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

Capitol Report

March 28, 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.

New Laws

P.L.2011, c.27 (Gill) (NJSBA supports) (NJSBA drafted bill) Allows a professional corporation to use or register an alternate name; allows use of certain abbreviations in certain business names; updates references for certain state business filings. On March 1, S-914 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2011, c.28 (Lampitt) Eliminates the use of the rebate procedure for claims of sales and use tax exemption made in connection with certain sales to certain urban enterprise zone-qualified businesses. On March 1, A-1559 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2011, c.29 (Norcross) Permits the sale of motorcycles on Sunday. On March 1, S-1923 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2011, c.30 (Ruiz) Concerns the creation of benefit corporations. On March 1, S-2170 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2011, c.31 (Sarlo) Maintains the right of corporate directors and officers to indemnification under certain circumstances. On March 1, S-2493 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2011, c.32 (Greenstein) Allows for unemployment insurance beneficiaries to file, reopen, cancel or close claims online. On March 1, S-2498 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2011, c.33 (Burzichelli) Establishes a new procedure in the Administrative Procedure Act to allow substantial changes to agency rulemaking upon adoption. On March 1, A-2720 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2011, c.34 (Burzichelli) Streamlines the process for state and local agency business permits related to economic development projects. On March 1, A-2853 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2011, c.35 (Quijano) Authorizes the sale and lease of unneeded public property to certain nonprofits for gardening and urban farming, and exempts such urban farms from property taxation. On March 1, A-2859 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2011, c.36 (Diegnan) Provides a corporation with the right to renounce the corporate opportunity doctrine. On March 1, A-3253 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2011, c.37 (Whelan) Changes the date for mail-in ballot transmission from the 40th to the 45th day before an election, with certain exceptions; permits a referendum on a school levy cap and municipal levy cap to occur on the same day. On March 2, S-923 was signed by the governor.

On the Governor's Desk

S-617 (Gordon) Limits the Department of Environmental Protection regulation of medical diagnostic x-ray equipment in facilities performing 750 or fewer x-rays per year. On March 14, the bill substituted for A-2871, passed in the Assembly (76-1) and was sent to the governor.

S-1712 (Turner) Requires hospitals to report certain injuries to local and state police. On March 14, the bill substituted for A-3263, passed in the Assembly (78-0) and was sent to the governor.

S-2175 (Whelan) Establishes a procedure for destroying certain contraband tobacco products and cigarettes. On March 14, the bill substituted for A-3102, passed in the Assembly (78-0) and was sent to the governor.

S-2308 (Sarlo) (NJSBA opposes) Provides a parole board with discretion to reconsider parole eligibility for certain crimes after a certain period of time. On March 14, the bill substituted for A-3355, passed in the Assembly (77-0-1) and was sent to the governor.

S-2458 (Codey) Establishes assisted-living facility and comprehensive personal care home resident rights. On March 14, the bill substituted for A-3732, passed in the Assembly (78-0) and was sent to the governor.

S-2465 (Gordon) Permits a combination of voter petitions and application by a municipal governing body for approval of a municipal consolidation study commission by the Local Finance Board. On March 14, the bill substituted for A-3587, passed in the Assembly (78-0) and was sent to the governor.

S-2680 (Madden) Changes the trigger for extended unemployment benefits. On March 14, the bill substituted for A-3795, passed in the Assembly (78-0) and was sent to the governor.

Pending Legislation

Animal Law

S-1643 (Sweeney) Requires sterilization of all cats and dogs released for adoption from various facilities; and updates law concerning impoundment. On March 14, the bill substituted for A-3205 and passed in the Assembly (59-15-4).

A-1083 (Gusciora) Clarifies that failure to provide minimum care to an animal constitutes animal cruelty. On March 14, the bill passed in the Assembly (78-0).

Criminal Law

A-832 (Albano) Establishes new crimes concerning service dogs and upgrades crimes against certain other animals. On March 14, the bill passed in the Assembly (77-0-1).

A-1561 (Lampitt) Creates a diversionary program for juveniles who are criminally charged with sexting or posting sexual images. On March 14, the bill passed in the Assembly (78-0).

A-3086 (Barnes) Establishes a civil cause of action for gender-motivated violence. On March 14, the bill passed in the Assembly (60-14-4).

A-3536 (Coughlin) Clarifies that criminal impersonation committed by any means, including electronic communications or Internet website, shall be subject to criminal penalties. On March 14, the bill passed in the Assembly (78-0).

A-3591 (Johnson) Concerns certain limitations on claims for victim compensation. On March 14, the bill passed in the Assembly (78-0).

Family Law

A-412 (Diegnan) (NJSBA supports w/ amendments) Limits actions against court-appointed psychologists and psychiatrists in certain family court matters. On March 14, the bill passed in the Assembly (78-0).

Health and Hospital Law

A-3698 (Conaway) Requires monitoring of prescriptions for human growth hormones. On March 14, the bill passed in the Assembly (78-0).

A-3744 (O'Donnell) Requires birthing facilities to screen newborns for congenital heart defects prior to discharge. On March 14, the bill passed in the Assembly (78-0).

A-3909 (Benson) Requires all "surgical practices" to be licensed by the Department of Health and Senior Services as ambulatory surgery facilities within one year. On March 14, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee.

 

Local Government Law

A-3859 (Coutinho) Requires approval of extending special improvement districts every 10 years by a majority of affected property owners. On March 14, the bill was amended on the Assembly floor and is awaiting Assembly vote.

A-3908 (DeAngelo) Implements recommendations of the state comptroller's report analyzing the online transparency of local authorities and commissions. On March 14, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee.

Public Utilities

A-2725 (Burzichelli) Requires the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to issue a decision within 180 days after receipt of a petition by public utilities to sell certain real property. On March 14, the bill passed in the Assembly (77-0).

A-3366 (Barnes) Directs the BPU to establish an online process for submission of required documents by BPU-regulated and licensed entities. On March 14, the bill was amended on the Assembly floor and is awaiting Assembly vote.

Renewable Energy, Cleantech and Climate Change

A-3648 (Cryan) Directs installation of electric vehicle charging stations at service areas on state's toll roads. On March 14, the bill passed in the Assembly (47-28-3)

School Law

A-2920 (Wolfe) (Under review by the NJSBA) Directs the Department of Education to develop a school district dating violence policy, and requires school districts to provide dating violence education in the health curriculum. On March 14, the bill passed in the Assembly (77-0).

A-3399 (Wagner) Allows the parent of a public school pupil eligible for transportation services to waive the pupil's right to those services for the school year. On March 14, the bill was amended on the Assembly floor and is awaiting Assembly vote.

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 March 14, the bill passed in the Assembly (77-0-1).

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.