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There will be no Friday Round-Up next Friday, July 5.    We will advise on the status of the State Budget and any other emergent issues through  Daily Alerts.   The next Round-Up will hit your inboxes on Friday, July 12. 

June 28, 2019  

I.   State Issues
II.  Federal Issue
III. League Conference
IV. Also of Interest

Municipal Clerks: Please forward to your Mayor, Governing Body and Department Heads. 

I. State Issues

a. State Budget Update

Sunday, June 30 is the deadline for the passage of the balanced state budget.  As you know, last Thursday the State Senate and the General Assembly approved and sent to the Governor, a State spending plan for the 2020 Fiscal Year that begins on July 1. S-2020(A-5600) was approved in the State Senate with a vote of 31 – Yes, 6 – No, and 3 not voting. The Assembly vote was 53 – Yes, 23 – No, 3, not voting, and one abstention.
The bill assumes robust corporate and sales tax receipts. It also rejects many of the Governor’s proposed revenue enhancements. The Governor has indicated that he does not share the Legislature’s optimism for the sustainability of such strong sales and corporate tax growth rates. If the bill’s revenue projections cannot be certified, the Governor would need to recommend spending cuts, by using line-item vetoes.
Yesterday at a press conference, the Governor stated that he, “…will not subject our residents to the inconveniences they would suffer under a government shutdown.”  We can infer from that comment that he will sign the majority of the budget sent to him by the Legislature, though line-item vetoes remain a distinct possibility, if not a likelihood.  

The Governor has now scheduled a budget “announcement” for Sunday, June 30, at 2:00 p.m., about 10 hours before the State’s Fiscal Year will begin. We will continue to advise you of developments

  • Michael F. Cerra, Assistant Executive Director,, 609-695-3481 x120.

  • Jon Moran, Senior Legislative Analyst,, 609-695-3481 x121.

b. League Petitions DCA for Changes to UCC’s Minor Work/Ordinary
    Maintenance Provisions

This week, the League along with New Jersey’s six professional code official associations petitioned the Department of Community Affairs seeking to amend portions of the Uniform Construction Code regarding ordinary maintenance and minor work. Our petition for rulemaking comes after the Department made changes to the UCC, which took effect last year, that undermine the efforts of local officials to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of all New Jersey residents. 
Generally speaking, the changes made to the UCC last year categorized certain work that once required permits or prior approvals to now be considered minor work or ordinary maintenance, thus no longer requiring official oversight. These changes, which were opposed by the League, endanger the State’s residents by allowing unscrupulous contractors to perform and complete work that may not be up to safety standards.  Further, without prior approval, work could be completed that does not comply with local zoning or use regulations, which would likely result in the work needing to be removed. 
The League’s efforts on this issue are in large part a result of League Conference Resolution 2018-19.  While a Conference Resolution signifies the importance of an issue for our members, League efforts can be amplified with individual resolutions from municipalities. To that end, we have prepared a sample resolution supporting the League rulemaking petition, which your municipality may wish to adopt and forward to the DCA.
Contact: Frank Marshall, Esq., League Staff Attorney,, 609-695-3481 x137.

c. Governor Signs Bill to Preserve Affordable Housing Stock

On Monday, Governor Murphy signed into law S-362, which protects deed restrictions on affordable housing from being extinguished by foreclosure proceedings. The League supported this bill because of the positive impact it will have on ensuring the availability of affordable housing for New Jersey residents. 
The new law also amends the foreclosure law to require that the municipal clerk and the Department of Community Affairs be made aware whenever a notice of foreclosure is issued for a residential property that is a unit of affordable housing subject to affordability controls. Notice is also required to be served to the municipal affordable housing liaison.  The new law takes effect immediately.
Contact: Frank Marshall, Esq., League Staff Attorney,, 609-695-3481 x137.

d. Federal Judge Reviews Framework for Settlements in Nationwide  Opioid Lawsuits

On Tuesday, a federal judge in Ohio held a hearing with lawyers representing local governments from across the country and the pharmaceutical industry.  The hearing was to discuss the proposed framework for a settlement structure that could apply to all local governments throughout the nation.  

