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

Capitol Report

January 3, 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.

SPECIAL EDITION

This special edition of the Capitol Report focuses on criminal law legislation.

New Laws

P.L.2010, c.5 (Sweeney) Establishes in the Department of Human Services a registry of offenders of individuals with developmental disabilities. On April 30, S-825 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2010, c.6 (Cunningham) Delays the effective date of the provision authorizing certain inmates to be released on parole six months early. On April 30, S-1747 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2010, c.30 (Goodwin) Increases penalties against Medicaid fraud. On June 29, S-2141 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2010, c.86 (Watson Coleman) Establishes the Blue Ribbon Panel to Review New Jersey's Inmate Policy. On Nov. 3, A-2469 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2010, c.92 (Albano) Establishes an exception to the five-year limit on the payment of victim claims. On Nov. 30, A-2372 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2010, JR-5 (Albano) Designates the last full week in April as Crime Victims' Rights Week. On Nov. 30, AJR-17 was signed by the governor.

On the Governor's Desk

S-725 (Sacco) (Under review by the NJSBA) Concerns lost or stolen E-ZPass transponders. On Dec. 13, the bill substituted for A-3478, passed in the Assembly (74-1) and was sent to the governor.

S-911 (Girgenti) (Under review by the NJSBA) Upgrades penalties for assaulting certain healthcare professionals and workers at healthcare facilities and human services and veterans' facilities. On Nov. 22, the Senate voted (35-0) to concur with Assembly amendments and the bill was sent to the governor.

S-1537 (Rice) (Under review by the NJSBA) Clarifies that a gang-related incident offense report is to be forwarded to the superintendent of the state police for inclusion in the Uniform Crime Report. On Nov. 22, the bill passed in the Assembly (79-0) and was sent to the governor.

A-973 (Johnson) (Under review by the NJSBA) Creates the Juvenile Transfer Task Force. On Sept. 13, the governor's veto was received in the Assembly.

Pending Legislation

CRIMES AND PENALTIES

S-189 (Haines) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes penalties for the use of a bump key to commit certain crimes. On Oct. 18, the bill was released from the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

S-1151 (Kyrillos) (Under review by the NJSBA) Provides that trespassing in a nuclear power plant is a third-degree crime. On March 11, the bill passed in the Senate (38-0), was received in the Assembly and referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.

S-1620 (Haines) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes a crime for an adult to misrepresent his or her age in order to join a youth-serving organization. On Sept. 13, the bill was received in the Assembly and referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.

S-1639 (Ciesla) (Under review by the NJSBA) Upgrades penalties for drag racing. On June 10, the bill was received in the Assembly and referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.

A-231 (Vandervalk) (Under review by the NJSBA) Creates a civil rape shield law. On Sept. 30, the bill passed in the Assembly (75-0), was received in the Senate and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

A-1050 (Quijano) (Under review by the NJSBA) Upgrades offenses of engaging in the unauthorized practice of law; creates civil action; provides that persons convicted of the offenses are barred from appointment as a notary public. On May 20, the bill passed in the Assembly (78-0), was received in the Senate and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

A-1216 (Rudder) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes the crime of initiating a false Amber Alert. On May 20, the bill passed in the Assembly (78-0), was received in the Senate and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

A-1491 (Riley) (Under review by the NJSBA) Imposes certain bail restrictions on persons charged with violating domestic violence restraining orders. On Nov. 8, the bill was received in the Senate and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

A-2052 (DeAngelo) (Under review by the NJSBA) Includes reverse rate evasion as a form of insurance fraud and provides for civil and criminal penalties. On June 15, the bill passed in the Assembly (80-0), was received in the Senate and referred to the Senate Commerce Committee.

A-2258 (Spencer) (Under review by the NJSBA) Creates a self-defense justification for victims of domestic violence. On Dec. 13, the bill passed in the Assembly (75-0), was received in the Senate and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

A-2288 (Spencer) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes the crime of entering into certain restricted airport areas. On Oct 18, the bill substituted for S-1470, was amended on the Senate floor and is awaiting Senate vote.

CRIMINAL PROCEDURES

S-737 (Sacco) (Under review by the NJSBA) Expands the DNA database to include samples from certain violent arrestees. On June 10, the bill passed in the Senate (33-2), was received in the Assembly and referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.

S-778 (Madden) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires an annual review of all released sex offenders to determine if they were registered and tiered. On June 10, the bill passed in the Senate (38-0), was received in the Assembly and referred the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

S-1511 (Van Drew) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires internal affairs investigations to be conducted by a unit separate from the unit responsible for collecting gang intelligence information. On Sept. 13, the bill was received in the Assembly and referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.

A-2416 (Fuentes) (Under review by the NJSBA) Modifies procedures available under the Drug Offender Restraining Order Act. On Dec. 9, the bill was released from the Senate Judiciary Committee and is awaiting Senate vote.

ANIMAL CRUELTY

S-241 (Bateman) (Under review by the NJSBA) Creates the crime of threatening the life of certain animals. On Nov. 22, the bill passed in the Senate (22-2), was received in the Assembly and referred to the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.

PUBLIC SAFETY

S-1712 (Turner) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires hospitals to report certain injuries to local and state police. On Nov. 8, the bill was released from the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

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.