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

Capitol Report

November 8, 2010

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.2010, c.79 (Oroho) Amends the Motor Fuel Tax Act to defer implementation for three months and make technical corrections. On Oct. 1, S-2289 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2010, c.81 (Diegnan) Establishes the State Mental Health Facilities Evaluation Task Force. On Oct. 7, A-2866 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2010, c.82 (Buono) Revises certain unemployment benefit claim procedures and requires registration of authorized agents of parties to the procedures. On Oct. 27, S-1968 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2010, c.83 (Quigley) Requires transfer of municipal free library surplus amounts above 20 percent to the municipality for its general purposes, which may include property tax relief. On Oct. 27, A-2911 was signed by the governor.

Pending Legislation

Banking Law

A-3441 (Schaer) (Under review by the NJSBA) Makes permanent certain temporary authorizations that expanded permitted investment by the director of the Division of Investment of the state of New Jersey Cash Management Fund and state pension funds. On Oct. 25, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee.

Consumer Protection

A-3437 (Vainieri Huttle) (Under review by the NJSBA) Prohibits the sale of caffeinated alcoholic beverages. The penalty for selling, offering for sale, delivering, receiving, or purchasing for resale a caffeinated alcoholic beverage would be $250 for the first violation, $500 for the second violation, and $1,000 for the third and each subsequent violation. On Oct. 25, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee.

Criminal Law

A-3449 (Johnson) (Under review by the NJSBA) Provides a procedure for suspension of a county board of elections member charged with certain crimes. On Oct. 25, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly State Government Committee.

Entertainment Arts and Sports Law

A-3439 (Casagrande) (Under review by the NJSBA) Creates a pilot program to allow wagering on horse races by means of certain patron-operated terminals. On Oct. 25, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Regulated Professions Committee.

Environmental Law

A-3444 (Chivukula) (Under review by the NJSBA) Provides certain exemptions from disclosure requirements for licensing of solid waste and hazardous waste operations. On Oct. 25, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee.

Health and Hospital Law

A-3440 (Conaway) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires the use of biometric technology to verify coverage under the Medicaid program in order to prevent fraud and abuse. On Oct. 25, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee.

Labor and Employment Law

A-3450 (DeAngelo) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires a three-week pre-notification of exhaustion of unemployment insurance benefits. On Oct. 25, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Labor Committee.

Local Government Law

A-3446 (McKeon) (Under review by the NJSBA) Permits the establishment of municipal employee early retirement incentive programs. On Oct. 25, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee.

A-3448 (Johnson) (Under review by the NJSBA) Increases the number of constables that may be appointed by a municipal governing body from 50 to 75. On Oct. 25, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.

Real Property Trust and Estate Law

A-3438 (Barnes) (Under review by the NJSBA) Regulates individuals engaged in the facilitation of like-kind exchanges of property pursuant to Section 1031 of the United States Tax Code. On Oct. 25, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee.

Renewable Energy, Cleantech and Climate Change

A-3442 (Chivukula) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes a long-term capacity agreement pilot program to promote construction of qualified in-state electric generation facilities. On Oct. 25, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee.

A-3445 (Chivukula) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes a lease guaranty assistance program in the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) for use by certain eligible emerging technology and biotechnology companies. On Oct. 25, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee.

Taxation

A-3443 (Munoz) (Under review by the NJSBA) Provides credit under the corporation business tax and gross income tax for costs of electric power infrastructure for use by heavy-duty vehicles to reduce idling times. On Oct. 25, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee.

Regulatory Matters

The following rules were recently adopted:

Labor and Employment Law

N.J.A.C. 12:100-4.2 Take notice that the Department of Labor and Workforce Development has adopted amendments to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations regarding hazardous materials and occupational safety and health standards for public employees engaging in general operations.

Public Notices

Criminal Law

Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Act Funds, Title II
Take notice that in compliance with N.J.S.A. 52:14-34.4, the Juvenile Justice Commission hereby announces the availability of grant program funds for the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Act, Title II; Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) Reduction Programs. The goal of this initiative is to reduce the rate of contact for minority youth, which in New Jersey has been primarily identified as black and Hispanic youth, with the juvenile justice system. Information and forms related to this grant can be found online at www.nj.gov/oag/jjc/noafs.htm. Applications are due by Jan. 15, 2011.

Insurance Law

Notice of Alternate Interest Rates for Rate Submissions
Take notice that the commissioner of the Department of Banking and Insurance, in compliance with N.J.A.C. 11:4-34.17(c)5v, hereby provides notice of an adjustment in the alternate interest rates used in rate submissions for long-term care insurance policies. These rates, as well as the adjustments to the rates, also apply to individual health insurance policies. These alternate interest rates are based on corporate yields for Aaa and Baa bonds as reported in U.S. Financial Data, published by the Research and Public Information Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

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.