As more and more local governments from across the country file lawsuits against drug manufacturers, distributors, and others seen as responsible for the public health crisis brought about by opioid abuse, the need for a comprehensive settlement grows.   For more information on the overall status of the opioid lawsuit, along with a more detailed explanation of the proposed settlement framework, please see the League’s recent blog post.

Contact: Frank Marshall, Esq., League Staff Attorney,, 609-695-3481 x137.

e. General Assembly Asks for Local Support for Age-Friendly

On June 20, the New Jersey General Assembly passed AR246, a resolution urging New Jersey’s counties and municipalities commit to becoming age-friendly communities.  To summarize, the statement of the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee states the following:  
“This resolution urges New Jersey counties and municipalities to commit to becoming age-friendly communities, as defined by the World Health Organization and AARP.  In the U.S., AARP partners with the WHO to operate the Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities, which consists of municipalities and states that are committed to supporting the inclusion of older residents in the social, cultural, economic, and political life of the community. To be accepted into the AARP Network of States and Communities, elected officials are required to submit an application on behalf of the state or municipality, which serves as a commitment to conduct a baseline assessment of the community’s age-friendliness, develop a community action plan based on the assessment’s findings, identify measurable outcomes to gauge the action plan’s effectiveness, and involve older residents in all facets of plan development and implementation.”
Contact: Michael F. Cerra, Assistant Executive Director,, 609-695-3481 x120.

II. Federal Issue

a. Summer, 2019 – Federal Policy Update

Congress has a lot to do before the next Federal Fiscal Year begins on October 1. If you remember January, 2013, ‘fiscal cliff’ crisis, this should sound familiar.
The debt ceiling will need to be raised. Defense and domestic discretionary spending caps will, also, need to be lifted. Twelve appropriations bill, needed to keep government operations active, will need to be passed and signed by the chief executive. And Congress traditionally goes on recess during July and August.
Fiscal Year Appropriations.  Beginning the appropriations process, the House plans to pass all twelve bills by the end of this month. This process will begin with debates, last week, on proposed amendments to a five-bill package that includes about $990 billion in discretionary spending for fiscal 2020. This package includes two of the biggest spending bills, Defense and Labor-HHS-Education, as well as operational funding for Energy-Water programs, the Department of State-Foreign Operations and the Legislative Branch. The remaining seven bills will be similarly combined into two or three other packages to expedite, and improve the likelihood of, passage.
Leadership knows that the Senate will not pass the bills, in the form they are approved by the House.  But, the passage of the twelve appropriations bills by the House would allow leadership and appropriators to begin negotiations with their counterparts in the Senate on compromise spending plans.
Discretionary Spending Caps. Action on the appropriations bills assumes that agreement will be reached on raising discretionary spending caps. Failure to do so would result in automatic cuts in federal spending, due to sequestration mandates.  According to the Budget Control Act of 2011, the discretionary spending cap for the Federal government’s upcoming fiscal year is $1.120 trillion. Actual caps have been modified since 2013, and the current fiscal year caps are $1.244 trillion. Without an agreement to raise the caps, defense and domestic programs would be cut, automatically, by almost $125 billion, across the board.
Debt Ceiling. By October or early November, fiscal analysts predict that the Treasury will have exhausted its authority to borrow in order to keep the federal government operating, potentially forcing the federal government to default on its debt. The Treasury has been using so-called “extraordinary measures” to extend the federal government’s borrowing authority since it hit the debt limit in early March.  U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin predicted that Congress might have to act by “late summer.” Congressional Leadership and White House officials are considering combining the debt ceiling issue with a potential budget caps agreement so that Congress could approve both simultaneously.
We will do our best to keep you posted.
Contact: Jon Moran, Senior Legislative Analyst,, 609-695-3481 x121.

III. League Conference

a. NJLM Annual Conference Exhibit Booth Registration is Open!

