Nov. 20, A-370 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2009, c.161 (Oliver) Requires the Department of Human Services to report physical assaults and deaths at state psychiatric hospitals on its website and report deaths to th public advocate. On Nov. 20, A-2949 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2009, c.165 (Conaway) Permits physicians to issue multiple prescriptions for a total of up to a 90-day supply of Schedule II drugs. On Nov. 20, A-3799 was signed by the governor.

LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LAW

P.L.2009, c.144 (Sweeney) Provides triggers for reductions of employer unemployment insurance taxes. On Nov. 20, S-562 was signed by the governor.

LAND USE

Governor P.L.2009, c.146 (Smith) 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 Nov. 20, S-1303 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2009, c.147 (Lesniak) Authorizes counties and municipalities to acquire real property, and to resell or lease it with agricultural deed restrictions attached, for farmland preservation purposes. On Nov. 20, S-1816 was signed by the governor.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT LAW

P.L.2009, c.149 (Sarlo) Permits revenue received by a municipality as payments in lieu of taxes to increase the cap base upon which permissible increases to final appropriations are calculated under local cap law. On Nov. 20, S-2372 was signed by the governor.

Pending Legislation

CHILDREN'S RIGHTS

A-1411 (Fisher) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes the New Jersey Council on Child Poverty. On Nov. 23, the bill was released from the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee and is awaiting Senate vote.

CRIMINAL LAW

S-502/A-2024 (Turner/Watson Coleman) (NJSBA supports) Establishes the Prisoners' Reentry Bill of Rights. On Nov. 23, S-502 was released from the Senate Law and Public Safety and Veterans' Affairs Committee with a substitute and is awaiting Senate vote.

S-1347 (Turner) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires correctional institutions to consider the cost to users of inmates' telephone services. On Nov. 23, the bill was released from the Senate Law and Public Safety and Veterans' Affairs Committee with a substitute, referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, and is awaiting Senate vote.

S-1536/A-3349 (Turner/Greenstein) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires victims of the criminally insane to be notified upon release, escape, or transfer of the offender from a mental health facility. On Nov. 23, A-3349 was released from the Assembly Appropriations Committee with amendments and is awaiting Assembly vote.

S-1866/A-2762 (Lesniak/Watson Coleman) (NJSBA supports) Authorizes the court to waive or reduce parole ineligibility or grant probation for drug-free school zone violations under certain circumstances. On Nov. 23, S-1866 was released from the Senate Judiciary Committee with amendments, referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, and is awaiting Senate vote.

S-2205/A-4018 (Codey/Coutinho) (Under review by the NJSBA) Increases compensation for persons wrongfully imprisoned. On Nov. 23, S-2205 was released from the Senate Judiciary Committee with amendments, referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, and is awaiting Senate vote.

CONSUMER PROTECTION

S-1715/S-2173/A-1755 (Allen/Watson Coleman) (Support with amendments) Allows identity theft victims to petition for judicial determination of factual innocence. On Nov. 23, A-1755 was released from the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

S-2582/A-801 (Stack/Gusciora) (Support with amendments) Creates a credit card do-not-solicit list for certain persons. On Nov. 23, A-801 was released from the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

ELDER AND DISABILITY LAW

S-1799/A-853 (Gordon/Albano) (NJSBA supports) Requires certain persons to report suspected abuse, neglect or exploitation against vulnerable adults. On Nov. 23, S-1799 was released from the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee and is awaiting Senate vote.

ENVIRONMENTAL LAS

S-1066/A-2065 (Smith/McKeon) (Under review by the NJSBA) Permits a developer to qualify for a low-interest loan from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority when building a high-performance green building. On Nov. 23, A-2065 was released from the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee and referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT LAW

S-869/A-3056 (Turner/Wisniewski) (Under review by the NJSBA) Permits municipalities to adopt ordinances requiring bond from landlords in certain circumstances. On Nov. 23, A-3056 was released from the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee with amendments and is awaiting Assembly vote.

REAL PROPERTY, TRUST AND ESTATE LAW

S-130/A-2054 (Scutari/Wisniewski) (NJSBA supports) Shortens time periods for adverse possession, clarifies statutes, and repeals N.J.S. 2A:14-30 and N.J.S. 2A:14-31. On Nov. 23, S-130 was released from the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee with amendments and is awaiting Senate vote.

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 Nov. 23, A-4063 was released from the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee with amendments and is awaiting Assembly vote.

Regulatory Matters

Below please find proposed regulations with a deadline for comment of Jan. 1 unless otherwise noted:

ELDER AND DISABILITY LAW

N.J.A.C. 10:31-1.4; 10:31-2.6, 9, 10.2, 10.3, 11 and 12; 10:31 Appendices A through D; 10:31-2.4; 10:31-6 Provides changes to Division of Mental Health Services rules regarding screening and screening outreach programs.

N.J.A.C. 10:37D Provides changes to Division of Mental Health Services rules regarding management and governing body standards.

INSURANCE LAW

N.J.A.C. 11:4-34.20; 11:4-34 Appendix J Provides changes to Department of Banking and Insurance rules regarding filing requirements for long-term care insurance.

SCHOOL LAW

N.J.A.C. 6A:11-1.2 and 2.1 Provides changes to State Board of Education rules regarding approval process for applicants seeking fast track review in order to open a new charter school.

TAXATION

N.J.A.C. 18:18 Provides changes to Division of Taxation rules regarding motor fuels tax.

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.