News Flash

Legislative Advocacy

Posted on: May 18, 2021

Gov. Takes Action on Legislation

Governor Conditionally Vetoes Hospital Housing Bill

Earlier this week Governor Murphy conditionally vetoed S-1676, a bill which the League opposed. S-1676 would allow hospitals to construct housing and provide wrap-around services for individuals who are homeless or housing insecure. While we support efforts aimed at providing health care and housing to those in need, we oppose provisions of the bill which would deem such housing as a permitted use in all residential and nonresidential districts within a municipality, thereby completely exempting such housing from local zoning requirements.

The Governor’s conditional veto does not address League concerns dealing with zoning; however, it does provide clarifying language related to affordable housing credits and identifies eligibility standards to qualify for the housing.

At this time it is unclear whether or not the legislature will adopt the changes recommended within the Governor’s conditional veto. In any event, the League will continue to lobby for changes that would allow local regulation of the proposed housing.

Contact: Frank Marshall, Esq., Associate General Counsel, fmarshall@njlm.org, 609-695-3481, x137. 

Bond Down Payment No Longer Required for Certain NJ I-Bank Projects


Earlier this week Governor Murphy signed into law S-767, which eliminates the 5% bond down payment requirement for transportations projects funded by loans from the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank (I-Bank). In addition, for environmental infrastructure projects or transportation projects financed by the New Jersey I-Bank Local Finance Board approval for maturities or amounts of annual installments will no longer be required. P.L. 2021, c. 80 took effect May 11, 2021.
 
Contact: Lori Buckelew, Assistant Executive Director, lbuckelew@njlm.org, 609-695-3481, x112. 

Bill Requiring Notice of Elevated Lead Levels in Drinking Water Signed Into Law

This week, Governor Murphy signed into law S-968, which requires public water systems to provide notice of elevated lead levels in drinking water to customers and local officials. The new law also requires landlords to notify tenants of elevated lead levels. P.L. 2021, c. 82 took effect on May 11, 2021.

The League supported this bill as it is good policy, ensuring the health and safety of our communities. We would like to thank the sponsors and the Governor for the action on this important issue.

Contact: Frank Marshall, Esq., Associate General Counsel, fmarshall@njlm.org, 609-695-3481, x137. 

NJ Buy American Act Conditionally Vetoed

Earlier this week Governor Murphy conditionally vetoed S-853, the “New Jersey Buy American Act,” which would require that all surface highway or bridge contracts over $1 million include a provision requiring the use of American-made structural iron and steel. The Governor’s conditional veto removes the $1 million thresholds and expands the bridge to include miscellaneous components. At this time S-853 only applies to state contracting agencies. The bill heads back to the legislature for their consideration of the Governor’s conditional veto.

Contact: Lori Buckelew, Assistant Executive Director, lbuckelew@njlm.org, 609-695-3481, x112. 

Governor Murphy Conditionally Vetoes Assembly Bill 850

On May 12, Governor Murphy conditionally vetoed A-850. This legislation would establish a “Broadband Access Study Commission” to evaluate the effectiveness of various models of organizing, financing, and setting up broadband access. The Governor’s conditional veto places the Commission within the Board of Public Utilities and added membership to the Commission to include representatives from the Economic Development Authority, the Department of Community Affairs, the Department of Education, and three public members with expertise in community broadband networks and infrastructure.
The League fully supports A-850 and commends the speakers for identifying the need for low-cost broadband to ensure New Jersey’s future. The legislation now heads back to the Assembly to consider the Governor’s veto.

Contact: Andrew LaFevre, Legislative Analyst, alafevre@njlm.org, 609-695-3481, x116.

Governor Signs Legislation Authorizing Property Tax Rewards Programs

Governor Murphy has signed into law A-4806/S-3188, which permits municipalities to authorize by resolution programs encouraging local shopping through property taxes rewards programs. Any property tax reward programs properly authorized by a governing body prior to this new law remains valid. P.L. 2021, c. 99 took effect on May 12, 2021.

Contact: Lori Buckelew, Assistant Executive Director, lbuckelew@njlm.org, 609-695-3481, x112.

Governor Signs Law Requiring Notice of COVID-Related Utility Bill Relief Measures


This week, Governor Murphy signed into law A-4671, which requires public and local utilities to provide notice to residential customers of available relief measures during the coronavirus pandemic. P.L. 2021, c. 97, which took effect May 13, 2021, requires all utilities, regardless of frequency of billing, to provide monthly notice to residential customers, informing them of information concerning any (1) moratorium in effect on the disconnection, discontinuance, or termination of utility service, (2) deferred bill payment agreement program, (3) bill payment assistance program, (4) arrearage forgiveness program, (5) moratorium in effect on rate increases or on the imposition of late fees, interest, or liens for late payments.

Local utilities must provide notice in the form and manner to be determined by the Department of Community Affairs. Such notice must continue to be provided 18-months after the expiration of the public health emergency.

Contact: Frank Marshall, Esq., Associate General Counsel, fmarshall@njlm.org, 609-695-3481, x137.

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