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Posted on: August 16, 2019

Governor Signs Bill Aimed at Rejuvenating Stranded Assets

Last week, Governor Murphy signed into law A-1700 (P.L. 2019, c.229) which amends the “Local Redevelopment and Housing Law” to specify that a municipality may determine an area to be in need of redevelopment if the area contains buildi...

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Posted on: August 16, 2019

Governor Signs Law Permitting Supplemental Zoning Boards

Late last week, Governor Murphy signed into law S-3212 (P.L. 2019, c.225). This permissive legislation allows a municipality to establish a temporary, supplemental zoning board of adjustments to address any backlog or influx of appeals and applications th...

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Posted on: August 16, 2019

Supreme Court Working Group Releases Report on Municipal Courts

On Monday, a NJ Supreme Court working group issued its anticipated report, outlining recommendations for reforming the state’s municipal courts. The Supreme Court Working Group on Municipal Courts, a 38-member working group that included League ...

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Posted on: August 16, 2019

NJDEP Begins Stakeholder Process for Requirements Under the Beach Access Law

As many of you are aware, earlier this year the Legislature passed and Governor Murphy signed into law P.L. 2019, c.81, commonly referred to as the ‘beach access’ or ‘public access’ law. Under the newly signed law, ...

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Posted on: August 9, 2019

Municipal Liability Standard Law Correction Signed

Today, Governor Murphy signed into law A-5392, which establishes new liability standards in sexual abuse lawsuits filed against public entities and public employees. The League supported this bill, which is a technical amendment to P.L. 2019, c. 120 neces...

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Posted on: August 9, 2019

Multiple Dwelling Inspection Schedule Gets Gov's Ok

Earlier this week, Acting Governor Sheila Oliver signed into law S-1150, which authorizes the Department of Community Affairs to establish a flexible multiple dwelling inspection schedule. Current law requires the DCA to inspect multiple dwellings at leas...

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Posted on: August 9, 2019

AG Issues Police Well-Being Program Directive

Earlier this week NJ Attorney General Gurbir Grewal issued a Directive seeking to promote emotional and mental well-being of New Jersey law enforcement officers. The Directive creates the New Jersey Resiliency Program for Law Enforcement (“NJRP-...

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Posted on: August 9, 2019

NJLM, Code Officials Petition DCA on Minor Work Rules

This week, the Department of Community Affairs, Division of Codes and Standards issued a Public Notice acknowledging receipt of the Petition for Rulemaking submitted on behalf of the League along with New Jersey’s six professional code official ...

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Posted on: August 9, 2019

NJ Blockchain Initiative Task Force Established

Governor Murphy signed legislation establishing the NJ Blockchain Initiative Task Force. The 16-member task force, which includes the Mayors of Newark, Jersey City, and Camden as ex-officio, will study if state, county, and municipal governments can benef...

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Posted on: August 9, 2019

Innovation District Designation Program Established

On Thursday, Governor Murphy signed P.L. 2019, c. 214 establishing the “Innovation District Designation Program” to promote the development and redevelopment of an area in a manner that facilitates collaboration between government, hig...

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Posted on: August 9, 2019

Vetrans' Expansion of Peddler's License

On Monday, Acting Governor Oliver signed P.L. 2019, c. 211 which expands veterans eligible to obtain a peddler’s license. Before the expansion, only honorably discharged veterans could get a peddler’s license. This new law now allows t...

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Posted on: July 30, 2019

Acting Gov. Oliver Signs Law Prohibiting Worker’s Wages Inquiries

Yesterday, Acting Governor Oliver signed into law A-1094, which prohibits all employers from asking about workers’ wage and salary history. Specifically, the new law makes it an unlawful employment practice for an employer to screen a job applic...

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Posted on: July 30, 2019

Secretary of State Designated Major Events Coordinator

On Tuesday, Governor Murphy signed P.L. 2019, c. 198 which designates the Secretary of State as the Major Event Coordinator. The Secretary of State will provide a consolidated one-stop centralized location of information and assistance for persons plannin...

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Posted on: July 30, 2019

Tax Bills to Include Relief Information

Last week Governor Murphy signed into law A-1048, which requires property tax bills to contain eligibility information on State tax relief programs. P.L. 2019, c. 186 requires that the property tax bills include a link to the Division of Taxation&rsqu...

