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June 19, 2019

Voting Session for State Senate and General Assembly, June 20

Both houses of the State Legislature are expected to meet tomorrow and approve the State budget bill and send it to Governor Murphy for his consideration. In addition, each House will consider dozens of other bills, many of interest to local governments. We would like to call your attention to two of these bills and ask you take action.
Please ask your State Senator to oppose S-106 and S-107. 
On Monday, by a vote of 6 yes and 5 abstentions, the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee amended and released S-106, which amends the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA), and S-107, which amends the Open Public Records Act (OPRA). We are currently reviewing the amendments, which are, unfortunately, not yet available online.    While we appreciate the strides the sponsor has taken to address our concerns with the bills, the League must continue to oppose the bills.
We continue to have concerns with both bills, in particular, subjecting subcommittees to certain provisions under OPMA, expanding the definition of government record, continuing mandatory prevailing attorney fees under OPRA, and expanding OPMA to include prevailing attorney fees.
We urge you to contact and ask your State Senator to oppose S-106 and S-107. 
Contact: Lori Buckelew, Senior Legislative Analyst,, 609-695-3481 x112.
Please ask your Legislators to Support S-3739 and A-5392.
On Monday, the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Assembly Budget Committee approved S-3739 and A-5392 respectively. This legislation will establish liability standards in sexual abuse lawsuits filed against public entities and public employees.  As amended, this bill will apply the same standards to public employees and entities as will be applied to private, non-profit organizations, per the recent revisions in P.L. 2019, c.120.   The League supports this important correction to the current statute.
Both committees accepted amendments suggested by a coalition that includes the League, the Association of Counties, the School Boards Association and the MEL-JIF to assure that public and private entities are treated alike. S-3739/A-5392 address a shortcoming in the recent amendments made by PL 2019, c.120. Both bills now stand at 2nd reading and could be voted on as soon as Thursday. 
We commend the efforts of the respective sponsors, Senators Vitale and Scutari and Assemblywomen Quijano and Murphy to assure justice for the victims of these heinous acts. Aware of the problem, local governments are today, more vigilant and fully committed to doing all that can be done to prevent abuse and to expose offenders. These efforts include background checks on employees and volunteers; immediate investigation when abuse is suspected; and, immediate action when abuse is reported.

This legislation is critical for local governments and we urge you to contact your legislators and ask for their support of S-3739 and A-5392.  
Contact: Michael F. Cerra, Assistant Executive Director,, 609-695-3481 x120.

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