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

Capitol Report

July 2, 2012

 

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.

 

NJSBA ACTION IN TRENTON

 

TOWN HALL ADVOCACY EVENT

 

Nearly 100 attorneys attended the NJSBA’s third annual Advocacy Town Hall Meeting at the War Memorial in Trenton on June 21. State Bar Association President Kevin P. McCann opened the event noting how important influencing legislation was to accomplishing the association’s mission of representing the interests of the membership, participating in the lawmaking process, and promoting access to the courts. Participants at the event included members of the General Assembly: Hon. Peter J. Barnes III, Hon. Jon M. Bramnick, Hon. Michael  Patrick Carroll, Hon. Patrick J. Diegnan, and Hon. Ruben J. Ramos. Speakers from the executive branch included chief counsel, Charles B. McKenna; deputy chief counsel, Paul Matey and chief of staff to the lieutenant governor Matthew McDermott. The program was rounded out by top staffers Frank Dominguez, chief counsel for the Senate Republican Office, and David J. Lorette, senior counsel to the judiciary section of the Office of Legislative Services. Moderating the panels were association Legislative Committee chair, Fruqan Mouzon; Administrative Law Section chair, Paul Josephson; past Legislative Committee chair, Gerald H. Baker and past Family Law Section chair, Thomas S. Snyder.

 

AJR-32 (PDF) (Singleton) (NJSBA supports) Establishes a commission to study alimony law. On June 21, Family Law Section chair, Patrick Judge Jr., and chair-elect Brian M. Schwartz met with legislators to promote the NJSBA’s position on the bill. As a result of their efforts, the bill was amended to its original mission as an alimony reform study commission. On June 25, the bill passed in the Assembly (79-0).

 

On the Governor’s Desk

 

CRIMINAL LAW

A-2380 (PDF) (Johnson) Alex DeCroce's Law; enhances crime victims' rights under the "Crime Victim's Bill of Rights." On June 25, the bill substituted for S-775, passed in the Senate (40-0) and was sent to the Governor.

 

GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC SECTOR

S-927 (PDF) (Van Drew) Requires state auditor review of certain Department of Corrections privatization contracts. On June 25, the bill substituted for A-1880, passed in the Assembly (49-30) and was sent to the governor.

 

JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION

A-763 (PDF) (Barnes) (NJSBA supports) Authorizes Judiciary to revise or fees and other statutory fees, subject to limitations, to fund e-court information system and Legal Services of New Jersey; provides for review of such fees by Judiciary. On June 25, the bill passed in the Assembly (48-30-1) to concur with Senate amendments and was sent to the governor.

 

Pending Legislation

 

ANIMAL LAW

A-347 (PDF) (Gusciora) (NJSBA takes no position) Requires courts to issue animal protective orders against persons found guilty of abusing animals. On June 25, the bill was received in the Senate and was referred to the Senate Economic Growth Committee.

 

BUSINESS LAW

A-2315 (PDF) (Chivukula) Expands scope of New Jersey Regulatory Flexibility Act dealing with economic impact of rules on small businesses. On June 25, the bill passed in the Assembly (77-0-2).

 

CRIMINAL LAW

A-1074 (PDF) (Quijano) (NJSBA opposes) "Kulesh and Kubert's, and Bolis Law;" establishes violation of hands-free cell phone law as reckless under vehicular homicide and assault by auto statutes. On June 25, the bill was received in the Senate and referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

 

A-2105 (PDF) (Coughlin) Clarifies that criminal impersonation committed by any means, including electronic communications or Internet website, shall be subject to criminal penalties. On June 25, the bill was received in the Senate and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

 

ELDER & DISABILITY LAW

A-353 (PDF) (Gusciora) Establishes "Naturally Occurring Retirement Community" pilot program; appropriates $250,000. On June 25, the bill was received in the Senate and referred to the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.

 

A-2737 (PDF) (Coughlin) Clarifies intent of Legislature to protect certain senior tenants. On June 25, the bill passed in the Assembly (46-32).