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Posted on: July 30, 2019

County Board of Freeholds Can Increase Board of Election Membership

Last week Governor Murphy signed into law A-5162, which permits the county board of chosen freeholders, by a majority vote of the full membership, to increase the membership of the board of elections from four to six members. The two new members must be l...

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Posted on: July 30, 2019

New Law Changes Advertisement Requirements for Polling Locations

A new law signed by Governor Murphy last week removes the requirement to include the physical location of each polling location in the mandatory polling location advertisement. Instead P.L. 2019, c. 170 requires that the advertisement include a link to vi...

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Posted on: July 30, 2019

Gov. Ok's Bill Removing Obstacles to Land Preservation

Last week, Governor Murphy signed into law S-1707 which exempts governmental entities acquiring lands for open space located in deed-authorized common interest communities from paying community fees, if, at the time of the acquisition, the community has n...

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Posted on: July 30, 2019

Pension Forfeiture Bill for Sexual Assault Convictions Signed into Law

Last week, Governor Murphy signed into law A-3766, which requires a public officer or employee to forfeit their pension upon a conviction for corruption of public resources, sexual contact, lewdness, or sexual assault when the offense involves or touch up...

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Posted on: July 30, 2019

Council on Local Mandates Holds Hearing in Challenge to Vote-by-Mail Law

As you may be aware, the New Jersey Association of Counties is challenging as an unfunded mandate before the Council on Local Mandates, P.L. 2018 c. 72, which requires county clerks to furnish mail-in ballots to all qualified voters in future elections wi...

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Posted on: July 19, 2019

July 2019 Interest Arbitration Update

In June, mediators appointed by the Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) issued three interest arbitration awards. The first interest arbitration awards to be issued since the expiration of the 2% cap. Each of these awards arose out of an impasse...

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Posted on: July 19, 2019

New Requirements to Change from Non-Partisan to Partisan Form of Governments

On Monday, Acting Governor Oliver signed into law P.L. 2019, c. 161, which modifies the provisions of the Optional Municipal Charter Law procedure to change the manner of holding certain municipal elections. The new law increased the number of pe...

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Posted on: July 19, 2019

Governor Signs Stop Work Order Legislation

On July 9 Governor Murphy signed into law P.L. 2019, c. 158, which permits the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development to immediately issue a stop-work order if an employer has violated the Prevailing Wage Act by paying wages at rates less than th...

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Posted on: July 19, 2019

NJ Sues Federal Administration over IRS’ SALT Workaround Regulations

This week, Governor Murphy and State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced that New Jersey has joined with New York and Connecticut to sue the federal government, challenging IRS rules related to certain workarounds to the $10,000 cap on state and loca...

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Posted on: July 19, 2019

NJ Connections Advance Energy and Conservation Funding Bill

On Wednesday in Washington, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce approved HR 2088, which would reauthorize the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program. The bill will, if enacted, provide $3.5 billion annually – $17.5...

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Posted on: July 15, 2019

Land Banking Legislation Gets Gov. Murphy OK

On Wednesday, Governor Murphy signed into law S-1214, which would authorize a municipality to enter into an agreement with a non-profit or a redevelopment entity to serve as the municipality's land banking entity. The League supported this permissive legi...

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Posted on: July 10, 2019

Governor Freezes Most Transition Aid

Upon signing the FY 2020 State budget, Governor Murphy issued Executive Order 73, which impounds up to $235 million in spending, and is not subject to a potential override. Specifically, EO 73 directs the Department of Treasury, Office of Management and B...

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Posted on: July 15, 2019

Recap of the July PFRS Board Meeting

At the July 8 Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS) board meeting, the Board unanimously hired Robert Garrison as in-house legal counsel and appointed existing Division of Pensions staff to various positions needed to run the day-to-day operations of t...

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Posted on: July 15, 2019

Spotted Lanternfly Information

The State Department of Agriculture sent out this advisory this morning. We forward it to you as an FYI.

The Spotted lanternfly, initially found in Berks County Pennsylvania in 2014, was discovered in the New Jersey environment in July 2018 in Warren Count...

