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January 7, 2011

Re:      Legislative Recap
I. Bill Signed by Governor
II. Bill Conditional Veto by Governor
III. COAH
IV. A-1458/S-2286 Banking District Act
V.  S-1451, Revisions to the Redevelopment Law

Dear Mayor:

Yesterday both the Assembly and Senate held voting sessions and Governor Christie took action on several bills.  Below is a recap of the events:

I. Bill Signed by Governor

Governor Christie signed the committee substitute for S-514, which permits bids, for public works contracts, in certain circumstances, to be withdrawn due to mistakes and permits contracting units to require financial statements from bidders.

Specifically, P.L. 2010, c. 108 provides that a bid can be withdrawn at any time prior to the date for receipt of bids or within five (5) business days after a bid opening or pre-award meeting due to bidder error. 

The law will take effect in 60 days.

II. Bill Conditional Veto by Governor

Governor Christie issued a conditional veto to S-1248, which requires municipalities to provide the Director of the Division of Local Government Services with a report outlining lawsuits not covered or defended by the liability insurance that the governing body expects to spend more than $50,000 for legal fees or a settlement on.  The conditional veto includes:

  • The report will be in a format approved by the Director
  • The municipality will have to indicate whether they are self-insure or contract out their liability insurance to a provider
  • The Division will make a copy of the report available on the Division’s website for a period of at least one year
  • Reporting period is defined as 12 months preceding the submission of the budget to the Director for approval
  • The bill will not apply to any local unit or local authority until that entity’s first full fiscal year next following enactment

The bill also ties budget approval to the submittal of the report. 
The bill now heads back to the Senate for consideration.

III. COAH

S-1, which abolishes COAH, was scheduled for a floor vote in the Senate but was not considered.  We understand that amendments are being developed and may be considered as early as Monday.  We will keep you posted.

IV. A-1458/S-2286 Banking District Act

A-1458/S-2286, which creates a “Banking Development District Program” to encourage the establishment of bank branches in geographic locations in the State where there is a demonstrated need for banking services, passed the Senate and now heads to the Governor. 

Under A-1458/S-2286, a municipality may select a bank in the district that has been designated by the Commissioner as the depository for municipal funds to earn interest at or below rates offered by other banks.

V.  S-1451, Revisions to the Redevelopment Law

S-1451, which would revise the laws concerning local redevelopment, relocation assistance and eminent domain was amended on the Senate floor.  As previously reported (see January 3 Dear Mayor letter), the League opposes this legislation because it will have a negative impact on redevelopment and hinder local governments’ tools to promote economic growth. 

The amendment would prohibit a municipality from utilizing eminent domain for lands and buildings as part of a redevelopment area if the lands or buildings are not detrimental to the public health, safety and welfare.  In addition, the amendment removes the provision that provides that up to 20% of the total land area in need of redevelopment may consist of property that is not in and of itself “blighted”, thus requiring all property condemned by a municipality to be blighted. 

We continue to oppose S-1451 and urge you to contact and ask your State Senator to oppose S-1451 as amended.

If you have any questions on the above actions, please contact either Jon Moran at jmoran@njslom.com or Lori Buckelew at lbuckelew@njslom.com.

Very truly yours,

 

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

 

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