Governor Christie Takes Action on Pending Legislation

Trenton, NJ – Governor Chris Christie today took action on dozens of bills, including S-359/A-2320 (Codey, Vitale/Vainieri Huttle, Conaway, Jimenez, Lampitt, Jasey, Sumter), which raises the minimum age from 19 to 21 of a person to whom a vendor may sell, offer for sale, distribute, give or furnish tobacco products in New Jersey. This new law also amends various related statues concerning penalties, fines, signage requirements, non-face-to-face transactions, and enforcement provisions to reflect the increased minimum age.

“By raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21, we are giving young people more time to develop a maturity and better understanding of how dangerous smoking can be and that it is better to not start smoking in the first place,” Governor Christie said. “My mother died from the effects of smoking, and no one should lose their life due to any addictive substance. Additionally, the less people who develop costly tobacco habits that can cause health problems, such as lung cancer, heart disease and developmental issues, the less strain there will be on our healthcare system.”

Governor Christie also took action on pending legislation related to:

Further Addressing the Opioid Epidemic 

Governor Christie signed four bills that continue New Jersey's leadership role in fighting the national opioid epidemic. The legislation that requires the Department of Human Services develop, maintain, and post on their website daily information about the number of open beds available in facilities in the state for people in need of mental health or substance use disorder treatment; help inform parents of student athletes and cheerleaders about the use and misuse of prescription opioids; allows hospice programs to accept the unused prescription medicines of their hospice patients for safe disposal and implements the use of current-day, sensitive terminology when referring to persons with substance use disorders or certain disabilities.

•    A-1662/S-2466 (Schaer, Vainieri Huttle, Coughlin, McKnight, Mukherji/Vitale, Allen) - Requires development and maintenance of data dashboard report to advise of open bed availability in residential facilities providing behavioral health services
•    A-3944/S-2402 (Mazzeo, Lagana, Vainieri Huttle, Benson, Caride, Wimberly/Diegnan, Vitale) - Requires DOE to develop educational fact sheet for distribution to parents of student-athletes and cheerleaders concerning use and misuse of prescription opioids
•    S-2970/A-4522 (Vitale, Diegnan/Lampitt, Vainieri Huttle, Jimenez) - Allows hospice care programs to accept unused prescription medications for disposal under certain circumstances
•    S-2721/ACS for A-926 (Vitale, Whelan/Vainieri Huttle, Benson, Tucker, Eustace, McKnight, Mosquera) - Implements person-first language and changes pejorative terminology referring to persons with certain disabilities or substance use disorders

Protecting and Preserving the Environment

The Governor also signed several bills to protect people and improve the quality of life by strengthening New Jersey’s environment.

“These new laws will create more open space preservation opportunities, green energy solutions and safeguards to ensure quality drinking water for all New Jerseyans,” Governor Christie said. “They provide greater flexibility for counties and municipalities to use the roughly $270 million open space tax dollars they collect each year for the intended mission of protecting New Jersey’s environment, improving communities with more recreation and conservation, and preventing overcrowding of our towns and schools. They also ensure reliable, sustainable and safe environmental infrastructure across the state, by investing nearly $100 million in critical projects this year.”