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Posted on: July 15, 2019

U.S. Senate Introduce Companion Bill to Overturn FCC Small Cell Preemption Order

Recently, Senator Dianne Feinstein of California introduced S.2012 also known as the Restoring Local Control of Public Infrastructure Act of 2019. S.2012 is a companion bill to H.R. 530 or the Accelerating Broadband Development by Empowering Local Communi...

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Posted on: July 1, 2019

Governor Signs State FY 2020 State Budget; Line Items Out $48.5 million and Reserves $235 Million

On Sunday Governor Phil Murphy signed the State FY 2020 budget following a 2 pm public event. In doing so, the Governor used his authority to line item out $48.5 million in expenditures in the budget.  From the just over $48 million in spending t...

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Posted on: June 28, 2019

State Budget Update

Sunday, June 30, is the deadline for the passage of the balanced state budget. As you know, last Thursday the State Senate and the General Assembly approved and sent to the Governor a State spending plan for the 2020 Fiscal Year that begins on July 1. S-2...

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Posted on: June 28, 2019

League Petitions DCA for Changes to UCC’s Minor Work/Ordinary Maintenance Provisions

This week, the League along with New Jersey’s six professional code official associations petitioned the Department of Community Affairs seeking to amend portions of the Uniform Construction Code regarding ordinary maintenance and minor work. Ou...

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Posted on: June 28, 2019

Gov. Murphy Signs Bill Preserving Affordable Housing Stock

On Monday, Governor Murphy signed into law S-362, which protects deed restrictions on affordable housing from being extinguished by foreclosure proceedings. The League supported this bill because of the positive impact it will have on ensuring the availab...

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Posted on: June 28, 2019

Federal Judge Reviews Opioid Lawsuits Settlements

On Tuesday, a federal judge in Ohio held a hearing with lawyers representing local governments from across the country and the pharmaceutical industry. The hearing was to discuss the proposed framework for a settlement structure that could apply to all lo...

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Posted on: June 28, 2019

Summer 2019 Federal Policy Update

Congress has a lot to do before the next Federal Fiscal Year begins on October 1. If you remember January 2013’s ‘fiscal cliff’ crisis, this should sound familiar.

The debt ceiling will need to be raised. Defense and domestic discretionary spending caps wi...

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Posted on: June 24, 2019

Taxpayer Equity Liability Standards Bill Passes

On Monday the State Senate, by a vote of 36-0, approved S-3739 and the Assembly, by a vote of 75-1, approved A-5392. This legislation will establish liability standards in sexual abuse lawsuits filed against public entities and public employees. ...

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Posted on: June 24, 2019

FY 2020 Budget Bills Sent to Governor

As expected, the State Senate and the General Assembly have approved and sent to the Governor, a State spending plan for the 2020 Fiscal Year that begins on July 1. S-2020(A-5600) was approved in the State Senate with a vote of 31 – Yes, 6 &...

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Posted on: June 18, 2019

Legislature Introduces FY 2020 Budget Bills

Yesterday in Trenton, the State Senate and the General Assembly introduced and advanced identical bills that would authorize State appropriations for the 2020 Fiscal Year that begins on July 1. S-2020/A-5600 would appropriate $38.7 billion. The bill assum...

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Posted on: June 17, 2019

Committee Releases First “Path to Progress” Bills

On Thursday the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism, and Historic Preservation Committee released the following Path to Progress bills:

•    S-3760 would require municipalities, counties, school districts, and local author...

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Posted on: June 17, 2019

National Flood Insurance Program Extension Enacted

Upon his return to the Country last Friday, President Trump signed H.R. 2157 into law. In addition to providing vital aid to jurisdictions devastated by an unprecedented series of natural disasters, that bill–The Additional Supplemental Appropri...

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Posted on: June 17, 2019

IRS Final Regulations Effectively End NJ’s SALT Cap Workaround

On Tuesday, the IRS issued final regulations regarding the deductibility of charitable contributions when the contributor receives in exchange a state or local tax credit. These final regulations come about after New Jersey and many other states took effo...

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Posted on: June 17, 2019

Committee Amends First Responders' Workers' Comp Rewrite

On Thursday in Trenton, the Assembly Appropriations Committee amended and released S-716/A-1741, companion bills that make it much easier for any public safety worker– volunteer or professional–to receive a workers’ compensat...

