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

Capitol Report

March 8, 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 order was issued by Governor Christie on Feb. 23:

Executive order No. 15 Orders and directs all spending by state authorities to be closely scrutinized.

On the Governor's Desk

Elder and Disability Law

S-825 (Sweeney) (NJSBA supports) Establishes a registry of offenders of individuals with developmental disabilities in the Department of Human Services. On Feb. 25, the bill substituted for A-2038, passed in the Assembly (74-0) and was sent to the governor.

Pending Legislation

Business Law

S-895 (Gill) (NJSBA supports) Eliminates the 10-day advance notification of a proposed effective date of certain shareholder action. On Feb. 25, the bill was received in the Assembly and referred to the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee.

Criminal Law

A-2333 (Rumpf) (NJSBA opposes) Makes escapees responsible for apprehension costs. On Feb. 25, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.

Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law

A-2349 (McKeon) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes the New Jersey Uniform Athlete Agents Act. On Feb. 25, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Regulated Professions Committee.

Environmental Law

A-2352 (McKeon) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes financial incentives for certain energy providers to conduct energy audits. On Feb. 25, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee.

Family Law

S-959/A-2365 (Vitale/Vainieri Huttle) (NJSBA takes no position) Allows a gross income tax deduction for 50 percent of contributions of $100 or more to domestic violence shelters. On Feb. 25, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Human Services Committee.

S-1500/A-2296 (Scutari/Stender) (NJSBA supports with amendments) Modifies the requirement for advice of counsel in certain "palimony" agreements. On Feb. 25, A-2296 passed in the Assembly (67-6).

A-2303 (Gusciora) (Under review by the NJSBA) Clarifies the intent of the Legislature that the attempt or conspiracy to commit certain offenses may constitute acts of domestic violence. On Feb. 25, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

Health and Hospital Law

S-515/A-928 (Weinberg/Vainieri Huttle) (Under review by the NJSBA) Permits physicians and veterinarians to earn continuing education credits by providing certain free medical or veterinary services. On Feb. 25, S-515 was received in Assembly and referred to Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee.

S-911/A-1512/A-2309 (Girgenti/Chiaponne/Scalera) (NJSBA opposes) Upgrades penalties for assaulting certain healthcare professionals and workers at healthcare facilities and human services and veterans' facilities. On Feb. 25, A-2309 was introduced and referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.

Immigration, Naturalization and Americanism

S-64/A-2340 (Doherty/McHose) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires proof of lawful presence in the United States to obtain certain benefits. On Feb. 25, A-2340 was introduced and referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.

Insurance Law

S-168/A-2360 (Gill/Schaer) (Under review by the NJSBA) Regulates captive insurers. On Feb. 25, A-2360 was introduced and referred to the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee.

Judicial Administration

S-152/S-835/A-2350 (Gill/Codey/McKeon) (NJSBA opposes) Provides for the state assumption of the costs of the county prosecutors' offices. On Feb. 25, A-2350 was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

Environmental Law

A-2353 (McKeon) (Under review by the NJSBA) Allows for 75 percent of costs of energy audits undertaken for commercial buildings to be paid for by a societal benefits charge. On Feb. 25, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee.

Land Use

S-80/A-602 (Smith/Peterson) (Under review by the NJSBA) Authorizes any municipality outside the Highlands Region to establish receiving zones for Highlands transfer of development rights program. On Feb. 25, A-602 passed in the Assembly (62-10-3).

Minorities in the Profession

S-104/A-1758 (Rice/Watson Coleman) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires state entities to examine the opportunity of minority- and women-owned financial institutions to serve as senior managing underwriters, imposes reporting requirements, and enables establishment of aspirational levels of utilization and relative compensation. On Feb. 25, S-104 was received in the Assembly and referred to the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee.

Municipal Court Practice

S-732/A-407 (Sacco/Diegnan) (Under review by the NJSBA) Prohibits the use of wireless telephones or electronic communication devices by operators of public transit vehicles while the vehicles are moving. On Feb. 25, A-407 passed in the Assembly (75-0).

A-2331 (Rumpf) (Under review by the NJSBA) Prohibits the use of hands-free wireless telephones and electronic communication devices while providing instruction in the operation of a motor vehicle. On Feb. 25, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Transportation and Public Works Committee.

A-2334 (Rumpf) (NJSBA opposes) Provides for immediate driver's license suspension under certain circumstances. On Feb. 25, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.

Public Utility Law

S-583/A-909 (Beach/Chivukula) (Under review by the NJSBA) Authorizes companies under Board of Public Utilities jurisdiction to bill customers electronically upon customers' request. On Feb. 25, A-909 passed in the Assembly (74-0).

Workers' Compensation

S-676 (Sarlo) (NJSBA supports) Increases Workers' Compensation for loss of a hand or foot. On Feb. 25, the bill was received in the Assembly and referred to the Assembly Labor Committee.

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.