Senate passes bills: Medication disposal, property assessment program, more

S81/A733: This bill would prohibit a health care institution, or an employee from disposing of any unused prescription medication into a public wastewater or septic system. Passed 36-0.

S1213: This bill would create a real property assessment demonstration program to demonstrate a more cost-effective and accurate process of real property assessment. Up to four counties may participate as demonstration counties. Under the demonstration program, all future revaluations and reassessments of real property by municipalities will be performed on the county software system. Passed 36-0.

S1303: This bill, designated as “Patrick’s Law,” increases animal cruelty penalties. Depriving an animal of food would be a fourth-degree offense, and if the animal dies as a result of such denial or other abuse it would be a third-degree crime. The civil penalty for these offenses would also be increased under the bill to a fine of $1,000 to $3,000 for a first offense, and $3,000 to $5,000 for a subsequent offense. Passed 34-0.

S1469: This bill provides workers’ compensation benefits to surviving spouses of firefighters or police officers who die in the line of duty, even if the spouse remarries. Currently, such spouses receive a lump sum upon any remarriage which occurs during the first 450 weeks of benefits. Under the bill, a surviving spouse who remarries will instead continue to receive weekly workers’ compensation benefits. Passed 35-0.

S1878: This bill enhances the penalties for falsely incriminating another person in criminal activity. The crime would rise from fourth to third degree. The penalties would increase from 18 months in jail and/or a $10,000 fine to three to five years in jail and/or a $15,000 fine.

The penalties become even harsher if the victim was falsely implicated of a first- or second-degree crime. That would entail five to 10 years in jail and/or a $150,000 fine. Passed 36-0.

A qualifying development project is a real estate development project located in a municipality having fewer than 1,000 residents and in a redevelopment area established by the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission. Passed 30-4.

 

S2007/A2029: This bill designates the “Honor and Remember Flag” as the state’s official flag for recognizing military personnel who died in the line of duty.

The flag came about as a result of the efforts of George Lutz whose son was killed by a sniper in Iraq. Lutz learned that the United States did not have an officially recognized symbol to acknowledge the approximately 1.6 million American service members who have given their lives, so he came up with the “Honor and Remember Flag.” Passed 37-0.

 

S2022/A2652: This bill prohibits the charging of workers’ compensation claimants for medical expenses that have been authorized by the employer or its carrier. It also provides that the treatment of an injured worker or the payment of workers’ compensation shall not be delayed because of a claim by a medical provider. Passed 37-0.

S2023/A1351: This bill would permit bingo games conducted solely for recreation or amusement by any person, group, or organization to be conducted without licensure. Passed 36-0.

S2052: This bill would establish a bill of rights for residents of retirement communities, covering areas such as a reasonable right to privacy, freedom to express concerns, and advance directives on life-sustaining treatment. Passed 36-0.

S2144: This bill repeals and replaces two chapters of New Jersey’s Uniform Commercial Code.

The bill repeals and replaces chapters 1 and 7.

The most important change to Chapter 1 involves the default choice-of-law provisions. Revised Chapter 1 provides a different basic rule, applicable to all transactions except certain consumer transactions, that allows the parties to choose the law of their transaction without reference to whether the transaction bears a reasonable relationship to the selected legal regime.

The revised Chapter 7 was approved by the Uniform Law Commission in 2003 and has been adopted in 43 states. It has two primary objectives: (1) allowance of electronic documents of title, and (2) introduction of provisions to reflect trends at the state, federal and international levels. Passed 35-0.

S2156: The bill would authorize lenders to bring summary actions to foreclose mortgages on vacant and abandoned residential property. It passed 35-2.

S2159: This bill requires compliance with various sections of the federal Internal Revenue Code by pension funds for board of education employees of first-class counties. Essex County, which has been a closed pension system since 1980, is the only pension fund currently operating under those statutes. Passed 36-0.

S2169/A3096: This bill establishes a conditional dismissal program in municipal court similar to the existing supervisory treatment programs for pre-trial intervention and conditional discharge. Passed 38-0.

S2190/A1888: This bill allows for the suspension or revocation of the license of health care professionals and medical waste facilities for illegal or improper medical waste disposal in violation of anti-dumping laws. Passed 36-0.

S2198/A3028: This bill would establish the Clean Car Commission and abolish the Low Emission Vehicle Review Commission, which was established in 2003, but never organized. Among other things, the Clean Car Commission would review the California Low Emission Vehicle program, as well as the success of incentives and technology for zero emission vehicles. Passed 27-10.

S2200: This bill requires the Board of Public Utilities to issue an order, in writing, of its decision on any petition by a public utility to approve the sale of any property owned by the public utility, within 180 days after receiving a petition. Passed 38-0.

Senate passes bills: Medication disposal, property assessment program, more