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correct size blogThe waning days and hours of New Jersey’s 217th Session of the Legislature saw a flurry of activity as Legislators made one last push to get their bills onto the desk of the outgoing Governor before the start of the new session.  This legislative activity included many bills that the League has taken action on because of their potential impact on NJ municipalities.  Below, you will find a listing of bills, along with a brief description and the League’s position, that have recently been passed by the Legislature and are on the Governor’s desk waiting to be signed into law.

The Governor, in addition to his other courses of action, has the ability to, “pocket veto” these bills.  In short, a pocket veto is when the Governor takes no action.  Typically, no action on a bill after 45 days would result in the bill becoming law, but, because these bills were passed within the last 10 day of the legislative session, the pocket veto comes into play.

A-536/S-2107Provides that PERS and PFRS member who continues to be a volunteer firefighter or emergency services worker after retirement with employer from whom member retires has bona fide severance for compliance with State and federal law.

  • The League supports this bill and urges the Governor to sign it into law. Volunteers play an important role as they provide their expertise free of charge to municipalities.  Recent Division of Pension and Benefits guidance now prevents retiring public employee who also, volunteers, to collect retirement payments while they are still volunteering their services.  This bill would prevent this from happening and ensure the ability of retired public employees to continue serving, on a volunteer basis, while receiving their earned retirement benefits.

A-2220Authorizes local units of government subject to “Local Public Contracts Law” and “Public School Contracts Law to use electronic procurement technologies.

  • The League supports this bill and urges the Governor to sign it into law. This bill makes the use of technology for the procurement of goods, services, public works construction, and sale of surplus and real property much easier without the concern of litigation.  It provides municipalities with another option to use for public procurement while preserving the integrity and appropriate procedural protections of public procurement.

A-3612Jake’s Law; Incentivizes counties to design and construct completely inclusive playgrounds as a priority for State funding for recreational and conservation purposes.

  • The League worked closely with the sponsors, our counterparts at the Association of Counties and other stakeholders to address concerns. The sponsors concurred and amended the bill to address these concerns and the League now supports this bill.

A-4404/S-2978Permits local units and school districts to invest in local government investment pools managed in accordance with applicable Governmental Accounting Standards Board guidelines.

  • The League supports this bill and urges the Governor to sign it into law. This bill amends the current law governing the types of securities that may be purchased by local government units, to account for Federal regulatory changes that would have made it more difficult for local units to withdraw their funds from an investment pool.

A-5205/S-3370 Regulates and prohibits certain operation of drones.

  • The League supports this bill and urges the Governor to sign it into law. This bill addresses the operation of drones while under the influence.  Federal regulations do not address this issue and therefore this legislation is necessary.

A-5339/S-848Requires certain State oversight of budgets of regional sewerage authorities.

  • The League supports this bill and urges the Governor to sign it into law. This bill would provide the same state oversight of the annual budgets of regional sewerage authorities that municipalities are subject to.

AJR-47/SJR-23 Establishes task force to study and make recommendations concerning stabilization and growth of volunteer first responder community.

  • The League supports this bill and urges the Governor to sign it into law.

S-2180 New Jersey Rural Electric Cooperative Act.

  • The League supports this bill and urges the Governor to sign it into law.

A-3783/S2408 Allows county and municipal police departments to establish safe areas for Internet purchase transactions; establishes public awareness campaign.

  • The League supports this bill and urges the Governor to sign it into law. This permissive law provides municipal police departments with the authority to provide an important public safety function.

A-3150/S-1622 Authorizes veteran property tax exemption for total disabled veterans who did not serve in theater of war.

  • The League opposes this bill, though we appreciate the legislative intent. This bill would authorize 100% property tax exemption for totally disable veterans who became disabled as a result of serving in the military but said veterans did not serve for any period of time in any theater of war. This is a good bill with commendable intent except that it will result in loss of revenue and shifts the burden to other taxpayers in the municipality. The entire cost of the full property tax exemption for non-combat veterans who became totally disabled is borne by local governments, not the state or federal government. The most recent Fiscal Note prepared by the Office of Legislative Services demonstrates our concern. It estimates a revenue loss of $202.8 million to municipalities, counties, and school districts over the initial three years period.  As a result, the loss revenue would fall onto the remaining property taxpayers of the community. Because of the loss of property tax revenues without a replacement source of revenue from the State, the League must regretfully oppose this bill.

S-3558 Revises animal cruelty law enforcement in NJ.

  • The League remains neutral on this bill.   The sponsors of this legislation agreed to work with the League and other stakeholders to address any concerns, including costs that may emerge during implementation if the Governor chooses to sign this bill.


Contact: Frank Marshall, Esq., League Staff Attorney, fmarshall@njslom.org, 609-695-3481 x137.