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May 11, 2010 - Tracking Legislation and Other Items Important to the NJ Business Community


Improving NJ’s Corporate Governance – S-895 (Gill/D-34; Sarlo/D-36; Diegnan/D-18; Barnes/D-18; Coughlin/D-19; Watson Coleman/D-15; Lampitt/D-6): Governor signed into law on May 6. This bill eliminates the 10-day waiting period for certain shareholder actions. The waiting period can create inefficiencies and delays in transactions. The bill was modeled on Delaware General Corporation Law and will make it easier for corporations to conduct business. Contact: Mary Ellen Peppard


Land Use/Time of Application – S-82 (Rice/D-28; Van Drew/D-1; Green/D-22; McHose/R-24; Vandervalk/R-39): Governor signed into law on May 5. This legislation states that development regulations which are in effect on the date of submission of a development application shall govern the review of the application and any decision made with regard to the application. Current law allows zoning and land use regulations to be changed during the application process, adding instability to the development process. The State Chamber supports this legislation because it brings additional predictability for economic development. Reforming the process to provide developers with consistent rules could also serve to bolster the state’s business attraction and retention efforts and make New Jersey more competitive with neighboring states. Contact: Mary Ellen Peppard


Exempting Solar Panels From Impervious Cover Designation – S-921 (Smith/D-17; Beck/R-12; Beach/D-6; Bateman/R-16; Chivukula/D-17; Quijano/D-20; McKeon/D-27): Governor signed into law on April 22. Exempts solar panels from being designated an impervious surface or impervious cover. This legislation would apply to the various laws relating to municipal land use, agricultural development, stormwater management, and the Highlands. Removing this impediment will help expedite solar projects around the state and show those in the solar industry that New Jersey is serious about promoting the “green economy”. Contact: Michael Egenton


Senate Labor Committee

Unemployment Insurance Fund – S-1813 (Madden/D-4): Committee passed. The bill is designed to soften the blow of a $1 billion ($400 per employee) UI payroll tax increase on employers due to take effect July 1. Under the bill, the tax increase would be reduced to $300 million this year, but the remainder of the $1 billion increase would go into effect next year unless further legislative action is taken. The State Chamber is requesting amendments to expand the phase-in of the tax increase by an additional year. Further, the Chamber is pushing structural reforms to decrease the overall cost of providing unemployment benefits. These changes will provide employers with predictability and help them invest more in hiring. Contact: Michael Egenton

Senate Labor Committee S-1813 Vote: Madden, Fred H., Jr. (Chair) - Yes; Cunningham, Sandra B. (Vice Chair) - Yes; Beach, James – Yes; Gordon, Robert M. – Yes; Kean, Thomas H., Jr. – No; Pennacchio, Joseph – No


Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee

Eliminating Certain Attorney Fees Under the Consumer Fraud Act – A-1064 (Gusciora/D-15; Chiusano/R-24): Committee passed. Prohibits an award of attorney's fees under the Consumer Fraud Act when there is only a technical violation. The bill defines a technical violation as one in which the person held in violation made a good faith effort to comply with the provisions of the Consumer Fraud Act and the resulting violation did not impact the quality of the product or service provided or result in an ascertainable loss to the consumer. Contact: Michael Egenton

Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee A-1064 Vote: Moriarty, Paul D. (Chair) - Yes; Vainieri Huttle, Valerie (Vice Chair) - Yes; Chiusano, Gary R. – Yes; DiCicco, Domenick Jr. – Yes; Diegnan, Patrick J., Jr. – Yes


Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee

Communication Exemption For Truckers – A-2542 (DeCroce/R-26; Rible/R-11): Committee passed. Exempts the use of a CB radio or a two-way radio by operators of commercial motor vehicles or authorized emergency vehicles from the current law that prohibits use of a hand-held wireless telephone or electronic communication device while driving. The bill also clarifies that the exemption applies to the entire act prohibiting the use of hand-held wireless telephones and electronic communication devices while operating a motor vehicle. Contact: Michael Egenton

Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee A-2542 Vote: Johnson, Gordon M. (Chair) - Yes; Albano, Nelson T. (Vice Chair) - Yes; Bramnick, Jon M. – Yes; Evans, Elease – Yes; Handlin, Amy H. – Yes; Moriarty, Paul D. – Not Voting; Rible, David P. – Yes; Spencer, L. Grace – Yes; Wilson, Gilbert L. - Yes

*Information provided by the NJ State Chamber of Commerce