October 18, 2019

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

I. State Issues


a. State Releases Significant Transitional Aid Funding

As you may recall, when signing the State’s FY 2020 spending plan, back in June, uncertainty about meeting revenue targets prompted Governor Murphy to direct the State Treasurer to withhold funding for certain programs. The total held in abeyance equaled $235 million. Satisfied with collections, to date, on Thursday the Department of the Treasury released a total of $114 million. Among the programs receiving support are Transitional Aid for distressed municipalities, substance use disorder programs, cancer programs and some higher education initiatives. Specifically, the Treasurer has released just under $54 million in Transitional Aid funding to the Department of Community Affairs. That is slightly more than half of the $105 million that had been ‘reserved’ in July.
We objected to the Governor’s decision to put the Transitional Aid program, designed to support those most in need, into jeopardy. We are, now, gratified that a first step has been taken to begin to fund the program at the level specified in the State’s Budget.
Contact: Jon Moran, Senior Legislative Analyst, jmoran@njlm.org, 609-695-3481 x121.

b. Domestic Violence Policy for all Public Employers Released

P.L. 2017, c. 272 required that the Civil Service Commission develop a uniform domestic violence policy, which all public employers regardless if they fall under Civil Service, must adopt and distribute to their employees. On Tuesday, the Civil Service Commission announced the new Domestic Violence Policy. The policy is for all public employers and covers all employees including seasonal, interns, volunteers and temporary employees at any workplace. The law does permit a public employer to modify the uniform domestic violence policy to fit their unique circumstances but modifications may not conflict with the requirements of the law. For more on the new policy please see our October 17 blog post.
The League has contacted the Civil Service Commission for clarity on the new policy. While we support efforts to help domestic violence victims we question whether the policy went through the normal procedure for writing state regulations, which include publication in the New Jersey Register and consideration of public comments before adoption. We also question how much consideration was given to how municipalities — especially small ones that probably don’t have a dedicated HR professional on staff — would be able to afford to implement the policy.
It is anticipated that the Division of Local Government Services will be issuing a Local Finance Notice shortly. We will continue to keep you apprised of our findings, however, we strongly suggest you review the policy and Domestic Violence resources with your administrator and municipal attorney.
Contact: Michael F. Cerra, Assistant Executive Director, mcerra@njlm.org, 609-695-3481 x120.

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

As a reminder the deadline for the CY2019/SFY 2020 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. OPRA/OPMA Update & Sample Resolution

Recently, Senator Weinberg noted that she has been working for more than two years to update the outdated Open Public Records Act (OPRA) and Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) and will continue to address them during lame duck, presumably through her bills S-106 (OPMA) and S-107 (OPRA). In response to this, the League and Municipal Clerks Association of New Jersey has prepared a sample resolution calling for a study commission to review the almost 20-year-old law.
The sample resolution also asks for information on your municipal experience with OPRA, including the number of requests, approximate staff hours staff and attorney fees your municipality has incurred responding to OPRA requests. We respectfully request that you consider adopting the sample resolution and forward a copy to your State Senator, Assembly Representatives as well as Senate President Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Coughlin, Senator Weinberg, and Governor Murphy.
Contact: Lori Buckelew, Senior Legislative Analyst, lbuckelew@njlm.org, 609-695-3481, ext. 112.

II. Annual League Conference

a. View the NJLM Annual Conference List of Exhibitors

The exhibit hall at the conference is sold out with 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. 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.

III. Also of Interest

a. Let Your Vendors Know about NJ Municipalities Magazine!

Do you work with vendors that you would recommend to other municipalities? Let these vendors know about the League’s magazine; placing advertisements in the magazine helps to increase the reach of their marketing message and supports the League as an organization in the process.

Contact: Taran Samhammer at tsamhammer@njlm.org with your vendor’s mailing address and we will send them a sample issue!


222 West State Street, Trenton, NJ 08608 Phone: 609-695-3481 Web: www.njlm.org

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