•    A-1645/S-195 (Schaer, Webber, Dancer, Pintor Marin/Kyrillos, Smith) - Expands definition of "acquisition," for purposes of county and municipal open space trust funds, to include demolition, removal of debris, and restoration of lands being acquired
•    S-3352/A-5045 (Ruiz, Bateman/Oliver, Chaparro, Singleton, Lagana, Bramnick, Vainieri Huttle, Zwicker) - Appropriates $71,700,224 from constitutionally dedicated CBT revenues and various Green Acres funds to DEP for local government open space acquisition and park development projects
•    S-3353/A-5046 (Greenstein, Thompson/Eustace, Land, Mukherji, Schaer, Bramnick, Vainieri Huttle, Wimberly) - Appropriates $12.3 million from constitutionally dedicated CBT revenues for recreation and conservation purposes to DEP for State capital and park development projects
•    S-3354/A-5044 (Gordon, Allen/McKeon, Mazzeo, Muoio, Moriarty, Bramnick, Zwicker, Vainieri Huttle) - Appropriates $8,992,898 to DEP from constitutionally dedicated CBT revenues and various Green Acres funds for grants to certain nonprofit entities to acquire or develop lands for recreation and conservation purposes
•    S-3240/A-4996 (Greenstein, Codey/Mukherji, Mazzeo, Schaer, Holley, Land) - Authorizes NJ Environmental Infrastructure Trust to expend certain sums to make loans for environmental infrastructure projects for FY2018
•    CC for S-3241/A-4998 (Smith, Codey/Eustace, Muoio, Moriarty, Conaway, Andrzejczak) - Appropriates funds to DEP for environmental infrastructure projects for FY2018
•    S-3242/A-4997 (Gordon, Oroho/McKeon, Prieto) - Clarifies procedures for approval of environmental and transportation infrastructure projects
•    S-3181/A-4756 (Smith, Diegnan/DeAngelo, Eustace, Gusciora) - Permits solar electric power generation facility projects not having commenced commercial operation to retain designation through May 31, 2018 as connected to distribution system
•    S-2834/A-4569 (Sweeney, Greenstein, Bateman/Eustace, Karabinchak, McKeon, Vainieri Huttle, Benson, Muoio) - The "Water Quality Accountability Act"; imposes certain testing, reporting, management, and infrastructure investment requirements on water purveyors

Governor Christie also took action on the following bills:

BILL SIGNINGS:

S-5/A-4925 (Vitale, Sweeney/Conaway, O'Scanlon, Houghtaling, Quijano, Giblin, DeAngelo, Munoz, Mukherji, A.M. Bucco) - Establishes data reporting requirements for emergency medical services providers and dispatch centers

SS SCS SCS for S-291, 652, 1954/ACS for A-1464 (Vitale, Whelan, Allen, Turner/Lampitt, Coughlin, Conaway, Vainieri Huttle, Lagana, Mukherji, Moriarty) - Authorizes health care providers to engage in telemedicine and telehealth

S-742/A-1205 (Beach/Mosquera, Holley, Wimberly, Jones) - Requires board of education to enter into agreement with law enforcement authorities regarding access to live video streams of public school buildings

S-1295/A-3701 (Vitale/Eustace, Munoz) - Amends and repeals sections of "Respiratory Care Practitioner Licensing Act"

S-1315/A-1839 (Vitale/Giblin, Wimberly, McKeon, Mukherji, Sumter) - Revises statutes regarding practice of physical therapy

S-1840/A-2085 (Ruiz, Gill/Mukherji, Oliver, McKnight) - Prohibits charging fee to stop publishing personal identifying information obtained through the criminal justice system

S-1913/A-2794 (Addiego, Greenstein/Lagana, Moriarty, Mukherji, Downey) - "Personal Information and Privacy Protection Act"; restricts collection and use of personal information by retail establishments for certain purposes

S-2058/A-671 (T. Kean, Pou/Munoz, Giblin, Mukherji, Moriarty) - Adds two nurse educators to the New Jersey Board of Nursing

S-2331/A-3962 (Codey, Vitale/Jasey, McKeon, Vainieri Huttle, Munoz, Mukherji, Mosquera, Lampitt) - Establishes tuition reimbursement program for certain psychiatrists who work in underserved areas or psychiatric hospitals in New Jersey

CC S-2403/A-3717 (Rice, Turner/Sumter, Vainieri Huttle, Lampitt, Downey) - Establishes Women's Vocational Training Pilot Program to promote economic self-sufficiency of low-income women through increased participation in high-wage, high-demand occupations; authorizes allocation of certain funds therefor

S-2452/A-4007 (Diegnan, Stack/Houghtaling, Downey, Mosquera, Mazzeo) - Requires Director of Division of Taxation to promulgate Property Taxpayer Bill of Rights

S-2577/A-4238 (Cunningham, Ruiz, Gordon/Sumter, Jasey, Muoio, Lagana, Downey, Benson) - Requires Higher Education Student Assistance Authority to provide annual New Jersey College Loans to Assist State Students Loan Program report to Governor and Legislature and develop student loan comparison information document to increase program transparency

