I. Preview: Week of March 15
Legislative front: Various Assembly and Senate committees will be holding hearings and considering numerous pieces of legislation during the week. The municipal issues before the various committees include:
Assembly Telecommunications & Utilities: Considering legislation that permits local unit or authority that operates a water, sewerage, or stormwater management system to reduce the fees or other charges it collects from low-income persons residing in its district or service area (A-2846). Legislation that prohibits an electric, gas, or water public utility (utility) from discontinuing service to a residential customer for utility bill nonpayment during an epidemic, such as during the outbreak of Coronavirus 2019, except when the utility experiences a utility emergency (A-3878). Legislation that prohibits public utilities and authorities from increasing a rate, fee, interest on delinquent chargers, or similar charge for service rendered to a customer during and within 180 days after the end of a declared public health emergency (A-4678). Legislation that requires Board of Public the Board of Public Utilities (BPU), in consultation with the Department of Community Affairs (DCA), to prepare and submit, within 30 days of the effective date of the bill, to the Governor and to the Legislature, a written report which is to make findings and recommendations concerning the effects of the coronavirus 2019 pandemic on local utility and public utility service to commercial and residential customers in this State (A-5290/S-3335). Monday, March 15, 2021 at 9:00 a.m.
Assembly Military & Veterans Affairs Committee: Taking testimony from invited guest on the status of how women veterans and women in the military are treated in New Jersey. Monday, March 15, 2021 at 10:30 a.m.
Assembly Women & Children Committee: Legislation that requires domestic violence orders to be issued in the primary language or languages used by both the plaintiff and the defendant (A-1078). Monday, March 15, 2021 at 12:00 p.m.
Assembly Special Committee on Infrastructure & Natural Resources: Legislation that requires public water system (PWS) in the state to develop a service line inventory and a replacement plan for lead service lines that provides for the replacement of all lead service lines within 20 years, and would authorize an investor-owned PWS to recoup the costs of lead service line replacements by increasing the rates it charges to its customers (A-5343). Legislation that amends various public finance laws, including the Local Budget law, to remove existing restrictions on the ability of local governments and authorities to finance the costs of lead service line replacements (A-5407). Monday, March 15, 2021 at 12:30 p.m.
Assembly Labor Committee: Legislation that promotes workforce diversity in project labor agreements (A-5378/S-3414). Monday, March 15, 2021 at 1:30 p.m.
Assembly Science, Innovation & Technology Committee: Takes testimony from guest on consumer data protection and privacy. Monday, March 15, 2021 at 3:00 p.m.
Assembly Environment & Solid Waste Committee: Legislation that requires the Departments of Environmental Protection, Health, and Community Affairs, owners or operators of public water systems, and the owners or operators of certain types of buildings to take specified actions to help inform citizens of the state about, and prevent and control cases of, Legionnaires’ disease (A-1075). Legislation that requires every architectural paint producer, or a representative organization established on behalf of two or more such producers, to develop and implement a plan for an architectural paint stewardship program designed to minimize public sector involvement in the management of post-consumer architectural paint by reducing its generation, promoting its reuse and recycling, and negotiating and executing agreements for its collection, transportation, reuse, recycling, burning for energy recovery, incineration, and disposal using environmentally sound management practices (A-1979). Legislation that requires the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to develop, and update as appropriate, guidelines for use by State and local agencies when entering into contracts for the purchase of goods to encourage the maximum purchase of goods made with the highest percentage of recycled material (A-2783). Monday, March 15, 2021 at 3:15 p.m.
Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee: holds public hearing on the FY 2022 State Budget. Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at 9:30 a.m.
Assembly Community Development & Affairs Committee: Legislation that authorizes municipalities and counties to establish civilian review boards to review police operations and conduct (A-4656). Legislation that requires law enforcement to provide written notification to parent or guardian of person under age 18 who commits first offense of unlawfully buying or possessing alcoholic beverages or cannabis (A-5472). Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at 9:15 a.m.
Assembly Appropriations Committee: Legislation that provides for the uniform regulation of small wireless facility deployment in this state by the State government and local government units (A-1116). Legislation establishing the Renewable and Efficient Energy Financing program in the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank to provide loans and other forms of financial assistance to State entities, local units, and school districts to finance cost-effective energy efficiency improvements in buildings and other property owned or operated by the State entities, local units, or school districts (A-1976). Legislation that would revise the cybersecurity, asset management, and reporting requirements for water purveyors under the "Water Quality Accountability Act" (WQAA), and increase the oversight responsibilities of the Department of Environmental Protection and the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness in relation to the WQAA (A-4825/S-647). Legislation that expands indoor capacity for food or beverage establishments and banquet and wedding venues under certain circumstances during COVID-19 pandemic (A-5133). Legislation that appropriates federal funds to Economic Development Authority as follows: $25 million to support microbusinesses in need (A-5443), $35 million to support food and beverage establishments in need (A-5444), $10 million to support child care centers in need (A-5445), $15 million to support businesses and nonprofits in need (A-5446), and $15 million to support arts and culture organizations in need (A-5447). Legislation that authorizes commercial farms that are located on preserved farmland, and produce agricultural or horticultural products worth $5,000 or more annually, to hold special occasion events, subject to certain conditions (A-5478/S-2714). Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at 10:45 a.m.
Assembly State & Local Government Committee: Legislation that permits public libraries to dispose of certain materials, such as books, periodicals, newspapers, without advertising for bids (A-1180/S-2644). Legislation that permits certain proposed county ordinances to be sent to the clerk of each municipality in the county by regular mail or by electronic mail (A-2284/S-818). Legislation that would prohibit the appeal of a municipal land use decision on the basis of a deviation from some requirement of law because a meeting was held by virtual or remote means during a declared emergency (A-4881). Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at 1:30 p.m.
Assembly Homeland Security & State Preparedness: Legislation that requires the Office of Emergency Telecommunications Services in the Office of Information Technology to establish a central registry of residents with special needs, who would require additional assistance during an emergency (A-1173). Legislation that requires the director of the State Office of Emergency Management to designate an emergency response liaison for people with special needs who will coordinate and oversee emergency responses for people with special needs (A-5302). Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at 3:00 p.m.
The Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) Board of Trustees will be meeting on Wednesday, March 17. The pre-agenda has been released. Members of the public may attend the meeting by dialing 844-867-6169 Access Code: 6332828
This week, the House will consider H.R. 1620, the Violence Against Women Act and H.J. Res. 17, to remove the deadline for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.
Additionally, the House will consider two bills to address the immigration system, including H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act, and H.R. 1603, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, which creates a legal status pathway for agricultural workers and reforms the H-2A guest worker program.
Lastly, the House will consider H.R. 1868 which prevents across-the-board direct spending cuts.