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January 8, 2010

Re:      Recap of Thursday’s Senate Committee Meetings

Dear Mayor:

As we enter into the final days of the Lame Duck session, legislation continues to move quickly.  The following bills were released out of committee yesterday.

S-58 – Legislation to modify the “time of decision” rule and grant Planning Board/Zoning Board of Adjustment application once it has been submitted for consideration by the municipal board has been reported out of committee.  League Executive Board Member and Woolwich Mayor Joe Chila submitted testimony to the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.   We oppose the bill because it discourages smart growth, undermines sound planning strategies and diminishing the role of locally elected officials.   While the bill was released by Committee, it has not been scheduled for a vote by the full Senate and no companion bill has moved in the Assembly. We do not anticipate the bill moving further during the Lame Duck, but we will advise you immediately if that changes before the Legislative term ends at noon on Tuesday.

S-2986—League Executive Bill Dressel testified in opposition to legislation that requires public employees to maintain and preserve retired health benefits of PFRS retirees to at least the same level as provided at retirement.   The League was joined in opposition to this costly proposal by the Director of the State Division of Pensions.   The bill was referred out of committee and can be scheduled for a vote by the Senate on Monday.  The Assembly companion, A-4254, has not been considered by the Assembly Housing and Local Government committee. While we are uncertain that this bill will pass during the lame duck, we would ask that you contact your legislators on this

S-3139—The League supports legislation which would permit members of volunteer fire companies and emergency response squads to hold municipal elective office.  The Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee approved this bill, which can be scheduled for a vote on Monday. 

SCI Report “The Beat Goes On”—The Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee held a public hearing on the recent State Commission of Investigation (SCI) report on waste and abuse in local government employee compensation and benefits.  The League submitted a statement to the Committee for their consideration, which is online at:

Please contact us at (609) 695-3481 x112, x120 or x121 if you have any questions on these matters.                                                          

Very truly yours,

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director




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