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

Capitol Report

February 22, 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. Full and previous versions of the Capitol Report with links to related text are available online at www.njsba.com.

Executive Orders

The following executive orders were recently issued by Governor Christie:

Executive Order No. 11 Creates the New Jersey Gaming, Sports, and Entertainment Advisory Commission. (Issued Feb. 3)

Executive Order No. 12 Established a Housing Opportunity Task Force. (Issued Feb. 9)

Executive Order No. 13 Declare and proclaim that a state of emergency has existed in certain counties since Feb. 5, 2010. (Issued Feb. 9)

Executive Order No. 14 Declare and proclaim that a state of fiscal emergency exists in the state of New Jersey. (Issued Feb. 11)

Pending Legislation

Consumer Protection

A-2190 (Munoz) (NJSBA opposes) Bars direct solicitation letters from attorneys to accident victims and other persons. On Feb. 11, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

Criminal Law

S-494/A-2118 (Girgenti/Bucco) (NJSBA opposes) Classifies burglary of a residence as a crime of the second degree. On Feb. 11, A-2118 was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

Election Law

A-2108 (Conaway) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires county prosecutors to investigate credible allegations of voter intimidation; requires the attorney general to direct an investigation if the county prosecutor fails to act. On Feb. 11, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly State Government Committee.

Environmental Law

S-449/A-2127/A-2231 (Smith/Chivukula/McKeon) (NJSBA opposes) Requires a licensed home inspector to report an energy rating for each home inspected for a buyer in contemplation of a purchase. On Feb. 11, A-2127 and A-2231 were introduced and referred to the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee and the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee, respectively.

Family Law

S-1399/A-1111 (Weinberg/Evans) (Under review by the NJSBA) Allows adoptees access to non-identifying family medical history information. On Feb. 11, S-1399 was introduced and referred to the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.

A-2081 (Cryan) (NJSBA opposes) Allows a child support payor to petition the court for an accounting of a recipient's disposition of child support funds under certain circumstances. On Feb. 11, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Human Services Committee.

A-2249 (Voss) (Under review by the NJSBA) Increases certain sentences and imposes bail restrictions on persons who violate domestic violence restraining orders under certain circumstances; authorizes the court to order evaluation and treatment. On Feb. 11, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

A-2257 (Spencer) (NJSBA supports) Authorizes the court to waive the license revocation process for certain child support obligors. On Feb. 11, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

A-2258 (Spencer) (Under review by the NJSBA) Creates a self-defense justification for victims of domestic violence. On Feb. 11, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

Internet and Computer Law

S-1420/A-413 (O'Toole/Rumana) (Under review by the NJSBA) Prohibits posting of certain personal information on the Internet or misrepresentation of identity on the Internet for the purpose of harassment of a minor child. On Feb. 11, S-1420 was introduced and referred to the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.

Judicial Administration

S-1366/A-1745 (Turner/Watson Coleman) (NJSBA opposes) Bars the disclosure of personal identifying information of grand jury witnesses, except for names; creates a fourth-degree offense for attorney disclosure. On Feb. 11, S-1366 was introduced and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Local Government Law

A-2077 (Cryan) (NJSBA takes no position) Permits municipalities to use auxiliary police in non-emergency situations. On Feb. 11, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.

Minorities in the Profession

A-2140 (Gusciora) (NJSBA supports) Makes certain changes concerning the appointment, duties, and tenure of the director of the Division on Civil Rights. On Feb. 11, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

Municipal Court Practice

S-1393/A-1452 (Codey/Wisniewski) (NJSBA opposes) Requires causes of driver inattention to be noted in traffic accidents. On Feb. 11, S-1393 was introduced and referred to the Senate Transportation Committee.

Real Property Trust and Estate Law

S-156/A-2227 (Gill/McKeon) (NJSBA takes no position) Establishes the New Jersey Homeowners' Equity Protection Act. On Feb. 11, A-2227 was introduced and referred to the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee.

Nominations

The following nominations were referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Feb. 1:

ATTORNEY GENERAL

Paula Dow, of Maplewood, NJSBA member

ADJUTANT GENERAL OF THE DEPARTMENT OF MILITARY

AND VETERANS' AFFAIRS

Glenn K. Rieth, of Ewing

BOARD OF PUBLIC UTILITIES

Lee A. Solomon, of Haddonfield, NJSBA member

CHIEF ADMINISTRATOR OF THE MOTOR VEHICLE COMMISSION

Raymond P. Martinez, of Middletown

CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION

Robert M. Czech, of Sea Girt

COMMISSIONER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF BANKING AND INSURANCE

Thomas B. Considine, of Spring Lake Heights

COMMISSIONER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

Janet F. Rosenzweig, of Yardley, PA

COMMISSIONER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY AFFAIRS

Lori Grifa, of Montclair, NJSBA member

COMMISSIONER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

Gary M. Lanigan, of Staten Island, New York

COMMISSIONER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

Bret Schundler, of Jersey City

COMMISSIONER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

Bob Martin, of Princeton

COMMISSIONER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SENIOR SERVICES

Poonam Alaigh, of Warren

COMMISSIONER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES

Jennifer Velez, of Summit

COMMISSIONER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

Harold J. Wirths, of Wantage

COMMISSIONER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

James S. Simpson, of Wayne, PA

STATE TREASURER

Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff, of New York, NY

Public Notices

  1. The New Jersey Law Revision Commission reviewed the following agenda on Feb. 18:
  2. Reviewed a memorandum on Title 2A causes of action
  3. Considered a memorandum suggesting a redraft of five chapters of Title 46 property
  4. Considered (i) a preliminary draft tentative report regarding a protected tenancies chapter; (ii) a memorandum on proposed changes to the current Anti-Eviction Act; and Part II (iii) a memorandum concerning grounds for eviction
  5. Considered the draft annual report for 2009

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.