March 19, 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.
Executive Order No. 89 (PDF) Establishes the New Jersey Education Funding Task Force, which is charged with examining the state's school funding formula and developing recommendations concerning those areas of the formula that may be susceptible to fraud or subject to outside manipulation. This includes participation in the Federal Free and Reduced Price Lunch Program as a proxy for at-risk status and the Municipal Tax Abatement Program. The task force will be composed of seven members from inside and outside of government, each with expertise in education funding, policy, administration, governance and fiscal management. All members of the task force will serve without compensation.
NJSBA Action in Trenton
A-763 (PDF) (Barnes) (NJSBA opposes) Provides for new and increased court and application fees to fund Legal Services of New Jersey and to fund the Judiciary's computerized court information system. On March 12, NJSBA President Susan A. Feeney testified before the Assembly Appropriations Committee in opposition to this legislation, advocating the NJSBA’s longstanding position that funding for the Judiciary and for Legal Services of New Jersey should come from the general treasury, not be borne by the users of the court system, many of whom are the least able to afford such increases. The bill was released from the committee and is awaiting Assembly vote. More information on the association’s position and advocacy efforts can be found at www.njsba.com.
A-1036 (PDF) (Bucco) (NJSBA opposes) Requires the court to consider gang affiliation when making bail determinations. On March 12, the bill was released from the Assembly Judiciary Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.
A-2712 (PDF) (Barnes) Upgrades the crime of manslaughter to aggravated manslaughter under certain circumstances. On March 12, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.
A-2727 (PDF) (Albano) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires inmates with sufficient means to pay their incarceration costs. Under the bill, an inmate whose income level is less than $150,000 per year is exempt from paying the fee. The calculation of the inmate’s income level would be based on the average of both taxable and nontaxable income earned in the four years immediately preceding incarceration. On March 12, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.
A-1335 (PDF) (Greenwald) (Under review by the NJSBA) Authorizes annulments of marriage and civil unions without cause within 30 days of the ceremony; eliminates the waiting period for marriage and civil union licenses; and increases fees for such licenses. On March 12, the bill was released from the Assembly Judiciary Committee with amendments and is awaiting Assembly vote.
A-2201 (PDF) (Chivukula) (NJSBA takes no position) Authorizes certified celebrants to solemnize marriages and civil unions. On March 12, the bill was released from the Assembly Judiciary Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.
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 12, the bill was released from the Assembly Labor Committee with amendments and is awaiting Assembly vote.
A-1338 (PDF) (Greenwald) (NJSBA supports) Extends the expiration date of certain permits pursuant to the Permit Extension Act of 2008. On March 12, the bill was released from the Assembly Appropriations Committee with amendments and is awaiting Assembly vote.
S-1784 (PDF)/A-2709 (PDF) (Buono/Vainieri Huttle) Provides that a school district may implement bullying prevention programs and anti-bullying training programs at no cost, through various entities; and appropriates $1 million. On March 8, S-1784 was introduced and referred to the Senate Education Committee. A-2709 was released from the Assembly Appropriations Committee on March 12 and is awaiting Assembly vote.
A-2731 (PDF) (Diegnan) (NJSBA supports w/amendments) Increases the filing threshold for the New Jersey estate tax to $1,000,000. On March 12, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.
The New Jersey Law Revision Commission met on March 15 to discuss the following agenda:
- New Jersey Debt-Management Services Act (PDF)—Consideration of a draft final report (PDF) incorporating changes discussed by the commission at the January meeting, and a memorandum summarizing the consumer protection provisions previously contained in the draft and including the newly revised provisions for ease of review.
- UCC Article 9 (PDF)—Consideration of a draft final report incorporating statutory modifications promulgated by the Uniform Law Commission. WORD Memo || PDF Memo (PDF) || WORD Draft Final Report || PDF Draft Final Report (PDF)
- General Repealer (PDF)—Consideration of a draft final report (PDF) recommending removal of anachronistic and invalid statutes.
- Title 2C-Sexual Offenses (PDF)—Consideration of a memorandum outlining an approach to the first part of a project to revise Chapter 14 of the criminal code, which pertains to sexual offenses, to reflect case law.
- Uniform Military and Overseas Voters Act (PDF)—Consideration of a draft final report. Memo WORD || Memo PDF (PDF)
- Annual Report 2011—A review of the draft of the 2011 annual report.
Documentation related to the above agenda can be obtained online at http://www.lawrev.state.nj.us/agenda.html.