S-2618/A-4691 (Cunningham, Pou/Caride, McKeon, Jasey, Giblin) - Requires institutions of higher education to enter into collective Statewide reverse transfer agreement

S-2819/A-4363 (Sweeney, Ruiz, Lesniak/Taliaferro, Andrzejczak, Lampitt, Mosquera, Holley, Quijano) - Creates "Nourishing Young Minds Initiative Fund" in Dept. of Agriculture to help pay for child food and nutrition programs

S-3027/A-4631 (Smith, Greenstein/Lampitt, Quijano, Eustace, Kennedy, Benson, Muoio, Zwicker, Mukherji) - Establishes State food waste reduction goal of 50 percent by 2030

S-3067/A-4652 (Ruiz, Vitale/Vainieri Huttle, Caride, Eustace, Jasey, Wimberly, Gusciora) - Requires Commissioner of Education to develop guidelines for school districts regarding transgender students

S-3176/A-4898 (Madden/Mukherji, Singleton) - Changes year used to calculate TDI and FLI employee taxes from most recent calendar year to most recent fiscal year

S-3191/A-3370 (Sweeney, Bateman/Burzichelli, Jones) - Extends voting rights of representatives of sending districts on receiving district board of education

S-3219/A-4859 (Sweeney, T. Kean, Greenstein, Holzapfel/Vainieri Huttle, Prieto, Downey) - Establishes additional penalties related to child pornography and expands crime to include portrayal of child in sexual manner; establishes crime of leader of child pornography network

S-3331/A-5039 (Cruz-Perez/Jones) - Authorizes State Treasurer to sell surplus real property in City of Camden, County of Camden to Camden County Improvement Authority

SJR-105/AJR-157 (Diegnan, Cruz-Perez, Sweeney/Pinkin, Karabinchak, Coughlin) - Designates August 29, 2017 as Governor James Florio Day in New Jersey

SJR-113/AJR-165 (Gordon/Vainieri Huttle, Chiaravalloti) - Clarifies intent of law subjecting PANYNJ to open public records and freedom of information laws in New Jersey and New York

A-222/S-2171 (DeAngelo, Giblin, Singleton, Holley, Benson/Bateman, Greenstein, Stack) - "New Jersey Library Construction Bond Act"; authorizes issuance of $125,000,000 in general obligation bonds to finance capital projects at public libraries; appropriates $5,000

A-373/S-607 (Auth, Vainieri Huttle, McGuckin, Schepisi, Peterson, Jimenez/Addiego, A.R. Bucco) - Requires life imprisonment without parole for persons convicted of the murder of a minor under the age of 18 in the course of the commission of a sex crime

A-555/S-1847 (Pinkin, Eustace/Diegnan) - Revises statutes concerning incorporation and governance of the Protestant Episcopal Church to remove gender-specific references

A-621/S-2328 (Lagana, Greenwald, Moriarty, Mosquera, Mukherji/Cruz-Perez, Turner) - Permits bowling alleys, including alleys licensed to sell alcoholic beverages, to conduct amusement games

A-1458/S-2449 (Lampitt, Mosquera, Downey, Singleton, Vainieri Huttle/Vitale, Ruiz) - Requires health care professionals engaged in prenatal care to provide parents of newborns with information on health insurance coverage for newborn children

A-1761/S-332 (Eustace, Mukherji, Gusciora/Scutari, Bateman) - Creates fencing crime involving stolen domestic companion animals

A-2060/S-2333 (Gusciora, Sumter, Oliver, Jasey, McKnight/Cruz-Perez, Turner) - Establishes process for consideration of offers from short sale buyers during residential mortgage foreclosures

A-2221/S-2453 (Benson, Russo, DeAngelo, A.M. Bucco/Diegnan, Greenstein) - Allows gross income taxpayers to use returns to make voluntary contributions to the Boy Scouts of America Councils in New Jersey

A-2441/S-2910 (Eustace, Gusciora, Kennedy, Mazzeo, Mukherji/Gordon, Turner) - Authorizes the Unclaimed Property Administrator to verify certain governmental debts before delivering abandoned property

