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

Capitol Report

July 29, 2013

 

This is a status report provided by the New Jersey State Bar Association 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 obtain a complete copy of the Capitol Report and/or retrieve a former Capitol Report, please visit our website at www.njsba.com

 

NEW LAWS:

 

Below is a list of legislation recently signed into law by Governor Chris Christie:

 

P.L.2013, c.80 Prohibits discrimination against a potential organ transplant recipient on the basis of mental or physical disability. On May 20, 2013, the bill passed in the Assembly (77-0-0) and was sent to the governor, and on July 17, 2013, the bill was signed into law. (S-1456 Sweeney/A-2390 Vainieri Huttle) 

 

P.L.2013, c.81 Designates a portion of the U.S. Route 206 bypass in Hillsborough Township as Peter J. Biondi Bypass. On May 20, 2013, the bill passed in the Assembly (78-0-0) and was sent to the governor, and on July 17, 2013, the bill was signed into law. (S-1899 Bateman/A-2750 Ciattarelli) 

 

P.L.2013, c.82 Creates the New Jersey Security and Financial Empowerment Act to assist victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. On May 20, 2013, the bill passed in the Assembly (77-0-0) and was sent to the governor, and on July 17, 2013, the bill was signed into law. (S-2177 Madden/A-2919 Fuentes) 

 

P.L.2013, c.83 Requires dental plans to make out-of-network payments based on assignment of benefits. On May 20, 2013, the bill passed in the Assembly (72-3-1) and was sent to the governor, and on July 17, 2013, the bill was signed into law. (S-2524 Gill/A-3062 Schaer) 

 

P.L.2013, c.84 Revises the permitted amount of surcharge on admission charges at major places of amusement. On June 20, 2013, the bill passed in the Senate (39-0) and was sent to the governor, and on July 17, 2013, the bill was signed into law. (S-2631 Ruiz/A-3848 Coutinho) 

 

NEW EXECUTIVE ORDERS:

 

Below are executive orders issued during Governor Chris Christie's administration for the months of June and July:

 

Executive Order No. 133 (PDF) is a tribute to Senate Frank R. Lautenberg.  The flag of the United States of America and the flag of New Jersey shall be flown at half-staff at all state departments, offices, agencies, and instrumentalities during appropriate hours on Wednesday, June 5, 2013, to honor the service and contributions of United States Senator Frank R. Lautenberg. The governor issued this executive order on June 3, 2013. 

 

Executive Order No. 134 (PDF) establishes the New Jersey Military Installation Growth and Development Task Force. The governor issued this executive order on June 13, 2013. 

 

Executive Order No. 135 (PDF) is a tribute to actor James Gandolfini. The flag of the United States of America and the flag of New Jersey shall be flown at half-staff at all state departments, offices, agencies, and instrumentalities during appropriate hours on Monday, June 24, 2013, in recognition and mourning of the passing of James Gandolfini. The governor issued this executive order on June 21, 2013. 

 

Executive Order No. 136 (PDF) amends Paragraph 6 of Executive Order No. 11 (PDF) to provide that the Commission of the Horse Racing Industry shall not expire upon the issuance of its final report, but rather shall continue in existence until Dec. 31, 2013, or such date as shall be established, and Executive Order Nos. 34 (PDF), 69 (PDF) and 97 (PDF) are thereby superseded. The governor issued this executive order on July 2, 2013.

 

Executive Order No. 137 (PDF) orders and directs for the remainder of calendar year 2013 that minors between 14 and 17 years of age shall be permitted to work as volunteers for nonprofit organizations engaged in housing construction. The governor issued this executive order on July 10, 2013. 

 

VETOED BILLS:

 

Below is a list of legislation recently vetoed by Governor Chris Christie:

 

School Law

S-2163 (Lesniak)/A-3696 (Mosquera) Allows binding arbitration for certain non-teaching school staff of alleged disciplinary actions. On May 20, 2013, the bill passed in the Assembly (51-26-1) and on July 18, 2013, the governor vetoed this legislation. 

 

Workers’ Compensation

S-1778 (Greenstein)/A-1196 (Stender) Provides for the Thomas P. Canzanella Twenty-First Century First Responders Protection Act; concerns workers’ compensation for public safety workers who respond to catastrophic emergencies. On May 20, 2013, the bill passed in the Assembly (55-19-5) and was sent to the governor, and on July 18, 2013, the governor vetoed this legislation. 

 

The New Jersey State Bar Association’s Board of Trustees, Legislative Committee and Workers’ Compensation Section all voted to oppose this legislation because the cost factors associated with the bill are unknown.

 

NOTICE TO THE BAR 

 

Distribution of written instructions to juries in criminal cases:

 

Effective Jan. 1, 2014, the Court has approved revisions to Rule 1:8-7 and Rule 1:8-8, to require that written jury instructions be provided to the jury in all criminal cases, unless preparation of the instructions would cause an undue delay in the trial. 

 

Pursuant to Rule 1:8-7, the parties in criminal cases, if directed by the court, shall make requests to charge in a format suitable for ready preparation and submission to the jury at a time directed by the court. The court will provide to counsel in advance of the charge conference a copy of its proposed jury charge, which is to be marked as a court exhibit, for counsel’s review. 

 

The court shall submit two or more copies of its final instructions to the jury for the jury’s use in the jury room during deliberations. See July 15, 2013, Notice to the Bar for further information.