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Capitol Report: Governor Acts on Lame Duck Legislation

Governor Acts on Lame Duck Legislation

Governor Phil Murphy acted on several pieces of legislation of interest to the New Jersey State Bar Association. Throughout the last session, members worked with the Association to draft amendments, meet with legislators and testify and provide comments on a number of bills. Below is the status of the last bills of the session, which ended on January 8th.

A1739 (McKeon)S2989 (Pou) – Makes for profit debt adjusters eligible for licensing to conduct business in the State

The Governor pocket-vetoed this bill, which permits licensing of for-profit debt adjusters and eases restrictions for for-profit debt adjustors to provide services in New Jersey. Nonprofit organizations provide these services at low to no cost and consumers are already able to do this without the involvement of a debt adjuster. The Association urged the sponsors to consider recommendations contained in a New Jersey Law Revision Commission report in 2012, which examined debt services in New Jersey.

A4723 (McKeon)/S2740 (Codey) – Requires motor vehicle dealer to offer to delete personal information in motor vehicles in certain situations

The Governor signed this bill into law, which would require motor vehicle dealers to offer to remove personally identifiable information that is stored on the motor vehicle’s computer systems upon sale or lease of a vehicle. The Association supported the bill and offered amendments to strengthen consumer protections. The bill was revised to reflect some of those amendments, but the Association vowed to encourage further protections moving forward.

A5235 (Lampitt)/S3627 (Vitale) – Revises health insurance coverage requirements for treatment of infertility

The Governor signed this bill into law, which expands access to treatment of infertility by requiring insurance companies to provide coverage for such treatment when a person has been determined by their physician to need medical intervention to achieve a pregnancy. The bill also revises the definition for the disease of infertility to include individuals who cannot achieve a pregnancy without assistance of reproductive medicine because they are either a same-sex couple or single. The NJSBA supported this bill as a necessary measure to apply fertility treatments equitably without consideration of the person’s relationship status.

A3837 (Jaffer)/S2459 (Ruiz) – Requires State government entities to provide vital documents and translation services in 15 most common non-English languages

The Governor signed this bill into law, which the Association supported as an important measure that provides accessibility for New Jerseyans who are eligible for state benefits and/or services, but are unable to complete the forms because of limited-English proficiency. The NJSBA also encouraged expanding this access to other languages if necessary.

A4292 (Carter)/S2841 (Scutari) – Raises minimum amount of liability coverage for commercial motor vehicles and autocabs

The Governor signed this bill into law, which would increase the minimum bodily injury coverage for commercial vehicles as a New Jersey consumer-friendly provision that results in fairness in the administration of justice. The NJSBA pointed out that minimum coverage has remained stagnant for many years and commercial vehicle incidents most often result in significant damages. This increase – the first since 1972 – would reflect compensation more in line with actual damages. The Association further supports the amendment to create higher minimums for certain types of vehicles that can result in a bigger risk or more damages.

This is a status report provided by the New Jersey State Bar Association on recently passed and pending legislation, regulations, gubernatorial nominations and/or appointments of interest to lawyers, as well as the involvement of the NJSBA as amicus in appellate court matters. 

Contact: NJSBA Communications Department
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