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

Capitol Report

January 11, 2010

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.

The 213th Legislative Session of the New Jersey State Legislature will end on Jan. 12, and all legislation that did not become law will expire. This marks the beginning of the next two-year legislative term (2010-11), for which many bills will be pre-filed for introduction.

Pending Legislation

Criminal Law

S-2205/A-4018 (Codey/Coutinho) (Under review by the NJSBA) Increases compensation for persons wrongfully imprisoned. On Jan. 4, A-4018 was transferred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

S-2763/A-4158 (Cardinale/Russo (Under review by the NJSBA) Eliminates the statute of limitations in cases brought under the Survivor's Act where the death resulted from murder or manslaughter under certain circumstances. On Jan. 4, A-4158 was released from the Assembly Judiciary Committee and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

S-2938/A-3526 (Codey/McKeon) (Under review by the NJSBA) Increases penalties for the crime of jury tampering. On Jan. 4, S-2938 was released from the Senate Judiciary Committee and is awaiting vote in the Senate.

Elder and Disability Law

S-2516/A-3673 (Sweeney/Cryan) (NJSBA supports amended bill) Establishes, in the Department of Human Services, a registry of offenders of individuals with developmental disabilities. On Jan. 4, A-3673 was released from the Assembly Human Services Committee with committee amendments and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

Election Law

S-1970/A-3198 (Cunningham/Spencer) (NJSBA supports) Allows persons on parole and probation to vote; provides registration assistance to persons on probation, parolees, and persons completing sentences. On Jan. 4, A-3198 was released from the Assembly State Government Committee and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

Environmental Law

S-713/A-3239 (Smith/McKeon) (NJSBA takes no position) Establishes forest stewardship and forest certification programs in the Department of Environmental Protection; establishes the Forest Stewardship Incentive Fund. On Jan. 4, A-3239 was released from the Assembly Appropriations Committee and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

S-1096/A-3218 (Smith/McKeon) (Under review by the NJSBA) Creates the Solar and Wind Energy Commission. On Jan. 4, A-3218 was released from the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee with committee amendments and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

S-2528/A-3740 (Smith/DeAngelo) (Under review by the NJSBA) Provides for regulation of small wind energy systems by municipalities. On Jan. 4, A-3740 was released from the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee with committee amendments and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

Family Law

S-1347/A-4197 (Turner/Watson Coleman) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes the Women and Families Strengthening Act. On Jan. 4, S-1347 was released from the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee with committee amendments and is awaiting vote in the Senate.

S-2530/A-3620 (Madden/Love) (Under review by the NJSBA) Denies a surviving spouse with a domestic violence restraining order or charged with the intentional killing of a decedent the right to determine the disposition of the human remains of the deceased spouse. On Jan. 4, S-2530 was released from the Senate Judiciary Committee and is awaiting vote in the Senate.

A-4363 (Greenstein) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes the Domestic Violence Victim Protection Pilot Program. On Jan. 4, the bill was introduced and referred to Assembly Judiciary Committee, released from committee with amendments, and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

A-4364 (Greenstein) (Under review by the NJSBA) Adds criminal coercion to the offenses that may constitute domestic violence. On Jan. 4, the bill was introduced and referred to Assembly Judiciary Committee and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

A-4365 (Spencer) (Under review by the NJSBA) Creates a self-defense justification for victims of domestic violence. On Jan. 4, the bill was introduced and referred to Assembly Judiciary Committee and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

A-4366 (Vainieri Huttle) (Under review by the NJSBA) Provides rental and lease protections for domestic violence victims. On Jan. 4, the bill was introduced and referred to Assembly Judiciary Committee and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

A-4367 (Voss) (Under review by the NJSBA) Increases sentences and imposes bail restrictions on persons who violate domestic violence restraining orders under certain circumstances. On Jan. 4, the bill was introduced and referred to Assembly Judiciary Committee and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

Health and Hospital Law

S-114/A-132 (Weinberg/Vainieri Huttle) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires managed care plans to pay certain healthcare claims based on assignment of benefits. On Jan. 4, A-132 was released from the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee with committee amendments and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

