The Town Crier - Legislative Backgrounder

The Town Crier - Legislative Backgrounder

Nov 12

[ARCHIVED] Governor Murphy Signs Bills with Municipal Interest into Law

The original item was published from November 12, 2021 10:48 AM to November 12, 2021 11:43 AM

On November 8, 2021, Governor Murphy took action on various pieces of legislation. Below are the bills that the Governor signed that have a municipal interest. 

P.L. 2021, c. 267 (S-1010/A-2103) permits counties and municipalities to bond for alternative fuel vehicles, including but not limited to, electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, natural gas vehicles and propane vehicles, when purchased new for five years.  The new law, which took effect on November 8, 2021, defines “alternative fuel automotive vehicle” as any passenger car, station wagon, or other motor vehicle that is not solely propelled by gasoline or diesel fuel. 


P.L. 2021, c. 270 (S-1239/A-5131) authorizes imposition of a separate fee for connection to municipal electric distribution system. The connection charge must be uniform within each class of users and the amount cannot exceed the actual cost of the physical condition plus an amount representing a fair payment towards the cost of the system. The connection fee must be recomputed at the end of each budget year, after a public hearing. This new law took effect on November 8, 2021. 


P.L. 2021, c. 278 (S-3091/A-4933) requires that whenever technically feasible, a local contracting unit to use or require the use of unit concrete products that utilize carbon footprint-reducing technology when entering into a contract for the purchase of unit concrete products or for any construction or improvement project that requires the use of unit concrete products, including the replacement of impervious surfaces with permeable pavers. The NJ Department of Environmental Protection must develop and publish guidelines for implementing the provisions of this new law. It will not apply when the head of a local contracting unit determines, in their sole discretion, that the purchase and use of unit concrete products that utilize carbon footprint-reducing technology would increase the cost of the contract. Please note that unit concrete product does not include ready-mix concrete, sand, stone, gravel, or bituminous concrete or asphalt. P.L. 2021, c. 278 took effect November 8, 2021. 


P.L. 2021, c. 301 (A-4869/S-2414)) requires the lowest bidder for a contract subject to the Prevailing Wage Act whose bid is 10% or lower than the next lowest bidder for the contract to certify to the public body that the required prevailing wage rates will be paid. If the bidder does not provide such certification prior to the award of the contract the public body must award the contract to the next lowest responsible and responsive bidder. This certification is required only when the public body is engaging in competitive bidding for public work. The Department of Labor, in consultation with the Division of Local Government Services, must promulgate rules regarding the standardization of the certification. P.L. 2021, c. 301 takes effect May 7, 2022, however, the Department of Labor make take any anticipatory action in advance of the effective date. 

Contact:  Lori Buckelew, Assistant Executive Director,, 609-695-3481, x112. 

P.L. 2021, c.263 (S828 / A2101) which requires a public utility regulated by the Board of Public Utilities (BPU), local unit, and a local utility, to notify each other within 180 days of the start of a public infrastructure project and a local infrastructure project which these entities plan to undertake.  Within 60 days of the receipt of the required notice, the public utility, local unit, and local utility are to examine any underground utility facility owned or operated by the public utility, local unit, or local utility to the extent feasible and notify each other whether any such underground utility facility needs repair or replacement and if any of these entities intend to undertake an infrastructure project within the scope of the other’s infrastructure project. The BPU, in consultation with the Department of Community Affairs, are to adopt rules and regulations necessary to implement this new law. The new law took effect on November 8 but remains inoperative for 180 days or May 7, 2022.  

P.L.2021, c.287 (A853 / S797) which prohibits municipal licensure of children operating temporary businesses. This legislation was in response to actions that may have taken place in other States. The League supported this bill as this common-sense legislation as no New Jersey municipality has accurately been reported as licensing temporary businesses for minors and the law will clarify any such ambiguities..  This new law took effect on November 8, 2021. 

Contact:  Andrew LaFevre, Legislative Analyst,, 609-695-3481, x116.

P.L. 2021, c. 258 (S-324/ A-3533) permits electronic proof of vehicle registration to be presented to law enforcement or in a judicial hearing. The Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) Chief Administrator may promulgate rules and regulations regarding any necessary actions to provide an electronic form. The MVC is required to send application for registration renewal to lessee of leased vehicle to lease. This act takes effect in 18 months.
P.L. 2021, c.288 (A-2311/ S-356) establishes a study commission to examine development of mutually beneficial relationships between institutions of higher education and municipalities. This act takes effect 90 days from November 8, 2021, and directs the commission to issue a report 12 months after organizing with recommendations including fostering relationships, engaging communities, structured partnerships, and land acquisition.  The eleven-member study commission will include four mayors and a representative of the League. The mayors would be from a municipality in which a State college or university, a public research university, a county college and independent college are located. 

 P.L. 2021, c.293 (A-4367/ S-2794) provides that the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) shall administer a program for municipal courts allowing defendants to engage in online plea negotiations, entry of guilty plea, and payment of fine or penalty. The act takes effect on February 1, 2022. 

Contact:  Paul Penna, Legislative Analyst, or 609-695-3481, x110.

P.L.2021, c.262 (S-647/A-4825) revised the cybersecurity, asset management, and reporting requirements for water purveyors under the Water Quality and Accountability Act (WQAA) and increased the oversight responsibilities of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Board of Public Utilities (BPU), and the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (OHSP) in relation to the WQAA.

