New bills: BYOB restaurant ads, expanded wind energy zones, mandatory police staffing levels

TRENTON – State lawmakers introduced bills dealing with wind energy, obsolete commissions, police staffing levels, and bring your own bottle restaurants.

S2590: Sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney, this would expand coverage under the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act to include the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey district.

The current law restricts “wind energy zones’’ to the South Jersey Port district.

The bill would extend tax credits for wind projects in the PANYNJ district.

The bill also would extend timeframes for applyling for tax credits and allow the Board of Public Utilities to approve a wind project located offshore of a municipality in which casino gaming is authorized as a demonstration project.

S2603: Sponsored by Sen. Jim Whelan, D-2, Atlantic City, this bill abolishes numerous boards, authorities and commissions and removes references to obsolete or defunct agencies.

Among them: New Jersey Death Penalty Study Commission, Light Pollution Study Commission, Public Access and Marina Safety Task Force, and State Limousine Advisory Committee.

In some cases, duties of some agencies will be transferred to others.

A3883: Sponsored by 28th District Assembly Democrats Cleopatra Tucker and Ralph Caputo, this requires towns meeting certain conditions to maintain a minimum police department staffing level.

Under the bill, if a town has more than 60,000 residents and a violent crime rate of more than 10 per 1,000 people, it must maintain a full-time department of at least four officers per 1,000 residents.

The sponsors call the escalating number of murders in New Jersey a public health crisis that demands sufficient police officers.

A3888: Sponsored by Assemblyman John Burzichelli, D-3, Paulsboro, this allows restaurants without a liquor license to advertise that patrons can bring their own alcohol.

Currently, such restaurants can allow patrons to bring their own bottle, but they are not allowed to post advertisements to that effect, according to the bill.

Also, such owners could advertise establishment of a winery salesroom on the premises. 

  New bills: BYOB restaurant ads, expanded wind energy zones, mandatory police staffing levels