A ruling out of the NJ Superior Court issued in early February of this year has garnered attention this week after it was announced that the decision would be appealed. The ruling (Somerville Board of Education v. Drake) examined the New Jersey First Act (the “Act”), which for over a decade has required nearly all New Jersey public employees to be residents of the state. The ruling determined the waiver provisions of the Act to be too vague and therefore cannot be uniformly applied. Because the waiver provisions of the Act could not be effectively severed from the remainder of the Act, the court found the entirety of the Act to be unconstitutional.
The court further determined that the fate of the Act, “should now be left to the Legislature as to whether the Act is amended to be constitutionally compliant, or whether other action is taken by the Legislature.” Legislation (S-261/A-174) repealing the Act’s residency requirements had already been introduced but is now getting renewed interest. The League is monitoring this issue and will be providing updates on the legislation and the court decision to our members.
Contact: Frank Marshall, Esq., Associate General Counsel, firstname.lastname@example.org, 609-695-3481, x137.