On Tuesday, the 2018-19 legislative term ended with over 200 bills sent to the Governor’s desk for his consideration. Governor Murphy will have until noon on Tuesday, January 21 to take action or the bills will need to start the legislative process over again in the new legislative session. Of the bills, on the Governor’s desk, the League has taken a position on the following bills. We ask that you contact the Governor’s Office and add your voice to ours.
A-1028 establishes a training program to prevent suicide by law enforcement officers and requires reporting of law enforcement officer suicides to the Attorney General. The League supports this bill that will provide police officers with training on the causes, behaviors, warning signs, and risk factors associated with officer suicide.
A-1044 requires the Director of Division of Taxation to examine the feasibility of a centralized property tax information system to verify property taxes paid by homestead property tax reimbursement claimants. Specifically, the Director will be required to examine the feasibility of establishing, for the administration of the homestead property tax reimbursement program, a centralized property tax data system that would assist the Division in verifying the amount of property tax paid on any homestead in any base year, and in any year for which an eligible claimant seeks a reimbursement. A-1044 provides a specific timeline for the feasibility report and outlines the next steps. The League supports this bill that should lead to a streamlined process for taxpayers applying for the homestead property tax reimbursement program.
A-1478 would permit theaters with 50 seats or more to apply for liquor licenses. The League supports this bill, which provides some flexibility from the State’s archaic ABC laws.
A-4382 requires paint producers to implement or participate in a paint stewardship program. This bill would require paint producers to develop and implement or participate in a program to recover paint. The League supports this common-sense bill as good public policy.
A-4822 permits municipalities, by ordinance, to lease vacant municipal land for tiny home placement and occupancy on public land and exempts the land from property taxation. In addition the bill directs the Department of Community Affairs to provide enhanced regulatory guidance concerning the construction and placement of tiny homes. Consistent with the 2018 International Residential Code, the bill defines “tiny home” as a dwelling that is 400 square feet or less in floor area excluding lofts.
A-5023 exempts from the New Jersey Department of Transportation permitting requirements, established under the “Roadside Sign Control and Outdoor Advertising Act,” signs attached to street furniture that are located in areas that are not protected areas, that have been approved by the municipality in which they are located, and that otherwise comply with the “Roadside Sign Control and Outdoor Advertising Act.” “Street furniture” is defined as an object placed or installed adjacent to the street for public use, which is to include but not be limited to, a bench, trash and recycling receptacle, public bicycle-sharing parking structure, phone booth, or Wi-Fi kiosk.
A-5916 authorizes the Department of Health to notify elected officials of financial distress of certain hospitals. This bill would provide elected officials with notice if a hospital within their jurisdictions is in financial distress. Because hospitals are such a valuable asset to their host communities elected officials have an interest in their viability. Advance notice will allow elected officials to develop a plan of action and provide possible assistance to avoid the closure of the hospital.
S-62 requires certain contractors to register under "The Public Works Contractor Registration Act." This bill expands the definition of contractor in the “Public Works Contractor Registration Act” to include those who are required to pay their workers the prevailing wage by any other provision of law. Providing clarity that a Public Works Contractor Registration is required in any instance where the contractor is required to pay prevailing wage.
S-589 requires the Secretary of State to maintain a secure Internet website to allow eligible voters to register to vote using an online voter registration form. The bill also authorizes the use of digitized signatures from the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission’s database, or the applicant’s digitized or electronic signature, in connection with online voter registration forms. The information on the online voter registration forms would be electronically transferred by county commissioners of registration into the statewide voter registration system already established by law.
S-1298 permits a municipality to include on the tax bill a statement listing the number and type of shared services entered into by the municipality, the dollar value of the savings to the municipality from each of those shared services, and a total amount of municipal savings resulting from those shared services. The statement on the tax bill would have to be in the format promulgated by the Director of the Division of Local Government Services.
S-2897 requires the Department of Community Affairs to establish procedures for inspection and abatement of mold hazards in residential buildings and school facilities and certification programs for mold inspectors and mold hazard abatement workers. This common-sense bill creates, for the first time, standards for mold hazards inspectors and abatement workers.
S-2958 establishes the “Energy Infrastructure Public-Private Partnership Act.” This permissive legislation would allow a government entity to enter into a public-private partnership agreement with a private entity to develop, design, build, operate or maintain one or more energy-related projects and to assume financial, developmental, operational, managerial and administrative responsibilities in partnership with the government entity. S-2958 is permissive legislation that provides appropriate safeguards with a public process. It provides municipalities with another mechanism to fund and complete energy-related projects.
S-3265 prohibits the sale or distribution of flavored vapor products. This bill addresses the issues raised in League Conference Resolution 2019-22.
S-3763 renames joint meetings as regional service agencies to better reflect the purpose and operation of these entities. Any joint meeting created before the effective date of the bill would be grandfather. This common-sense legislation is one of the proposals of the Path to Progress report.
S-3770 establishes the "New Jersey Economic and Fiscal Policy Review Commission" to provide an ongoing review of State and local tax structure, economic conditions, and related fiscal issues. The 12-member panel within the Legislative Branch of State government would include three members from the Senate, three from the Assembly, and six public members.
A-4463 establishes “Electronic Permit Processing Review System.” While the bill provides authority for local enforcement agencies to charge a fee to applicants to offset the initial startup costs associated with the new electronic review system, this fee structure is not sufficient to adequately recover these costs. Further, this bill fails to take into account the realities of the permit review process that not all applications are suited for electronic review.
S-2469 prohibits a person from contracting for public works if the person is barred from receiving federal contracts. While we support the intent of the legislation, we currently oppose S-2469 due to some technical concerns to ensure consistency with the Local Public Contracts Law.
S-3393 establishes a pilot program to allow special occasion events to be conducted on preserved farmland under certain conditions. The League opposes this bill which would allow preserved farmland to, for purposes not initially contemplated when public funds were used to permanently preserve these prime agricultural lands. Further, this bill would eliminate local oversight of events taking place on these preserved lands.
S-3422 requires declaration of Code Blue alert when National Weather Service predicts temperatures of 32 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. The League opposes this bill, which could impose new burdens on our Code Blue providers, especially those reliant on the work of volunteers. We believe that the decision on when to call Code Blue should be made locally, and not mandated by the State.