New Laws in New Jersey, July 2023
In a busy month of legislative activity, New Jersey has seen a host of new laws come into effect, with a broad spectrum of impacts across various sectors. Here, we detail the implications of these new laws.
July 3, 2023 - Flooding Notifications for Sellers and Landlords
Governor Phil Murphy signed bill S3110/A4783, requiring property sellers and landlords to disclose specific information regarding flooding.
Sponsored by Senator Bob Smith and Assemblyman John McKeon, the law mandates sellers and landlords to reveal their knowledge of a property’s flood history, risk, and whether it lies within a flood zone or area. Additionally, landlords must inform tenants about renters’ insurance available through the National Flood Insurance program.
This legislation aims to ensure future property owners and tenants make informed decisions about their investments and living situations, in light of climate change-induced flooding risks.
Expanded Sick Leave for School District Employees
Also on July 3, Governor Murphy signed bill A-5060/S-3440, broadening the circumstances under which school district employees can use their sick leave.
While initially, employees could only use their sick leave for personal disability or if they or a household member needed quarantine, the new law extends permissible uses. This includes time for recovery, diagnosis, or treatment of an illness, preventive medical care, assistance to an immediate family member, circumstances related to domestic or sexual violence, bereavement, attendance at school-related functions for their child, or closure of their child’s school or facility.
These changes offer more comprehensive support for the diverse needs of school district employees.
Additional Bills Signed into Law
Governor Murphy signed several other bills into law on the same day, including S-1307/A-3585, which allows certain individuals to become certified as homemaker-home health aides for Medicaid enrollees.
Other signed legislation includes S-1388wGR/A-2725, establishing a "Military Pro Bono Program" for free legal representation to military members and veterans; S-3090wGR/A-4498, providing retirement allowance after 20 years of service for members of the PFRS, regardless of age; S-3943/A-5593, allowing the Attorney General to appoint an officer in charge when superseding certain law enforcement agencies; and A-5323/S-3737, revising various provisions concerning State tax law.
July 6, 2023 - Bills Supporting Job Growth and Burgeoning Industries
On July 6, Governor Murphy signed a package of bills aimed at promoting family-sustaining, primarily union jobs, and supporting growing industries in New Jersey.
Bill A5651/S4019 allows New Jersey's first offshore wind project, Ocean Wind 1, to access federal tax credits and commit to supporting the state's growing offshore wind supply chain.
S3748/A5393 appropriates $30 million to the State’s film and digital media tax credit program, while S4023/A5644 adjusts the Aspire Program, aiding residential and commercial developments in under-resourced communities.
July 7, 2023 - Bills to Combat Auto Theft
Governor Murphy signed a series of bills to strengthen criminal penalties associated with auto theft, targeting repeat offenders and large-scale automobile trafficking networks.
These include A4930/S3390, expanding penalties related to the illegal use of motor vehicle master keys; A4931/S2284, establishing separate statutory provisions for theft and receipt of a stolen motor vehicle and providing extended sentences for certain persistent motor vehicle offenders; A5034/S3006, expanding the crime of “leader of auto theft trafficking network”; and A5189/S3777, eliminating the presumption of pretrial release for defendants charged with certain motor vehicle theft offenses if the defendant was arrested or convicted of a prior motor vehicle theft offense within the 90-day-period preceding the charge.
July 8, 2023 - Alcoholic Beverage Licenses for Nonprofit Movie Theaters
Governor Murphy signed bill S-3328 into law, which allows for the issuance of alcoholic beverage retail licenses to nonprofit movie theaters. This law aims to enrich local communities by promoting arts and extends the current law to include nonprofit art house movie theaters.
The law also contrasts with Prohibition-era restrictions on retail consumption licenses, which Governor Murphy has proposed eliminating. This bill is particularly significant for entities like the Count Basie Center for the Arts, which recently purchased the former Bow Tie Cinemas as part of its ongoing mission to promote arts in Monmouth County.
More updates to come...