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December 2, 2011                              Legislative Alert

Re:  I.  General Assembly Voting Session on Monday
       II.  Transitional Aid Bill before Senate Committee

Dear Mayor:

I.          General Assembly Voting Session on Monday

The General Assembly is scheduled to take place this Monday, December 5.  On the board list are various bills of interest for municipalities. 

The following bills, which the League supports, are scheduled:

A-359 – The "Foreclosure Rescue Fraud Prevention Act."  For more on this bill, please see our Dear Mayor letter of June 28.

A-898/S-1141 – Permits board of fire commissioners to amend fire district budget after adoption to insert special items of revenue. For more on this bill, please see our Dear Mayor letter of November 22.

A-4114Allows all municipalities to sell and lease unneeded public property for "urban" farming and gardening purposes.  For more on this bill, please see our Dear Mayor letter of November 22.

A-4267Allows counties and municipalities to use open space trust funds for purchase of flood-prone properties.

A-915/S-463 –– Authorizes creation of local renewable energy collaboratives and central renewable energy generation systems, and provides for sale of renewable power generation.  We support this legislation, but the League believes it should be expanded so that all municipalities are permitted to take advantage of the law.

The League of Municipalities opposes the passage of the following bills:

A-3285Requires certain public contract bid advertisements to contain certified cost estimates or estimate ranges of projected contract costs and specifies grounds for rejections of all bids.  In addition, to requiring that a contracting unit include in the public advertisement their cost estimates or cost estimate ranges for construction projects in excess of $500,000, the bill amends the six reasons to reject all bids.  A-3285 would limit a competitive process that is the foundation of the Local Public Contracts Law and would not best serve the public interest.  A-3285 removes the incentives for competitiveness and will lead to increased cost for public contracts.    For more on this bill see our Dear Mayor letter of November 30 and May 26.

A-3949/S-2989 – Provides certain collocations of wireless equipment, minor site plan status.  The legislation unnecessarily impedes on local discretion and unjustifiably waives notice and public hearing requirements.  A-3949/S-2989, would exempt the collocation from any site plan review, even if it proposed increasing the height of the tower by 10% and increased the footprint of the mechanical equipment compound by up to 2,500 sq. feet.  For more on this bill, please see our Dear Mayor letter of November 22.

A-3992Provides for streamlined review of certain wind energy generation facility installments on farmland.  This legislation, which has been amended so that it applies only to Salem and Cumberland counties, is an unnecessary intrusion on local discretion and undermines the State’s farmland preservation program.  For more on this bill, please see our Dear Mayor letter of November 22 and September 20

We urge you to contact your Assembly representatives on these bills.

II.        Transitional Aid Bill before Senate Committee

S-3118, which would appropriate $140,500,000 to DCA for transitional Aid to Localities and administrative costs, is scheduled for a hearing before the Senate Budget and Appropriation Committee on Thursday, December 8.  With municipal budgets hanging in the balance, fast action is needed to resolve this matter. Otherwise massive municipal program and personnel cut-backs could deny our fellow citizens access to vital life-sustaining and life-enhancing services.  For more information on this bill please see our Dear Mayor letter of November 29.

Please contact your State Senator and urge them to support S-3118.

Very truly yours,

 

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

 

 

 

 

 

 

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