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January 8, 2010

Re:   Up in the Assembly on Monday.

Dear Mayor:

The following bills, on which the League has taken a position, are scheduled for final action in the Assembly on Monday.  Please contact your assembly representatives to express your position.

We support the following bills:

A-333/S-1362Requires 45 days' notice to affected municipalities of discontinuance of certain bus and train service.

A-537Establishes criteria municipalities and counties are to consider when establishing speed limits.

A-823Regulates operation of snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, and dirt bikes, and certain other vehicles and off-road vehicles; requires DEP to designate three sites on State-owned land where snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, and dirt bikes may be used.

A-4063 Establishes the "New Jersey Foreclosure Fairness Act"; imposes additional foreclosure notice requirements; amends "Mortgage Stabilization and Relief Act."

A-4313 Revises procedure for reassessment of certain real property by assessor and appeal of assessment by certain property taxpayers.

S-1059 Requires DEP to designate three sites on State-owned land where all-terrain vehicles, dirt bikes, and snowmobiles may be used. We support this bill as long as the municipality has the right to approve the location.

S-1234 Permits municipality to determine permissible parking distance from intersection, crosswalk or "stop" sign.

We oppose the following bills:

A-1095 Decreases certain public document copy fees to up to $0.10 or less per letter size page and up to $0.15 or less per legal size page.  We believe that the current maximum fee structure for municipal governments, a sliding fee depending upon the number of pages, is adequate.  Municipalities can reduce the fee structure to reflect their local need.  In fact, significant number of municipalities have reduced the copy fee or eliminated the fee for public documents.

A-2859/S-1538 Concerns biomass, solar, and wind energy generation on farms.  This legislation eliminates municipal oversight regarding solar and wind generation facilities on farmland.  While we certainly support efforts to promote solar, wind and other alternative energies, we oppose this legislation and are very concerned with allowing landowners to exercise rights to commercial uses that were already relinquished through the preservation process.

A-3740/S-2528 Provides for regulation of small wind energy systems by municipalities.  This bill limits regulation of small wind energy systems by municipalities and unnecessary infringes on local discretion.

A-4082/S-2730 Requires public bodies to provide funds for outreach and training programs for minority group members and women in connection with certain construction contracts.  This bill shifts the responsibility from the private sector to the public sector.

A-4264 Revises statutes concerning permissible length of time between certain public questions in certain municipalities.  We believe that ten years is too long and the existing time frame is appropriate.  The ability to change the form of government is a local decision.

A-4291 Extends prevailing wage requirements to certain for-sale housing projects.  We believe that this bill is a state mandate that will dramatically increase the cost of services and harm competitive contracting. 

S-2740 Requires local unit or authority to provide director of the Division of Local Government Services with report concerning law suits to which it is a party before budget is approved.  The reporting requirements mandated by this bill will impose a further burden on municipal officials during their difficult budget process. It could cause further delays and add no value to the budget process that over the past several years has been delayed by uncertain municipal aid, decreasing revenues and increasing mandates.

Monday’s session is scheduled to be the Assembly’s last, prior to the beginning of the new Legislative Session.  The new Legislature will be sworn into office at noon, on Tuesday, January 12.  Any bills not passed by both Houses will expire and need to be reintroduced, and begin anew their journey through the Legislative process. We will notify you of Monday’s actions on these matters.  If you have any questions, please call 609-695-3481, ext. 112, 120 or 121.

Very truly yours,

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

 

 

 

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