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

Capitol Report

February 21, 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. 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.

Pending Legislation

Animal Law

A-3205 (Burzichelli) Requires sterilization of all cats and dogs released for adoption from various facilities; updates the law concerning impoundment. On Feb. 10, the bill was released from the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee with a committee substitute and is awaiting Assembly vote.

Children's Rights

A-3659 (Angelini) Requires the commissioner of children and families, in consultation with the Department of Human Services, and the New Jersey Youth Suicide Prevention Advisory Council, to develop and adopt a statewide youth suicide prevention plan. On Feb. 10, the bill was released from the Assembly Human Services Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

A-3782 (Wagner) Establishes the Safe Playing Fields Act; restricts the use of lawn care pesticides at certain child care centers, schools and recreational fields. On Feb. 10, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee.

Criminal Law

A-1788 (Munoz) Upgrades the disorderly persons offense of desecration of a venerated object to a crime of the third degree if the object desecrated is a military monument. On Feb. 10, the bill was released from the Assembly Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

A-3776 (Rible) Restores the death penalty for certain murders. On Feb. 10, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

A-3783 (Johnson) Amends the penalty imposed for interfering with the apprehension or prosecution of certain criminals. On Feb. 10, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.

A-3787 (Bramnick) Makes unauthorized impersonation of another person a crime of the third degree. On Feb. 10, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

Environmental Law

A-3124 (Quijano) Increases the Spill Compensation and Control Act cap on liability. On Feb. 10, the bill was released from the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee with a committee substitute and is awaiting Assembly vote.

A-3444 (Chivukula) Provides certain exemptions from disclosure requirements for licensing of solid waste and hazardous waste operations. On Feb. 10, the bill was released from the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee with amendments and is awaiting Assembly vote.

Family Law

A-2295 (Chivukula) (Under review by the NJSBA) Authorizes certified celebrants to solemnize marriages. On Feb. 10, the bill was released from the Assembly Judiciary Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

Health and Hospital Law

A-2880 (Vainieri Huttle) Permits the Legislature to void the closing of a state psychiatric hospital or developmental center. On Feb. 10, the bill was released from the Assembly Human Services Committee with amendments and is awaiting Assembly vote.

Labor and Employment Law

A-3792 (Milam) Provides for annual adjustments in worker taxes paid into the state disability benefits fund. On Feb. 10, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Labor Committee.

A-3794 (DeAngelo) Requires specific instructions for workers filing unemployment insurance claims. On Feb. 10, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Labor Committee.

A-3795 (Egan) Changes the trigger for extended unemployment benefits. On Feb. 10, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Labor Committee.

Military Law and Veteran's Affairs

A-2616 (Conners) Establishes the Veteran to Veteran Peer Support Program telephone helpline. On Feb. 10, the bill was released from the Assembly Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee with amendments and is awaiting Assembly vote.

Municipal Court Practice

A-3775 (Angelini) Establishes that a refusal conviction constitutes a prior conviction when imposing a drunk driving sentence. On Feb. 10, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.

A-3786 (Bramnick) Establishes a municipal court conditional dismissal program for certain first-time offenders. On Feb. 10, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

Renewable Energy, Cleantech and Climate Change

A-3678 (Ramos) Requires the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Financing Program to give additional weight in the ranking system to projects including green or blue roofs. On Feb. 10, the bill was released from the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee and referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

A-3679 (Ramos) Requires construction of certain new state buildings, facilities, and structures to include green or blue roofs. On Feb. 10, the bill was released from the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee with amendments and referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

A-3680 (Ramos) Requires the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to adopt rules concerning blue and green roofs, and provides priority consideration for related permits and other authorizations. On Feb. 10, the bill was released from the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee with amendments and referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

A-3681 (Ramos) Requires construction of new buildings, facilities, and structures using state, New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA), or New Jersey Schools Development Authority funds to include green or blue roofs. On Feb. 10, the bill was released from the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee with amendments and referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

A-3682 (Ramos) Establishes a program to provide financial assistance toward installation of blue roofs and green roofs, authorizes use of the Global Warming Solutions Fund for certain such purposes. On Feb. 10, the bill was released from the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee and referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

School Law

A-3344 (McKeon) Permits high-performing school districts to be monitored by the Department of Education under the New Jersey Quality Single Accountability Continuum (NJ QSAC) every seven years rather than every three years. On Feb. 10, the bill was released from the Assembly Education Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

A-3399 (Wagner) Allows the parent of a public school pupil eligible for transportation services to waive the pupil's right to those services for the school year. On Feb. 10, the bill was released from the Assembly Education Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

Taxation

A-3780 (Bucco) Exempts electric vehicle charging systems from real property taxation. On Feb. 10, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste 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.