Regarding cybersecurity, the new law requires each water purveyor in the state to obtain a cybersecurity insurance policy. The law also requires water purveyors to update their cybersecurity programs to meet new requirements within 180 days of November 8, 2021, the law’s effective date.  These new requirements include updating cybersecurity programs to apply to all of the public community water system’s industrial control systems, conforming the programs to the most recent version of certain industry-recognized cybersecurity frameworks, and annually certifying compliance with these requirements to the DEP, BPU, and OHSP.  

The new law also requires the New Jersey Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Cell (NJCCIC) in the OHSP to audit for compliance with the cybersecurity provisions of the WQAA any public community water system that fails to submit its cybersecurity program, any revision to the program, or its cybersecurity certification. In addition, the new law requires the NJCCICto require an audit of the water purveyor’s cybersecurity program and any actions the water purveyor took in response to the cybersecurity incident no later than 30 days after receiving a report of a cybersecurity incident from a water purveyor. Cybersecurity audits would be conducted by a qualified and independent cybersecurity company at the water purveyor’s expense.

Regarding reporting, P.L.2021, c.262 requires each water purveyor to submit a detailed annual report on its asset management plan to the DEP. It would identify: (1) the infrastructure improvements completed in the past year and the cost of those improvements; (2) the infrastructure improvements generally planned to be undertaken in the next 3 years and the estimated cost of those improvements; and (3) the infrastructure improvements that  may be required over the next 10 years and the estimated cost of those improvements. Compliance with these reporting requirements can also be demonstrated through the completion of a detailed, comprehensive planning study, facility master planning study, or other long-range planning study.

P.L.2021, c.264 (S-829/A-2135) requires property condition disclosure statements to include a question concerning the presence of lead plumbing in residential properties. Prior to the enactment of this law, a real estate broker, broker-salesperson, or salesperson was exempt from punitive damages and other penalties under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act when communicating the condition of a residential property if they relied on information provided in a property condition disclosure statement. The property condition disclosure statement is the form provided by the seller of residential properties to the real estate broker, broker-salesperson, or salesperson in order to disclose certain information prior to the sale of the property.


The new law provides the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety with the authority to require inclusion of a question within the property condition disclosure statement that specifically concerns whether the seller is aware of the presence of lead plumbing in the residential property. A real estate broker, broker-salesperson, or salesperson who communicates the condition of a residential property to a prospective buyer without obtaining this information from the seller could be liable for providing false, misleading, or deceptive information.

The League supported this law as legislation because it provides important health and safety disclosures for residents of our communities. P.L.2021, c.264 took effect on November 8, 2021.

P.L.2021, c.265 (S-830/A-2134) amended the Safe Drinking Water Act to allow customers of a public water system (PWS) that has exceeded action level for lead or copper to request to have their drinking water tested for the presence of lead and copper by the PWS. The PWS is required to include a notice on its customers’ bills that advertises the availability of the tests.   

Customers are now also allowed to request to have their drinking water tested when a public water system carries out a partial service line replacement on their lead service line. The customer has until six months after the completion of the partial service line replacement to make the request. If the test reveals an elevated lead level, the public water system is required to notify local health officials and the municipality where the customer is located. A customer would not be charged a fee for testing conducted under the revised law.

This law took effect upon the Governor’s signature on November 8, 2021.

P.L.2021, c.273 (S-2727/A-4775) established the “Multigenerational Family Housing Continuity Commission” for the purpose of conducting research, obtaining public input, and adopting recommendations on how to most effectively advance the goal of enhancing multigenerational family housing continuity, which can be defined broadly as the degree to which senior citizens are able to reside at the homes of their extended families. The commission consists of seven public members, in addition to the Commissioner of Community Affairs and the Commissioner of Human Services, or their designees, as nonvoting members. The commission annually reports to the Governor and the Legislature on its activities, findings, and recommendations.

Additionally, in each periodic update to a municipal housing plan element, a municipality is required to provide analysis of the extent to which municipal ordinances and other local factors advance or detract from the goal of preserving multigenerational family continuity, as expressed in the recommendations of the commission. Preparation of the housing plan element is a part of a municipality’s responsibilities regarding affordable housing under the “Fair Housing Act,” and is also included in the municipal master plan.

This law took effect upon the Governor’s signature on November 8, 2021.

P.L.2021, c.290, (ACS for A-3352/S-3504) requires warehouses of at least 100,000 square feet and built after July 1, 2022 to be solar-ready buildings. The Department of Community Affairs is required to adopt rules and regulations establishing standards for the design and construction of solar-ready buildings. The rules and regulations would incorporate the provisions of the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code, Appendix concerning solar-ready zones as well as and any successor model code.  

For purposes of P.L.2021, c.290, “solar-ready zone” is defined as a section of a roof or building overhang designated and reserved for the future installation of a solar photovoltaic or solar thermal system, which is at least 40% of the roof area calculated as the horizontally projected areas minus the area covered by skylights, occupied roof decks, vegetative roof areas, and mandatory access or setback areas required by the State Uniform Construction Code, or as otherwise provided in the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code, Appendix CA, and any successor model code, concerning solar-ready zones.

This law took effect upon the Governor’s signature on November 8, 2021.


Tag(s): Signed Bills