TRENTON – The Assembly passed bills today involving proposed water rate increases, protections for community care center residents, and cooperative purchasing agreements.
A3027: This bill, passed 78-0, authorizes the use of contractors by the Division of Taxation for fraud prevention services.
A3038: This bill, passed 78-1, requires that public water utilities that have petitioned for an increase in water rates shall provide notice of any hearing or proceeding to be held by the BPU involving such a request. Such notice must be provided within a reasonable time prior to a hearing or proceeding, and shall be conspicuously enclosed within the bills for service sent by the utility, or other written notice, as appropriate.
A3039: This bill, passed 78-0, establishes a New Jersey Council on Lupus Education and Awareness in the Department of Health and Senior Services. This purpose of the council is to assess the status of education on lupus and develop a comprehensive lupus education and awareness plan accordingly.
Lupus is a lifelong autoimmune disease that can cause inflammation, tissue damage, seizures, strokes, heart attacks, miscarriages, and organ failure. It strikes mostly women of childbearing age and, more often than not, African-American, Latina, Asian and Native American women. Lupus can be difficult to diagnose and often is misdiagnosed.
A3325: This bill, passed 79-0, authorizes the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority to enter into certain cooperative purchasing agreements with local government entities. S2049 has already gone through committee.
A1380/S327: This bill, passed 79-0, amends the 1982 “Food Bank Good Samaritan Act” in order to encourage the distribution of food that would otherwise go to waste by providing immunity to certain food donors. This bill extends that immunity to colleges and universities located in the state. The Senate already passed its version.
A2573: This bill, “Tara’s Law,” provides for oversight of community care residences. The bill includes provisions to oversee persons who are licensed to operate community care residences, the case and the day programs. It passed 79-0.
The bill also amends existing law to provide for safeguarding and reporting information which may be necessary for any civil or criminal proceedings which may follow an allegation of abuse, neglect, or exploitation by a caregiver (which includes a licensee) of an individual with a developmental disability.
S599 passed the Senate earlier.
A1744: This bill permits municipalities to meet their fair share housing obligation by providing affordable housing preference to veterans of military service in time of war or other emergency.
This bill requires the Council on Affordable Housing to develop rules, which could be similar to those of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, extending the housing benefit to New Jersey veterans. It passed 79-0.