August 20, 2013
Re: Recap of August 19 Senate Voting Session
Yesterday, the Senate held a voting session to take action on some unfinished business from June, as well as the Governor’s vetoes on several bills. Here is a recap of some developments of interest to municipalities.
S-533/A-1401, the “Common Sense Shared Services Act” was unanimously approved by the Senate to concur with the Assembly amendments. As reported in our July 1 Dear Mayor Letter, the Assembly amendments made the Act a pilot program. Instead of having broad application, only municipalities located in Camden, Morris, Ocean, Sussex and Warren counties could remove a tenured municipal clerk, chief financial officer, tax collector, municipal treasurer, tax assessor or municipal superintendent of public works to effectuate a shared service agreement deemed to be in the interest of the economy and efficiency of the municipalities. We maintain support for S-533 but would have preferred that all municipalities be provided the flexibility and increased opportunities for shared services intended in S-533. The bill now heads to the Governor for his consideration. Contact: Lori Buckelew at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 609-695-3481 x112.
A-1196/S-1778, the “Thomas P. Canzanella Twenty First Century First Responders Protection Act"; concerns workers' compensation for public safety workers. As we reported in our July 18 Dear Mayor Letter, the Governor vetoed A-1195/S-1178, which we opposed. Today, the Senate attempted to override the Governor’s veto. The attempt failed. We thank those Senators who voted against this override attempt. Contact: Jon Moran at email@example.com or at 609-695-3481 x121
A-691/A-2030/S-717, which provides for indication of veteran status on driver's licenses and identification cards issued by MVC, unanimously passed the Senate. The bill, which we support, now heads to the Governor for his consideration. Contact: Jon Moran at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 609-695-3481 x121
A-2593, which requires designated fire command structure in municipal emergency operations plans involving mutual aid responses to fires, was unanimously approved to concur with the Governor’s conditional veto. The Governor’s veto, which we support, requires that the Director of the Division of Fire Safety undertake a review of the laws, rules and regulations concerning the preparation and adoption of local fire mutual aid plans, and the coordination and deployment of fire service resources during an emergency where mutual aid is necessary or appropriate. The Director must develop and submit his findings and recommendations on whether revisions to existing procedures concerning local fire mutual aid plans are necessary, including whether a statutorily delineated chain of command is appropriate and needed within six months. The bill heads back to the Governor for his consideration. Contact: Jon Moran at email@example.com or at 609-695-3481 x121
A-2596, which removes requirement for one and two-family residences to be equipped with a portable fire extinguisher, was approved by the Senate to concur with the Governor’s conditional veto. The Governor’s veto, which we support, requires the Department of Community Affairs Commissioner to undertake a review of New Jersey’s requirements for portable fire extinguishers in residences and accompanying fines and shall report any findings and recommendations directly to the Governor no later than six months. Specifically, the commissioner shall examine the impact of, and make recommendations on, the requirements for portable fire extinguishers in residences as they relate to public safety. The bill heads back to the Governor for his consideration. Contact: Mike Cerra at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 609-695-3481 x120.
A-2878 received final legislative approval, when the Senate also concurred with the Governor’s Conditional Veto. This bill would bar employers and colleges from requiring current or prospective employees or students to turn over their login information for social networking websites as a condition of employment or acceptance. The Assembly had previously accepted the Governor’s conditions, which strike the clause that would have prohibited employers from asking a current or prospective employee if they have a personal account or profile on a social networking website. The Governor’s conditions also permit an employer to view, access and utilize any information about an employee or prospective employee that can be obtained in the public domain. Violations of the provisions of the bill would carry civil penalties up to $1,000 for the first violation and $2,500 for each subsequent violation. The Governor is expected to soon sign this bill into law. Contact: Ed Purcell, Esq. at email@example.com or 609-695-3481, ext. 137.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.