I. State Issues
a. Look Ahead to Lame Duck: OPRA/OPMA Blog Posts and 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Recently, Senator Weinberg noted that she has been working for more than two years to update the outdated Open Public Records Act (OPRA) and Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) and will continue to address them during lame duck, presumably through her bills S-106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 have 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.
In addition, we are continuing our OPRA/OPMA blog post series with post on prevailing attorney fees, subcommittees, and definition of government records.
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, email@example.com, 609-695-3481 x112.
b. Governor Signs Order Establishing Statewide Climate Change Resilience Strategy
On Tuesday, the seventh anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order No. 89 (the “EO”), establishing a Statewide Climate Change Resilience Strategy. The Executive Order also establishes a Climate and Flood Resilience Program within the Department of Environmental Protection, and an Interagency Council on Climate Resilience comprised of 16 state agencies. The overall goal of the EO is to develop short- and long-term action plans that will promote the long-term mitigation, adaptation, and resilience of the State’s economy, communities, infrastructure, and natural resources.
The Climate and Flood Resilience Program within the DEP is tasked with, among other things, compiling and maintaining an updated directory of federal and state grants and financing programs available to assist the state, counties, and municipalities to plan for, mitigate, and respond to the impacts of climate change. The program is also tasked with providing technical guidance and support to counties and municipalities in their efforts to plan for and address the current and anticipated impacts of climate change in accordance with the Statewide Climate Change Resilience Strategy.
The EO also directs the State Planning Commission, based upon the Scientific Report of Climate Change and the Statewide Climate Change Resilience Strategy, to incorporate climate change conditions as a mandatory requirement for State Development and Redevelopment Plan endorsement.
Contact: Frank Marshall, Esq., League Staff Attorney, firstname.lastname@example.org, 609-695-3481 x 137.