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Apr 17

Governor Signs Legislation

Posted on April 17, 2020 at 9:59 AM by Legislative Staff

P.L. 2020, c. 19 (S-2338/A-3918) - This new law clarifies filing and payment deadlines for Corporate Business Tax (CBT) and Gross Income Tax (GIT) taxpayers, modifies duration of State Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021, and requires certain updates and presentation for State Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021.

This law alters the duration of State Fiscal Year 2020 to conclude on September 30, 2020 and sets October 1, 2020 as the start of State Fiscal Year 2021. The law also requires that any additional spending required to support the operations of the State from July 1, 2020 through September 30, 2020 be made through the enactment of a general law that amends or provides for a supplemental appropriation to that annual appropriations act.

Due to this change, the Legislature will need to pass, and the Governor will need to sign, a supplemental appropriations bill before the end of July, in order for municipalities to receive their August 1 Energy Tax/CMPTRA property tax relief payments.

The new law requires the State Treasurer to prepare a report on the financial condition of the State budget for State Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021, which must be submitted to the Legislature by May 22, 2020 and prominently display on the Office of Management and Budget’s website.

The State Treasurer’s report is to include:  (1) an update on State revenue collections through the first nine months of State Fiscal Year 2020 and a revised forecast of revenue projections for the remainder of the current fiscal year;  (2) a detailed plan of spending from State, federal, and all other governmental funds for the continuation of essential governmental operations during the remainder of State Fiscal Year 2020; and  (3) an assessment of current economic conditions and the potential impact of the economy on the proposed budget for State Fiscal Year 2021.

The Governor is required to present the revised budget message by August 25, 2020.

It also postpones the filing dates for the gross income tax or the corporation business tax, from April 15, to July 15, 2020.  Taxpayers will not be subject to penalties or interest if the taxpayer files a return, report, or makes a payment by the end of the extension.

P.L. 2020, c. 25 (A-3901(1R)/S-2334) - Allows the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety, with the approval of the Attorney General, to reactivate a license, registration or certification, normally granted by Consumer Affairs, on an expedited basis during the current state of emergency. Consumer Affairs regulates temporary health care agencies, nursing registries and home health care agencies, among others. New Jersey's Board of Medical Examiners, within the Division of Consumer Affairs, licenses and certifies physicians, and certain other health care professionals. The reactivation authorized by this new law would be provided on an expedited basis to any individual who held a corresponding license, certificate of registration or certification, in good standing at the time that the individual retired from active practice or was placed on inactive status, within the last three years, or such other timeframe as the Director may specify. The law also waives compliance by any individual granted a license, certificate of registration, or certification pursuant to this section with liability insurance required by statute or regulation, for acts or omissions undertaken in the course of providing health care services in support of the State’s response to the declared emergency. 

P.L. 2020, c. 26 (A-3903 (1R)) -  This new law would, for the duration of the current public health emergency, permit a notary public to perform notarial acts using communication technology for a remotely located individual.

In addition to being performed by notaries public, notarial acts using communication technology for a remotely located individual could be performed by an officer authorized to take oaths, and affirmations  under N.J.S.A. 41:2-1 or to take acknowledgements under N.J.S.A. 46:14-6.1. This would not apply to: records governed by the “Uniform Commercial Code;” or a statute, regulation, or other rule of law governing adoption, divorce or other matters of family law.

The officers authorized to take oaths, affirmations and affidavits under N.J.S.A. 41:2-1 include mayors or aldermen of cities, towns or boroughs or commissioners of commission-governed municipalities; municipal clerks; municipal court judges; clerks of all courts; and various State and county level officials.

The officers authorized to take acknowledgements under N.J.S.A. 46:14-6.1 are: attorneys-at-law; notaries public; county clerks and deputy county clerks; registers of deeds and mortgages and deputy registers; and others.

P.L.2020, c.24 (A2371 / S865) - Requires large food waste generators to separate and recycle food waste and amends definition of "Class I renewable energy."  Beginning October 14, 2021, every large food waste generator that is located within 25 road miles of an authorized food waste recycling facility and that generates an average projected volume of 52 or more tons per year of food waste would be required to source separate its food waste from other solid waste and send that food waste to an authorized facility that has capacity to accept it.  The law also offers exceptions and alternatives for food waste generators that lack certain capabilities necessary to meet these standards, which is overseen by the Department of Environmental Protection.

