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January 10, 2012

Re:      I.         State of State Address Postponed
           II.        Governor Signs Legislation

Dear Mayor:

I.          State of the State Address Postponed

Due to the sudden passing of Assembly Republican Leader Alex DeCroce, today’s scheduled State of the State Address has been postponed.  Mayor Art Ondish, Mt. Arlington Mayor and League President, along with the League Officers, Members of the Executive Board and staff extend our deepest condolences to Assemblyman DeCroce’s wife, Department of Community Affairs Deputy Commissioner BettyLou DeCroce and his entire family.

II.        Governor Signs Legislation

Yesterday Governor Christie took action on pending legislation, signing twenty-five bills of which seven bills impact municipalities.  The following bills were signed by the Governor:

S-211/A-4383 – Requires guidance offered by Local Finance Board to members of local governing body employed by casino, or regarding casino employment of immediate family member thereof, be in form of pubic advisory opinion.  In addition, the law mandates that any advisory opinion issued by the Local Finance Board is a government record that is accessible to the public and shall not be confidential.  This law takes effect immediately. 

S-1141/A-898 – Permits board of fire commissioners to amend fire district budget after adoption to insert special items of revenue.  The laws governing Fire Districts has not been substantially revised since 1940.  This bill is the first step to bring the Fire District budget process in line with existing laws for municipalities and counties.  Currently, if a fire district receives a grant after their budget adoption they must hold the grant funds until the next budget year.  As a result, fire districts have lost opportunity to receive grant funding.  This law takes effect immediately.

S-2731/A-3876– Establishes that certification for police training course lasts five years.  Under the terms of this bill; a police officer who is terminated from an agency for reasons of economy or efficiency would be granted an exemption or waiver from retaking the basic training course if, within five years from the date of termination, the police officer is appointed to a similar law enforcement position in another agency or is reemployed by the agency from which they were terminated.  This law takes effect immediately.

A-3908/S-2765 (ACS) – Requires State, regional, and local authorities, boards, and commissions to establish an Internet website and post information related to each entity’s mission, finances, meetings, and employees.  The bill allows the affected public entities to create a webpage on another governmental entity's Internet website, instead of creating a whole new website.  It allows the policy makers of an affected public entity to use their discretion in determining which rules, regulations, and policies to post on their website or webpage, in order to avoid the posting of purely technical materials that do not further the goals of transparency and of sensitive materials dealing with ongoing litigation and facility security. This law takes effect on February 1, 2013.

A-4114/S-2956 – Allows all municipalities to sell and lease unneeded public property for “urban” farming and gardening purposes.   This law will permit all municipalities to lease a tract of land of less than five (5) acres to a non-profit corporation or association to cultivate and sell fresh fruits and vegetables.  This law takes effect immediately.

A-4267/S-3078 – Allows counties and municipalities to use open space trusts funds for purchase of flood-prone properties.   This law expands the “Municipal Open Space, Recreation and Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Funds” to include “Blue Acres” projects.  A “Blue Acres” project is defined to mean any project to acquire for recreation and conservation purposes, lands that have been damaged by, or may be prone to incurring damage caused by, storms or storm-related flooding, or that may buffer or protect other lands from such damage, and includes 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 takes effect immediately.

A-4297 (ACS)/S-3010 (SCS) – “Caylee’s Law”.  This law upgrades penalties for failing to report a death from a disorderly person to a crime of the 4th degree.  In addition it criminalizes the failure to report disappearance of child, a person under the age of 13 years, within 24 hours.  This law takes effect immediately.

If you have any questions of the newly enacted laws please contact Jon Moran at jmoran@njslom.com, Mike Cerra at mcerra@njslom.com, Lori Buckelew at lbuckelew@njslom.com or Matt Weng at mweng@njslom.com.

Very truly yours,

 

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

 

 

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