Numerous bills clear Assm. Transportation Comm.

TRENTON – The Assembly Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee released several bills Thursday, including ones dealing with car-sharing organizations, guide dogs on N.J. Transit vehicles, lights on emergency vehicles, and private sponsorship of highway rest areas.

A701/S1720: This bill exempts nonprofit car-sharing organizations from the $5 surcharge on motor vehicle rentals.

The bill also provides a proration of the fee for rentals of less than 24 hours duration, at the rate of 25 cents per hour.

Under the bill, a nonprofit car-sharing organization would be differentiated from car rental companies.

This bill did get Assembly approval last session, but did not get out of Senate committees.

A fiscal analysis said the revenue loss could not be determined because it was unknown how many organizations would be affected.

The bill was released 10-1-1, with Republican Brian Rumpf voting no, and Republican Scott Rudder abstaining.  Both cited concerns about the potential revenue loss.

A1992/S1269: This bill provides that any N.J. Transit vehicle passenger with disabilities accompanied by a guide or service dog may keep such a dog with them.

Chair John Wisniewski said this legislation codifies existing law. The bills passed unanimously.

This legislation, through various sponsors and under different versions, dates to 2001. The Senate passed one version in 2002, then passed S1269 last August.

A3253: This bill clarifies that emergency services vehicles may be equipped with more than one spot lamp as needed.

Law Enforcement vehicles, and other emergency vehicles, are sometimes equipped with an auxiliary lamp to illuminate signs, house numbers, and people as needed.

It passed unanimously.

A3461: This bill allows the New Jersey Department of Transportation, New Jersey Turnpike Authority and South Jersey Transportation Authority to enter into sponsorship agreements with private parties for rest areas.

The private sponsors would be responsible for maintenance of a rest area.

Sponsor Democrat Celeste Riley said this kind of revenue-generator is long overdue and is being done in other states.

It was released unanimously.

A3329: This bill authorizes an Ancient Order of Hibernians license plate. The design of the license plate would be chosen by the Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission in consultation with the national president of AOH.

There would be a $50 initial fee in addition to the regular registration fees, with a $10 annual fee in addition to the renewal fees.

It advanced unanimously.

Numerous bills clear Assm. Transportation Comm.