 

FAMILY LAW

S-2106 (PDF) (Scutari) (NJSBA opposes) Authorizes annulments of marriages and civil unions, without cause, when demanded by party less than 30 days from date of ceremony; changes marriage and civil union licensing requirements and increases fees for such licenses.  On June 25, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

 

A-2128 (PDF) (Burzichelli) (NJSBA supports) Permits freeholders and municipal clerks to solemnize marriage and civil union ceremonies. On June 25, the bill passed in the Assembly (74-5).

 

A-2388 (PDF) (Singleton) (NJSBA opposes) Permits the use of electronic communication in child custody arrangements that include parenting time. On June 25, the bill was received in the Senate and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

 

HEALTH LAW

A-733 (PDF) (Eustace) Prohibits health care facilities from discharging prescription medications into sewer or septic systems in certain circumstances. On June 25, the bill was received in the Senate without a committee reference and is awaiting Senate vote.

 

A-1888 (PDF) (Milam) Allows license suspension or revocation of certain health care professionals and medical waste facilities, generators, and transporters for willful illegal or improper medical waste disposal. On June 25, the bill passed in the Assembly (79-0).

 

A-3151 (PDF) (O'Scanlon) Requires certain elected officials and appointed officers eligible for dual health benefits coverage to choose coverage by one public entity. On June 25, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly State Government Committee.

 

A-3158 (PDF) (Gusciora) Requires in-network hospitals to notify patients of out-of-network health care professionals who provide services in hospital. On June 25, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee.

 

JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION

S-881 (PDF) (Lesniak) Eliminates prosecutorial objection to admission to drug court program; expands eligibility and provides for phased-in mandatory drug court program. On June 25, the bill passed in the Assembly (79-0).

 

LAND USE

S-1566 (PDF)/A-2168 (PDF) (Lesniak/Green) Establishes the "New Jersey Residential Foreclosure Transformation Act"; provides expedited process for foreclosing abandoned residential properties. On June 25, S-1566 passed in the Senate (21-18) and A-2168 passed in the Assembly (45-33-1).

 

LOCAL GOVERNMENT LAW

A-1338 (PDF) (Greenwald) (NJSBA supports) Extends expiration date of certain permits pursuant to the "Permit Extension Act of 2008." On June 25, the bill passed in the Assembly (66-7-6).

 

MUNICIPAL COURT PRACTICE

S-69 (PDF) (Codey) Increases fine and imposes license suspension for talking or texting on hand-held device while driving. On June 25, the bill was received in the Assembly and referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.

 

A-801 (PDF) (Munoz) (NJSBA supports) Restricts access to motor vehicle accident reports under certain circumstances. On June 25, the bill was amended and is awaiting Assembly vote.

 

A-1571 (PDF) (Wisniewski) Expands the education requirements for special learner's and examination permits. On June 25, the bill was received in the Senate and referred to the Senate Transportation Committee.

 

A-1844 (PDF) (Diegnan) (NJSBA supports) Makes discretionary driver's license suspension for first offense of driving without motor vehicle liability insurance. On June 25, the bill was received in the Senate and referred to the Senate Transportation Committee.

 

REGULATED PROFESSIONS

A-2987 (PDF) (Fuentes) (NJSBA supports) Places certain limitations on attorney solicitation letters. On June 25, the bill passed in the Assembly (68-10-1)

 

SCHOOL LAW

A-1902 (PDF) (Rumana) (NJSBA takes no position) "Tabitha's Law"; requires parent or guardian to notify school administrators if pupil will be absent; requires school to notify parent in event of unexcused pupil absence. On June 25, the bill was received in the Senate and referred to the Senate Education Committee.

 

TAXATION

A-1887 (PDF) (Milam) Prohibits imposition of corporation business tax on certain foreign corporations carrying passengers into and out of State in motor vehicle or motorbus. On June 25, the bill passed in the Assembly (79-0).

 

WOMEN IN THE PROFESSION

A-2899 (PDF) (Mosquera) (NJSBA supports) Directs the Division on Women to conduct an audit of the coordination of community responses to domestic violence. On June 25, the bill was received in the Senate and referred to the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.