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

Capitol Report

October 3, 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. 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.

On the Governor’s Desk

A-1098 (Coyle) Authorizes county colleges and county vocational school districts to establish green job certification programs. On Sept. 26, the bill substituted for S-1648, passed in the Senate (38-0) and was sent to the governor.

A-1436 (Prieto) Concerns regulation of court reporting firms. On Sept. 26, the bill substituted for S-397, passed in the Senate (38-1) and was sent to the governor.

A-1471 (Wisniewski) Makes sundry changes to taxicab laws. On Sept. 26, the bill passed in the Senate (39-0) and was sent to the governor.

A-1491 (Riley) Imposes certain bail restrictions on persons charged with violating domestic violence restraining orders. On Sept. 26, the bill substituted for S-2626, passed in the Senate (38-0) and was sent to the governor.

A-2806 (Jasey) Permits the conversion of high-performing nonpublic schools located in failing school district into charter schools. On Sept. 26, the bill substituted for S-1858, passed in the Senate (25-13) and was sent to the governor.

Pending Legislation

ANIMAL LAW

S-3075 (Bucco) Establishes New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals motor vehicle license plates. On Sept. 26, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Transportation Committee.

BUSINESS LAW

S-3033 (Lesniak) Establishes the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program to provide tax credits to certain businesses; changes eligibility and certain other requirements for other business assistance programs. On Sept. 26, the bill passed in the Senate (38-0).

S-3052 (Whelan) Establishes the Small Business Loan Program in the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA), allowing certain small businesses to be eligible for low interest rate loans of up to $250,000 to expand their businesses. On Sept. 26, the bill passed in the Senate (39-0).

S-3079 (Madden) Creates the New Jersey Business Action Center; requires the center to provide competitive intelligence information to certain businesses. On Sept. 26, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

CIVIL PRACTICE

S-2316 (Scutari) (NJSBA opposes) Bars direct solicitation letters from licensed professionals to accident victims and other persons. On Sept. 26, the bill was amended on the Senate floor (37-0) and is awaiting Senate vote.

CONSUMER PROTECTION

A-921 (Chivukula) Establishes the New Jersey Trade Secrets Act. On Sept. 26, the bill substituted for S-2456 and passed in the Senate (39-0).

ELDER AND DISABILITY LAW

S-2928 (Van Drew) Establishes the Task Force on the Closure of State Developmental Centers. On Sept. 26, the bill passed in the Senate (38-0).

HEALTH AND HOSPITAL LAW

S-2197 (Ruiz) (NJSBA supports) Creates the Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment Act; provides for the use of physician orders for life-sustaining treatment forms and requires physicians and advanced practice nurses to pursue continuing education in end-of-life care. On Sept. 26, the Senate voted (37-0) to concur with the governor’s conditional veto.

S-3076 (Bucco) Requires an impact statement for any proposed regulation affecting volunteer ambulance squads and fire companies. On Sept. 26, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.

S-3077 (Whelan) Establishes a Non-Profit Hospital Redevelopment and Growth Grant program. On Sept. 26, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

HIGHER EDUCATION

S-3085 (Gordon) Establishes a loan redemption program for persons with a master's degree in business administration or other business-related fields of study or a juris doctorate, and provides consulting or legal services to small business and legal services clients. On Sept. 26, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LAW

S-3080 (Greenstein) Establishes the Back to Work NJ Program; makes an appropriation. On Sept. 26, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT LAW

S-2271 (Gordon) Requires the owner of a building advised of a structural safety concern during a private inspection to notify the municipal code official and the Department of Consumer Affairs; provides for emergency inspection. On Sept. 26, the bill passed in the Senate (33-5).

S-2771 (Norcross) Requires periodic inspection of exterior walls of certain buildings. On Sept. 26, the bill passed in the Senate (33-5).

S-3074 (Bucco) Authorizes a municipality to deliver property tax bills, construction permits, and receipts for payment via email. On Sept. 26, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.

 S-3078 (Gordon) Allows municipalities to use open space trust funds for the purchase of flood-prone properties. On Sept. 26, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Environment and Energy Committee.

 SCHOOL LAW

S-2868 (Sweeney) Provides a supplemental appropriation of $4.141 million from the Property Tax Relief Fund to the Department of Education for aid to school districts with significant enrollment growth. On Sept. 26, the bill passed in the Senate (32-7).

 TAXATION

S-1015 (Oroho) Allows corporation business tax and gross income tax credits to businesses providing employment to certain members of the National Guard or reservists. On Sept. 26, the bill passed in the Senate (38-0).

 S-1885 (Kean, S.) Allows for five years of corporation business tax and gross income tax deductions for net interest received on loans to certain qualified Urban Enterprise Zone businesses. On Sept. 26, the bill passed in the Senate (34-1).   

 S-1949 (Sweeney) Provides partial sales tax exemption for energy and utility service to certain manufacturers. On Sept. 26, the bill passed in the Senate (38-0).   

 S-1988 (Sarlo) Phases out the cosmetic medical procedure gross receipts tax. On Sept. 26, the bill passed in the Senate (39-0).

 S-3054 (Sweeney) Extends certain business tax credit programs to the gross income tax. On Sept. 26, the bill passed in the Senate (38-0).

 S-3055 (Madden) Establishes the New Jersey Angel Investor Tax Credit Act; provides credits against corporation business and gross income taxes for investing in New Jersey emerging technology businesses. On Sept. 26, the bill passed in the Senate (31-5).

 S-3056 (Sarlo) Creates the Garden State Film and Digital Media Jobs Act; expands existing film and digital media production tax credit programs. On Sept. 26, the bill passed in the Senate (23-15).

 S-3073 (Bucco) Establishes the Property Tax Reduction Work Act; permits local units to recruit residents to perform services in return for property tax vouchers. On Sept. 26, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.

 Nominations

The following nominations received advice and consent by the Senate on Sept. 26:

JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT

James M. Blaney, of Seaside Park, NJSBA member

Charles W. Dortch, of Voorhees

Douglas M. Fasciale, of Westfield

Robert B. Reed, of Flemington

Patricia B. Roe, of Toms River, NJSBA member

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.