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September 18, 2015

Re: Weekly Policy Update          
I.          Attorney General Directive on Body Worn Cameras Reminder
II.        New GASB Rule Requires Disclosure of Tax Abatements
III.       Mayors Committee on Life Sciences
IV.       FEMA Again Extends Sandy damage claim deadline to October 15
V.        Best Practices Checklist for CY Municipalities is due Friday, October 16

Dear Mayor:

Here is a brief recap of some policy issues of interest:

I.  Attorney General Directive on Body Worn Cameras Reminder

As a reminder, the Attorney General’s new directive on body worn cameras (BWC) will become effective on September 26th. A copy of this directive can be found here. The directive does not require police officers to be equipped with cameras. It only applies if your municipality chooses to employ that technology.

This is a complex document. We recommend that you speak with your municipal attorney regarding its impact. A particular area of importance would be how section 11.2 pertains to OPRA.  Recently, this section has been further analyzed and discussed.  One reading of this section would require that municipalities only need to consult with their local county prosecutor when an OPRA request is for a BWC recording pertaining to an “investigation of a criminal offense.” And, at all times, the decision to withhold or disclose a record remains with the municipality. This differs from the League’s initial reading of this provision in our August 13th letter. Again, because of the complexity and the importance of this issue we recommend you speak to your municipal attorney about it.

Additionally, the League will be offering a webinar on this Attorney General directive which will take place on September 25th.  More information on that webinar can be found here.

Contact Ed Purcell Esq., 609-695-3481 x 137 or epurcell@njslom.org

II.  New GASB Rule Requires Disclosure of Tax Abatements

Recently, the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) approved new guidelines (Statement 77) that for the first time require local governments to disclose, on financial statements, information about tax abatement agreements. The requirements of this Statement are effective for financial statements for periods beginning after December 15, 2015. For more information regarding Statement 77, click here.

III.  Mayors Committee on Life Sciences

The Mayors Committee on Life Sciences extends an invitation to a free lunch forum and legislative update October 13 in New Brunswick.  Find details here http://www.njslom.org/Committee-Life-Sciences.html"

IV.  FEMA Again Extends Sandy damage claim deadline to October 15

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently extended the September 15 deadline for a review of Sandy-related claims under the National Flood Insurance Program.  Residents now have until Thursday, October 15 to request a review of their claims if they believe they were underpaid.

To be eligible, the claimants must have experienced flood damage between October 27th, and November 6th 2012, as a result of Sandy. Policyholders can call the NFIP’s Hurricane Sandy claims center at 1-866-337-4262 or go to www.fema.gov/hurricane-sandy-nfip-claims to download a form requesting a review. The downloaded form may be filled out and emailed to FEMA-sandyclaimsreview@fema.dhs.gov to start the review process.
For more information click here

V.  Best Practices Checklist for CY Municipalities is due Friday, October 16

As a reminder the Best Practices Checklist for Calendar Year or Transitional Fiscal Year municipalities is due by Friday, October 16.  For more information click here

Contact: Lori Buckelew, 609-695-3481 x112 or lbuckelew@njslom.org

Sincerely,

Michael J. Darcy, CAE
Executive Director

 

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