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

Capitol Report

February 24, 2014

This is a status report provided by the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) 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 learn more, visit njsba.com

NJSBA RECENT ACTION IN TRENTON

Family Law                             

AJR-32 (PDF) (Singleton) Establishes a commission to study alimony law. On Feb. 10, the bill was released from the Assembly Judiciary Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote. Brian Schwartz, Chair, and Jeralyn Lawrence, Chair-Elect of the Family Law Section, testified on behalf of the NJSBA supporting the joint resolution as a comprehensive review is the best approach to determine whether any changes are needed to New Jersey’s alimony laws and if so, what exactly those changes should be.  

Such a commission would follow the mid-1990s Commission to Study the Law of Divorce which was the last major examination of the state’s alimony laws. A number of recommendations from that commission report were enacted into law, the last occurring in 2005. First and foremost, the commission needs to be fair and balanced, without any predisposition to a particular outcome. The NJSBA believes that this legislation would accomplish this goal.

PENDING LEGISLATION

Animal Law

A-456 (PDF) (Green) Clarifies that using an animal to cause bodily injury to another constitutes assault with a deadly weapon. On Feb. 6, the bill was released from the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee with amendments and is awaiting Assembly vote.

Business Law

A-2337 (PDF) (McGukin) Establishes new offenses concerning the unlawful possession and use of credit card scanners. On Feb. 6, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Consumer Affairs

Criminal Law

A-2281 (PDF) (DeAngelo) Includes reverse rate evasion as a form of insurance fraud and provides for civil and criminal penalties. On Feb. 6, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee

A-2336 (PDF) (McGukin) Establishes standard of review for certain juvenile waiver motions. On Feb. 6, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee

Elder & Disability Law

A-204 (PDF) (Gusciora) Establishes the Naturally Occurring Retirement Community pilot program; appropriates $250,000. On Feb. 6, the bill was released from the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

A-2270 (PDF) (Burzichelli) New Jersey Death with Dignity Act, which is subject to voter approval, would permit qualified patients to self-administer medication to end life in humane and dignified manner. On Feb. 6, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee.

Environmental Law

A-2303 (PDF) (DeAngelo) Requires certain State departments, divisions, commissions, and authorities to consider the use of green or blue roof in construction of certain new state buildings, facilities, and structures. On Feb. 6, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee. 

A-2304 (PDF) (DeAngelo) Requires construction of new buildings, facilities, and structures using state, Economic Development Authority, or New Jersey Schools Development Authority funds to include green or blue roofs. On Feb. 6, the bill was introduced and referred to Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee

A-2305 (PDF) (DeAngelo) Requires the adoption of certain rules and regulations by the Department of Community Affairs and the Department of Environmental Protection concerning blue roofs and green roofs. On Feb. 6, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee

A-2307 (PDF) (DeAngelo) Requires the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Financing Program to give additional weight in ranking system to projects including green or blue roofs. On Feb. 6, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee

A-2331 (PDF) (Wolfe) Requires water purveyors to notify municipalities they service regarding water-supply and water-quality issues. On Feb. 6, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee

Insurance Law

A-1047 (PDF) (Schaer) Provides for appointment to board of directors of New Jersey Automobile Insurance Risk Exchange by Commissioner of Banking and Insurance. On Feb. 6, the bill was released from the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee and is awaiting the Assembly vote.

Labor & Employment Law

A-2298 (PDF) (Spencer) Prohibits employers from obtaining, requiring, or discriminating on the basis of credit reports. On Feb. 6, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Labor Committee.

Local Government Law

A-214 (PDF) (Gusciora) Clarifies the authority of municipal courts to suspend driver's licenses. On Feb. 6, the bill was released from the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee with amendments and is awaiting Assembly vote.

A-347 (PDF) (Caputo) Allows municipalities to require mortgage lenders to maintain vacant residential properties during foreclosure. On Feb. 6, the bill was released from the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote. 

Military and Veterans Affairs’

A-2285 (PDF) (Quijano) Authorizes free state park and forest admission and free hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses for persons with certain types of military service. On Feb. 6, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.

Taxation Law

A-2311 (PDF) (DeAngelo) Provides corporation business tax credit for certain New Jersey news, weather, and sports content production expenses. On Feb. 6, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development

MILITARY LEGAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM: 

The NJSBA, through its Military Law and Veterans' Affairs Committee, in conjunction with McCarter & English, L.L.P., has established the Military Legal Assistance Program. This pro bono program provides assistance to New Jersey residents who have served overseas as active duty members of reserve components of the armed forces after Sept. 11, 2001.

The program offers free legal advice to service members who encounter legal issues before their deployment or upon their return home. Members of the military who have served in active duty or in the reserve units can receive assistance with family law, debtor-creditor issues and employment law matters. 

Any attorney who annually volunteers 25 or more hours of pro bono service can earn a Madden exemption through the program. 

To find out more please visit njsba.com or e-mail mlap@njsba.com.