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May 14, 2013

Re:      Governor Christie Takes Action on Several Bills
I. S-195 Cancellation of Charges and Fees Signed into Law
II. S-1358 Dissolution of Free Public Libraries Signed into Law
III. S-1536 Appointment of Municipal Emergency Managers Signed into Law
IV. S-1650 Revisions to EMS Requirements Vetoed

Dear Mayor:

I.          S-195 Cancellation of Charges and Fees Signed into Law

Governor Christie signed into law S-195, which expands the cancellation of property tax refund or delinquency to include charges and fees imposed by the municipality.  Specifically, a governing body is permitted to adopt a resolution authorizing a municipal employee  the ability to cancel charges and fees imposed by the municipality that are less than $10.00 without further action by the governing body.  The League supported the bill. P.L.2013, c.54 took effect May 9, 2013.

II.        S-1358 Dissolution of Free Public Libraries Signed into Law

Governor Christie signed into law S-1358, which provides a mechanism for the dissolution of a municipal free public library.   Any free public library that was established by referendum may be dissolved by public referendum, by a majority of registered voters at a general election.  The municipal clerk must provide public notice by advertisement in two newspapers as well as at least five public places in the municipalities for at least 10 days prior to the election.  The law outlines the specific public question that must appear on the ballot.  The public question varies depending whether or not there is a county library.

If the public question is approved for the dissolution a municipal library in a county that has a county library established pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:33-4, the governing body must hold a joint meeting with the library board of trustees and county library governing body as soon as practicable for the purpose of arriving at an agreement as to the implementation of such discontinuance, the use of the library facilities thereafter, the adjustment, apportionment, accounting for, settlement, allowance and satisfaction of the rights and liabilities in or with respect to any property, obligations, or other matters or things connected with the municipal library, and such other matters and things in connection therewith as those governing bodies shall jointly determine.  If the governing bodies shall be unable to agree, the matter shall be referred to the Division of Local Government Services’ Director.

If the public question is approved for the dissolution of a municipal library in a county that has county library established pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:33-5.1 of N.J.S.A. 40:33-15 et and in a county that does not have a county library established pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:33-4, the municipality in which the free public library is located shall assume the assets and liabilities of the free public library upon the date of dissolution; and remaining assets may be anticipated by the municipality as a miscellaneous revenue; provided, however, that the monies shall be used solely and exclusively by the municipality for the purposes of reducing the amount the municipality is required to raise by local property tax levy for municipal purposes.  The Division of Local Government Services Director shall certify that each affected municipality has complied with this requirement.  If the Director finds that monies transferred to a municipality under this section are not used by that municipality solely and exclusively to reduce the amount required to be raised by the local property tax levy, then the Director shall correct the municipal budget, pursuant to N.J.S.40A:4-86, to ensure that the transferred funds are used for that purpose only.

In addition, if the public question is approved, the municipality shall assume the assets and liabilities of the free public library upon the date of the dissolution, unless other provisions have been made.

P.L.2013, c.56 took effect May 9, 2013. The League supported this legislation.

III.       S-1536 Appointment of Municipal Emergency Managers Signed into Law

Governor Christie signed into law S-1536, which permits a mayor or commissioner, as appropriate, to appoint a municipal emergency management coordinator from among the residents of the contiguous municipalities subjected to a shared service agreement. The League supported this bill. P.L. 2012, c57 took effect May 9, 2013.

IV.       S-1650 Revisions to EMS Requirements Vetoed

Governor Christie vetoed S-1650, which revises the requirements for emergency medical services delivery.  The League has opposed this legislation. In his veto message Governor Christie noted that “modifications of this scope should only be considered following a comprehensive review to determine how the proposed changes would impact property taxes, volunteerism, licensure, certification, State and local budgets, and opportunities for regionalization or shared services.”

Very truly yours,

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

 

 

 

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