On Monday, Acting Governor Nicholas Scutari signed A-5275/S-3671 that allows a municipality to determine if newly appointed individuals serving as municipal fire department chaplains will hold rank and receive salary and benefits.
Under current law, the governing body of any municipality may provide by ordinance for the appointment of one or more ordained members of the clergy as chaplains to the paid or part-paid fire department and force of the municipality, with the rank of battalion chief and their salaries fixed by the governing body. The new law provides that, for any municipal fire department and force chaplain initially appointed after August 28, to become a member of the municipal paid or part-time paid fire department with or without rank and salary. The municipality may specify in the ordinance whether the chaplain will have a rank, salary, and benefits.
The law also provides that the services of all municipal fire departments and force chaplains appointed and employed on or before August 28 cannot be dismissed or reduced in compensation except for reasons of economy or efficiency, incapacity, or conduct unbecoming a chaplain or other just cause as determined by the municipal governing body.
P.L. 2023, c. 151 took effect on August 28, 2023.
Contact: Paul Penna, Senior Legislative Analyst, firstname.lastname@example.org, 609-695-3481, x110.