TRENTON – The Assembly passed numerous bills today, largely on consent without debate. They included bills affecting protections for accident victims, electronic waste disposal, and crime victims compensation.
A166/S1366: This bill designates Route 31, which runs through the counties of Mercer, Hunterdon, and Warren, as the “Tri-County Purple Heart Memorial Highway.” The Senate version already passed that chamber. It passed 78-0.
A606: This bill establishes the fourth-degree crime of entering into restricted airport property in violation of federal security requirements. A crime of the fourth degree is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000, imprisonment for a term of up to 18 months, or both. The Senate version, S1709, is in committee. It passed 78-0.
A801: This bill, passed 73-4-1, would provide accident victims more protection, specifically from being contacted by lawyers who want to represent them in court.
Currently, the law bars solicitations from an accident victim or the victim’s relative concerning an action for personal injury or wrongful death for 30 days after the incident, and it refers to health care professionals.
This bill would expand the definition of “professional employment” to include others, and it would bar solicitations in writing in addition to those done in person.
A1144: This bill provides that a dealer of building materials must deliver a uniquely identified delivery ticket with them. It must include a copy for the consumer, and a means for inspection when materials have been delivered. It passed 75-0.
A1289: This bill, passed 72-6-1, amends the law concerning plans for the erection or repair of a building or any other improvement to property, for which the total price exceeds the amount set forth in the “Local Public Contracts Law.”
Under this bill, any plans that involve the removal of soil from the site would be required to include a statement provided by a laboratory using sampling methods approved by the Department of Environmental Protection specifying the level of contamination of the soil that has been found at the site of the project.
A1459: This bill, passed 70-8-1, would amend the “Electronic Waste Management Act” by revising its penalty provisions, deleting the credit-trading program, reallocating the funds collected under registration fees, authorizing enforcement of the act by certified local health agencies, and removing audit and public hearing requirements under current law.
This legislation was conditionally vetoed last month, and this incorporates the governor’s recommendation to increase the maximum penalty to $25,000, not $50,000 as the original bill sought.
Additionally, a TV manufacturer’s responsibility will be measured by weight, rather than in units.
A1519/S612: This bill, passed 50-28, would establish the Elevator Contractors Licensing Board to grant licenses to people who install, service, test or construct elevators. This includes elevators, dumbwaiters, wheelchair lifts, manlifts, stairway chairlifts, and other devices with moving cars or platforms. The term does not include escalators or moving walks.
The Senate version passed earlier this year.
A1667/S1173: This bill, passed 73-3-2, requires the Department of Corrections to transfer to the Victims of Crime Compensation Office restitution payments owed to victims who have not been located by the DOC and have not come forward to claim the payment for two years. Payments that have been transferred to the VCCO would be used to satisfy claims under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act of 1971.
The Senate version was passed earlier this year.
A1688: This bill, passed 73-1-5, prohibits a public college or university from entering into an agreement for the purposes of the direct merchandising of credit cards to students.
A1711: This bill, passed 63-16, increases the penalties for drivers who fail to secure a child under the age of 8 and weighing less than 80 pounds in a child passenger restraint system or booster seat in a rear seat.
The penalty now is a fine of between $10 and $25. The bill increases the penalty for a first offense to a fine of $100 and provides that for a first offense, the court is to waive the fine to be imposed if the defendant demonstrates that he or she is in possession of a child passenger restraint system. The fine for subsequent offenses would be from $250 to $500.
The Senate version, S370, is in committee.
A1753: This bill, passed 79-0, would exempt the designated operators of emergency or rescue equipment utilized by either the State Office of Emergency Management or any local Office of Emergency Management from having to secure a commercial driver’s license.
A1848: This bill, passed 79-0, imposes a limit on the fees which may be charged with regard to certain court materials. The fee for a government record in the form of printed matter is 5 cents per letter size page and per legal size page, unless the public agency can demonstrate that its actual costs for duplication of a government record exceed those rates.
A2042: This bill, passed 79-0, would permit shore towns to provide free or reduced-fee beach access to veterans who have served in any of the Armed Forces of the United States. S958, the Senate version, is in the committee stage.
A2132: This bill, passed 79-0, directs the Board of Public Utilities to promulgate regulations requiring each electric public utility to provide accurate price information so that customers can compare services.
S2181 is in the committee stage.
A2161: This bill revises the designation of “Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month” from February to September. It passed 79-0.
A2416: This bill encourages the Department of Transportation to examine and promote the development of electric vehicle charging stations as part of any project financed by the Transportation Trust Fund Authority. An electric vehicle charging station supplies electricity for the recharging of plug-in electric vehicles. The companion bill, S980, is in committee. It passed 57-18-4.
A2593: This clarifies that the local fire mutual aid plan of each municipality or fire district is to include a command structure that would support the designated battalion chief or incident commander. The bill specifically requires that battalion and deputy chiefs be included as part of the county fire mutual aid plan. It passed 79-0.
A clearly designated command structure is essential when a number of different fire departments are called to respond to an emergency situation, according to bill sponsors.
A2641: This bill, passed 48-31, would authorize a county, town, or utilities authority to regulate combined sewer overflows, to establish a stormwater utility for the purpose of creating a stormwater management system. The bill would authorize imposition of user fees. The Senate version is in the committee stage.
A2763/S1816: This bill, passed 53-23-2, would afford police officers of the Delaware River Port Authority the power to inspect hazardous materials carriers and cargoes.
Under current law, only members of the state police, police officers of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and specially designated personnel from the departments of Transportation and Environmental Protection are authorized to undertake such inspections.
In Pennsylvania, DRPA police officers are authorized to exercise these inspections. S1816 already passed in the Senate.
A2870: This bill, passed 46-30-3, requires the Secretary of State to create, on a secure Internet site, an online voter registration form. The bill requires the online voter registration form to contain the same information required to be contained on paper voter registration forms.
A2948: This bill requires out-of-state law enforcement entities to provide prior notice before conducting a surveillance operation in New Jersey to the Attorney General, the superintendent of State Police, and the chief law enforcement officer of the jurisdiction in which a surveillance operation is to take place. It passed 76-3.