October 11, 2019

I.   State Issues
II.  Federal Issues
III. Annual League Conference
III. Also of Interest
Municipal Clerks: Please forward to your Mayor, Governing Body and Department Heads.

I. State Issues

a. Governor Announces Plan for Lead Contamination

In a speech at Thomas Edison State University, Governor Murphy announced the first steps in his plan to address lead contamination both in public water systems and remaining lead paint in homes. The Governor called upon the Legislature to place on the November 2020 ballot a $500 million bond referendum to fund the necessary replacement and remediation.  The Governor’s plan received initial support from both Senate President Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Coughlin, both of whom expressed support for the objectives of the plan.
Simultaneously, Jersey Water Works released a report including a series of recommendations to “…eliminate lead in all drinking water in 10 years.”
The League is currently reviewing both proposals and will provide analysis in the upcoming days and weeks.
Contact: Michael F. Cerra, Assistant Executive Director, mcerra@njlm.org, 609-695-3481 x120.

b. DEP Launches Campaign Aimed at Assisting Municipalities Address “Dirty Dirt”

This week the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced the launch of the “Guard Your Backyard” campaign. The goal of the new DEP initiative is to help municipalities and communities manage fill material. To help achieve this goal the DEP has set up a website with local guidance and a model ordinance that municipalities can download and modify to suit their local needs. 
In addition to the model ordinance, the website provides information on what is and isn’t considered solid waste under state law; specific actions that can be taken to enforce soil regulations or report illegal dumping; and examples of municipal law regulating soil.
For more information visit the DEP’s Guard Your Backyard campaign website at guardyourbackyard.nj.gov.
Contact: Frank Marshall, Esq., League Staff Attorney, fmarshall@njlm.org, 609-695-3481 x137.

c. CY 2019/SFY 2020 Best Practices Inventory Deadline October 30

As a reminder, the deadline for the CY2019/SFY2020 Best Practice Inventory is October 30 for all municipalities.  For more on the Inventory, the process and changes please read our September 13 blog post
Contact: Lori Buckelew, Senior Legislative Analyst, lbuckelew@njlm.org, 609-695-3481, ext. 112.

d. PFRS Board Hires Executive Director & Begins Search for Chief Investment Officer

At their October 7 meeting the Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS) Board of Trustees appointed Gregory Petzold as their new Executive Director at an annual salary of $225,000. Mr. Petzold is currently the Deputy Chief of Staff of Intergovernmental Affairs in the Murphy Administration.  We are concerned with the process to hire the Executive Director as the Personnel Committee conducted a round of interviews and put forth one recommendation but did not afford the Board with the opportunity to interview the top candidates.
In contrast to the process to hire the Executive Director, the Board has unanimously agreed to retain Michael Kennedy of Korn Ferry to conduct a national search for the Chief Investment Officer (CIO) for a fee not to exceed $120,000. Korn Ferry will advertise and recruit possible candidates. Mr. Kennedy along with the Investment Committee will interview 5-8 candidates in the first round. Then the top 2-3 candidates will move to the second round in which they will have a “homework” assignment and will be required to give a presentation to the committee. 
The Board also appointed former Deputy Attorney General Nels Lauritzen as a Senior Attorney/Attorney 2 at an annual salary of $150,000; Division of Investments provided an update on the transition along with presentation on two investments; and approved an agreement to transfer a “fair and manageable” caseload of pension cases from the Attorney General’s office to the PFRS General Counsel.
The next meeting of the PFRS Board of Trustees is November 4.
Contact: Lori Buckelew, Senior Legislative Analyst, lbuckelew@njlm.org, 609-695-3481, ext. 112.

e. Looking Ahead to Lame Duck: Marijuana Legalization Back Again?

