Senate passage: mobile gaming, library dissolution, fire equipment, more

TRENTON – The Senate passed bills dealing with dissolution of libraries, fire equipment purchases, mobile gaming regulations, and much more. 

S82: Passed 39-0.   This bill revises the imposition of motor vehicle penalty points for operating a motor vehicle in an unsafe manner. 

The bill mandates that after a third conviction for unsafe operation of a vehicle, penalty points are to be assessed only if the subsequent offense occurs within five years of the third offense or, in the case of an offender with more than three previous convictions, within five years of the immediately preceding conviction.  

A person who has committed more than three such offenses would be subject to a fine of $500.  Currently, the fine for fourth and subsequent convictions ranges from $250 to $500.

S204: Passed 39-0.    This authorizes the Division of Motor Vehicles to notify, in writing, the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over where a motorist resides when a driver’s license has been suspended.

S440/A1753: Passed 39-0. This bill would exempt operators of emergency, rescue or other vehicles 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. 

S1358: Passed 39-0. This bill provides a mechanism for the dissolution of municipal free public libraries after a Passaic County Superior Court decision found there was no such mechanism.  
Municipalities may find it cost effective to dissolve their free public library as a result of decreased circulation or a desire to share library services with an adjoining municipality. 
Under the bill, the governing body could adopt an ordinance requiring the submission of a public question to dissolve the free public library.  A public question would then be placed on the ballot in the municipality asking if the library should be dissolved.  

If the ballot question is approved by a majority of the voters, the library would be dissolved and the municipality would assume the assets and liabilities of the library.

S1415: Passed 38-0. This bill requires the New Jersey Turnpike Authority to establish a pilot program to aid former military personnel in finding employment in the construction industry.  The pilot program will require that for each highway project constructed by the authority, at least 20 percent of the projected labor hours are awarded to contractors registered with the Helmets to Hardhats Program. Amendments require compliance with the state prevailing wage laws.

S1855: Passed 39-0. This bill provides for voluntary contributions by taxpayers on gross income tax return to support New Jersey athletes participating in the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games.  

S1918: Passed 38-0. This bill would permit local units to enter into joint agreements to purchase fire equipment, offering them greater flexibility to lower costs and ease budgetary pressures.

S2049/A3325: Passed 39-0.  This bill authorizes the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority to enter into cooperative purchasing agreements with local government entities. Currently, a State authority, such as the CRDA, is not considered a “contracting unit” and is therefore ineligible to enter into cooperative purchasing agreements with local entities.  This bill would amend the law to allow the CRDA to engage in such contracts for the limited purpose of purchasing fuel sold by local entities. The Assembly passed its version.

S2144: Passed 38-0.  This bill repeals and replaces two chapters of New Jersey’s Uniform Commercial Code, makes significant revisions to another chapter, and makes conforming amendments throughout the code.
Amendments would clarify that a filing office that accepts written records may not refuse to accept a written financing statement or amendment to a financing statement. 

S2150/A1083: Passed 39-0. This bill requires the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority to develop a student loan repayment information document, post the document on its website, and annually distribute it to school districts that include grades 9 through 12 and to nonpublic high schools. The Assembly version has been passed.

S2236/A2610: Passed 38-0.  This bill authorizes the New Jersey Racing Commission to promulgate rules for mobile gaming devices by patrons at in-State racetracks for the placement of wagers on in-State and out-of-State races being transmitted to the racetrack through an approved simulcasting signal, and live races taking place at that racetrack. The Assembly version already passed.

S2238/A2947: Passed 39-0.  This bill revises the law governing the issuance of ID cards to disabled residents.

The bill, among other things, extends the ability to certify a person as disabled to physician assistants and nurse practitioners.  The Assembly version has been passed.

S2241: Passed 32-5. The purpose of this bill is to prohibit Medicaid managed care organizations from reducing provider reimbursement rates without approval from the Department of Human Services. 

A health maintenance organization that contracts with the Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services to provide benefits under a managed care plan to persons who are eligible for Medicaid or the NJ FamilyCare Program is not to reduce reimbursement rates to participating health care providers in that plan without obtaining prior written approval to do so from the Commissioner of Human Services.

S2274: Passed 39-0. This bill would change the name of the Mountainview Youth Correctional Facility to “William H. Fauver Youth Correctional Facility.” 

Fauver was the longest serving Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Corrections, and was employed by the department for nearly forty years.  

S2294/A1968: Passed 39-0. This bill permits 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. An Assembly version was approved in March. Senate passage: mobile gaming, library dissolution, fire equipment, more