As of this writing, it has been announced that the Governor has signed the legislation legalizing adult recreational use of cannabis, the decriminalization of cannabis, and the clean-up legislation that addresses possession by those under 21. We will be sending out additional information in the upcoming days. In addition, the Governor will be taking action on the legislation extending property tax exemption to nonprofit hospitals with profit-making activities.
On the legislative front
Various Assembly committees will be holding hearings or considering numerous pieces of legislation both on Monday and Wednesday. The municipal issues before the committees include:
- Assembly Special Committee on Infrastructure and Natural Resources: Invited guest will provide testimony on the impact of climate change and how variable weather patterns, sea-level rise, and rising temperatures would exacerbate issues like flooding, water supply problems, and state or regional droughts. 12 P.M. Monday, February 22, 2021.
- Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee: Considering legislation that exempts New Jersey Infrastructure Bank projects from 5% down payment (A-4552/S-767). 12:30 P.M. Monday, February 22, 2021.
- Assembly Agriculture Committee: Public will provide testimony regarding deer overpopulation in the state and suggestions for effective strategies to address the issue. In addition, they will consider legislation regarding the sale of baked goods at farm markets (A-503). 12:15 P.M. Monday, February 22, 2021.
- Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee: Considering legislation that requires public water systems to provide notice of elevated lead levels in drinking water to customers and local officials and requires landlords to notify tenants of elevated lead levels (A-2863/S-968). Also considering legislation that would require all newly constructed warehouses to be solar-ready buildings (A-3352).3:15 P.M. Monday, February 22, 2021.
- Assembly State and Local Government Committee: Considering legislation that would have the Division of Local Government Services (DLGS), instead of Rutgers University, offer a course on state fiscal year tax policies and practices for tax collection (A-3471). 3:00 P.M. Monday, February 22, 2021.
- Assembly Appropriations Committee: Legislation that would permit Police and Fire to retire after 20 years of service regardless of age (A-2562/S-1017); establishing a five-year creative crosswalk pilot program (A-2302); creating an in-person early voting procedure (A-4830) and legislation to change the effective date to December 10, 2021, of certain aspects of “Daniels Law”, which prohibits the disclosure of the home addresses of any active, formerly active, or retired federal, State, county, or municipal judicial officer, prosecutor, or law enforcement officer (S-3453/A-5359). 12:30 P.M. Thursday, February 24, 2021.
- Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee: Considering the Reliability, Preparedness, and Storm Response Act,” which requires the Board of Public Utilities (“BPU”) to develop and enforce performance benchmarks for service reliability and communications for electric public utilities and requires electric public utilities to submit to the BPU a review of strategies to mitigate flooding of substations within flood zones (A-2427).12:30 P.M. Thursday, February 24, 2021.
Both the full Senate and Assembly will be holding voting sessions on Monday.
The Senate will be considering the following legislation with municipal impact: revising underage possession of cannabis (S-3454); in-person early voting for certain elections (S-3203); and permitting county boards of elections to determine ballot drop box locations (S-3322).
The Assembly will be considering legislation on revising underage possession of cannabis (A-5342) and legislation to change the effective date to December 10, 2021 of certain aspects of “Daniels Law”, which prohibits the disclosure of the home addresses of any active, formerly active, or retired federal, State, county, or municipal judicial officer, prosecutor, or law enforcement officer (S-3453/A-5359).
A Senate voting session is also scheduled for Tuesday, but as of this writing, no board list has been provided.
Annual Budget Address
On Tuesday, Governor Murphy will deliver his annual budget address. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the budget address will be pre-recorded and streamed on Governor's official Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages.