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

Capitol Report

July 25, 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.

Executive Orders

Executive Order No. 69 Supercedes Executive Order No. 34 and Paragraph 6 of Executive Order No.11 (2010) is amended to provide that the New Jersey Gaming, Sports and Entertainment Advisory Commission shall not expire upon the issuance of its final report, but will continue to exist until June 30, 2012, or whatever date the governor establishes, in order to support the implementation of the Commission’s recommendations, and any related matters approved by the governor.

On the Governor’s Desk

ANIMAL LAW

S-2923 (Sweeney) Establishes pilot program concerning sterilization of cats and dogs released for adoption from various facilities and updates law concerning impoundment.  On June 29, the bill passed in the Assembly (69-8-1) and was sent to the governor.

CRIMINAL LAW

S-737 (Sacco) Expands DNA database to include samples from certain violent arrestees.  On June 29, the bill passed in the Assembly (66-3-9) and was sent to the governor.

S-972 (Allen) Clarifies that sexual assault victims are not responsible for any costs of forensic sexual assault examinations or related services. On June 23, the bill passed in the Assembly (78-0) and was sent to the governor.

S-2829 (Girgenti) "Pamela's Law;" criminalizes possession and sale of mephedrone and methylenedioxpyrovalerone, commonly known as MDPV or "bath salts." On June 29, the bill passed in the Assembly (75-2) and was sent to the governor.

A-1561 (Lampitt) Permits diversionary program for juveniles who are criminally charged for "sexting" or posting sexual images. On June 29, the bill passed in the Assembly (78-0) and was sent to the governor.

ELDER & DISABILITY LAW

S-2197 (Ruiz) (NJSBA supports) "Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment Act"; provides for use of Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment forms and requires physicians and advanced practice nurses to pursue continuing education in end-of life care. On June 29, the bill passed in the Assembly (60-6-0) and was sent to the governor.

S-2199 (Ruiz) Establishes NJ Advisory Council on End-of-Life Care in DHSS. On June 29, the bill passed in the Senate (36-0) and was sent to the governor.

FAMILY LAW

A-1748 (Watson Coleman) Expands membership of Domestic Violence Fatality and Near Fatality Review Board. On June 29, the bill passed in the Senate (39-0) and was sent to the governor.

PUBLIC UTILITIES

A-906 (Chivukula) (NJSBA takes no position) Provides for equal opportunity for prospective business applicants from all areas of the State to apply for, and receive, incentives or funding under programs that the Board of Public Utilities determines shall be funded by the societal benefits charge imposed pursuant to section 12 of P.L.1999, c.23 (C.48:3-60). On June 29, the bill passed in the Senate (37-0) and was sent to the governor.

REAL PROPERTY TRUST & ESTATE LAW

A-359 (Schaer) The "Foreclosure Rescue Fraud Prevention Act," requires foreclosure consultants and distressed property purchasers, who contract with owners of residential properties in financial distress, to adhere to certain practices in providing foreclosure prevention services to owners. On June 29, the bill passed in the Assembly (77-0) and was sent to the governor.

REGULATED PROFESSIONS

S-2164 (Sweeney) Makes various changes to several laws that affect the regulation and business operations of employee leasing companies, or professional employer organizations (PEOs). On June 29, the bill passed in the Senate (38-0) and was sent to the governor.

TAXATION

A-2286 (Johnson) Provides for voluntary contributions by taxpayers on gross income tax returns for New Jersey National Guard members and their families in need of assistance.  On June 29, the bill passed in the Senate (38-0) and was sent to the governor.

WOMEN IN THE PROFESSION

S-2665 (Weinberg) (NJSBA supports) Repeals obsolete statutes concerning the status of women.  On June 29, the bill passed in the Assembly (78-0) and was sent to the governor.

Pending Legislation

AUTO REPARATIONS

S-3008 (Sacco) Clarifies that hospitals are not subject to personal injury protection (PIP) medical fee schedules. On July 12, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Commerce Committee.   

CRIMINAL LAW

S-3010/S-3014 (Sacco/Kean) "Caylee's Law;" upgrades penalties for failing to report a death; criminalizes failure to report disappearance of child within 24 hours. On July 12, both bills were introduced and referred to the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.   

GOVERNMENT AND PRIVATE SECTOR

S-3015 (Sweeney) The "New Jersey Consumer Catastrophe Preparedness and Protection Act"; creates "New Jersey Catastrophe Fund" to help pay covered residential property damage insurance claims in the aftermath of a true catastrophe which affects New Jersey homeowners and their property/casualty insurers. On July 12, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Commerce Committee.   

S-3009 (Oroho) Conditions receipt of special State financial assistance on implementation of efficiency and oversight measures; permits use of State aid for certain administrative and oversight costs. On July 12, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Community & Urban Affairs Committee.

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.