Under this new law, any municipality that hosts an authorized food waste recycling facility pursuant to an adopted solid waste management plan, would be entitled to an economic benefit of not less than $0.50 per ton, to be paid quarterly, of all food waste accepted for processing at an authorized food waste recycling facility.   This law took effect April 14, 2020.

P.L.2020, c.18 (S2333 / A3910) - Provides certain civil and criminal immunities to health care professionals and facilities, when dealing with COVID-19 cases, during the current State of Public Health Emergency. The immunity applies to doctors, nurses, EMTs, mobile intensive care technicians, radiologic technologists, and other health care professionals regulated pursuant to Title 45. The new law also permits the Commissioner of Health to issue provisional certifications to any EMTs whose certifications have expired, upon approval of an application requesting such.  Similarly, the Commissioner could: issue provisional certifications to any paramedic whose certification has expired in the last five years; temporarily reactivate certifications for paramedics whose certification is currently inactive, upon application; and grant temporary reciprocity for paramedics certified in another state or the District of Columbia.  The provisions of this law dealing with civil and criminal immunity are retroactive to March 9, 2020, with the remainder of the law becoming effective April 14, 2020.

P.L.2020, c.22 (S2353 / A3938) - Under the "Millville Dallas Airmotive Plant Job Loss Notification Act" employers issuing mass layoffs would be required under certain circumstances to provide severance pay for laid off workers.  This new law changes the definition of “mass layoffs” under the Act to exclude those mass layoffs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Meaning, any employer that issued mass layoffs due to the coronavirus pandemic is not required to provide severance pay to those employees. This law took effect April 14, 2020 and is retroactive to March 9, 2020. 

P.L. 2020, c. 27 (A-3904/S-2327) – This new law permits a school district, renaissance school project, charter school, county vocational school district, or county special services school district to meet the 180-day requirement in a year with an excessive number of unexpected school closures due to a declared state of emergency, declared public health emergency, or a directive by the appropriate health agency or officer to institute a public health-related closure, through the use of virtual or remote instruction. The school would have to be closed for more than three consecutive days.

The Commissioner of Education must allow the district to apply one or more days when virtual or remote instruction was provided to the students towards the 180 day requirement. The Commissioner must establish a criteria and a district must submit a proposed program, with board of education approval, within 30 days of April 14, 2020. This proposal must be submitted annually. One day of virtual or remote learning will equal one full day of school attendance. Any program implemented for the general education of students must provide the same educational opportunities to students with disabilities. Special education and related services, including speech language services, counseling services, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and behavioral services, may be delivered to students with disabilities through the use of electronic communication or a virtual or online platform and as required by the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP), to the greatest extent practicable.

The new law also outlines when the virtual or remote instruction can be implemented, guidance on the use of virtual or remote instruction, and the rights of public school employees. This new law, which took effect on April 14, 2020, gives the State Board of Education rule making authority.

P.L. 2020, c. 20 (S-2342/A-3915) - Permits nonprofit corporations to allow members to participate in meetings by means of remote communication, and permits nonprofit corporations to hold meetings in part or solely by means of remote communication during state of emergency. This new law took effect on April 14, 2020.

P.L. 2020, c. 21 (S-2349/A-3922) - Moves the date for the 2020 primary election from June 2 to July 7. Any other election scheduled between May 13, 2020 and July 6, 2020, inclusive, must be rescheduled to be held on July 7, 2020. This change of date does not affect the statutory deadlines for the nomination of candidates, filing of petitions, acceptance of nominations, certification of nominations, and any other deadline that occurred before April 11, 2020. All other statutory deadlines, including the party affiliation deadline, will be calculated using the July 7, 2020 primary election date. The deadline to file a petition as an independent candidate for the general election is 4:00 p.m. on July 7, 2020. This new law, which took effect on April 14, 2020, is only for the 2020 primary election.

Contact: Jon Moran, Senior Legislative Analyst, jmoran@njlm.org, 609-695-3481 x121.