Bill increasing penalties for child porn advances in Budget Comm.

TRENTON – The Senate Budget Committee released a bill increasing penalties for child porn crimes, a bill sponsor Sen. Kevin O’Toole has called essentially the most important legislation they will deal with.

S2493 revises the statutes concerning child pornography, to update and more closely harmonize state law with federal law governing these offenses. It passed unanimously.

 This bill revises statutes concerning child sexual abuse and child pornography by increasing the age benchmark, from 16 to 18, of a child for which the offenses focused on sexual exploitation or abuse may be applied against an offender;  expanding the scope of criminal possession or viewing of such items; expanding the scope of criminal distribution of such items, particularly with respect to computer file-sharing programs and peer-to-peer networks; increasing offenses and respective penalties associated with child endangerment focused on sexual exploitation or abuse; and, adding under “Megan’s Law,” in section 2 of P.L.1994, c.130 (C.2C:43-6.4), the availability of parole supervision for life.

Among other things, offenders would face mandatory minimum terms if convicted of distributing at least 25 child porn images; a first-time offender would receive at least five years, a repeat offender up to 10 years.

It would be a first-degree crime for anyone – not just a parent – for causing a child to take part in child pornography. Offenders would be subject to the No Early Release Act.

At a previous Judiciary Committee hearing, O’Toole called such crimes despicable and championed this effort to toughen penalties.

The panel released these bills:

S2532: Clarifies charitable contributions are not a factor in determining where person is domiciled under New Jersey gross income tax. It addresses the issue of out-of-state residents becoming subject to in-state income tax because of a charitable donation.

This is the informal position taken by the New Jersey Division of Taxation since 2005 but this position has not since been officially communicated to taxpayers, the bill states.  “Whether a person lives in Florida or Arizona, giving to charities in New Jersey, in and of itself, should not subject the person to New Jersey income tax as a New Jersey resident.”

It passed 13-0.

S1175/A2614: Provides for voluntary contributions by taxpayers on gross income tax returns for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. It advanced unanimously.

Bill increasing penalties for child porn advances in Budget Comm.