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

Capitol Report

March 12, 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

 

A-763 (Barnes) (NJSBA opposes) Provides for new and increased court and application fees to fund Legal Services of New Jersey and the Judiciary's computerized court information system. On March 7, NJSBA President Susan A. Feeney testified before the Assembly Judiciary Committee in opposition to this legislation, which seeks to raise funds for various projects through filing fee hikes. The bill was released with a committee substitute.

 

Pending Legislation


CHILD WELFARE

S-1731 (PDF) (Bucco) Expands number of safe havens for leaving newborn infants. On March 5, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.

 

CONSUMER PROTECTION

S-1725 (PDF) (Bucco) Exempts certain motor vehicle repair dealers from consumer fraud law and regulation under certain circumstances. On March 5, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Transportation Committee.

 

A-2205 (PDF) (DeAngelo) (NJSBA supports w/amendments) Invalidates consumer contracts that require a waiver of right to file a consumer complaint. On March 5, the bill was released from the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

 

CRIMINAL LAW

S-622 (PDF) (Kean) Increases the penalty for harboring or concealing certain sex offenders. On March 5, the bill was released from the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee with a substitute and referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

 

S-1736 (PDF) (Bucco) (NJSBA opposes) Upgrades burglary of a residence as a crime of the second degree; upgrades it to a crime of the first degree if committed while armed. On March 5, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

 

A-2380 (PDF) (Johnson) Creates Alex DeCroce's Law; enhances crime victims' rights under the Crime Victim's Bill of Rights. On March 5, the bill was released from the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee with amendments and referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

 

ELECTION LAW

S-1734 (PDF) (O'Toole) Requires the Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) to provide ethics training for governmental affairs agents. On March 5, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee.

 

S-1747 (PDF) (Rice) Requires an excuse for voting by mail-in ballot. On March 5, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee.

 

FAMILY LAW

A-2609 (PDF) (Wilson) Amends and supplements the New Jersey Parentage Act to provide relief from judgment and modification of child support orders under certain circumstances; requires a paternity testing of all infants at birth. On March 5, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

 

LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LAW

A-2650 (PDF) (Lampitt) Provides that unlawful employment practice occurs each time an individual is affected by a decision or practice, including each time compensation is paid. On March 5, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Women and Children Committee.

 

LAND USE

S-743 (PDF) (Sarlo) (NJSBA supports) Extends the expiration date of certain permits pursuant to the Permit Extension Act of 2008. On March 5, the bill was released from the Senate Economic Growth Committee with amendments and referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

 

LOCAL GOVERNMENT LAW

S-1451 (PDF) (Weinberg) Revises the law concerning meetings of public bodies to provide the public with greater access to meetings and information about meetings. On March 5, the bill was released from the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee with a substitute and referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

 

S-1452 (PDF) (Weinberg) Makes certain access changes to the Open Public Records Act; formally names the act the Martin O'Shea Open Public Records Act. On March 5, the bill was released from the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee with a substitute and referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

 

MILITARY LAW AND VERTERANS’ AFFAIRS

S-1733 (PDF) (Bucco) Establishes the New Jersey G.I. Bill; provides higher education benefits to New Jersey veterans. On March 5, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Higher Education Committee.

 

MUNICPAL COURT PRACTICE

S-1750 (PDF) (Scutari) Revises the penalties for drunk driving offenses and creates a restricted use driver's license. On March 5, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

 

REAL PROPERTY, TRUST AND ESTATE LAW
S-1740 (PDF) (Rice) Allows municipalities to require mortgage lenders to maintain vacant residential properties during foreclosure. On March 5, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.

 

REGULATED PROFESSIONS

A-2386 (PDF) (Watson Coleman) Regulates deed procurement services by making it an unlawful practice and a violation of the Consumer Fraud Act for any person to use a written form of communication to solicit clients for deed procurement services or falsely obtain a copy of a deed, among other things. On March 5, the bill was released from the Assembly Regulated Professions Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

 

Nominations

 

The following nominations were reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 5:

 

JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT

H. Matthew Curry, of Lopatcong Township, NJSBA member

 

NEW JERSEY AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE RISK EXCHANGE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Richard A. Hubschman, of Cresskill, NJSBA member

 

WARREN COUNTY PROSECUTOR

Richard T. Burke, of Hackettstown, NJSBA member