S-626/A-2549 (Vitale/Lampitt) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes the Nursing Faculty Incentive Loan and Loan Redemption Program Act; appropriates $1 million. On Jan. 4, A-2549 was transferred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee, was released from committee with a substitute, and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

Higher Education

S-1036/A-194 (Rice/Johnson) (NJSBA supports) Allows certain undocumented aliens to qualify for in-state tuition rates at public institutions of higher education. On Jan. 4, S-1036 was released from the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee with committee amendments and is awaiting vote in the Senate. A-194 was released from the Assembly Appropriations Committee with a committee substitute, and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

S-1263/A-2547 (Turner/Lampitt) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires textbook publishers to provide public institutions of higher education with information on price and availability of textbooks. On Jan. 4, A-2547 transferred to the Assembly Education Committee.

A-990 (Cruz-Perez) (NJSBA supports) Exempts certain persons enrolled in public institutions of higher education from payment of undergraduate tuition at nonresident rates. On Jan. 4, the bill was transferred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee and combined with A-194 (Johnson).

Land Use

A-2202 (Karrow) (Under review by the NJSBA) Authorizes any municipality outside the Highlands Region to establish receiving zones for the Highlands transfer of development rights program. On Jan. 4, the bill was released from the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee with committee amendments and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

Local Government Law

S-445/A-1691 (Pennacchio/McHose) (Under review by the NJSBA) Creates the Transparency in Government Act; provides for the establishment of a state public finance website. On Jan. 4, S-445 was released from the Senate State Government Committee with committee amendments and is awaiting vote in the Senate.

Municipal Court Practice

S-1234/A-537 (Singer/Dancer) (NJSBA takes no position) Outlines the criteria municipalities are to consider when establishing speed limits for local streets. On Jan. 4, A-537 was released from the Assembly Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee with committee amendments and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

Workers' Compensation

S-2865/A-4168 (Sarlo/Schaer) (Under review by the NJSBA) Transfers management, administration and duties of "the workers' compensation security fund" to the New Jersey Property-Liability Insurance Guaranty Association. On Jan. 4, A-4168 was released from the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee and is awaiting vote in the Assembly.

Nominations

The following nominations were referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Jan. 4:

JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT:

Daniel D'Alessandro, of Jersey City, NJSBA member

Robert Kirsch, of Westfield, NJSBA member

David Krell, of Pittsgrove, NJSBA member

Joseph Marczyk, of Absecon

Hany Mawla, of North Brunswick, NJSBA member

Alberto Rivas, of Perth Amboy, NJSBA member

Marybeth Rogers, of North Bergen, NJSBA member

Esther Suarez, of Wayne, NJSBA member

WORKERS' COMPENSATION JUDGE:

Vicki Citrino, of Clifton, NJSBA member

George Gangloff, of West Deptford

Allen Papp, of Perth Amboy, NJSBA member

E. Elaine Voyles, of Carneys Point

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE:

Michael Antoniewicz, of North Bergen

Robert Bingham, of Ewing Township, NJSBA member

Leland McGee, of South Plains

Kimberly Moss, of East Orange

John Spence, of Haddonfield

Tahesha Way, of Wayne

Tiffany Williams, of South Plainfield

CUMBERLAND COUNTY PROSECUTOR:

Jennifer Webb-McRae, of Vineland, NJSBA member

HEALTH CARE ADMINISTRATION BOARD:

Christine A. Stearns, of Ewing, NJSBA member

NEW JERSEY HEALTH CARE FACILITIES FINANCING AUTHORITY:

M. Ulysses Lee, of West Orange, NJSBA member

NEW JERSEY RACING COMMISSION:

Dennis A. Drazin, of Fair Haven, NJSBA member

The following nominations were reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Jan. 4:

JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT:

Daniel D'Alessandro, of Jersey City, NJSBA member

David Krell, of Pittsgrove, NJSBA member

Joseph Marczyk, of Absecon

Joseph Paone, of Colonia, NJSBA member

John Porto, of Cape May Court House, NJSBA member

Lisa Vignuolo, of Milltown, NJSBA member

WORKERS' COMPENSATION JUDGE:

Eric Spevak, of Cherry Hill, NJSBA member

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.