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Posted on: June 10, 2019

Census Deadline, Resource

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Posted on: June 7, 2019

Cannabis Update

On Monday, the General Assembly is expected to concur with Senate amendments to A10/S10, which expands access to medical marijuana. This legislation establishes the Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) to oversee the regulation of medical cannabis in the ...

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Posted on: June 3, 2019

Senate Acts on Medical Marijuana

Yesterday, the State Senate amended and then passed S-10, which expands access to medical marijuana by a vote of 33-4. This legislation establishes the Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) to oversee the regulation of medical cannabis in the state, includ...

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Posted on: June 3, 2019

Path to Progress’ Pension Hybrid Plan

As noted in the Path to Progress Report, “the State’s combined pension and retiree health benefit liabilities of $151.5 billion are four times the size of the State’s annual budget; and more than three times the size of the S...

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Posted on: June 3, 2019

Bill to Clarify Tax Responsibilities Introduced

The League fully supports recently introduced legislation, which will clarify telecommunications industry business tax responsibilities, and shield local taxpayers from the costs of endless tax court litigation. The companion bills are A-5450 and S-3827, ...

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Posted on: June 3, 2019

ABC Issues Renewed Special Ruling Limiting Brewery Activities

The Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) issued a “Special Ruling” this week, defining activities permitted under the State’s limited brewery licenses. This ruling is meant to clarify and replace a similar Special Rul...

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Posted on: May 24, 2019

Expansion of Medical Marijuana Passes

On Thursday, the General Assembly passed A-10, which expands access to medical marijuana by a vote of 65-5-6.  This legislation establishes the Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) to oversee the regulation of medical cannabis in the state, inclu...

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Posted on: May 24, 2019

Municipal Liability Bill Corrections Bill Approved

Earlier this week the Assembly Judiciary Committee reported A-5392 out of committee, readying the bill for second reading in the Assembly. The intent of A-5392 is to establish liability standards for public entities, identical to the standards applied to ...

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Posted on: May 24, 2019

Reminder: Interest Arbitration Permanent Extension Effort Still Underway

The temporary 2% cap on police and fire arbitration contract awards was an effective tool to control increasing salary costs and provided a solution to assist local governments in keeping property taxes down and costs under control. As predicted, the fail...

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Posted on: May 17, 2019

Recreational Marijuana Stalls

On Wednesday, Senate President Steve Sweeney announced that he would not post legislation again to legalize adult use marijuana for a floor vote. If you recall, the bills were posted on March 25 but did not garner enough votes for passage. Instead, the in...

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Posted on: May 17, 2019

Legislation Introduced to Implement Path to Progress Recommendations

Yesterday Senate President Sweeney and Senator Oroho held a press conference announcing a 27-bill package to implement some of the recommendations of the Path to Progress Report. While we are currently reviewing the bills presented in the package, we woul...

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Posted on: May 10, 2019

Governor Signs League-Supported ‘Vicious Dog’ Standards Bill

On Tuesday, Governor Phil Murphy signed S-1923 into law (P.L. 2019, Chapter 82). The League supported this carefully crafted bill, which refines the criteria, to be used by a municipal court, to determine whether a dog is vicious or pote...

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Posted on: May 10, 2019

House Adds NFIP Extension to Disaster Assistance Bill

On April 9, a new $17.2 billion disaster aid package was introduced in the House of Representatives. That bill, H.R. 2157, is scheduled for consideration this week. However, the Senate is still debating how much additional assistance Puerto Rico should re...

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Posted on: May 10, 2019

League Supports Transportation Alternatives Bill

The NJ League and the National League of Cities (NLC) support the Transportation Alternatives Enhancements Act (S. 1098) introduced by Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Roger Wicker (R-MS). This bipartisan bill improves on the highly successful Transportatio...

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Posted on: May 6, 2019

HUD and White House release Opportunity Zone Plan

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council (WHORC) have released an implementation plan outlining how local leaders can maximize benefits when participating in the Opportunity Zone...

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Posted on: April 18, 2019

NJ Prepares for 2020 Census

We are now within 12 months of 2020 Census Day – April 1, 2020. The U.S Census Bureau has been staffing up for the count that will determine New Jersey’s representation in Congress, Congressional and State Legislative District boundari...

