July 30, 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.
This special edition of the Capitol Report focuses on legislation related to family law that has received action in the Legislature since the beginning of the current legislative session.
On the Governor’s Desk
A-3164 (PDF) (Webber) Requires the state pay the educational costs of students who reside in a domestic violence shelter or transitional living facility outside the district of residence for more than one year. On June 28, the bill passed in the Senate (39-1) and was sent to the governor.
S-788 (PDF) (Weinberg) Appropriates $7,453,000 through the Department of Health and Senior Services for family planning services grants for which funding had been eliminated from the FY 2011 and FY 2012 appropriations act. The elimination of this funding has resulted in both the closing of facilities that provide family planning services and a reduction in the availability of such services. The bill specifies that the monies cannot be used for abortion procedures. On June 25, the bill passed in the Assembly (46-31) and was sent to the governor.
CHILD AND SPOUSAL SUPPORT
S-1388 (PDF) (Scutari)/A-685 (PDF) (Kean) (NJSBA opposes) Provides for modification of child support and certain alimony payments due to changed circumstances. On Feb. 6, A-685 was released from the Assembly Judiciary Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote. On Feb. 16, S-1388 was released from the Senate Judiciary Committee and referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. The NJSBA has requested amendments that would provide additional balance to the legislation.
AJR-32 (PDF) (Singleton)/AJR-36 (PDF) (Kean) (NJSBA supports) Establishes a commission to study alimony law. On June 28, the bill was received in the Senate and referred to the Senate Environment and Energy Committee.
S-1051 (PDF) (Connors) (NJSBA supports) (NJSBA-drafted) Concerns child custody and parenting time arrangements related to certain military absences. On June 28, the bill passed in the Senate (39-0).
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.
A-321 (PDF) (Dancer) (NJSBA opposes) Establishes a four-year pilot program in Ocean County for electronic monitoring of domestic violence offenders; appropriates $1,000,000; designated as Lisa's Law. On June 18, the bill was released from the Assembly Appropriations Committee with a substitute and is awaiting Assembly vote.
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.
MARRIAGE AND CIVIL UNIONS
S-1 (PDF) (Weinberg) (NJSBA supports) Enacts the Marriage Equality and Religious Exemption Act. On Feb. 21, the governor’s conditional veto was received in the Senate.
S-768 (PDF) (Scutari)/A-1335 (PDF) (Greenwald) (NJSBA opposes) Authorizes annulments of marriages and civil unions without cause, when demanded by a party less than 30 days from the date of the ceremony; changes marriage and civil union licensing requirements and increases fees for such licenses. On Feb. 16, S-768 was released from the Senate Judiciary Committee with amendments. On May 31, A-1335 was received in the Senate 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 28, the bill was received in the Senate and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
A-2201 (PDF) (Chivukula) (NJSBA takes no position) Authorizes certified celebrants to solemnize marriages and civil unions. On May 3, the bill was received in the Senate and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.