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March 5, 2013               LEGISLATIVE ALERT

Re: Recap of Legislative Developments on Monday, March 4

Dear Mayor:

A number of bills of interest and concern to municipalities saw action yesterday.   Here is a summary.

I. Pre-Emption of Municipal Registration of Rental Units

The Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee approved S-2114, which preempts local ordinances requiring the registration of rentals units and leave it to the Department of Community Affairs to provide this information to local governments.    The League opposes this bill.    The amended bill is now referenced to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee for its consideration.    We recommend contacting your legislators and ask them to oppose S-2114 and its Assembly companion A-3317.  For more on this legislation, please see the Dear Mayor letter of February 27.

II. Redevelopment Legislation Advances

 The Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee amended and approved S-2447, which would establish separate requirements for redevelopment projects that would involve condemnation and for those that would not. The bill provides a streamlined process for municipalities undertaking redevelopment projects that do not involve condemnation.  The League supportsS-2447, which is now referenced to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.     The Assembly companion, A-3615, is scheduled for consideration before the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee this Thursday.    

III.   Cluster Development Legislation Advances

S-2608, which would expand current law authorizing cluster development, was passed by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.   The League supports this permissive legislation, which provides local government with an addition tool for land use planning.   The bill now heads to the full Senate for its consideration.   The Assembly companion, A-3761, is scheduled for consideration by the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee on Thursday.

IV. Early Voting

S-2364, which would require the availability of early voting for certain elections, was amended and passed by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee by an 8-5 vote.  The League opposes this legislation.  S-2364 introduces a new, complex, and potentially expensive process without any dedicated funding mechanism.  Furthermore, it is unnecessary as we currently have a process, known as Vote By Mail, that permits voters every opportunity to vote and participate in the democratic process. 

Very truly yours,

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director



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