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Posted on: March 9, 2021

Legislative Preview: Week of March 8

Legislative front:

 Various Assembly and Senate committees will be holding hearings and considering numerous pieces of legislation during the week. The municipal issues before the various committees include: 

  • Assembly Oversight, Reform & Federal Relations Committee: takes testimony from invited guests on independent third-party analyses of cannabis products, including testing protocols and quality and safety requirements as well as third-party laboratory licensing and cannabis packaging and labeling regulations. Consider legislation that permits a county or municipality to enter into a revenue-sharing agreement with a concessionaire permit holder used in connecting with a premise located within the county or municipality (A-5231). Legislation that removes the limit on the number of Social Affair permits for any premise owed by a municipality or the event is sponsored by the municipality (A-5310).  Monday, March 8, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. 
  • Assembly Financial Institutions & Insurance Committee: takes testimony from invited guests on the state of the insurance industry.  Monday, March 8, 2021 at 10:30 a.m.
  • Assembly Tourism, Gaming & the Arts Committee: considering legislation that permits bingo and raffle games to be conducted remotely (A-4297).  Monday, March 8, 2021 at 12 noon. 
  • Assembly Health Committee: considering legislation that would permit hospitals to construct housing and provide wrap-around services for individuals who are homeless or housing insecure. A provision in the legislation would deem the housing constructed as a permitted use in all residential and nonresidential districts of a municipality, thereby completely exempting them from local zoning requirements (A-3326/S-1676). Legislation that would permit emergency medical responders to dispense opioid antidotes (A-5052).  Monday, March 8, 2021 at 12:15 p.m.
  • Assembly Commerce & Economic Development Committee: considering legislation that appropriates federal funds to Economic Development Authority as follows: $25 million to support microbusinesses in need (A-5443), $35 million to support food and beverage establishments in need (A-5444), $10 million to support child care centers in need (A-5445), $15 million to support businesses and nonprofits in need (A-5446), and $15 million to support arts and culture organizations in need (A-5447). Please note that the bill language for the above is unavailable at this time. Monday, March 8, 2021 at 1:30 p.m.
  • Assembly Law & Public Safety Committee: considering legislation that permits police departments to establish designated safe areas for internet purchase transactions (A-1172). Legislation designating 9-1-1 operators or dispatchers as 9-1-1 first responders’ dispatchers (A-3804).  Monday, March 8, 2021 at 1:45 p.m.
  • Assembly Housing Committee: considering legislation that requires certain motor vehicle surcharge revenues to be dedicated to the Special Needs Housing Trust Fund (A-1925).  Monday, March 8, 2021 at 3:00 p.m.
  • Senate Health, Human Services & Senior Citizens Committee: considering legislation that permits any person to administer or dispense opioid antidotes (S-3491). Tuesday, March 9, 2021 at 1:00 p.m.
  • Assembly Budget Committee: holds a public hearing on the FY 2022 State Budget. Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 9:30 a.m.
  • Senate Higher Education Committee: considering legislation that establishes a study commission to examine the development of mutually beneficial relationships between institutions of higher education and municipalities (A-2311/S-356). Thursday, March 11, 2021 at 10:00 a.m.
  • Senate Community & Urban Affairs Committee: considering legislation that encourages development of zero-emission vehicle fueling and charging infrastructure in redevelopment projects (A-1653/S-2142). Legislation that creates a streamlined and expanded landlord registration process, make changes to multiple dwelling inspections and maintenance, establishes protections for tenants, and permit municipalities to satisfy up to 10% of their affordable housing obligations by establishing a program encouraging the rehabilitation of substandard dwelling units and the dedication of rehabilitated units for rental as low-income housing (S-306). Legislation that requires development applicants owners or landlords to deliver notice of a hearing on the development application to each residential tenant at least 10 days prior to the hearing as well as outlining additional notice requirements (S-466). Legislation establishing “Tiny Home Pilot Program” in three regions of the State (S-1787). Legislation that would amend various public finance laws to remove existing restrictions on the ability of local governments and authorities to finance the costs of lead service line replacements (S-3459).Thursday, March 11, 2021 at 10:30 a.m.
  • Senate Law & Public Safety Committee: considering legislation that permits a municipality to permit people to consume alcoholic beverages outdoors in designated open container areas (S-2921). Legislation that would require each law enforcement agency to maintain records of all employment application and report the information to the State Police for inclusion in the Employment Application Registry database maintained by the State Police (S-2693). Thursday, March 11, 2021 at 1:15 p.m.

Administrative Front:

 The Police and Fire Retirement System Board of Trustees will be meeting on Monday, March 8. The pre-agenda has been released. Members of the public may attend the meeting by dialing 844-867-6163 Access Code: 9123333.

The Local Finance Board will be meeting on Wednesday, March 10. The agenda has been released. Members of the public may attend the meeting by using Microsoft Teams or calling 1-856-338-7074, conference id: 972 130 378#.

Federal Front:

Over the weekend, the Senate passed the American Rescue Plan with full funding for local governments. The legislation appropriates $65 billion for municipalities is heading back to the House on Tuesday for a vote.

In addition, the House will consider H.R. 842, Protecting the Right to Organize Act of 2021, to protect workers’ right to organize and bargain for fairer wages, better benefits, and safer workplaces and two bills to address gun violence; H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021, to implement universal background checks on gun sales, and H.R. 1446, the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021, which extends the review period for gun sales from three days to 10 days, closing the Charleston Loophole.

 The Senate convenes on Tuesday and will consider cabinet nominations.

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