Passed in Assembly: Port Authority minutes bill, preservation funds, more

TRENTON – A bill addressing concerns about the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey passed in the Assembly today.

A2166 requires the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to transmit the minutes of its meetings to the Legislatures of New York and New Jersey for review and approval.  Either Legislature may disapprove the minutes within 10 business days of receipt of the transmission. It passed 44-31.

Republican Assembly members Scott Rudder, Brian Rumpf and David Wolfe issued a statement early this year saying  that no governor will allow another state’s Legislature to have an equal say in their actions, and so this effort is doomed.

Primary sponsors are Democrats John Wisniewski and Valerie Vainieri Huttle.

Assemblyman Scott Rumana, after asking if the bill would affect only the PANYNJ, pointed out this bill has no chance of becoming law and wanted it amended, a motion that was tabled.

Gov. Christie on an earlier occasion expressed a desire for a comprehensive approach to legislation affecting many of these types of agencies, and also said that steps his administration has taken at PANYNJ will yield desired results.

These bills also were passed today: 

A219:   Passed 76-0. This bill would exempt a disabled veteran or a recipient of the Purple Heart from the payment of municipal parking meter fees when a vehicle owned by that person displays disabled veteran’s or Purple Heart license plates issued by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, unless the vehicle has been parked in one location for more than 24 hours.

A465: Passed 69-4-1. This bill provides for criminal history record background checks for public employees handling vital records as a condition of their employment.

A494:  Passed 74-0-1. This authorizes the Motor Vehicle Commission to issue a recreational fishing license plate. Fees generated through the sale of these plates are to be used by the New Jersey Agricultural Experimental Station at Rutgers to fund research on coastal fishing.

A1279: Passed 75-0. This bill directs the New Jersey Turnpike Authority to study and prepare a report, for submission to the Governor and the Legislature, concerning potential opportunities for increasing revenue by providing additional services at rest areas and service plazas along the Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway. 

A1280: Passed 74-0. This bill revises part of the Open Public Records Act to include e-mail addresses on the list of confidential items that must be redacted from any public record disclosed.

A1513: Passed 75-0. This bill, the “Real Estate Installment Contract Act,” provides that the contract must contain certain disclosures, the purchaser has legal remedies available upon a seller’s default, and a seller must adhere to certain procedures in enforcing the contract upon a purchaser’s default.

A1580:  Passed 46-26-4. This bill would provide the legal protection necessary to prevent the disturbance and destruction of burial grounds.

A1677: Passed 76-0. This bill makes it a fourth-degree crime for a person to intercept information as to the location of a police vehicle provided by a global positioning system. A fourth-degree crime is punishable by up to 18 months imprisonment, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.

A1753/S440: Passed 76-0. 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. The Assembly version already has been passed, but was amended in the Senate and voted on Thursday.

A1857: Passed 76-0. This bill would reserve one seat on the Government Records Council for the President of the Municipal Clerks’ Association of New Jersey.  As a result, the public membership would decrease from three public members to two public members. 

A1874: Passed 44-29-2. This bill establishes standards  regarding disqualification from unemployment insurance (UI) benefits for misconduct by claimants.  The bill retains the provisions that bar UI benefits in cases of “severe misconduct” by claimants and increase periods of disqualification from and requalification for benefits, but amends the law to clearly define “simple misconduct” and “severe misconduct” in a manner that provides fair treatment to laid-off workers and clear, consistent procedural standards for employers.

A2131: Passed 75-0. This bill would require that Megan’s Law assessment records be made available to the Department of Human Services and county and municipal welfare agencies for the exclusive use in placing homeless families and person in emergency shelters, which include but are not limited to, hotels and motels.

A2164/S1051:   Passed 76-0. This bill establishes that in cases involving child custody, if a motion for a change of custody is filed while a parent is in active military duty, the court shall not modify custody until 90 days after deployment ends. A Senate version was passed in June.

A2431: Passed 76-0. This bill provides that a person with a developmental disability who resides in a facility, or the person’s legal guardian, may use an audio recording device during a meeting with any member of the person’s interdisciplinary team.

A2610/S2236: Passed 76-0. 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.

A2982: Passed 76-0. This bill allows lottery winners to  remain anonymous for one year.  Current regulations provide that the State Lottery may use the names, addresses, prize amount and photographs of winner. 

A3028: Passed 49-25-1. This bill establishes the Clean Car Commission and abolishes the Low Emission Vehicle Review Commission. It would review and report on aspects of so-called clean cars, such as incentivizing their use. This bill passed the Assembly once, an amended version cleared the Senate, and it is back before the Assembly.

A3080:  Passed 68-7. This requires health benefits coverage for refills of prescription eye drops under certain conditions.

A3254:  Passed 75-1. This bill gives the municipal court the authority to impose community service in lieu of the payment of a penalty.

A3357:  Passed 76-0. This bill deletes references to pejorative and archaic language that is used in the State statutes when referring to persons with developmental, cognitive, or psychiatric disabilities.  Terms such as “lunatic,” “insane,” “unsound mind,” and “incompetent” have been replaced with more respectful language that refers to a person’s mental capacity. 

A3360:  Passed 76-0. This bill will create a Veterans Haven North Council to coexist with the current council, renamed the Veterans Haven South Council.  There is a Veterans Haven facility for homeless veterans located in Camden County. During the summer of 2012, another Veterans Haven facility opened in Hunterdon County.

A3368/S2248: Passed 75-0. This bill appropriates $57 million to provide funding for the acquisition by the State of lands for recreation and conservation purposes, including for Blue Acres projects.

A3369/S2246: Passed 74-0-1. This bill appropriates $55 million from the “2009 Green Acres Fund” to provide grants or low-interest loans to assist local governments to acquire or develop lands for recreation and conservation purposes.

A3370/S2247: Passed 75-0. The bill appropriates $8.93 million from the “2009 Green Acres Fund” to provide grants to various nonprofit entities to acquire or develop lands for recreation and conservation purposes.

A3396: Passed 52-21-2. The bill authorizes eligible homeowners to submit a residential foreclosure mediation request, initiating the process of scheduling a mediation session with their lender.  Along with the mediation request, the homeowner may be required to submit additional information that may be necessary for creating a loan modification, or other agreement, but will not have to pay any fees to participate in the program.  The program was initiated in 2009 due to the increase in foreclosures.

A3405: Passed 76-0. This bill requires the WIC Services Unit in the Department of Health to temporarily authorize a vendor that applies to participate in the federal Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children  at a particular site if the applicant is approved to operate at another site.

A3413/S2157:  Passed 43-32. This bill empowers the Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency to purchase foreclosed residential property from institutional lenders in order to produce affordable housing and dedicate it as such for 30 years.  The HMFA shall cease the program’s operations on Dec. 31, 2017.

S829/A1744: Passed 76-0. This requires COAH to promulgate rules and regulations providing for veterans’ affordable housing assistance preference. 

S1328/A2310 Passed 72-3-1. This permits Type II districts with a board of school estimate to opt to move school elections to November.

Passed in Assembly: Port Authority minutes bill, preservation funds, more