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

Capitol Report

December 24, 2012

 

This is a status report provided by the New Jersey State Bar Association on recently passed and pending legislation, regulations, gubernatorial nominations and/or appointments of interest to lawyers, as well as the involvement of the NJSBA as amicus in appellate court matters. To obtain a complete copy of the Capitol Report and/or retrieve a former Capitol Report, please visit our website at www.njsba.com

 

ACTION IN TRENTON

 

S-1051 (Connors) Concerns child custody and parenting time arrangements related to certain military absences. On Dec. 3, 2012, the bill was substituted for A-2164 (Conaway)/A-634 (Gove), passed in the Assembly (76-0-0) and was sent to the governor.

 

The New Jersey State Bar Association has worked to develop this legislation to make certain that New Jersey law does not mandate that servicepersons who are also custodial spouses are required to surrender permanent custody of their children as a result of multiple or periodic deployments.

 

The NJSBA is committed to advancing this legislation, which it believes will balance the interests of New Jersey children in having a secure and stable environment against the need for persons in the military to defend their country by participating in training and in some cases lengthy or multiple deployments.

 

NEW LAWS

 

P.L.2012, c.69. Creates Tara's Law; provides protections for individuals with developmental disabilities residing in community care residences and for investigations of abuse of individuals with developmental disabilities. On Dec. 3, 2012, the bill was signed by the governor. (S-599)

 

P.L.2012, c.74. Establishes Tabitha's Law; requires a parent or guardian to notify school administrators if the pupil will be absent; requires the school to notify the parent or guardian in the event of an unexcused pupil absence. On Dec. 11, 2012, the bill was signed by the governor. (A-1902)

 

PENDING LEGISLATION

 

CAPITOL REPORT for December 24, 2012

By Jena Morrow, Legal & Gov’t Affairs Paralegal

 

This is a status report provided by the New Jersey State Bar Association on recently passed and pending legislation, regulations, gubernatorial nominations and/or appointments of interest to lawyers, as well as the involvement of the NJSBA as amicus in appellate court matters. To obtain a complete copy of the Capitol Report and/or retrieve a former Capitol Report, please visit our website at www.njsba.com

 

ACTION IN TRENTON

 

S-1051 (Connors) Concerns child custody and parenting time arrangements related to certain military absences. On Dec. 3, 2012, the bill was substituted for A-2164 (Conaway)/A-634 (Gove), passed in the Assembly (76-0-0) and was sent to the governor.

 

The New Jersey State Bar Association has worked to develop this legislation to make certain that New Jersey law does not mandate that servicepersons who are also custodial spouses are required to surrender permanent custody of their children as a result of multiple or periodic deployments.

 

The NJSBA is committed to advancing this legislation, which it believes will balance the interests of New Jersey children in having a secure and stable environment against the need for persons in the military to defend their country by participating in training and in some cases lengthy or multiple deployments.

 

NEW LAWS

 

P.L.2012, c.69. Creates Tara's Law; provides protections for individuals with developmental disabilities residing in community care residences and for investigations of abuse of individuals with developmental disabilities. On Dec. 3, 2012, the bill was signed by the governor. (S-599)

 

P.L.2012, c.74. Establishes Tabitha's Law; requires a parent or guardian to notify school administrators if the pupil will be absent; requires the school to notify the parent or guardian in the event of an unexcused pupil absence. On Dec. 11, 2012, the bill was signed by the governor. (A-1902)

 

PENDING LEGISLATION

 

Administrative Law

A-3321 (PDF) (Burzichelli) Amends the Administrative Procedure Act to require state agencies to use various electronic technologies in rule-making procedures. On Dec. 6, 2012, the bill was transferred to the Assembly Budget Committee.

 

 

Animal Law

A-798 (Munoz)/S-1303 (Kean) Revises penalties for animal cruelty; increasing the degree of certain offenses; designated as Patrick's Law. On Dec. 10, 2012, the bill was released from the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, combined with A-2124 (PDF) (Burzichelli) and is awaiting Assembly vote.  

 

A-3303 (Singleton) Prohibits animal cruelty violators from owning domestic companion animals and from working at animal-related enterprises; designated as Moose's Law.  On Dec. 10, 2012, the bill was released from the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resource Committee with amendments and is awaiting Assembly vote.

