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

Capitol Report

May 30, 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.

Pending Legislation

Criminal Law

A-2118 (Bucco) (NJSBA opposes) Upgrades burglary of a residence to a crime of the second degree; upgrades it to a crime of the first degree if committed while armed. On May 9, the bill was amended on the Assembly floor and is awaiting Assembly vote.

A-2597 (Quijano) Clarifies that sexual assault victims are not responsible for any costs of forensic sexual assault examinations or related services. On May 9, the bill was amended on the Assembly floor and is awaiting Assembly vote.

A-3954 (Tucker) Establishes a 1,000-foot drug-free zone around child care centers. On May 9, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.

A-3956 (DeAngelo) Terminates the early release program for certain state inmates. On May 9, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.

A-3982 (Stender) Upgrades the penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm on the grounds of an educational institution. On May 9, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.

A-3984 (McKeon) Establishes Pamela's law; criminalizes possession and sale of substances containing chemicals found in the drug commonly known as bath salts. On May 9, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

A-3989 (Quijano) Establishes the crime of negligent vehicular homicide. On May 9, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.

A-3994 (Coutinho) Establishes preservation requirements for certain biological evidence. On May 9, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.

Environmental Law

S-246 (Bateman) Prohibits healthcare institutions from discharging medications into sewer or septic systems. On April 28, the bill was amended on the Senate floor and is awaiting Senate vote.

A-861 (Milam) Requires license suspension of certain healthcare professionals and medical waste facilities, generators, and transporters for willful illegal or improper medical waste disposal. On May 9, the bill passed in the Assembly (76-0).

Family Law

A-3986 (Quijano) Increases the child support amount that may be received in addition to an assistance grant under the Work First New Jersey Program. On May 9, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Human Services Committee.

Government and Public Sector

S-2836 (Beck) Establishes measures to improve transparency and accountability of regional authorities of the state; enhances oversight of those authorities by the governor and state comptroller. On April 28, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee.

Health and Hospital Law

S-2145 (Allen) Provides for certain requirements concerning the Independent Health Care Appeals Program. On April 28, the bill passed in the Senate (34-0).

A-3491 (Conaway) Limits settings where certain surgeries may be performed. On May 9, the bill was amended on the Assembly floor and is awaiting Assembly vote.

A-3962 (Riley) Requires a certificate of need for hospital-based basic obstetric and pediatric services. On May 9, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee.

A-3968 (Conaway) Restricts health insurers from limiting access to pain medication. On May 9, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee.

A-3970 (Coughlin) Requires health insurers and the State Health Benefits Program to provide certain mental health benefits for eating disorders under the same terms and conditions as for other illnesses and diseases. On May 9, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee.

A-3987 (Quijano) Permits an attending advanced practice nurse to determine the cause of death and execute a death certification when a physician is not available. On May 9, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee.

A-3988 (Quijano) Establishes mutual aid assistance request protocols for 9-1-1 ambulance dispatchers. On May 9, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee.

ACR-188 (Stender) Prohibits adoption of the Department of Health and Senior Services proposed medicinal marijuana rules. On May 9, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee.

Land Use Law

A-3992 (Chivukula) Revises the standards for wind-generation facilities on preserved farmland. On May 9, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee.

A-4050 (McKeon) Appropriates $45 million from the 2009 Green Acres Fund and $12 million from the 2009 Blue Acres Fund for state acquisition of lands for recreation and conservation purposes, including Blue Acres projects. On May 9, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee.

A-4051 (Benson) Appropriates $14,818,787 from the 2009 Green Acres Fund and the Garden State Green Acres Preservation Trust Fund for grants to certain nonprofit entities to acquire or develop lands for recreation and conservation purposes. On May 9, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee.

A-4052 (DeAngelo) Appropriates $84,495,199 from the 2009 Green Acres Fund and the Garden State Green Acres Preservation Trust Fund for local government open space acquisition and park development projects. On May 9, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee.

Labor and Employment Law

S-2580 (Turner) Requires specific instructions for workers filing unemployment insurance claims. On May 9, the bill substituted for A-3794 and passed in the Assembly (76-0).

S-2609 (Turner) Provides for annual adjustments in worker taxes paid into the state disability benefits fund. On May 9, the bill substituted for A-3792 and passed in the Assembly (51-23-2).

Local Government Law

S-837 (Madden) Permits a municipality to enact an ordinance regulating where sex offenders may reside; restricts locations of certain child care centers and school bus stops. On April 28, the bill passed in the Senate (33-0).

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.