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Posted on: April 18, 2019

Tax Assessors Prohibited from Acting as Appraisal Experts

While municipal tax assessors are already prohibited through regulations from appearing as expert witnesses before county boards of taxation (see, N.J.A.C. 18:12A-1.9(l)), this prohibition had never before been applied to the tax court. 

Last week...

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Posted on: April 12, 2019

Cannabis Vote in May?

We cannot tell you if or when the legislation to legalize recreational, adult use of marijuana may be scheduled again. On March 25, the State Legislature did not act on A4497/S2703, which would legalize adult use of recreational cannabis. The measure did ...

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Posted on: April 5, 2019

State Budget Makers Focus on Revenue Forecasts

Early this week, the Assembly Budget Committee and the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee began a series of hearings on Governor Murphy’s proposed spending plan for the 2020 Fiscal Year. The process started with a focus on revenues, proj...

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Posted on: April 5, 2019

Surviving Spouse Tax Exemption Ruling Reversed

Earlier this week the Appellate Division issued a published opinion dealing with the applicability of the disabled veterans’ property tax exemption to certain surviving spouses of qualified disabled veterans. Simply put, in Rosanna Pruent-Steven...

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Posted on: March 25, 2019

League Statement on Cannabis Legislation

Today the State Legislature did not act on A4497/S2703, which would legalize adult use of recreational cannabis. League President Colleen Mahr, Mayor of the Borough of Fanwood offered the following comments:

“While the League did not take a posit...

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Posted on: March 21, 2019

Final Vote on Marijuana Legalization Set for Monday, March 25

On Monday, the Assembly Appropriations Committee and the Senate Judiciary each amended and approved legislation that will legalize the adult use of recreational marijuana. The committees also approved legislation to expand the State’s medical ma...

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Posted on: February 15, 2019

NLC Launches Opportunity Zone Resources

The opportunity zone program, authored by N.J. U.S. Senator Cory Booker, was created under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to provide local and national investors with a tax incentive for investments made in economically distressed areas of the country.

Und...

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Posted on: January 25, 2019

Max Cap on Volunteer Fire Co. Municipal Appropriations Increases

P.L. 2015, c. 95 included a statutory adjustment, every two years, to the maximum appropriation a municipality may make to their volunteer fire company. For CY2019/ SFY2020 there is a 2.5% adjustment which brings the maximum annual contribution to $154,51...

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Posted on: January 25, 2019

Goods & Services Prompt Payment Law Guidance

Beginning February 1 all goods and services contracts awarded, regardless of dollar amount, will be subject to goods and services prompt payment law, P.L. 2018, c. 127. Unless otherwise specified in a contract, the payment for goods and services will be d...

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Posted on: January 18, 2019

Gov. Murphy's State of the State

Tuesday, January 15, in Trenton, Governor Murphy delivered his first State of the State message to the Legislature and the people of New Jersey. His central message was focused on progress made and prospect to create more opportunities for economic improv...

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Posted on: January 18, 2019

Bonding and Grants for Addressing Lead Hazards

League President Colleen Mahr, Mayor of Fanwood commented on the addressing of Lead Hazards saying, “Recent reports of the need to upgrade water infrastructure to address lead are unfortunately not unique. The League has, for years, worked to he...

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Posted on: January 4, 2019

116th Congress Convenes

As the partial shutdown of the Federal government grinds on, a new Congressional session begins. While Senators (and former Mayors) Bob Menendez and Cory Booker will continue to represent our State in the Upper House, a number of new Jersey voices will jo...

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Posted on: December 18, 2018

Gov. Signs Electronic Procurement Legislation

Yesterday, Governor Murphy signed into law as P.L. 2018, c. 156 legislation supported by the League, the New Jersey Association of Counties and the New Jersey School Boards Association. The legislation, passed as A-3112, authorizes local units of...

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Posted on: October 8, 2018

Governor Outlines Strategy for Economic Development

On Oct. 1, 2018, Governor Murphy presented his outline to grow the New Jersey economy. In a speech in Nutley, the Governor presented a vision focused on investments in the state’s education system and workforce development programs so t...

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Posted on: September 7, 2018

Jake's Law for Inclusive Playgrounds Signed

Last week, Governor Murphy signed into law A-2187, otherwise known as “Jake’s Law.” The law incentives counties to build inclusive playgrounds for children and adults with disabilities by prioritizing Green Acres fund applica...

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