A-2926/S-3197 (Greenwald, Vainieri Huttle, Schaer, Mukherji, Holley, Mosquera, Muoio, Sumter, Mazzeo/Cruz-Perez, Cunningham) - Repeals law suspending certain licenses, registrations and certifications for failure to repay student loans

A-2993/S-1305 (Conaway, Pinkin, Sumter, Wimberly, McKnight, Mukherji/Vitale, Madden) - Requires Medicaid coverage for diabetes self-management education, training, services, and equipment for patients diagnosed with diabetes, gestational diabetes, and pre-diabetes

A-3347/S-2242 (Wolfe, Holley, Jasey, McKnight, Wimberly/Diegnan) - Establishes New Jersey School Safety Specialist Academy in Department of Education and requires school districts to designate school safety specialist

A-3438/S-1564 (DeAngelo, Danielsen, Holley, Houghtaling, Downey, Wimberly, Quijano/Turner, Beach) - Requires initial determination of unemployment benefits to be made within three weeks of filing of claim

A-3463/S-2038 (Coughlin/Vitale, Codey) - Updates references to DOC and DHS and refers to persons receiving services from DHS

A-3686/S-2423 (McKeon, Jasey, Munoz, Vainieri Huttle, A.M. Bucco/Codey, Oroho) - Establishes new crime of strict liability vehicular homicide; renames existing vehicular homicide as reckless vehicular homicide; designated as Ralph and David’s Law

A-4011/S-2887 (Jones, Barclay, Moriarty, Mosquera, Greenwald, Lampitt, Mazzeo, Chiaravalloti/Cruz-Perez, Beach) - Designates USS New Jersey as New Jersey State Ship

A-4081/S-2662 (Lampitt, Vainieri Huttle, Benson, Wimberly, Greenwald/Allen, Sweeney) - "Charlie's Law"; Establishes civil penalties for persons who interfere with or deny persons with disabilities accompanied by service or guide dogs access to places of public accommodation

A-4088/S-2567 (Schaer, Jasey, Benson, Wimberly/Cruz-Perez, Singer) - Establishes "High School to College Readiness Commission" to examine issues and develop recommendations to enhance student preparation for postsecondary education

A-4175/S-2808 (Caride, McKnight, Holley, Pintor Marin, Wimberly/Ruiz, Turner) -Requires Commissioner of Education to develop guidance on identifying English language learners for gifted and talented programs

A-4246/S-3194 (Dancer/Lesniak, Beck) - Decreases annual thoroughbred race dates to 50 minimum upon written consent from New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association

A-4317/S-3206 (Prieto, Giblin/Diegnan) - Concerns violations of certain occupational licensing laws

A-4568/S-3017 (Vainieri Huttle, Eustace, Pinkin, Jasey, Johnson/Vitale, Ruiz) - Prohibits health insurers, SHBP, SEHBP, certain health care providers, and Medicaid from discriminating in providing coverage and services based on gender identity

A-4875/S-1996 (Muoio, Gusciora/Beach, Van Drew) - Requires gubernatorial candidates' statements be posted online

A-4969/S-3281 (Oliver, Giblin, Jasey, McKnight, Schaer, Wimberly/Gill, Cunningham) - Establishes Montclair State University as public research university

ACS for A-4994/S-3314 (McKeon, Burzichelli, Singleton, Caride/Sarlo, Oroho) - Requires certain State and local government agency employees with access to federal tax information to undergo criminal history background checks

AJR-37/SJR-67 (Mosquera, Chaparro/Weinberg) - Designates June 21 of each year as "ASK Day" to promote children's health and gun safety

ACS for AJR-54/SJR-104 (Benson, Mosquera, Chiaravalloti, Holley, McKnight, Wimberly/Sweeney, Beach) - Designates April 2nd of each year as "World Autism Awareness Day"

AJR-72/SJR-31 (Gove, Rumpf, A.M. Bucco, Holley/A.R. Bucco) - Designates September 17 through September 23 of each year as “Constitution Week”

AJR-115/SJR-81 (Vainieri Huttle, Lampitt, Giblin, Benson/Diegnan, A.R. Bucco) - Designates third Friday in September of every year as Concussion Awareness Day

