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February 13, 2012

I.    Conference Resolution Update, Resolution 2011-02
II.   Mandatory Fluoridation Bills Advanced

Dear Mayor,

I.   Conference Resolution Update, Resolution 2011-02

Mayors Carl Schupp of Cape May Point and Edward Mahaney of Cape May City co-sponsored League Conference resolution 2011-02, which was approved at the annual business meeting at the League’s 2011 conference. (For a full list of the League’s resolutions please see: http://www.njslom.org/resolutions/2011-NJLM-Conference-Resolutions.pdf.)

On Thursday, the Senate Labor Committee took testimony on the January 2012 Unemployment Insurance Task Force Report.  The Task Force made 6 recommendations, including one regarding seasonal employment and UI:  The six recommendations include:

  • Change Employer Experience Rating in Tax Rate Table;
  • Identify Seasonal Industries and End UI Eligibility for Seasonal Employees at the End of Their Work Season;
  • Implement Stricter Work Search Requirements for UI Claimants;
  • Change State Law and Regulations to Include Workers’ Compensation and Severance Pay in the Determination of Unemployment Benefits;
  • Retain the Current “Suitable Work” Requirements and Upgrade Information Technology;
  • Change State Law to Eliminate Base-Year Criteria for “Benefits Charging”

The Task Force report and additional details may be found at:
http://lwd.dol.state.nj.us/labor/forms_pdfs/lwdhome/press/2012/UITaskForceReport_2012.pdf

The League has been in contact with all the legislators who serve on this Task Force, including Senator Fred Madden (D-4) and Assemblyman Joseph Egan (D-17), who chair the Senate and Assembly Labor Committees, respectively.     Our correspondence has indicated that the League will support any legislation which will implement the recommendation regarding unemployment insurance and seasonal employees.     We expect legislation to implement this recommendation to be introduced shortly.  When such legislation is introduced, the League will provide you a sample resolution in support of the bills and provide you of further updates.  Questions can be directed to Mike Cerra at mcerra@njslom.com or 609-695-3481 x120

II.    Mandatory Fluoridation Bills Advanced

On Thursday, February 9, the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee advanced S-959, which requires the fluoridation of all public community water systems in New Jersey.  On Monday, February 6, the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee released the companion bill, A-1811. Both bills have been given Second Reading and are poised for final action in their respective Houses.

The League opposes S-959/A-1811. The bill directs the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, in conjunction with the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, to adopt rules and regulations relating to the fluoridation of public community water systems. The bill, further, requires the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, in conjunction with the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, to enforce the rules and regulations requiring the fluoridation of water in all public community water systems within 12 months of the effective date of the bill.  Every local government unit and water purveyor is to control the quantities of fluoride in the water so as to maintain a fluoride content prescribed by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection as provided in the rules and regulations adopted pursuant to the bill.

Respectfully, we view these requirements as unfunded mandates. Though not unconstitutional, these mandates would impose added costs on ratepayers. A careful cost benefit analysis might be appropriate, considering that only a small fraction of publicly provided water is ingested, the rest being used for cleaning, gardening, sanitation and other purposes, and considering the availability and popularity of pre-packaged drinking water at retail outlets.

Accordingly, we oppose S-959/A1811. We have asked that the Office of Legislative Services be directed by the sponsors to prepare a Fiscal Note on this new mandate. We will keep you posted on further developments.

Questions on this issue can be directed to Jon Moran at jmoran@njslom.com or at 609-695-3481 x121.

Very truly yours,

 

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

 

 

 

 

 

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