Passed by Assembly: Sandy monitors, minimum wage hike, more

TRENTON – The Assembly today passed bills including ones establishing monitors for Sandy-related work, tanning bed prohibitions, human trafficking awareness, and more.

SCR1: Passed 46-31. This amends the Constitution to set minimum wage at $8.25 per hour with annual adjustments for inflation. This is the last legislative action needed before the measure goes before voters.

A60: Passed 77-0. This bill, sponsored by Speaker Sheila Oliver and other Democrats, authorizes deployment of integrity monitors to oversee Superstorm Sandy recovery and rebuilding projects.

A61: Passed 77-0. This bill, also sponsored by Democrats including Speaker Sheila Oliver, imposes oversight upon Hurricane Sandy recovery funding.

It calls for a funding transparency website; quarterly reports on Sandy recovery funding; and priority reports for administrative problems that are encountered.

A840: Passed 75-0-1. This expands the law drivers must obey when approaching or passing a person who is riding a horse.

The law will be expanded to include ponies and mules, and it will include when animals are being led by someone.

Fines can range from $150 to $500.

A2142: Passed 57-12-7. This bill would bar tanning bed use by someone under age 17. For someone who is a minor, the parent must be present for the initial consultation.

This bill has gone through amendments since it was introduced in January 2012. The original bill would have banned such tanning bed use for anyone under 18.

It passed the Assembly last year, went through changes before being passed by the Senate, and now arrives back in the Assembly.

A3312/S2211: Passed 47-28-2. This bill establishes a New Jobs for New Jersey tax credit program to provide incentives to small private-sector employers who increase their workforce by hiring unemployed workers.

An employer of 100 or fewer full-time employees would be eligible for a refundable tax credit against the corporation business tax or the gross income tax, whichever applies to the employer, for each eligible individual employed.

The Senate version passed earlier this month.

A3352: Passed 77-0. This bill combats human trafficking.

Among other things, it would establish a commission tasked with promoting awareness of a 24-hour toll-free hotline.

A provision was removed that would have subjected people such as taxi drivers to criminal liability for unknowingly transporting a trafficking victim.

The bill has gained attention in part because of the Super Bowl being held in New Jersey next year. Bill proponents had testified that such events provide a breeding ground for increased trafficking.

A3679/S2425: Passed 47-26-3. This revises the definition of “public works projects” to permit project labor agreements for more projects.

A3744/S2366: Passed 48-22-7. This bill establishes an employment and training program under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Agencies such as non-profits, foundations and others could be reimbursed 50 percent of project expenditures.

A3793/S2535: Passed 46-24-5. This increases benefit amounts under the New Jersey earned income tax credit program to 25 percent of the federal earned income tax credit amounts.

A3794/S2483: Passed 62-14-1.  This bill establishes Workforce Development and Education Commission.  It will develop a report identifying policies that will improve the ability of the state’s schools and public institutions of higher education to meet the demands of tomorrow’s employers.

Resolutions

ACR172/SCR134: Passed 48-30. This expresses the Legislature’s objection to certain recommendations included in the Governor’s Educational Adequacy Report, in particular portions that some fear will be used to reduce funding for at-risk students.

AR91: Passed 45-29-1. This extends the subpoena power of the Assembly Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee to investigate the finances of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

AR138: Passed 71-0-4. This condemns the failure of House Majority Leadership to take action to reauthorize the federal “Violence Against Women Act.”

Passed by Assembly: Sandy monitors, minimum wage hike, more