July 8, 2014
RE: Weekly Summer Legislative Update
I. S-1972/A-474, Prohibits Municipal Registration of Multi-Family Dwellings
The League opposes S-1972, which will preempt any municipal ordinance requiring registration for multi-family dwellings, defined by statute as 3 or more units. If you recall, identical legislation advanced during the 2012-2013 legislative session, but the bills did not advance for final floor votes.
S-1972 now stands at 2nd reading in the Senate and was scheduled for a possible Senate vote on June 26. Fortunately, after local officials reached out to the State Senators to express opposition, the bill was held and did not advance. However, the bill may reemerge again in the fall.
The Assembly companion, A-474, is referenced to the Assembly Housing and Community Development committee.
A 1967 law, the “Hotel and Multiple Dwelling Law,” authorized the State to require registration, in addition to local registration, of residential rental properties with three or more units. Currently, a municipality has the option to require registration for these units.
Such registration is neither redundant nor at cross-purposes with registration conducted by the State. Municipalities conduct these registrations for a multitude of reasons all centering on the health, safety and welfare of their residents. For example, this discretion enables some municipalities to keep a timely inventory of multi-family dwellings in the community and minimize the instances of overcrowding. This option assists municipalities in effectively regulating the quality of housing in the community and should not be preempted by Trenton.
We recommend that you reach out to your legislators and ask them to oppose S-1972 and A-474. A sample resolution opposing this legislation is available at: http://njslom.org/documents/Resolution_Opposing-S-1972_A-474.pdf
Contact: Mike Cerra, 609-695-3481x120 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
II. S-951 - Promotes safety of sanitation workers
The League of Municipalities supports S-951. This legislation, which would be styled “Michael Massey’s Law,” requires flashing lights on sanitation vehicles and imposes restrictions on drivers approaching sanitation vehicles displaying flashing lights.
Specifically, the bill would require a driver approaching a stationary sanitation vehicle to exercise due caution and, absent any other direction by a law enforcement officer, move into a lane not adjacent to the vehicle, if that lane change is safely possible. If a lane change would be impossible, prohibited by law or unsafe, the driver would need to reduce the speed of the motor vehicle to a reasonable and proper speed for the existing road and traffic conditions, which must be less than the posted speed limit, and be prepared to stop.
Additionally, the bill would provide that sanitation vehicles must display flashing amber warning lights while stopped on a street and while engaged in the collection of garbage, solid wastes, and refuse or while moving between stops at a speed not greater than 10 miles per hour. Current law authorizes sanitation vehicles to use flashing lights but does not require this safety provision.
The bill’s title honors the memory of Michael Massey, a resident of Freehold Township and a public works employee with Ocean Township, who was killed in a motor vehicle crash while working, on May 30, 2013.
We commend the sponsor for her leadership on this legislation. It will appropriately provide better protection to sanitation workers all around our Garden State.
We support S-951. It awaits consideration by the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee. Contact: Jon Moran at 609-695-3481, ext. 121 or email@example.com
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.