Legislative Summary: Selected Bills Recently Enacted as Public Laws That Relate to Local Units of Government
May 18, 2016 | Written by: | Share
Following is a brief summary of bills that were enacted as public laws by the New Jersey Legislature in late 2015/early 2016 and may be of interest to our municipal and public entity clients:
- Licensing of Canvassers, Peddlers or Solicitors (Chapter 122, A-815, approved 11/9/2015)
For purposes of licensing a person as a peddler or solicitor, a municipality must accept the results of a criminal background check (indicating no disqualifying information) performed by another municipality for the same purpose within the past six months.
- Private Outdoor Video Surveillance Camera Registry (Chapter 142, A3843, approved 11/9/2015)
This law allows municipalities to enact an ordinance creating a private outdoor video surveillance camera registry. Citizens can voluntarily register their private surveillance video systems and thereby assist law enforcement officials in investigating criminal activity that occurs within the camera’s range. A person who registers a camera with a municipal police force is not required to submit the camera’s footage to a law enforcement agency (unless otherwise required by law).
- Hiring Preference for Veterans in Non-Civil Service Jurisdictions (Chapter 178, S-2145, approved 1/11/2016)
In any county or municipality where Title 11 (Civil Service) is not in operation, the county or municipality may adopt a resolution or ordinance providing hiring preference to veterans, provided that the veteran and non-veteran are equally qualified for the position in all measurable criteria.
- Contracts for Asphalt Work Under the "Local Public Contracts Law" (Chapter 201, A-2229, approved 1/11/2016)
This law is intended to protect local governments and contractors from fluctuations in the price of asphalt cement. The law provides that any bid specification for the performance of goods or services under the “Local Public Contracts Law” that includes the purchase of or use of 1,000 or more tons of hot mix asphalt shall include a pay item for an asphalt price adjustment reflecting changes in the cost of asphalt cement. If a bid specification includes less than 1,000 tons of hot mix asphalt but the work may eventually require 1,000 tons of more, the bid specification must also include the pay item for an asphalt price adjustment. Contracts cannot be divided to disaggregate the quantity of hot mix asphalt. The asphalt price adjustment will be calculated in accordance with the formula in the “New Jersey Department of Transportation Standard Specifications for Road and Bridge Construction.”
- Posting of Law Enforcement Officer Address/Phone on Internet (Chapter 226, S-1447, approved 1/19/2016)
This law prohibits the posting of a current or retired law enforcement officer’s home address or unpublished home telephone number on the Internet. It applies to individuals, state and local governmental agencies, and businesses. The law also provides the penalties for violation, which include (but are not limited to) liquidated damages of $1,000 for each violation of the Act.
- Regulation of Snow Shoveling Services (Chapter 240, S2741, approved 1/19/2016)
This law prohibits municipalities from regulating the solicitation of snow shoveling services within 24 hours of a snowstorm that has been predicted by a recognized weather-reporting agency.
- Collection of DNA Samples (Chapter 263, A428, approved 1/19/2016)
This law expands the State’s DNA database by requiring samples from individuals who have been convicted of specified disorderly persons offenses. The law also adds law enforcement officers to the list of people who can collect or supervise the collection of biological samples.
- Property Tax Deferment for Military Personnel (Chapter 277, A-2935, approved 1/19/2016)
This law authorizes property tax deferment for deployed military personnel. The deferment begins on the tax due date and ends 90 days after the last date of deployment. No interest will be charged if the amount owed is paid on or before the first day following the 90-day grace period. In order to be eligible for the deferment, service members (or someone acting on their behalf) must file an application with the tax collector of the municipality in which their property is located.
Richard P. Cushing, Esq., is a trial and municipal lawyer who specializes in complex litigation, land use matters, employment law, and the representation of public entities, corporations and insurance companies. Contact Mr. Cushing at 908-735-5161 or via email.