Senate passes bills: physician orders, subsidized health care, more

The Senate approved several bills today.

S3038: This restores subsidized health care coverage for a small group of adults who were terminated in the fiscal year 2012 appropriations.

The bill restores NJ FamilyCare eligibility to those individuals who have been eligible for the program since 2001 due to their prior enrollment in and continued eligibility for the Health ACCESS program. The bill also retroactively covers health expenses these individuals may have incurred after the termination of their coverage.

S1015: This provides for corporation business tax and gross income tax credits to businesses that have employees who are also members of the National Guard or a reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States and receive mobilization orders for active duty service. The amount of credit is equal to 20% of the salary and wages paid by a business taxpayer during the tax period for the employment of a qualified employee, but the tax credit may not exceed $2,000 for each qualified employee.

S2197: This provides for the use of Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) forms in New Jersey. Gov. Christie vetoed an earlier version that he felt was overly broad and, among other things, he feared would have effectively allowed a patient’s wishes to be overridden by the patient’s physician or healthcare representative without the patient’s prior consent.

A921, which creates the “New Jersey Trade Secrets Act,” which is based on the “Uniform Trade Secrets Act.”

S3052: This would direct the New Jersey Economic Development Authority to establish a small-business loan program to provide low-interest loans in amounts not exceeding $250,000; and

S3054: This bill seeks to expand corporation business tax credit programs to the gross income tax. This is intended to provide gross income taxpayers with the same incentives available to corporation business taxpayers for investment and hiring, particularly sole proprietors, partnerships, and limited liability companies.

A1471/S1823: This unanimously passed bill requires a municipality to follow certain application and notice requirements when issuing new or additional taxi licenses. This bill also permits a municipality, when issuing one or more taxi licenses, to auction the licenses to the highest bidder.

A1436/S397: This bill provides that the owner or operator of a court reporting firm providing court reporting services in this State must hold a registration certificate granted by the State Board of Court Reporting pursuant to this bill. The purpose is to help smaller services compete with larger agencies. This bill would also require court reporting firms, in providing court reporting services, to employ only court reporters certified by the board or temporary court reporters registered with the board.

S1885: This bill would establish, for a period of five years, a new tax deduction for taxpayers providing loans to business located within urban enterprise zones (“UEZs”). This bill would allow lenders making loans directly to qualified UEZ business to receive tax-free treatment of the interest income earned on those loans. The tax-free treatment of the interest income will serve as an incentive that will promote lending to small businesses within UEZs.

S2928: This bill, passed 38-0 establishes the “Task Force on the Closure of State Developmental Centers.”

The bill provides that the task force shall perform a comprehensive evaluation of the State’s seven developmental centers and prepare a plan that provides for closing of developmental centers in an orderly manner that complies with the decision of the United States Supreme Court in Olmstead v. L.C. (1999), and enables a person with a developmental disability to receive services and supports in the least restrictive setting appropriate to the person’s needs.

S2989: This bill passed 36-0, and would supplement the “Municipal Land Use Law,” to exempt from site plan review the collocation of wireless communications equipment on existing support structures provided that: (1) the structure has been previously granted all necessary approvals, (2) the proposed collocation of additional antennas and equipment will not increase the wireless communication support structure’s height by more than ten percent or expand the width of any existing equipment compound beyond 2,500 square feet, and (3) the structure will be substantially consistent with the terms and conditions of the underlying approvals.

S3033: This bill, approved 38-0, establishes the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program to provide businesses with tax credits for creating a minimum of 100 new or retained full-time jobs as well as making capital investments of at least $20 million at a qualified business facility in certain qualified incentive areas as designated in the bill. Senate passes bills: physician orders, subsidized health care, more