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November 10, 2015

Re:   Governor Christie Takes Action on Various Bills of Interest

Dear Mayor:

Yesterday, Governor Christie took action on various bills of interest to municipalities as follows:

BILL SIGNINGS:

P. L.  2015, c. 122, which requires municipalities that license peddlers and solicitors to accept certain background check results from other municipalities, will take effect on March 1, 2016.

P.L. 2015, c. 129, permits municipalities that own and operate non-profit electric distribution utilities to save money by empowering them to create a municipal shared services energy authority. The law took effect on November 9, 2015. 

P.L. 2015, c. 135, clarifies that all payments, reports, and receipts from employers related to the unemployment compensation program, required by N.J.S.A. 43:21-14, be submitted or remitted directly to the Division of Revenue, which is also known as the Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services “DORES”.  The law took effect on November 9, 2015.

P.L. 2015, c. 140, deems an educational research and services corporation as a local unit under the Uniformed Shared Services Act to permit them to act as a lead agency or contracting unit for the procurement of goods or services concerning educational technology systems and related services by municipalities, counties, fire districts or local authorities. The law took effect on November 9, 2015.

P.L. 2015, c. 142, permits municipalities to enact ordinance allowing voluntary registration of private outdoor video surveillance cameras.  The law took effect on November 9, 2015.  This new law gives municipalities a power they already enjoyed.

P.L. 2015, c. 143, establishes an additional category of State school aid known as commercial valuation stabilization aid. A school district may receive this aid upon the recommendation of the Commissioner of Education, if it is situated in a municipality in which: 1) commercial property accounted for at least 75 percent of the total assessed property valuation in 2008, and 2) between 2008 and 2013, the assessed value of commercial property declined by at least 25 percent. The law took effect on November 9, 2015.

P.L. 2015, c. 149, permits holders of certain alcoholic beverage licenses to be issued amusement game licenses and updates definition of recognized amusement park.  Establishments offering food, drink and amusement games, are popular and have brought jobs and economic development in a number of States, including some of our neighbors. The law took effect on November 9, 2015. 

P.L. 2015, c. 155, amends the existing definition of all-terrain vehicles (ATV) to provide that ATVs are a type of vehicle possessing between three and six non-highway tires, and removes any reference to being powered by a gasoline engine of a certain size. Golf carts are excluded from the definition of an ATV. The law took effect November 9, 2015.

P.L. 2015, c. 156, upgrades crimes of false public alarm under certain circumstances and requires all local and county law enforcement authorities to submit an annual report containing the number, nature, and disposition of the offenses.  The law will take effect April 1, 2016, but permits the Attorney General to begin to take advance action in preparation of the law.

BILLS CONDITIONALLY VETOED AND RETURNED TO THE HOUSE OF ORIGIN FOR CONCURRENCE OR OVERRIDE:

A-947 (Singleton, Lagana, Diegnan), which would require the release of the bid list prior to bid date under "Local Public Contracts Law" once three or more bid specification were picked up, was conditionally veto by the Governor. The Governor’s conditional veto removes the three or more bid specification benchmark and permits the local unit the discretion to release the bidders list before the opening of the bids.

A2579 / S1510 (Mukherji, Pintor Marin, Eustace, Smith, Bateman), which authorizes municipalities to facilitate private financing of water conservation, storm shelter construction, and flood and hurricane resistance projects through use of voluntary special assessments. The Governor’s conditional veto would limit PACE (property assessed clean energy) loans to commercial and industrial properties and multi-family dwellings of five or more units.

A-3223 / S2056 (Singleton, Lampitt, Quijano, Pintor Marin, Sarlo, Ruiz, Wimberly), which would require the Division of Local Government Services to include certain property tax information on the division's web page, was conditionally vetoed by the Governor. The Governor’s conditional veto changed the information required to include local government budget data summary, which would include compensation of elected officials, staffing levels, debt, structural budget challenges and credit ratings. In addition, instead of including information on the average homestead credit payment, it would require additional data regarding property tax relief programs.

BILLS VETOED AND ALSO RETURNED TO THE HOUSE OF ORIGIN FOR POSSIBLE OVERRIDES:

A-3500 / S-1973 (Andrzejczak, Pinkin, Quijano, Van Drew, Beach), which would require local recreation departments and youth serving organizations to have defibrillators for youth athletic events.  The Governor felt that this law would be unduly burdensome on youth sports. We had opposed this bill and are gratified that it was vetoed.

A-4265 / S-2783 (McKeon, Pintor Marin, Jasey, Caputo, Giblin, Tucker, Spencer, Oliver, Gusciora, Danielson, Codey, Ruiz, Rice), which permits municipal, county, regional police and fire forces to establish a five-year residency requirement for police officers and firefighters; it allows exceptions to the requirement under certain circumstances. We supported this bill, as it would have empowered municipalities to require local residency.

A-4613/S-50 (Prieto, Greenwald, Gill, Rice, et al), which would have modified various voter registration and voting procedures, also known as the “The Democracy Act”, was vetoed by the Governor. 

Sincerely,

Michael J. Darcy, CAE
Executive Director

 

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