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

Capitol Report

December 14, 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.

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 Dec. 7, A-4063 was amended on the Assembly floor and is awaiting Assembly vote.

CIVIL TRIAL BAR

S-1815/A-2858 (Lesniak/Cryan) (NJSBA supports) (NJSBA Drafted) Requires legal action against certain licensed persons to be brought within two years. On Dec. 3, A-2858 was held in the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

S-2167/A-931 (Sarlo/Scalera) (Under review by the NJSBA) Clarifies immunity from civil liability for volunteers affiliated with Citizen Corps under certain circumstances. On Dec. 7, A-931 passed in the Assembly (77-0) and was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

CRIMINAL LAW

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 an offender from a mental health facility. On Dec. 7, A-3349 passed in the Assembly (77-0) and was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

A-243 (Vandervalk) (Under review by the NJSBA) Creates a civil "rape shield" law. On Dec. 7, the bill was amended on the Assembly floor and is awaiting Assembly vote.

A-3284 (Watson Coleman) (NJSBA supports) Expands membership of the Domestic Violence Fatality and Near Fatality Review Board. On Dec. 7, the bill was released from the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee and is awaiting Senate 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 Dec. 7, A-853 passed in the Assembly (77-0) and is awaiting Senate vote.

S-2450/A-2791 (Kean/Amodeo) (NJSBA takes no position) Creates the New Jersey Senior Labor Task Force. On Dec. 7, A-2791 passed in the Assembly (75-2) and is awaiting Senate vote.

FAMILY LAW

S-1967/A-2978 (Weinberg/Gusciora) (NJSBA supports) Enacts the Freedom of Religion and Equality in Civil Marriage Act. On Dec.7, S-1967 was released from the Senate Judiciary Committee and is awaiting Senate vote.

S-2091/A-4296 (Scutari/Stender) (NJSBA opposes) Prohibits the enforcement of "palimony" agreements unless such agreements are in writing. On Dec. 3, A-4296 was released from the Assembly Judiciary Committee and on Dec. 7, it was held in the Assembly.

HEALTH AND HOSPITAL LAW

S-565/A-2029 (Sweeney/Watson Coleman) (Under review by the NJSBA) Concerns chiropractic scope of practice. On Dec. 7, A-2029 was amended on the Assembly floor and is awaiting Assembly vote.

HIGHER EDUCATION

S-1609/A-3245 (Lesniak/Diegnan) (Under review by the NJSBA) Provides for improved structure, financing, and fiscal management of higher education in New Jersey. On Dec. 7, A-3245 was amended on the Assembly floor, and is awaiting Assembly vote.

LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LAW

S-3008/A-1263 (Sweeney/Moriarty) (Under review by the NJSBA) Affords employment protection to certain volunteer emergency responders. On Dec. 7, S-3008 was released from the Senate Law and Public Safety and Veterans' Affairs Committee and is awaiting Senate vote.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT LAW

S-770/A-1645 (Rice/McKeon) (Under review by the NJSBA) Redefines the role and qualifications of a purchasing agent in the Local Public Contracts Law. On Dec. 7, A-1645 passed in the Assembly (51-25) and is awaiting Senate vote to concur with the governor's recommendations.

S-869/A-3056/A-1750 (Turner/Wisniewski/Watson Coleman) (Under review by the NJSBA) Permits municipalities to adopt ordinances requiring bond from landlords in certain circumstances. On Dec. 7, S-869 substituted for A-3056, passed in the Assembly (47-28), and is awaiting Senate vote to concur with Assembly amendments.

S-2336/A-557 (Buono/Dancer) (Under review by the NJSBA) Repeals the bidding requirement for local public contracts to allow bidders to avoid an unresponsive bid if they inadvertently omit business registration from a bid proposal, provided the bidder was registered before the bid submission deadline. On Dec. 7, A-557 was released from the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee and is awaiting Senate vote.

MUNICIPAL COURT PRACTICE

S-2490/A-4302 (Codey/McKeon) (Under review by the NJSBA) Imposes additional penalties for loaning a motor vehicle to a person with a suspended driver's license under certain circumstances. On Dec. 7, A-4302 passed in the Assembly (77-0) and is awaiting Senate vote.

S-2055/A-823 (Gordon/Gusciora) (Under review by the NJSBA) Regulates the operation of snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, dirt bikes, certain other vehicles and off-road vehicles. On Dec. 7, A-823 was amended on the Assembly floor and is awaiting Assembly vote.

TAXATION

S-2757/A-3308 (Sweeney/Burzichelli) (Under review by the NJSBA) Protects property taxpayers by requiring removal of certain property tax deduction and credit information from documents available for public inspection, and provides for homestead property tax benefit in the form of credit. On Dec. 7, A-3308 was amended on the Assembly floor, and is awaiting Assembly vote.

Nominations

The following nomination was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Dec. 7:

JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT:

William Nugent, of Northfield

Notices

The following agenda will be reviewed by the New Jersey Law Revision Commission on Thursday, Dec. 17 at 4:30 p.m. in the commission offices on the 7th Floor, 153 Halsey Street, Newark, New Jersey:

  1. Title 9 Children-Consideration of a final report on revision of the law pertaining to parentage.
  2. Title 2A (Capias Writs)-Consideration of a draft final report incorporating comments made by the commission.
  3. Title 39-Consideration of a release of a final report on Title 39 Motor Vehicle.
  4. Durable Power of Attorney-Consideration of a draft tentative report on modification to revised Durable Power of Attorney Act.
  5. Landlord Tenant-Consideration of a memorandum on outstanding issues for Landlord Registration Chapter and Security Deposit Chapter.

This agenda and related documentation can be obtained 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.