Assembly passes dozens of bills

TRENTON – The Assembly passed numerous bills, including charter school votes, e-court filing fees, tax credits for charging stations and more.

A186, Ralph Caputo, (D-28), Belleville: This bill would establish a carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide air quality testing and certification program for ice arenas implemented by the Department of Health and Senior Services.

It passed 47-26-5.

A323, Ronald Dancer, (R-12), Jackson; Celeste Riley, (D-3), Salem; Alison McHose, (R-24), Spara: This would permit special events to be conducted on preserved farmland, provided that, among other things, the income generated accounts for less than 50 percent of the annual gross income of the preserved farmland.

It passed 79-0.

A566, Connie Wagner, (D-38), Paramus; Craig Coughlin, (D19), Woodbridge: This bill provides corporation and gross income tax credits for the purchase and installation of electric vehicle charging stations.  The credits are available for the tax periods beginning in calendar years 2013, 2014 and 2015.

It passed 52-20-5.

A595, Grace Spencer, (D-29), Newark; Peter Barnes III, (D-18), Edison: This bill prohibits an independent sales organization from operating an automated teller machine unless it provides consumers with an option to withdraw as much as $200 per transaction.

It passed 69-10. 

A763, Peter Barnes III, (D-18), Edison: This bill would increase court filing fees to fund the development of a computerized court information system, and to provide funding for Legal Services of New Jersey and other programs.

This bill has drawn opposition from, among others, the state Bar Association, who labeled the filing fees a “user tax’’ that will actually deny court access to litigants who need it the most.  But Barnes said both goals of the bill need to be met: Advancing into the e-court realm, and providing more funds for Legal Aid.

Barnes has said that this bill was arrived at after consultations with the governor’s office in order to pass a bill that could win his signature.

Republican Holly Schepisi, who voted for the bill, said that one concern is a lack of checks and balances of whatever fee schedule arises.

It passed 63-14-1.


A796,  Nancy Munoz, (R-21), Summit; Vincent Prieto, (D-32),  Secaucus: This bill would prohibit the sale of stolen grave markers or historical plaques.  Scrap metal dealers would be prohibited from receiving or purchasing any scrap metal in the form of a cemetery marker unless the person delivering it has shown that police certified the metal as being OK for sale.

It passed 79-0.

A1035, Anthony Bucco, (R-25), Randolph; Ralph Caputo, (D-28), Belleville: This bill upgrades burglary of a residence to a second-degree offense, and to a first-degree offense if the person is armed. A crime of the second degree is punishable by a term of imprisonment between five to 10 years, a fine not to exceed $150,000 or both. A crime of the third degree is punishable by a term of imprisonment between three to five years, a fine not to exceed $15,000 or both.

It passed 69-8-2.

A1066/S297, Gary Chiusano, (R-24), Sparta; BettyLou DeCroce, (R-26), Whippany: This bill forbids members of the State Investment Council from voting on transactions concerning investments with which a member has certain financial or familial conflicts and requires a member to be removed from the council for votes cast in violation of that restriction.

It passed 78-0. 

A1151/S371,  Pamela Lampitt, (D-6), Voorhees; Valerie Vainieri Huttle, (D-37), Englewood:  This bill would authorize the Director of the Division of Purchase and Property to enter into a group purchasing agreement with any local government unit and any independent authority or agency  for the purchase of alternative fueled vehicles. 

It passed 78-0.

A1176/S874, Pamela Lampitt, (D-6), Voorhees; Patrick Diegnan, (D-18), South Plainfield: This bill makes a number of revisions to the NJ STARS and NJ STARS II college scholarship programs. In the case of NJ STARS, the bill limits the costs covered by the scholarship to tuition, as opposed to tuition and fees. In the case of the NJ STARS II Program, the bill allows recipients to attend a New Jersey independent four-year institution of higher education.  Under current statute the scholarships can only be used to attend four-year public institutions.

It passed 79-0.

A1180/S873, Pamela Lampitt, (D-6), Voorhees; Daniel Benson, (D-14), Hamilton Square: This bill permits the New Jersey Community College Consortium for Workforce and Economic Development to request additional funds from the “Supplemental Workforce Fund for Basic Skills” to provide basic skills training.

It passed 78-0.

A1227, Paul Moriarty, (D-4), Turnersville; Nelson Albano, (D-1), Cape May Court House: This bill makes it unlawful for a person to send an unsolicited check to an individual which, upon being cashed, automatically obligates the recipient to pay any fee or enrolls that individual in any club, service, plan or continuing agreement.

