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

Capitol Report

September 27, 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 New Jersey State Bar Association 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

Animal Law

A-3205 (Fuentes) (Under review by the NJSBA) Expands the DNA database to include samples from certain arrestees. On Sept. 16, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

Business Law

A-2129 (Chivukula) (Under review by the NJSBA) Expands the scope of the New Jersey Regulatory Flexibility Act dealing with the economic impact of rules on small businesses. On Sept. 20, the bill was released from the Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee with amendments and is awaiting Assembly vote.

Construction Law

A-3188 (Munoz) (NJSBA opposes) Provides an exemption from the three-day cancellation provision of a home improvement contract in the case of a bona fide emergency. On Sept. 16, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee.

Consumer Protection

A-3172 (Vainieri Huttle) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires all personal audio players distributed in New Jersey to contain a warning about volume and hearing loss. On Sept. 16, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee.

A-3191 (Mainor) (Under review by the NJSBA) Prohibits a retail dealer from charging in excess of five cents more per gallon for the credit purchase of fuel than for the cash purchase; requires certain price disclosures. On Sept. 16, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee.

Criminal Law

A-676 (Greenstein) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes Jessica Rogers' Law: upgrades the crime of assault by auto or vessel in cases where a person operates an auto or vessel recklessly, in knowing disregard of the rights or safety of others, in a manner that would endanger or be likely to endanger a person or property and causes injury to another person. On Sept. 16, the bill was released from the Assembly Judiciary Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

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 Sept. 16, the bill was released from the Assembly Judiciary Committee with amendments and is awaiting Assembly vote.

A-3162 (Johnson) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes the crimes of dog fighting and leader of a dog fighting network; amends New Jersey's anti-racketeering law (RICO) to add leader of a dog fighting network. On Sept. 16, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

A-3187 (Fuentes) (Under review by the NJSBA) Expands the DNA database to include samples from certain arrestees. On Sept. 16, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

Elder and Disability Law

A-3171 (Vainieri Huttle) (Under review by the NJSBA) Provides for the establishment of county offices for disability services; appropriates $90,000. On Sept. 16, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Human Services Committee.

Election Law

S-2277 (Weinberg) (Under review by the NJSBA) Prohibits a person from serving as an officer of more than two political campaign committees. On Sept. 20, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee.

Environmental Law

A-2529 (Chivukula) (Under review by the NJSBA) Revises certain definitions in P.L.1999, c.23 concerning alternative energy technologies. On Sept. 20, the bill was released from the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee with amendments and is awaiting Assembly vote.

Family Law

S-2272 (Gordon) (NJSBA supports) Expands the membership of the Domestic Violence Fatality and Near Fatality Review Board by adding the commissioner of Children and Families, the director of the Division of Youth and Family Services in the Department of Children and Families, and the chairperson of the Child Fatality and Near Fatality Review Board. On Sept. 20, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.

A-3207 (Fuentes) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires persons to report incidents of domestic violence to law enforcement and makes it a disorderly persons offense to fail to do so. On Sept. 16, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

A-3221 (Fuentes) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes the Domestic Violence Tuition Waiver Program to provide a waiver of all tuition costs to persons who are documented victims of domestic violence and who, as a result of the violence, became unable to complete college coursework for which tuition costs had been paid. The New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) is directed to establish the program. On Sept. 16, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

Health and Hospital Law

A-3163 (Johnson) (Under review by the NJSBA) Makes various revisions to laws regulating certain health benefits plans. On Sept. 16, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee.

Higher Education

A-3216 (Barnes) (Under review by the NJSBA) Directs the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority to forgive certain student loans in the event of the borrower's death. On Sept. 16, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Higher Education Committee.

A-3219 (Webber) (Under review by the NJSBA) Amends state college law to allow boards of trustees to conduct collective bargaining. On Sept. 16, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Higher Education Committee.

Judicial Administration

A-2470 (Bucco) (NJSBA opposes) Requires a court to consider gang affiliation when making bail determinations. On Sept. 16, the bill was released from the Assembly Judiciary Committee with amendments and is awaiting Assembly vote.

Labor and Employment Law

A-3199 (DeAngelo) (Under review by the NJSBA) Prohibits credit inquiry as a condition of employment. On Sept. 16, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Labor Committee.

Local Government Law

A-3174 (Coughlin) (Under review by the NJSBA) Regulates teen nights by requiring security provided by police officers, prohibiting persons under age 15 from attending, and disqualifying registered sex offenders from employment. On Sept. 16, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.

S-2273 (Gordon) (NJSBA opposes) Requires three forms of identification when requesting a birth certificate. On Sept. 20, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.

Military Law and Veterans Affairs

A-161 (McHose) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes a task force to study the treatment of veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder in judicial proceedings. On Sept. 16, the bill was released from the Assembly Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee with amendments and is awaiting Assembly vote.

A-3096 (Conners) (NJSBA supports) Concerns custody and parenting time issues for military parents. On Sept. 16, the bill was released from the Assembly Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee with a substitute and is awaiting Assembly vote.

Municipal Court Practice

A-3173 (Coughlin) (NJSBA supports) Increases the additional penalty assessment for drunk driving and drunk boating laws from $50 to $75, and designates the additional revenue for the Victims of Crime Compensation Board (VCCB). On Sept. 16, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.

A-3210 (Schroeder) (Under review by the NJSBA) Repeals the Kyleigh's Law decal requirement; requires the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) to provide parents of graduated driver license applicants with detailed information about the program's conditions and restrictions; imposes penalties on parents when licensees fail to comply. On Sept. 16, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.

School Law

A-2454 (Vainieri Huttle) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes measures to deter steroid use among students. On Sept. 16, the bill was released from the Assembly Education Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

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 Sept. 16, the bill was released from the Assembly Education Committee with amendments and is awaiting Assembly vote.

Workers' Compensation

A-3166 (Egan) (NJSBA supports) Increases workers' compensation for loss of a hand or foot. On Sept. 16, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Labor Committee.

Nominations

The following nominations were referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 20:

JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT:
Terry Bottinelli, of Wyckoff, NJSBA member
Donna Gallucio, of Prospect Park, NJSBA member
Lisa Grasso Jones, of Tinton Falls, NJSBA member
Leslie-Ann Justus, of Morganville, NJSBA member
Sohail Mohammed, of Clifton, NJSBA member
Lisa Rose, of West New York, 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.