Murphy Signs 75 Bills into Law: A Comprehensive Overview


On the evening of Jan. 16, Governor Murphy signed over 75 pieces of legislation into law, impacting everything from rental housing and groceries to education, gun rights, and many more.

New Legislation in New Jersey: A Comprehensive Overview

Morristown and New Jersey Residents to Witness Significant Changes Following Governor Murphy's Recent Bill Signings

Yesterday, January 16, marked a significant day in New Jersey's legislative history as Governor Phil Murphy signed into law a series of bills that are set to bring about considerable changes across various sectors in the state. These new laws, touching on diverse areas such as public health, education, infrastructure, and social welfare, aim to shape the future of New Jersey and, by extension, the lives of Morristown residents.

Key Legislative Changes and Their Impact

  1. Townhouse Fire Safety (S-281/A-3791): New townhouses in New Jersey will now be required to have automatic fire sprinkler systems, enhancing safety standards in residential construction.
  2. Online WIC Purchases and Delivery (S-539/A-2140): This law allows for the online purchase of eligible foods using WIC funds, including grocery delivery charges, facilitating easier access to nutritious food for low-income families.
  3. Manufacturing Education and Industry Support (S-659/A-2014): Termed the "Manufacturing in Higher Education Act", it aims to create manufacturing career pathways for students and provide assistance to the manufacturing industry.
  4. Atlantic City Transportation Projects (S-1110/A-3936): Authorizes financing of transportation projects linking Atlantic City Airport and the Atlantic City Tourism District, potentially boosting tourism.
  5. Youth Suicide Prevention in Schools (S-1662/A-3526): Mandates a report on suicide prevention instruction in public schools, addressing a critical public health issue.
  6. Community College SNAP Services (S-1680/A-2257): Designates each community college as a provider of services under the SNAP employment and training program.
  7. Postsecondary Transition Year Pilot Program (S-2076/A-3319): Establishes a new initiative in the Department of Education for 12th graders transitioning to postsecondary education.
  8. Health Coverage for Hearing Aids (S-2535/A-4048): Requires health benefits to cover hearing aids and cochlear implants, supporting individuals with hearing impairments.
  9. Commercial Vehicle Liability Coverage Increase (S-2841/A-4292): Raises the minimum amount of liability coverage for commercial vehicles, enhancing road safety standards.
  10. Youth Disconnection Prevention (SCS forS-3080/ACS for A-398): Establishes a Youth Disconnection Prevention and Recovery Ombudsperson and a School Disconnection Prevention Task Force.
  11. EV Charging Station Uptime Requirement (S-3102/A-4715): Sets an uptime requirement for electric vehicle charging station incentive programs, promoting green transportation.
  12. Study on Harmful Substances in Water (S-3176/A-4760): Requires a study on the regulation and treatment of harmful substances in water, safeguarding public health.
  13. Labeling of Non-flushable Wipes (SCS for S-3632/A-1948): Aims to prevent sewer system issues by requiring clear labeling of non-flushable disposable wipes.
  14. Unaffiliated Voter Deadline Change (S-3758/A-5343): Alters the deadline for unaffiliated mail-in voters to declare their political party before primary elections.
  15. Clarification of UEZ Appropriations (S-3837/A-5438): Clarifies the process for administrative appropriations to Urban Enterprise Zones (UEZs).
  16. Summer Tuition Aid Grants (S-3897/A-5578): Authorizes grants for summer tuition aid, supporting higher education affordability.
  17. Regional Municipal Courts Operations (S-4040/A-5881): Concerns the jurisdiction and operations of regional municipal courts.
  18. Temporary Registration Certificates (S-4084/A-5851): Addresses the issuance of temporary registration certificates and license plates.
  19. South Orange Village Name Change (S-4130/A-5849): Changes the name of “Township of South Orange Village” to “South Orange Village”.
  20. Primary Election Petition Signature Requirement (S-4206/A-5856): Alters the number of signatures required for certain municipal candidates in primary elections.
  21. Type II School District Budget Voting (S-4209/A-5879): Eliminates the April vote on school budgets for Type II school districts, except for separate spending proposals above the cap.
  22. Representation of Cannabis Businesses (S-4268/A-5911): Permits certain state officers to represent cannabis businesses.
  23. State Animal License Plates (A-203/S-2884): Authorizes special license plates commemorating the horse as the State animal.