AJR-126/SJR-85 (Dancer, DeAngelo, Munoz, A.M. Bucco, Mukherji, Houghtaling, Downey/Allen, Madden) - Commemorates establishment and service of the New Jersey State Police and celebrates 95th anniversary of first graduating class

AJR-137/SJR-102 (Mazzeo/Whelan) - Urges United States President Trump, members of his administration, and Congress to oppose measures and actions to prohibit states from authorizing and conducting Internet gaming

BILLS VETOED:

SCS for S-1297, 1990/A-3751 (Vitale, Sweeney/Jasey, Coughlin) - CONDITIONAL - Permits candidates for school board to circulate petitions jointly and be bracketed together on ballot; permits short nonpolitical designation of principles on petitions and ballots

A-31/S-3315 (Prieto, Muoio, Oliver, Schaer, Holley, Mukherji, Quijano, Wimberly, Pintor Marin/Vitale, Cruz-Perez)ABSOLUTE - Increases amount of benefits under Work First New Jersey program by 30 percent over three years and according to Social Security cost of living increases thereafter

A-33/S-3316 (Muoio, Vainieri Huttle, Mukherji, Oliver, Gusciora, Pintor Marin/Vitale, Cruz-Perez) – ABSOLUTE - Repeals family cap in Work First New Jersey program

A-320/S-1018 (Singleton, Vainieri Huttle, Munoz, Moriarty, Lampitt, Sumter, Mukherji/Weinberg, Cruz-Perez) - CONDITIONAL - Establishes minimum Medicaid reimbursement rate for personal care services

A-1139/S-2616 (Holley, McKnight, Munoz, Kennedy, Mukherji, Pintor Marin, Wimberly/Ruiz, Vitale)CONDTIONAL - Prohibits sale of unsafe supplemental mattresses designed for children's products

A-2297/S-659 (Vainieri Huttle, Sumter, Mukherji, Caride, Downey, Zwicker, Wimberly/Turner, Allen)CONDITIONAL - Requires health insurance coverage for contraceptives to include prescriptions for 12 months

A-3338/S-862 (Eustace, Lagana, Vainieri Huttle, Muoio, Mukherji, Benson, Jimenez, Giblin, Moriarty, Lampitt/Stack, Weinberg) - CONDITIONAL - Dedicates one percent of cigarette and other tobacco products tax revenues to anti-smoking initiatives

ACS for A-3480, 4119/S-2536 (Downey, Lampitt, Schaer, Houghtaling, Benson, Singleton, Muoio, DeAngelo/Gill, Weinberg)ABSOLUTE - Concerns employer inquiries about worker’s wage and salary experience

A-4253/S-2634 (Quijano, Mukherji, Vainieri Huttle, Eustace, Jones, McKeon/Weinberg, Diegnan) - CONDITIONAL - Establishes "New Jersey Nonprofit Security Grant Pilot Program"; appropriates $3,000,000 over next three fiscal years

A-4453/S-2881 (Downey, Houghtaling/Ruiz) – CONDITIONAL - Requires pupils who reside on certain federal property to enroll in resident school district in accordance with schedule determined by executive county superintendent of schools

A-4496/S-2977 (Wimberly, Sumter, Lampitt/Lesniak)CONDITIONAL - "Healthy Small Food Retailer Act"; provides funding to small food retailers to sell fresh and nutritious food; appropriates $1 million

A-4587/SCS for S-2574 (Quijano, Vainieri Huttle, Mukherji, Giblin/Diegnan, Sarlo)ABSOLUTE - Imposes State sales and use tax and hotel and motel occupancy fee on transient accommodations; authorizes various municipal taxes and fees on transient accommodations

A-4870/S-3226 (Prieto, Oliver, Quijano, Pintor Marin, Schaer, Vainieri Huttle, Eustace/Ruiz, Sweeney, Greenstein)ABSOLUTE - "Safe Transportation Jobs and Fair Employment Rules Act"

ACS for A-4927/SCS for S-3085 (Prieto, Oliver, Gusciora, Jasey/Sweeney, Diegnan, Ruiz)CONDITIONAL - Revises law concerning family leave, temporary disability and family temporary disability leave, and domestic or sexual violence safety leave

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Press Contact:
Brian Murray
609-777-2600

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