January 30. 2015
RE: Weekly Policy Update
Here’s a recap of major policy issues of interest to local governments.
I. Transportation Trust Fund
The reauthorization of the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) is a major legislative priority for the League, along with a long and diverse list of other stakeholders. This issue is likely to dominate policy discussions in Trenton for the next several weeks and months. It is critical for local leaders to reinforce with the State Legislators the importance of renewing the TTF to our infrastructure and for our economy. For more, please see the League’s letters of January 9, January 20 and the League’s TTF page at: http://www.njslom.org/TTF/index.html
Contact: Jon Moran, email@example.com or 609-695-3481 x121
II. Spill Act
In a unanimous decision the New Jersey Supreme Court held that the state’s general statute of limitations (N.J.S.A. 2A:14-1) does not apply to compensation actions brought pursuant to the Spill Act. (N.J.S.A. 58:10-23.11f(a)(2)(a)). The Court’s decision aligns with the position taken by the New Jersey League of Municipalities and the New Jersey Institute of Local Government Attorneys in their joint amici curiae brief. Represented by the League’s Associate Counsel-Staff Attorney Ed Purcell Esq, the League and the Institute argued that taxpayers should be permitted to recoup the costs associated with remediating contaminated properties in New Jersey pursuant to the Spill Act, despite the six year general statute of limitations.
Contact: Ed Purcell, firstname.lastname@example.org or 609-695-3481 x137.
III. Traffic Calming Measure signed into law
The Governor signed into law A-1483/S-2363, which the League supports. Specifically, this bill allows a municipality or county to construct traffic calming measures in business districts on streets under municipal or county jurisdiction without approval from the State Department of Transportation (DOT.) Now a municipality would only need to provide notice to DOT of its intention to implement traffic calming measures on a State or county roadway in these circumstances. A county or municipality would be required to obtain DOT approval prior to constructing a speed hump or other traffic calming measure which places any impact on a State roadway.
This legislation is a common-sense measure, which will eliminate unnecessary red tape and give discretion to communities in managing traffic safety. The League thanks the sponsors for this initiative and for their careful consideration of comments raised by the League, which are now reflected in the legislation.
Contact: Mike Cerra, email@example.com or 609-695-3481 x137.
IV. Federal 1033 Program
The League supports the passage of two bills that will provide greater deliberation on decisions to accept surplus military equipment for use by local law enforcement, through the Federal 1033 program. Specifically, S-2364 (and its companion, A-3901) require that an application for the enrollment of a county or municipal law enforcement agency in the 1033 program needs to be approved by a resolution adopted by the governing body prior to submission of the application to the State Coordinator. This legislation also requires the actual acquisition of property through the 1033 program to be approved by a resolution adopted by the governing body. S-2365 (a companion to A-3754) requires the Attorney General to direct the Office of Emergency Management to review the 1033 program.
As the program currently operates, local law enforcement agencies must request enrollment through the State Coordinator and the DLA Law Enforcement Support Office. Once received, the local unit is responsible for all costs related to operation, maintenance and repair of the equipment, and for training local personnel in its use. Increased oversight of the 1033 program will help to ensure that local law enforcement agencies obtain equipment necessary and appropriate for the execution of their responsibilities, and that it is used responsibly.
On Thursday, the bills were combined (as S-2364 and S-2365) and approved by the Assembly. They are now positioned for final action by the Governor.
Contact: Jon Moran at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609-695-3481, ext. 121.
V. League Legislative Priorities & Last Reminder for Mayors’ Legislative Day
If you have not yet done so, please review the League’s legislative priorities from 2015 and what you can do to make sure the voices of local governments and taxpayers are heard in Trenton: http://www.njslom.org/letters/2015-0109-Weekly-Update.html. These priorities will be a topic of discussion at the Mayors’ Legislative Day on February 4, 2015. Please see this link for the registration form: http://www.njslom.org/seminar-documents/Registration-Form-MayorsLegDay.pdf
Contact: Mike Cerra, email@example.com or 609-695-3481 x120
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.