Invite your vendors to exhibit at the 2019 NJLM Annual Conference and showcase their product or service to other municipalities. Exhibit space is over 80% sold out so contact your vendors today – or send us a note and we’ll reach out to them!  The 2019 Exhibitor and Sponsorship Prospectus (PDF), Interactive Floor Plan and other exhibit information can be downloaded at
Contact: Kristin Lawrence, Director of Exhibition and Sponsorships, 609-695-3481 x125 or

b.  Reserve Your Hotel for the League Conference 

Preparations for the 104th Annual League Conference November 19-21 are underway and the hotel reservations system is open for attendees and exhibitors at the League Conference Web Page. There you will also see a preliminary schedule of conference sessions.

Staying in Atlantic City for the Conference is a great way to get the most from your attendance at the Conference.  Staying over will maximize your time and opportunities to participate in the educational, informational, and networking opportunities offered throughout the Annual League Conference. 

c. Unauthorized Hotel Reservation Services

Every year there are unauthorized firms soliciting housing and hotel reservations from attendees at the Annual League Conference.  We assure you that the only firm authorized to handle our conference housing reservations is AC Central Reservations. This information is on the top of the official conference housing form sent to all municipal clerks and posted on our website.
Using unauthorized reservation services creates real problems for you and the conference as a whole. You cannot be assured your credit card information is secure and your room reservation may not actually be made. Using unauthorized services means your room will not be part of the official conference housing block so you won’t get emergency housing information (which happened in both 2011 and 2012), nor will there be adequate shuttle bus services to your hotel.
As always, the League is available to answer your questions on any aspect of the annual conference and we strive to make your participation both enjoyable and highly productive.
Contact: Michael J. Darcy, CAE, Executive Director,, 609-695-3481, x116.

IV. Also of Interest

a. Mayors Wellness Campaign Offers New Tool

The newest addition to the MWC Toolkit is: Integrating Residents with Disabilities into Your MWC Programs. This brand-new tool includes resources, strategies, and tips for communities to use to make their community health and wellness events more accessible to all residents within their community.

For more information on how to use this tool or on any of their other MWC tools, visit MWC Toolkit or contact the MWC at

b. Centennial of Suffrage

The 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment’s ratification in New Jersey will be celebrated throughout 2020. With many significant suffragists hailing from the Garden State, there are many stories to be told about how women came to the vote and their involvement in local government during and since. How will your town be recognizing women’s suffrage? We’d like to include your efforts on the League’s website, social media, and NJ Municipalities magazine.
Please email Managing Editor Amy Spiezio at with any ideas, plans, and images you’d like to share with your peers around the state.

c. Follow the League to Stay Current of Upcoming Events, Annual
    Conference Deadlines & Legislation Affecting Your Municipality

Did you know that the League is on Facebook and Twitter? Follow NJLM to stay current of upcoming League seminars, Annual Conference reminders, and new blog posts.
Looking for an easy way to keep up with the new programs that other municipalities are implementing? NJLM often shares news articles on its Facebook feed related to what municipalities are doing in New Jersey. Follow NJLM on Facebook @NJLeague or follow on Twitter @NJ_League.
Stay up to date on legislation affecting your municipality – NJLM’s blog, the Town Crier, provides an in-depth assessment on proposed and enacted legislation, and how bills effect local government. Visit NJLM’s blog for a look at recent posts on the Path to Progress’ Pension Hybrid Plan, recently introduced legislation that will clarify telecommunications industry corporate tax responsibilities, and how the 2020 bill will benefit infrastructure.

d. Funding for Municipal Water Utilities

New Jersey faces a huge challenge in addressing water safety because of its history as a manufacturing and industrial base. A class of contaminants known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFOA/PFOS) are showing up more frequently in sampled drinking water. These chemicals pose a serious public health threat and massive financial burden for localities.
To address these pressing issues municipal and state drinking water, the Drinking Water Coalition of New Jersey and the Association of Environmental Authorities (AEA) are hosting a Local Leaders Summit with potential solutions to this problem on July 18 (Flyer). A set of experts will help you better understand the nature of the PFOA/PFOS challenge, and they will present a set of viable proposals aimed at managing the price tag (Agenda). This event is for Mayors, local Elected Leaders, Water Utility Directors, and/or their designees (Registration).


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