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October 19, 2016

Re: Legislative Alert
State Senate and General Assembly Voting Sessions, Thursday, October 20.

Both the General Assembly and State Senate will hold voting sessions on Thursday.  

Among the bills the Assembly may act on is A-3695, which would preempt municipal regulation of any “transportation network company,” such as Uber or Lyft.   The League opposes this bill.   Since 1917, in order to protect prospective passengers and the general public, and to preserve order, municipalities have been empowered by statute to license and regulate ride-for-hire businesses. Throughout that period, in order to protect the public, local governing bodies have been responsive to concerns raised by passengers, pedestrians, local merchants and other motorists. Local first responders have attended to accidents. While no level of regulation is perfect, municipalities have clearly demonstrated their effectiveness in this area for close to 100 years.

This bill would create a new class of taxis, exempt from local oversight. Instead, the legislation establishes State-level safety and insurance requirements for transportation network companies that conduct business in this State. According to the bill, a transportation network company (TNC) is an individual, corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, or other entity that uses a digital network or software application to connect a passenger to a transportation network company driver for the purpose of providing transportation to the passenger” A transportation network company driver is a person who operates a private passenger automobile to provide transportation to a passenger who requests transportation through a TNC’s digital network or software application, which results in a fare being owed by the passenger

The Senate companion was also scheduled S-2179 for a vote by the Senate but was removed from the board list.     However, we do expect a renewed push to advance the bill in the Senate.

What you can do:

The General Assembly will also consider the following bills:

  • A-2815 & S-92, which revise the “Overseas Residents Absentee Voting Law” to more closely resemble the federal overseas voting laws.   The League supports these bills, which already passed the State Senate.

The State Senate will consider the following:

  • S-86, which establishes three special law enforcement officers to provide security in public and nonpublic schools and county colleges;  the League supports this bill, which was previously approved in both houses but conditionally vetoed by the Governor.   The sponsors appear to have accepted the Governor’s recommendations and it appears to be headed back to the Governor for his approval.
  • S-979, which would prevent public employees from collecting a cash payout for declining health insurance with one public employer while accepting coverage from another; this  measure would also limit a public employee to receiving health care benefits coverage from only one public employer of this state, if the employee holds more than one public position simultaneously.   The League supports this bill, which has the potential to save significant taxpayer money without diminishing the level or quality of benefits provided to the state’s public employees.  There is no Assembly companion to date.

Please reach out to your Legislators on these issues.

Contact: Michael Cerra, Assistant Executive Director, mcerra@njslom.org or
609-695-3481 ext. 120. 

Sincerely,

Michael J. Darcy, CAE
Executive Director

 

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