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

Capitol Report

December 26, 2011

This is a status report on recently passed and pending legislation, regulations, gubernatorial nominations and/or appointments of interest to lawyers. The report may also include information about appearances of NJSBA representatives before legislative committees, and the involvement of the NJSBA as amicus in appellate court matters. The government affairs department of the association compiles the report. 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.

Pending Legislation

CRIMINAL LAW

A-4403 (PDF) (Ryan) Replaces the term "mentally defective" with "mentally incapable" in the Criminal Code. On Dec. 12, the bill was released from the Assembly Judiciary Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote. 

S-3161 (PDF) (O'Toole) Provides for automatic waiver of a juvenile case to adult court for repeat juvenile offenders. On Dec. 12, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee. 

FAMILY LAW

A-4366 (PDF) (Greenwald) Changes requirements and increases fees for marriage licenses and civil union licenses; provides for annulments without cause. On Dec. 12, the bill was released from the Assembly Judiciary Committee with amendments and was referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

A-4424 (PDF) (Fuentes) Increases the domestic violence civil penalty and surcharge; imposes new civil penalties under certain circumstances; provides funds to Legal Services. On Dec. 12, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee. 

HOMELAND SECURITY

A-4369 (PDF) (Quijano) Establishes the Cyber Security Bureau within the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness. On Dec. 12, the bill was released from the Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote. 

MILITARY LAW AND VERTERAN’S AFFAIRS

A-4170 (PDF) (Conaway) Authorizes marriage and entry into a civil union by proxy for certain persons serving overseas in the Armed Forces or National Guard. On Dec. 12, the bill was released from the Assembly Judiciary Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

MUNICIPAL COURT PRACTICE

S-3158 (PDF) (Sacco) Requires the Department of Transportation commissioner to erect signs informing motorists of the state's "move over" law. On Dec. 12, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Transportation Committee. 

A-3170 (PDF) (Vainieri Huttle) Authorizes a central municipal court to hear cases brought by a county office of consumer affairs. On Dec. 12, the bill was released from the Assembly Judiciary Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote. 

A-4423 (PDF) (Ciattarelli) Authorizes special emergency appropriations for the payment of certain expenses incurred by municipalities to implement a municipal consolidation. On Dec. 12, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee.

RENEWABLE ENERGY, CLEANTECH AND CLIMATE CHANGE

S-2344 (PDF) (Smith, B.) Establishes credit for commercial or industrial ratepayers against a societal benefits charge for costs of certain products or services. This bill would clarify that the Energy Efficiency, Clean Energy and Renewable Energy Programs Fund to be established pursuant to the bill would not receive deposits from, or in any way effect the Board of Public Utilities mandate to fund the Universal Services Fund, established pursuant to subsection b. of Section 12 of P.L.1999, c.23 (C.48:3-60). On Dec. 12, the bill was released from the Senate Environment and Energy Committee and is awaiting Senate vote.

SCHOOL LAW

S-3148 (PDF) (Norcross) Establishes procedures for districts, municipalities, or voters to opt to move the annual school election to November, and eliminates the vote on school budgets for such districts, except for separate proposals to spend above the cap. On Dec. 12, the bill was transferred to the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee.

S-3169 (PDF) (Turner) Revises the date for submission of school district applications for designation as a choice district. On Dec. 12, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Education Committee. 

A-416 (PDF) (Rumana) (NJSBA takes no position) Establishes Tabitha's Law; requires a parent or guardian to notify school administrators if a pupil will be absent; requires the school to notify a parent in the event of unexcused pupil absence. On Dec. 12, the bill was released from the Assembly Education Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote. 

A-1036 (PDF) (Malone) Requires the placement of defibrillators in a public school complex. On Dec. 12, the bill was released from the Assembly Education Committee and referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. (PDF)

A-4044 (PDF) (Chiusano) Establishes a process for renewal of Department of Education-issued authorization of a certified educational facilities manager. On Dec. 12, the bill was released from the Assembly Education Committee and referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

AR-85 (PDF) (Diegnan) Urges school districts to implement a baseline cognitive testing program to assist in measuring the post-injury condition of a student athlete or cheerleader who has sustained a concussion. On Dec. 12, the resolution was released from the Assembly Education Committee with amendments and is awaiting Assembly vote.

TAXATION

S-3160 (PDF) (Madden) Allows homestead property tax reimbursement program participants who lose income eligibility due to an IRA withdraw for certain purposes to maintain a base year upon requalification. On Dec. 12, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.

Amicus Matters

IMO THE DECISION OF THE COMMITTEE ON ATTORNEY ADVERTISING NO. 47-2007, SUPREME COURT DOCKET NO. 62,134

On Nov. 17, at the invitation of the Court, the New Jersey State Bar Association filed a letter brief in this matter, suggesting the continued retention of the current prohibition against the use of trade names by law firms as their “official designations.”

COMPLAINT FILED BY THE ALLAMUCHY TOWNSHIP BOARD OF EDUCATION (PENDING BEFORE THE COUNCIL ON LOCAL MANDATES)

On Nov. 23, the New Jersey State Bar Association filed a request to appear amicus curiae before the Council on Local Mandates in this matter, which challenges the New Jersey Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights as an unfunded mandate. The brief submitted by the association was drafted by Candida Griffin, John Keating, Felice T. Londa, Luanne Peterpaul and Thomas H. Prol, and argues the law is not an unfunded mandate or, alternatively, falls within the permitted exceptions. On Dec. 1, the council granted the association’s request.