It passed 78-0.

A1265/S376, Craig Coughlin, (D19), Woodbridge; Daniel Benson, (D-14), Hamilton Square: The purpose of this bill is to educate state employees and the public about the importance of organ and tissue donation and the options and programs available. It passed 79-0-1.


A1294/S1026, Mila Jasey, (D-27), Maplewood; Wayne DeAngelo, (D-14), Hamilton: This establishes the “VETeach Pilot Program” to address the shortage of teachers that is anticipated to occur due to teacher retirements by taking advantage of the qualified workforce represented by the state’s veterans.    

It passed 79-0.


A1511/S68, John Burzichelli, (D-3), West Deptford; Paul Moriarty, (D-4), Turnersville: The bill makes it unlawful for a business to advertise merchandise for sale indicating the availability of a manufacturer’s rebate by displaying the net price of the item of merchandise, unless either:  the amount of the manufacturer’s rebate is provided to the consumer at the time of purchase; or  the selling price is disclosed in the same font and size as the net price and clear and conspicuous notice is provided in the advertisement that a mail-in rebate is required to achieve the lower net price.

It passed 41-37-1.

A1531/S1025,  John Burzichelli, (D-3), West Deptford; Connie Wagner, (D-38), Paramus; Ruben Ramos, (D-33), Hoboken: This would allow a casino and out-of-state racetrack to negotiate a higher percentage payout for transmission of a simulcast horse race. The rate would increase from 3.5% to 6%, or from 6% to 9%, as appropriate.

It passed 77-0.

A1585/S3770, Daniel Benson, (D-14), Hamilton Square; Paul Moriarty, (D-4), Turnersville: The bill provides that if a service contract has an automatic renewal provision for a specified period of more than one month, the seller shall disclose the automatic renewal provision clearly and conspicuously in the contract or contract offer.

It passed 72-6.

A1660/S960,  Gordon Johnson, (D-37), Teaneck; Valerie Vainieri Huttle, (D-37), Englewood: This bill would increase the maximum amount that a county or municipality may annually contribute to a volunteer first aid, ambulance or rescue company.  Currently, a county or municipality may annually contribute up to $70,000 and, if any company experiences extraordinary need, an additional $35,000 annually. This bill would increase these amounts to $125,000 and $70,000 respectively.

It passed 79-0.

A1827, Herb Conaway Jr., (D-7), Delran; John McKeon, (D-27), Madison: This bill requires that the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs include human growth hormones among the drugs to be monitored in the Prescription Monitoring Program.

It passed 79-0.

A1838/S375, Herb Conaway Jr., (D-7), Delran; Nancy Munoz, (R-21), Summit: This bill mandates that a medically fragile student requiring clinical nursing services would have such care rendered by a provider of clinical nursing services who meets the same standards established by the Department of Human Services for providers of clinical nursing specialist services in the Medicaid and NJ FamilyCare programs.

It passed 78-0.

A1871, Patrick Diegnan, (D-18), South Plainfield; Paul Moriarty, (D-4), Turnersville:  This bill reverses the 2010 changes as to the state’s abandonment periods for travelers checks, money orders, and escheatment of stored value cards.  The bill restores the 15-year abandonment period for travelers checks.   The bill restores the seven-year abandonment period for money orders.  Under the 2010 changes, both travelers checks and money orders were subject to a three-year abandonment period.  The bill provides that SVCs issued on or after the bill’s date of enactment are no longer subject to state escheatment.   It passed 48-27-4.

A1877/S458, Patrick Diegnan, (D-18), South Plainfield; Peter Barnes III, (D-18), Edison: This bill provides that the Commissioner of Education may not approve an application for the establishment of a charter school unless it has been approved by the voters of the district or the board of school estimate. 

In the past, Gov. Christie has said he is against allowing voters to weigh in on establishment of charter schools. It passed 46-27-4.

A1968, John McKeon, (D-27), Madison; Grace Spencer, (D-29), Newark: This bill would permit surety companies to issue blanket bonds that cover municipal treasurers, tax collectors, municipal court judges, and municipal court administrators.  Currently, these officers and employees cannot be covered under a blanket bond issued by a surety company.  This bill is intended to increase competition in the blanket bond market, thereby helping to reduce costs for local property taxpayers.

It passed 77-2.

Assembly passes dozens of bills