 

Banking Law

S-2144 (Gill) Repeals and replaces Chapters 1 and 7 of the Uniform Commercial Code, and revises various additional provisions of the code. On Nov. 29, 2012, the bill passed in the Senate (39-0) and on Dec. 3, 2012, the bill was received in the Assembly and referred to the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee.

 

Civil Trial Bar

A-3396 (Watson-Coleman) Codifies the Judiciary's Foreclosure Mediation Program; dedicates monies from foreclosure filing fees and fines. On Dec. 3, 2012, the bill passed in the Assembly (52-21-2).

 

Construction Law

A-3300 (Singleton) Prohibits a person from contracting for public work if the person is barred from receiving a federal contract. On Dec. 10, 2012, the bill was released from the Assembly State Government Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

 

Criminal Law

A-746 (Barnes III) Establishes a civil cause of action for gender-motivated violence. On Dec. 10, 2012, the bill was released from the Assembly Judiciary Committee with amendments and is awaiting Assembly vote.

 

A-762 (Barnes III) Creates a civil cause of action for stalking. On Dec. 10, 2012, the bill was released from Assembly Judiciary Committee with amendments and is awaiting Assembly vote.

 

A-2131 (Burzichelli) Authorizes the release of sex offender registration information to the Department of Human Services and county welfare agencies. On Dec. 3, 2012, the bill passed in the Assembly (75-0-0).

 

A-3003 (Casagrande) Creates certain new criminal offenses aimed at theft from carriers; amends theft statutes. On Dec. 10, 2012, the bill was released from the Assembly Judiciary Committee with amendments and referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

 

A-3254 (Coughlin) Permits a municipal court to order certain offenders to perform community service in lieu of payment of a penalty. On Dec. 3, 2012, the bill passed in the Assembly (75-1-0). 

 

Elder and Disability Law

A-2947 (Singleton) Makes various revisions to laws concerning disabled person identification cards and placards related to parking privileges. On Nov. 29, 2012, the bill was substituted for S-2238 (Allen), passed in the Senate (39-0) and was sent to the governor.

 

S-2241 (Weinberg) Prohibits a Medicaid managed care organization from reducing certain provider reimbursement rates without approval from the Department of Human Services. On Nov. 29, 2012, the bill passed in the Senate (32-5) and on Dec. 3, 2012, the bill was received in the Assembly and referred to the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee.

 

Environmental Law

A-711 (Ramos) Requires the adoption of certain rules and regulations by the Division of Consumer Affairs and the Department of Environmental Protection concerning blue roofs and green roofs. On Dec. 3, 2012, the bill was amended in the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

 

Higher Education

A-1083 (Quijano) Requires the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority to develop and distribute a document containing student loan repayment information for school districts and nonpublic high schools to disseminate to students. On Nov. 29, 2012, the bill was substituted for S-2150, passed in the Senate (39-0) and was sent to the governor.

 

S-1517 (Turner) Provides state, county, municipal, and school district contracts for professional services will be publicly bid. On Dec. 6, 2012, the bill was reviewed by the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee.    

 

The New Jersey State Bar Association has expressed concerns with this legislation because it would require colleges and universities to solicit competitive bids for professional services. These professional service contracts would have to be rebid on an annual basis. The bill ignores the consequences of rotating professionals during the pendency of litigation, in the middle of construction projects or before the requested professional services can be completed. The contract award would be based on the lowest fees paid rather than assessment of the competency of the professional and other considerations that currently go into selection of professional consultants. There would be no consideration of the value of historical accumulation of experience with a particular client or consistency of representation.

 

S-2150 (PDF) (Kean) Requires the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority to develop and distribute a document containing student loan repayment information for school districts and nonpublic high schools to disseminate to students. On Nov. 29, 2012, the bill was substituted by A-1083.

 

Labor and Employment Law

A-465 (Jimenez) Requires criminal history record background checks for public employees handling vital records. On Dec. 3, 2012, the bill passed in the Assembly (69-4-1).

 

A-2756 (PDF) (Quijano)/S-1469 (PDF) (Madden) Provides surviving spouses of certain fire and police personnel who die in the line of duty with workers’ compensation for the entire period of survivorship. On Dec. 10, 2012, the bill was released from the Assembly Labor Committee with amendments and referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.