Senate bills passed: scrap metal, truck drivers, intern wages, more

TRENTON – The Senate passed numerous bills Thursday, including ones dealing with tax credits for interns’ wages, scrap metal businesses, daily recess periods in schools, and trucking company employees.

S71: Passed 40-0. This bill establishes a “Yellow Dot Program” to provide emergency responders with critical health information about people 62 years old or older.

In his conditional veto, Gov. Chris Christie said a statewide program is unnecessary, citing a successful program in Mount Laurel. He suggested clarifying that programs can be established at the local level.

S566: Passed 39-0. This bill provides that a licensed nuclear medicine technologist, upon obtaining an additional license, may operate hybrid fusion imaging technology. 

S1094/A1887: Passed 39-0. This bill prohibits the imposition of the corporation business tax on out-of-state motorbus companies.

S1175/A2614: Passed 40-0. Provides for voluntary contributions by taxpayers on gross income tax returns for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

S1263/A1271: Passed 38-1. Allows corporation business tax credit and gross income tax credit for wages paid to qualified interns.

This bill was conditionally vetoed, and the Assembly concurred with the governor’s recommendations earlier this month.  Gov. Chris Christie said there was no evidence this bill would spur long-term employment growth, and recommended the Labor Department study the prospects of such a program and similar tax incentive efforts first.

S1450/A1578:  Passed 21-17. This bill creates a presumption that a truck driver is an employee – not an independent contractor – of a trucking company.

S1501: Passed 34-2. Requires a public school district to provide a daily recess period for students in grades kindergarten through 5.

S1686: Passed 40-0. Requires at least two regular meetings each year of New Jersey Turnpike Authority be held on rotating basis in Cape May, Atlantic and Ocean counties. In addition, at least one meeting a year will be held in Bergen County.

Also, amendments provide that at least one meeting be held among the counties of Salem, Gloucester and Camden.

S1709/A606: Passed 40-0. Establishes crime of entering into certain restricted airport areas. The areas in question would be passenger holding areas and operational areas normally barred to the public. Punishment would be a fine of $10,000 and/or 18 months in prison.

Additionally, the bill was amended to remove a provision that a violator had to be aware they were breaking federal security requirements.

S1773/A3222: Passed 37-1. The bill requires operators of scrap metal businesses to electronically submit records of scrap metal dealings for 18 months, amended down from five years.

S1791: Passed 37-0.  Requires high school driver education courses, new driver brochures, and driver’s license written exams to include information about driving aggressively.

S2033/A3039: Passed 39-0. Establishes the New Jersey Council on Lupus Education and Awareness in the Department of Health.

S2152/A3227: Passed 35-4. Establishes procedure for licensure of timeshare salespersons.

S2191/A484: Passed 40-0. Designates portion of Route 40 in Buena Borough, Atlantic County as “Peter ‘Pete’ Dandrea Section of the Harding Highway.”

S2245/A3206: Passed 39-1. Expands neighborhood revitalization state tax credit to include gross income taxpayers; increases annual total amount of tax credits allowable from $10 million to $15 million.

Gov. Chris Christie conditionally vetoed the bill because of the effect it would have on the budget because it would remove $5 million annually from the budget without identifying corresponding budget cuts. He recommended keeping the limit at $10 million.

The Assembly concurred earlier this month.

S2288/A3432: Passed 39-1. Requires development of a diabetes action plan by the Health Department.

S2335/A3253: Passed 40-0. This bill provides clarification that emergency services entities may equip vehicles with more than one spot lamp as needed.

S2386/A2431: Passed 39-0. This bill provides that a person with a developmental disability may use an audio recording device during a meeting of any member of the person’s interdisciplinary team and any psychiatrist.

S2433/A1857: Passed 39-0.  Provides that President of Municipal Clerks’ Association of New Jersey shall serve as member of Government Records Council.

S2539: Passed 39-0. Authorizes release or reduction of original performance guarantee after deposit of adequate replacement performance guarantee by successor developer.

S2608/A3761: Passed 38-0. This bill would amend the Municipal Land Use Law to provide municipalities with more effective, fair, and affordable tools to plan for livable neighborhoods and districts while preserving farmland, open space, and historic sites.  

In part, the bill is a response to court decisions that struck down municipal cluster development ordinances because of a lack of statutory authorization.

S2620: Passed 25-14. This bill amends current law concerning funding for shore protection projects. The bill directs the Department of Environmental Protection to develop criteria that includes provisions providing for public access walkways spanning towns.

S2680: Passed 37-3. Allows development on piers in coastal high hazard areas in certain urban municipalities.  The bill only applies to piers already in existence when the bill becomes law.

Currently, this type of development is prohibited in urban areas outside Atlantic City. Its backers say it is a tool for economic recovery post-Sandy, but environmentalists warn it knowingly will put people in harm’s way.

S2739: Passed 40-0. This bill provides that an employer’s unemployment insurance account will not be relieved of charges related to an erroneous benefit payment if it is determined the mistake was due to the fault of the employer not responding in a timely manner to a request for information from the state Labor Department. Senate bills passed: scrap metal, truck drivers, intern wages, more