  24. Abandoned Line Removal (A-1100/S-995): Requires entities to remove abandoned lines and mark information on certain lines.
  25. Handwritten Signature Redaction Study (A-1107/S-770): Directs a study on the impacts of redacting handwritten signatures published on State websites.
  26. Health Care Service Authorization Updates (ACS for A-1255/SS for S-1794): Updates requirements and standards for health care service authorization and prior authorization.
  27. Human Trafficking Outreach and Services (A-1727/S-3300): Requires the Attorney General to conduct outreach and provide services to human trafficking victims.
  28. Human Trafficking in Underserved Communities (A-1729/S-3550): Mandates that the Attorney General addresses human trafficking in underserved communities.
  29. Rain Sensor Installation Requirements (A-1755/S-2505): Requires the installation of operational automatic rain sensors or smart sprinklers in certain properties.
  30. State Business Assistance Program (A-2146wGR/S-855): Creates a program to establish procurement goals for socially and economically disadvantaged businesses.
  31. Distance Learning in Cosmetology (A-2581/S-2503): Allows certain cosmetology and hairstyling courses to be taught using distance learning technology.
  32. Grants for Rehabilitating Homes for Veterans (A-3142/S-1564): Authorizes grants to purchase and rehabilitate abandoned homes for homeless veterans.
  33. Feminine Hygiene Products for the Homeless (A-3211/S-2302): Establishes the "New Jersey Feminine Hygiene Products for the Homeless Act".
  34. Rights of Children in Resource Family Care (A-3980/S-2706): Grants rights to children placed in resource family care and their resource family parents.
  35. School District Audit Completion Extension (A-4033wGR/S-2657): Extends the deadline for the completion of a school district's annual audit.
  36. Medicaid Eligibility for Home Services (A-4049/S-3495): Provides for presumptive eligibility for Medicaid home and community-based services.
  37. Interagency Council on Homelessness (A-4105/S-4202): Establishes a council to address homelessness.
  38. Shared Services Agreements Filing Requirement (A-4183/S-4264): Concerns filing requirements for certain shared services agreements.
  39. Career and Talent Evaluation Center (A-4212/S-2762): Establishes a center for career-relevant education and talent evaluation.
  40. Safe Disposal Site Information (A-4337/S-4156): Requires information on safe disposal sites for hypodermic syringes, needles, and prescription drugs.
  41. School Facilities Construction and Loan Program (ACS for A-4496/SCS for S-3247): Revises laws on school facilities projects and establishes a loan program for charter and renaissance school projects.
  42. Solar Panel Disclosure in Home Sales (A-4522/S-3234): Requires disclosures by sellers of single-family homes with solar panels.
  43. Climate Change in Hazard Mitigation Plans (A-4691/S-1530): Mandates inclusion of climate change-related assessments in hazard mitigation plans.
  44. Motor Vehicle Data Deletion (A-4723/S-2740): Requires car dealers to offer data deletion services in certain situations.
  45. Environmental System Investment Program (A-4791/S-3184): Establishes a program for resiliency and environmental system investment.
  46. Electric Vehicle Charging Depot Projects (ACS for A-4794/S-3224): Requires proposals for electric vehicle charging depot demonstration projects.
  47. Financial Aid Calculation Change (A-4814/S-1023): Alters the calculation of financial need for student aid at public institutions of higher education.
  48. Microplastics Identification and Testing (ACS for A-4821/S-3283): Directs actions for microplastics identification in drinking water and promotes their removal technologies.
  49. John Tarantino Highway Designation (A-4955/S-3531): Names a portion of State Highway Route 71 as “John Tarantino Highway”.
  50. Security Officer Company Licensing (A-5094/S-3476): Addresses licensing requirements for security officer companies.
  51. Fishing Buddy License Eligibility Expansion (A-5227/S-3662): Expands eligibility for the “fishing buddy license” fee.
  52. Domestic Violence Record Access (A-5285/SCS for S-3708): Requires law enforcement to provide records to domestic violence victims upon request.
  53. New Jersey Civic Information Consortium (A-5293/S-3746): Concerns the operations of the New Jersey Civic Information Consortium.
  54. Counseling Compact Membership (A-5311/S-3061): Enters New Jersey into the Counseling Compact, facilitating access to counseling services.
  55. Disabled Vehicle Safety Measures (A-5391/S-3765): Imposes conditions on drivers approaching disabled vehicles to enhance roadside safety.
