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

Capitol Report

July 11, 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 New Jersey State Bar Association prepared the information. 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.

New Laws

P.L.2011,c.81 (Egan) Modifies employer unemployment insurance tax rates. On June 29, A-3819 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2011,c.80 (Whelan) Establishes the procedure for destroying certain contraband tobacco products and cigarettes. On June 29, S-2175 was signed by the governor.

Pending Legislation

CONSUMER PROTECTION

A-3435 (Diegnan) (NJSBA supports) Establishes certain consumer protections related to arbitration organizations. On June 29, the bill passed in the Assembly (73-5).

CRIMINAL LAW

A-4225 (Barnes) Conforms Megan's Law to the requirements of the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act. On June 29, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.

LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LAW

A-2953 (Peterson) Permits layoff plans as a substitute for employment reconciliation plans for joint meetings or shared service agreements under certain circumstances. On June 29, the bill was relieved from the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee and tabled (45-32).

A-2955 (Bucco) Limits the right of appeal of disciplinary action taken by an employer against certain public employees. On June 29, the bill was relieved from the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee and tabled (46-32).

A-4223 (Handlin) Establishes the New Jersey Right to Work Act; prohibits payroll deduction of union dues from wages or salaries of public employees. On June 29, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Labor Committee.

SCR-167 (Turner) Amends the constitution to give public employees the right to collective bargaining. On June 29, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee.

HEALTH AND HOSPITALLAW

S-2984 (Vitale) Requires healthcare facilities to offer influenza vaccinations to their healthcare workers. On June 29, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.

S-2987 (Turner) Permits the reuse of returned prescription drugs within licensed healthcare facilities; directs the commissioner of health and senior services to evaluate the feasibility of reuse for treatment of indigent persons. On June 29, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.

HIGHER EDUCATION

S-2988 (Turner) Authorizes a law enforcement agency to inform the president of a public or independent institution of higher education when a student is charged or convicted of certain crimes. On June 29, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Education Committee.

A-2962 (Munoz) Concerns collective negotiations for public institutions of higher education. On June 29, the bill was relieved from the Assembly Labor Committee and tabled (45-32).

A-2963 (Webber) Amends state college law to remove certain employees from the Civil Service system and allow boards of trustees to conduct collective bargaining. On June 29, the bill was relieved from the Assembly Education Committee and tabled (44-30).

INSURANCE LAW

S-2985 (Lesniak) Concerns the rights of financial counterparties to terminate and settle certain agreements with certain insurers in the event of insolvency or liquidation. On June 29, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Commerce Committee.

S-2986 (Turner) Reinstates automatic cost-of-living adjustments for retirement benefits of members of the state-administered retirement systems. On June 29, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee.

S-2989 (Codey) Provides certain collocations of wireless equipment minor site plan status. On June 29, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Economic Growth Committee.

REAL PROPERTY, TRUST AND ESTATE LAW

S-2888 (Smith) Establishes uniform real property taxation for commercial renewable energy systems and limits municipal construction permit fees for non-commercial renewable energy systems. On June 29, the bill passed in the Senate (31-4), was received in the Assembly and referred to the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee.

A-2565 (Diegnan) (NJSBA supports) Revises the law relating to title recordation. On June 29, the bill passed in the Assembly (78-0).

A-3939 (Benson) Establishes a real property assessment demonstration program. On June 29, the bill was amended on the Assembly floor and passed in the Assembly (78-0)

REGULATED PROFESSIONS

S-2990 (Gill) Revises the scope of practice of genetic counselors. On June 29, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Commerce Committee.

SCHOOL LAW

A-2960 (DiMaio) Concerns collective negotiations for school employees; repeals the law prohibiting school boards from imposing terms and conditions of employment. On June 29, the bill was relieved from the Assembly Labor Committee and tabled (44-30).

A-2961 (Handlin) Authorizes an executive county superintendent of schools to require implementation of shared services arrangements and to approve school district collective negotiations agreements prior to execution of an agreement. On June 29, the bill was relieved from the Assembly Education Committee and tabled (45-31).

TAXATION

A-2958 (Bucco) Allows gross income tax refunds to be credited against a taxpayer's delinquent local property taxes. On June 29, the bill was relieved from the Assembly Appropriations Committee and tabled (45-32).

 

Notices

The New Jersey State Bar Association invites all section/committee chairs and legislative coordinators and county bar legislative chairs to attend its annual Chair Orientation and Legislative Forum on July 14, from 10 a.m. to noon, at the New Jersey Law Center. This is an important opportunity to learn about the NJSBA's advocacy program, including:

  • how to submit comments on legislation
  • how to draft bill amendments
  • how to determine when a bill is expected to move in the state Legislature
  • how to complete the legislative position form (LPF)
  • how to get involved in the NJSBA's advocacy program
  • the role of the board of trustees, legislative committee, sections/committees and county bars in formulating legislative policy
  • the NJSBA policies and procedures on legislation and regulations
  • how to testify on legislation

Many other items of interest will be covered as well. Register online at www.njsba.com.

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.