A-222/S-2171, “New Jersey Library Construction Bond Act” – The Governor signed this legislation, which would authorize, upon voter approval, the issuance of $125,000,000 in general obligation bonds to finance capital projects at public libraries and appropriates $5,000. If approved by the voters in November, this will provide funding for the much-needed construction, reconstruction, development, extension, improvement, and furnishing of New Jersey’s public libraries. Specifically, for any approved project financed by bond proceeds, the grant award will support 50% of the cost of the project, and the appropriate local governing entity in the area served by the public library will support 50% of the cost of the project. The League supported this legislation which will be on a statewide public question on the November ballot.
A-3749/S-2114, allows “100 percent Disabled Veterans” to receive parking privileges reserved for persons with disability. P.L. 2017, c.166 permits a military veteran who is designated as “100 percent Disable Veteran” by US Department of Veterans Affairs to park a motor vehicle in parking spaces reserved for persons with disability with a placard from the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC). Instead of being required to submit an application signed by a medical professional certifying that the person qualifies to receive disability parking privileges the veteran can submit a statement from the Department of Veterans Affairs certifying that they are 100 percent disabled. The law will take effect February 1, 2018.
S-2883/A-4537, extends eligibility for veterans’ property tax deduction and disabled veterans’ property tax exemption to members of the United States Armed Forces assigned to the rescue and recovery mission at the World Trade Center between September 11, 2001, and May 30, 2002 by revising the definition of “active service in time of war”. P.L. 2017, c. 134 specifically requires that a member of the United States Armed Forces must have served on the pile of rubble that resulted from the attacks on the World Trade Center in direct support of that rescue and recovery effort for a period, continuously or in the aggregate, of at least 14 days in such active service commencing on September 11, 2001 and ending on May 30, 2002. It would also require that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability while engaged in such service shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person completed the required 14 days’ service. This law took effect on July 21, 2017.
A-1645/S-195 expands the definition of “acquisition,” for purposes of county and municipal open space trust funds, to include demolition, removal of debris, and restoration of lands being acquired. P.L. 2017, c. 154, which the League supported, would amend the definition of “Acquisition” or “Acquire” to include the demolition of structures on, the removal of debris from, and the restoration of those lands to a natural state or to a state useful for recreation and conservation purposes. This law took effect on July 21, 2017.
S-3242/A-4997 clarifies procedures for approval of environmental and transportation infrastructure projects. P.L. 2017, c. 144. This new law made certain changes so to make the use of terms consistent with the environmental financing program and the transportation financing program to be administered by the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust, as well clarifying procedures, and assure that all funding is used for its intended purposes. This law took effect on July 21, 2017.
S-2834/A-4569 the “Water Quality Accountability Act”; imposes certain testing, reporting, management, and infrastructure investment requirements on water purveyors. P.L. 2017, c. 133 imposes certain testing, reporting, management, and infrastructure investment requirements on water purveyors, defined as any person that owns a public water system with more than 500 service connections. This law will take effect on October 19, 2017.
S-5/A-4925 establishes data reporting requirements for emergency medical services providers and dispatch centers. P.L. 2017, c. 116. Under the new law, each EMS provider that provides pre-hospital emergency medical care to patients in the state – including basic life support ambulance services, mobile intensive care units, air medical services and volunteer and non-volunteer first aid, rescue and ambulance squads – will be required to report to the Department of Health (DOH) certain information concerning each incident in which the entity provides emergency medical services. he DOH will be required to furnish to EMS providers and dispatchers, without charge, any software or programs developed by the DOH for accessing and using the electronic reporting system. This law will take effect on January 17, 2018.
S-742/A-1205 requires the board of education that is equipped with video surveillance that is capable of streaming live video wirelessly to a remote location to enter into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with law enforcement authorities regarding access to live video streams of public school buildings. P.L. 2017, c. 119 requires that the MOU must include the designation of individuals authorized to view the live streaming video; the circumstances under which the designated individuals would view live streaming video; and a detailed plan for preventing and detecting unauthorized access to live streaming video. If neither party can reach agreement on any of the provisions of the MOU the county prosecutor is responsible for making the final determination. If there is no municipal police department the board of education must enter into a MOU with an entity designated by the Superintendent of the State Police. While this law took effect on July 21, 2017, the board of education has until January 17, 2018, to enter into a MOU.
S-2452/A-4007 requires the Director of Division of Taxation to promulgate Property Taxpayer Bill of Rights that sets forth in simple and nontechnical terms the specific rights of every property taxpayer to understand their real property assessment and to appeal an assessment that a taxpayer believes is too high. The Property Taxpayer Bill of Rights must be posted on every county board of taxation and municipality’s website. This law took effect on July 21, 2017.
S-3027/A-4631 establishes State food waste reduction goal of 50 percent by 2030. P.L. 2017, c. 136 requires the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), in consultation with the Department of Agriculture (DOA) to develop and commence implementation of a plan to accomplish the 50 percent State food waste reduction goal. This law took effect on July 21, 2017.
A-621/S-2328 permits bowling alleys, including alleys licensed to sell alcoholic beverages, whose premise includes no less than 16 USBS sanctioned bowling lanes and no less than 40 amusement games to conduct amusement games provided that all other requirements for Legalized Games of Chance are met. P.L. 2017, c. 152 limits the number of mechanical claw games and requires the redemption center to be open at all times that the facility is open to the public. This law took effect on July 21, 2017.
A-4587/S-2574) the Governor vetoed this legislation, which would have extended the State sales and use tax and hotel and motel occupancy fee to transient accommodations; and, authorizes various municipal taxes and fees on transient accommodations. In his veto message the Governor noted that he does not “support levying new taxes” and could not sign a bill “increasing taxes on our citizens and, most particularly, our tourism areas.” The League, which supported the legislation, disagrees that the legislation would enact a new tax. It was the logical extension of the existing statutes providing tax parity in the accommodation market place by taking into account the sharing economies and appropriately provides additional revenues for municipalities.
S-1297, 1990/A-3751 which permits candidates for school board to circulate petitions jointly and be bracketed together on the ballot; permits short nonpolitical designation of principles on petitions and ballots, was conditionally vetoed by the Governor. The Governor expressed his concern that joint petitions and bracketing may inject partisan politics into the school election. Therefore, the Governor has proposed a 3-year limited pilot program in which one district in each county in which the candidates could circulate petitions jointly or be bracketed together. At the end of 3 years, a study to review the impact of bracketing school board members on the ballot, any additional costs and whether partisan politics has been injected into the election must be conducted.
A-3480, 4119/S-2536 which amended the New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) to prohibited employers from requesting salary history information from prospective employees, without exception, was vetoed by the Governor. In his veto message the Governor noted that he shared the sponsors’ concern with wage discrimination, however, that this bill “encompasses much more than discriminatory conduct” and could not sign a bill that “fails to align with not only the purpose but also the other provisions of the law it seeks to amend”.
A-4496/S-2977 the “Healthy Small Food Retailer Act”; provides funding to small food retailers to sell fresh and nutritious food; appropriates $1 million was conditionally vetoed by the Governor. The Governor’s explanation for his action stated that ‘’…there are at least five State programs which focus on the same objectives ….’’ His recommendation is that the Legislature should direct the Health Commission to review existing programs and recommend re-allocation of funding.
Michael Cerra, Assistant Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 609-695-3481 x120.
Jon Moran, Sr. Legislative Analyst, email@example.com, 609-695-3481 x121.
Lori Buckelew, Senior Legislative Analyst, firstname.lastname@example.org, 609-695-3481 x112.