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

Capitol Report

June 27, 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. It is compiled by the government affairs department of the New Jersey State Bar Association. 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

A-2565 (Diegnan) (NJSBA supports) Revises law relating to title recordation consistent with recommendations from the New Jersey Law Revision Commission. On June 13, former NJSBA Real Property, Trusts and Estate Law Section chair Lawrence J. Fineberg testified in support of the bill which was released from the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

New Laws

P.L.2011, c.75 (Connors) Allows municipalities to provide free or reduced fee beach badges to active military and NJ National Guard personnel. On June 17, S-114 was signed by the governor.

Pending Legislation

Animal Law

A-4145 (Gusciora) Revises confiscation, impoundment, and forfeiture procedures for an animal abandoned by owner or seized from abusing owner. On June 20, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee.

A-4159 (Burzichelli) Establishes as third degree crime new offense of serious bodily injury to an animal; revises other offenses and penalties for animal cruelty, increasing the degree of certain offenses; designated as Patrick's Law. On June 20, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee.

Class Action Lawsuits

A-4135 (Chiusano) Establishes right to immediate interlocutory appeal from determinations as to class certification in class action lawsuits. On June 20, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

Consumer Protection

A-4142 (Ramos) (Under review by the NJSBA) Consumer Electronics Warranty Lemon Law. On June 20, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee.

Criminal Law

A-4134 (Chiusano) Expands DNA database to include samples from persons arrested for any crime. On June 20, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Law & Public Safety Committee.

Government and Public Sector

A-4154 (McHose) Clarifies the definition of citizenship in the State of New Jersey. On June 20, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Homeland Security & State Preparedness Committee.

A-4157 (McHose) Authorizes Governor to enter into interstate compact to clarify fourteenth Amendment. On June 20, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Homeland Security & State Preparedness Committee.

Health and Hospital Law

A-4155 (McHose) Renders federal "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" null and void in NJ. On June 20, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Health & Senior Services Committee.

Higher Education

A-4144 (Gusciora) Authorizes Commission on Higher Education to impose a fine against an institution of higher education that fails to appropriately respond to a student's allegation of sexual assault by another student. On June 20, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly High Education Committee.

Internet & Computer Law

A-4143 (Ramos) The "Digital Impersonation Prevention Act." On June 20, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

Labor and Employment Law

A-4149 (O'Donnell) Makes changes to manner in which State-administered retirement systems operate and to public employee pension benefits. On June 20, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly State Government Committee.

A-4160 (Burzichelli) Prohibits new employees of certain organizations from enrolling in State-administered retirement system or health care plan of public employer. On June 20, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly State Government Committee.

A-4162 (Greenwald) Revises requirement that public employers provide certain health benefit plans to public employees. On June 20, the bill was released from the Assembly Budget Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

S-2937 (Sweeney) Makes various changes to pension and health care benefits for public employees. On June 20 the bill passed in the Senate (24-15) and was received in the Assembly for vote without a committee reference.

S-2959 (Sweeney) Revises requirement that public employers provide certain health benefit plans to public employees. On June 20 the bill passed in the Senate (24-14) and was received in the Assembly for vote without a committee reference.

School Law

A-4140 (Quijano) Provides certain reemployment rights to teachers dismissed due to a reduction in force. On June 20, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Education Committee.

Taxation

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 20, the bill was released from the Senate Environment and Energy Committee with amendments and referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

Nominations

The following nominations were reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 20:

JUDGE OF THE BETHLEHEM/BLOOMSBURY JOINT MUNICIPAL COURT
Robert L. Alexander, of Bethlehem Township, NJSBA Member

JUDGE OF THE BUENA VISTA JOINT MUNICIPAL COURT
William S. Cappuccio, of Hammonton, NJSBA Member

JUDGE OF THE DOVER JOINT MUNICIPAL COURT
Michael M. Luther, of Mount Tabor

JUDGE OF THE FAIRFIELD/DOWNE JOINT MUNICIPAL COURT
John A. Casarow, of Bridgeton, NJSBA Member

JUDGE OF THE JOINT COURT OF DELAWARE VALLEY
Joseph S. Novak, of Milford, NJSBA Member

JUDGE OF THE MADISON JOINT MUNICIPAL COURT
Gary Troxell, of Florham Park, NJSBA Member

JUDGE OF THE MID-SALEM COUNTY JOINT MUNICIPAL COURT
John A. Casarow, of Bridgeton, NJSBA Member

JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT
Patrick J. Arre, of Hoboken, NJSBA Member
Peter A. Buchsbaum, of Stockton
Kathleen M. Delaney, of Haddonfield
Faustino J. Fernandez-Vina, of Barrington, NJSBA Member
Richard M. Freid, of North Haledon
Margaret M. Hayden, of West Orange
Allen J. Littlefield, of Hammonton, NJSBA Member
Lisa Rose, of West New York, NJSBA Member
Martha T. Royster, of Bayonne, NJSBA Member

JUDGE OF THE WOOLWICH JOINT MUNICIPAL COURT
William J. Golden, of Mullica Hill

PUBLIC DEFENDER
Joseph Krakora, of Scotch Plains

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.