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Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee COAH Fee Moratorium - S-2485 (Lesniak/D-20; Bateman/R-16): Committee passed. Implements an 18-month suspension on the collection of the 2.5% fee on commercial development as a funding source for affordable housing. The bill also authorizes municipalities to seek an adjustment of their fair share obligation as a result of this suspension of the obligation and directs COAH to adjust the obligation accordingly. In addition, the bill eliminates any growth share obligation or requirement to pay the 2.5% fee for projects that were underway when the original legislation was passed, and requires municipalities to refund any payment already made for those projects.

Senate Economic Growth Committee Allowing Non-Age-Restricted Housing - S-2577 (Sarlo/D-36): Committee passed. Pending the approval of the local planning or zoning board, this bill allows for the change of a proposed age-restricted development to be marketed instead without age restrictions. To be eligible for conversion, a developer must agree to set aside a percentage of the units in the development, not to exceed 20 percent, for the provision of affordable housing. These units would automatically count towards fulfilling a municipality's affordable housing obligation under the "Fair Housing Act."


Wind and Solar Energy in Industrial Zones - A-2550 (Lampitt/D-6; Chivukula/D-17; Wagner/D-38; Vainieri Huttle/D-37; Pou/D-35; Greenstein/D-14): Assembly passed 62-14, sent to the Governor. Permits the location of certain renewable energy facilities in areas zoned for industrial use. The bill defines a "renewable energy facility" as a facility that engages in the production of electric energy from solar technologies, photovoltaic technologies, or wind energy. Specifically, this legislation provides that a renewable energy facility on a parcel or parcels of land comprising 20 or more contiguous acres would be a permitted use within every industrial zone of a municipality.

Authorizing Grants for Energy Programs and Projects - A-2507 (Chivukula/D-17): Assembly passed 78-0, sent to the Governor. Authorizes the state Board of Public Utilities to use revenue from the Retail Margin Fund to provide grants for the development of combined heat and power, energy efficiency and demand response projects by non-residential customers with high levels of peak energy load usage. This legislation will assist large energy users with their energy costs.


Senate Environment Committee and Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee Improving the Site Remediation Program - S-1897 (Smith/D-17) and A-2962 (McKeon/D-27; Cryan/D-20): Committees passed. Establishes a Licensed Site Professional (LSP) program for site remediation within the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). This legislation proposes to borrow aspects of a Massachusetts program to allow certified professionals to proceed through the investigation and remediation of selected sites with a minimum of DEP oversight. The State Chamber, working collaboratively with other stakeholders, was successful in advocating changes that would provide better liability protections for LSP's and more flexibility in the site remediation process.


Senate State Government Committee Adopting and Distributing Constitution and Bylaws - S-930 (Weinberg/D-37; Allen/R-7): Committee passed. Requires county political party committees adopt and distribute a constitution and bylaws, and file a certified list of committee members with the county clerk. The constitution and bylaws must also include procedures for removing a committee officer who is unwilling or unable to serve his or her office in the county committee.

Assembly State Government Committee Compensation Guidelines for Local Government - A-629 (Lampitt/D-6): Committee passed, referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. Requires the Civil Service Commission generate compensation guidelines to help counties and municipalities determine appropriate pay for various positions. The Commission will also be required to provide a description of duties and responsibilities, minimum education and experience qualifications, and recommended levels of compensation based upon categories of population density.

*From the NJ State Chamber of Commerce*