  56. Nonpublic School Transportation Program (A-5412/S-3850): Establishes a program to fund transportation for nonpublic schools, improving access for students.
  57. Alternative Teacher Certification for Paraprofessionals (A-5416wGR/S-3883): Provides an alternate route for paraprofessionals employed in school districts to gain teacher certification.
  58. Geothermal Heat Pump Systems Study (A-5442/S-3793): Directs a study to assess the feasibility of implementing large-scale geothermal heat pump systems in the state.
  59. Office of Food Security Advocate Revision (A-5462/S-3867): Revises the law establishing the Office of Food Security Advocate and sets conditions for emergency food organization funding.
  60. Firearm Usage Clarity for Hunting (ACS for A-5495/SCS for S-3846): Clarifies the types of firearms allowed to be carried or transported while hunting.
  61. Bias Training for Health Professionals (A-5516/S-4047): Requires certain health care professionals to undergo bias training.
  62. Municipal Property Lease Terms (A-5565/S-3971): Modifies the lease terms for certain municipal properties, particularly those related to waterfront concessions.
  63. Fire Engine Bonding Period Extension (A-5567/S-3807): Extends the bonding period for fire engines and revises vehicle exclusion criteria.
  64. NJ YouthBuild Programs Funding (A-5582/S-3781): Establishes a grant program for NJ YouthBuild programs, supporting youth workforce development.
  65. Alcohol Penalties for Underage Persons (A-5610wGR/S-3954): Revises the penalties related to underage alcohol consumption or possession.
  66. County Hospital Fee Program Amendment (A-5748/S-4166): Modifies the definition of “participating county” in the County Option Hospital Fee Program.
  67. Notice and Occupancy in Hotels (A-5755/S-4183): Enhances notice requirements and occupancy restrictions in hotels and multiple dwellings after a hazardous condition is identified.
  68. Toll Collection and Enforcement System (A-5799/S-1472): Authorizes the Department of Transportation to manage a toll collection and enforcement system and enter reciprocal agreements for toll violations.
  69. Funding for Recreation and Conservation (A-5806/S-4165, A-5807/S-4138, A-5808/S-4135): Appropriates funds for various recreation and conservation purposes, including land acquisition and historic preservation.
  70. Environmental Infrastructure Project Loans (A-5809/S-4097, A-5810/S-4098): Amends the list of projects eligible for environmental infrastructure project loans.
  71. Property Sale Authorization in Woodbridge (A-5828/S-4201): Permits the sale of certain state-owned properties in Woodbridge, Middlesex County.
  72. Regional Rehabilitation and Reentry Center (A-5835/S-4134): Authorizes the development of a regional rehabilitation and reentry center.
  73. Funding for State Police Trooper Recruitment (A-5836/S-4212): Makes a supplemental appropriation for trooper recruitment and retention in the New Jersey Division of State Police.
  74. Public Employee Salary Increase (A-5910/S-4266): Increases the annual salary of certain public employees and officers.
  75. Kimchi Day Designation (AJR-200/SJR-138): Designates November 22 of each year as Kimchi Day in New Jersey.

Pocket Vetoes by Governor Murphy

Governor Murphy also exercised his pocket veto power on several bills, including legislation related to licensing for-profit debt adjusters (S-2989/A-1739), establishing a teacher certification route for Montessori credentials (S-3172/A-4689), naloxone hydrochloride nasal spray policy in higher education institutions (S-3287/A-4852), and several others.

Impact on Morristown and New Jersey

The breadth of these laws encompasses critical areas such as public safety, health care, education, and environmental protection. For Morristown and the broader New Jersey community, these changes could mean enhanced safety in residential buildings, improved access to healthcare and social services, support for education and workforce development, and initiatives addressing environmental concerns.

In particular, the laws relating to public safety, health care coverage, and education could have a direct impact on the residents of Morristown, enhancing their quality of life and ensuring better access to essential services. The focus on environmental protection and sustainable practices aligns with broader state and national efforts to combat climate change and protect public health.

As these laws come into effect, their real-world impact will become clearer. For now, Morristown residents can anticipate a range of changes designed to improve public welfare and drive the state forward into a future of growth and sustainability.

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