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March 17, 2011

Re: Legislative Recap for Monday, March 14

Dear Mayor:

On Monday, March 14, the full General Assembly met and considered a handful of bills of interest to local governments, including:

  • A-2095, which revises requirements for emergency medical services delivery, passed by a vote of 44-31 with two abstentions.  It will be referred to the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee, where its companion, S-818, is also assigned.

 Amendments put in place by the sponsor, Assemblyman Conaway, have addressed the major concerns that we had with this bill. (See our August 30 Dear Mayor Letter.)  The bill, in its current form, requires a minimum of one emergency medical technician (EMT) as the standard of care for every ambulance in the state.  The most recent amendments also provide that a member of a volunteer first aid, ambulance or rescue squad, as defined in section 3 of P.L.1987, c.284 (C.27:5F-20), is not required to  pay a fee or assume any other cost for licensure as an EMT from the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services; or to assume the cost of a criminal history record background check that is to be conducted on all persons licensed or otherwise authorized to provide patient care in a pre-hospital care or inter-facility care setting.

  • A-3859, opposed by the League, requiring the approval of extending special improvement districts every 10 years by a majority of the property owners, was amended on the floor of the Assembly.  The bill could be posted again for a vote by the full Assembly at its next voting session, which will be after the “budget recess” in May.    

The amendments change the voting procedure in the bill, so that those who do not vote would not effectively be counted as “no” votes.  Further, the amended bill would allow a municipality to reinstitute a district after 5 years, instead of 10.  While we are pleased the bill was not voted on by the full Assembly, the amendments do not address most of the concerns we outlined in our March 11 Dear Mayor letter.  We have requested a meeting with the sponsor to discuss these concerns. 

  • S-2465/A-3587, which the League supports, would permit the combination of voter petitions and application by municipal governing body for approval of Municipal Consolidation Study Commission by Local Finance Board, passed unanimously and now goes to the Governor.

This bill will permit municipalities seeking to petition the Local Finance Board for the formation of a Municipal Consolidation Study Commission to obtain board approval either through voter petition or application by a municipal governing body, in any combination.

  • S-1712/A-3263, which the League supports, passed and now goes to the Governor. This bill will require hospitals to report to the local police department every case of a wound, burn, or any other injury arising from or caused by a firearm, destructive device, explosive, or weapon.  Under current law such reports must be made to either the local police or the State police. 

Questions on this letter can be directed to Mike Cerra at 609-695-3481 ext 120 or at mcerra@njslom.com.

Very truly yours,

 

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

 

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