New Hersey State of Muncicipalities FacebookTwitter Linkedin with NJSLOM       





   

June 18, 2014

Legislative Update:

I. Interest Arbitration Cap Set for Senate Vote on Thursday

II. Status of other Legislation of Interest

Dear Mayor:

1.Interest Arbitration Cap Set for Senate Vote on Thursday

We are pleased to inform you that Senate President Sweeney has scheduled A-3424, which reinstates the 2% cap on interest arbitration awards for a floor vote tomorrow, Thursday June 19.     This bill was unanimously approved by a vote of 78-0 by the Assembly on Monday and if the Senate approves the bill, it goes to the Governor for his signature.   For more, please see the League’s June 16 Dear Mayor letter (www.njslom.org/letters/2014-0616-Interest-Arbitration.html.)

Contacts:    Lori Buckelew, 609-695-3481 x112, lbuckelew@njslom.com or
Mike Cerra, 609-695-3481 x120, mcerra@njslom.com

II. Status of other Legislation of Interest

A.  “Buy American,” S-1811 & A-3059

S-1811 has passed the State Senate by a vote of 36-1.   It is now referenced to the Assembly Appropriations Committee, joining its Assembly companion, A-3059.   While identical amendments adopted by the Senate and by the Assembly Labor Committee address many of the local raised by local governments,  we do have some remaining concerns, including the very tight time restrictions in the waiver process.   For more, please see the League’s June 12 Dear Mayor letter (www.njslom.org/letters/2014-0612-Buy-American.html.)
Contact: Lori Buckelew, 609-695-3481 x112, lbuckelew@njslom.com

B.   A-2280/S-1305 Mandates video recorders on police vehicles

The League opposes A-2280/S-1305, which would require certain new or used municipal police vehicles to be equipped with mobile video recording systems. The bill also provides that a mobile device video recording systems worn or otherwise used by a police officer would qualify, in lieu of a device placed in a vehicle. In addition, the bill increases by $25 the surcharge imposed on persons convicted of driving while intoxicated, which would be used to offsetthe cost of equipping police vehicles with video recording systems, as required by this bill.

According to an Office of Legislative Services analysis, the new revenues will most likely, prove insufficient to fully fund the new mandate. This initiative has already passed in the Assembly. It could be voted on by the State Senate at any time. Please contact you State Senator as soon as possible, urging opposition to A-2280/S-1305.  Contact:  Jon Moran, 609-695-3481 x121, jmoran@njslom.com.

C.  A-947 – Release of bidders list

The League  strongly opposes A-947, which would require municipalities, counties and local authorities to release the names, upon request, of all parties who have received bid documents prior to the bid opening once three or more bid packets have been obtained.   The bill is scheduled for consideration by the Assembly on June 23rd. 

The release of the bidders’ list would have to be made available in a timely manner in accordance with the Open Public Records Act.  In addition, municipalities will have the option to post the list on their websites.  However, failure to release this information would prohibit a municipality from accepting the bids and require the re-advertisement for bids.  The League opposes A-947 for several reasons:

  1. We are concerned that the release of the bidders’ names prior to the receipt of bids could lead to collusion and bid rigging. 
  2. We are concerned that the bill will require a municipality to create and maintain a record.  Presently, the Local Public Contracts Law does not require a municipality to create or maintain such a record. 
  3. We are concerned with the benchmark of “three or more bids” before the release of the bidders’ list.  We believe that this arbitrary benchmark will lead to costly litigation.  If a person requests a copy of the bidders’ list but at that time only two bid packets have been released and twenty minutes later a third person obtains a bid packet what is the municipality’s obligation to the person who requested the list? 

The public bidding process should be open and competitive.  The names of bidders are routinely released after a bid opening.  We are troubled with releasing the list prior to a bid opening because it has the potential to limit competition which can drive up costs for taxpayers and create an environment that could possibly lead to bid rigging and collusion.  Please contact your Assembly representatives and urge them to vote NO on A-947.
Contact: Lori Buckelew, 609-695-3481 x112, lbuckelew@njslom.com

D.  S-1972, Prohibits Municipal Registration of Multi-Family Dwellings
The League opposes S-1972, which was approved by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee on Monday and may be scheduled for a Senate floor vote. This bill will preempt any municipal ordinance requiring registration for multi-family dwellings. The Assembly companion, A-474, is referenced to the Assembly Housing and Community Development committee.    We recommend that you reach out to your legislators and ask them to oppose S-1972 and A-474.   For more, please see the League’s Dear Mayor letter of May 20 (www.njslom.org/letters/2014-0520-Legislative-Alert.html.) Contact: Mike Cerra, 609-695-3481 x120 or  mcerra@njslom.com .

E.  Non-Residential Development Fee
The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee amended and advanced S-1011, which would re-establish the moratorium on the imposition of fees on non-residential construction projects until the end of 2014.  The previous suspension expired on July 1, 2013 and the fee provision is currently in effect.  Similar legislation, A-1907 is scheduled for a vote by the full Assembly on Monday.   The bill would require reimbursement to developers of the fee provided that the collected money has not been expended.    Contact: Mike Cerra, 609-695-3481 x120 or  mcerra@njslom.com .

We ask that you reach out to your State Legislators on these above issues.  Thank you.

Very truly yours,

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

 

Privacy Statement | NJLM FAQ
New Jersey State League of Municipalities • 222 West State Street • Trenton, NJ 08608 • (609) 695-3481
  FAX: (609) 695-0151