Based on news accounts and word-of-mouth conjecture, we want to let you know that the bill to legalize adult use of recreational marijuana may again see action in the “lame duck,” which is the period after the election and before the end of this legislative term in January.  So you can re-familiarize with its provisions, we have reposted the content of our March 2019 blog post which summarizes areas of interest to municipalities in the legislation
Contact: Michael F. Cerra, Assistant Executive Director, mcerra@njlm.org, 609-695-3481 x120.

II. Federal Issues

a. New Law Will Help to Fund Drinking Water Remediation

On Friday, October 4, the President signed into law S.1689, a bill cosponsored by New Jersey Senators Cory Booker and Bob Menendez. The new law provides New Jersey, and other States, with the funding flexibility needed to respond to poisonous lead, from antiquated service lines, which has been leaching into drinking water.
Specifically, the Water Infrastructure Funding Transfer Act would give states facing public health crises from lead in drinking water the flexibility to make a one-time transfer of the federal funds in their Clean Water State Revolving Fund to their Drinking Water State Revolving Fund for projects that will remove lead from drinking water.
New Jersey would be able to utilize this change by transferring up to $100 million in federal funds from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund to the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund to offset some of the $120 million bonding project to replace lead service lines in Newark. This flexibility would also allow the State to provide assistance to other municipalities in New Jersey to address the threat of lead in drinking water.
Contact: Jon Moran, Senior Legislative Analyst, jmoran@njlm.org, 609-695-3481 x121.

b. See NLC’s Federal Budget Tracker for News a Municipal Official Needs to Know

Unable to pass any spending bills by the fiscal year deadline of October 1, Congress, instead, approved a short term, stopgap funding measure, or Continuing Resolution, to keep the government open and operating until November 21. The President signed that extension into law. By that date, Congress must pass the spending bills or another Continuing Resolution, to prevent another government shutdown.
Our colleagues at the National League of Cities (NLC) are tracking all Federal budget and appropriations news that will have an impact on municipal government. You are invited to access NLC's FY2020 Congressional Budget Tracker for the latest news and analysis on action in our Nation’s Capital.
Contact: Jon Moran, Senior Legislative Analyst, jmoran@njlm.org, 609-695-3481 x121. 

III. Annual League Conference

a. View the NJLM Annual Conference List of Exhibitors

The exhibit hall at the conference is almost sold out with nearly 700 exhibitors displaying their products and services in over 1,000 booths. Review the full list on the Interactive Floor Plan and on the conference app to make your schedule and save a list of the exhibitors you would like to visit. The exhibitors are eager to provide education and solutions to your challenges!
Contact: Kristin Lawrence, Director of Exhibition and Sponsorships, 609-695-3481 x125, klawrence@njlm.org.

b. Reserve Your Hotel for the Annual League

Preparations for the Annual League Conference, November 19-21, are underway and the hotel reservations system is open for attendees and exhibitors at the League Conference webpage.
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 unauthorized firms solicit 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 the League 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 and you will not 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, mdarcy@njlm.org, 609-695-3481 x116.

IV. Also of Interest

a. Are you ready for Police & Fire Contract Negotiations?

Could different contract provisions increase efficiency in your fire services? Is there a way to provide more effective policing, while lowering costs? And how much do your neighbors pay for police and fire protection? The answers to these questions can help you to better serve the interests of your local residents and businesses. And many of those answers can be found through our Police and Fire Labor Data Service.
The League’s Police and Fire Labor Data Service provides multiple resources tracking the trends in police and fire contract settlements.
Because we know how important and time sensitive this information is, we are releasing this data in two editions. Available now is the first edition, with all data that has been collected since January 2019; the second edition is expected to be available as early as March 2020, and will contain data collected after release of the first edition. Once the additional data for the second edition is available, it will be emailed automatically to all those that purchased the first edition.
The Police and Fire Labor Data Service is part of the League’s Bureau of Municipal Information. 
To order visit the League’s website and complete the order form.
Contact: Suzanne Allen, sallen@njlm.org, 609-695-3481 x129.

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