New Jersey Update
Friday, February 11th
This afternoon, New Jersey reported an additional 2,224 confirmed positive tests, increasing the statewide total to 1,851,340. An additional 60 confirmed deaths were reported, increasing the statewide total confirmed deaths to 29,382.

Yesterday, Governor Phil Murphy signed an Executive Order extending the Public Health Emergency for an additional 30 days, the 17th time he has done so since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. On Monday, the Governor explained that he is extending the Public Health Emergency one more time to allow schools and child care centers to prepare for the removal of the mask mandate on March 7th.
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NJ Legislative Update

Assembly Education Committee, 9:00a, remotely.

            A180    Directs Attorney General to establish program for anonymous reporting of potential threats to school safety. Passed with committee amendments 
            A1281  Extends period of time for filing special education due process petitions related to COVID-19 school closures and periods of virtual, remote, hybrid, or in-person instruction. Passed with committee amendments 

            A1588  Permits use of preferred names on student diplomas. Passed with committee amendments
            A2066  Requires public schools, and nonpublic schools which receive federal funding, to provide students with information on rights afforded under Title IX, and provide contact information for Title IX coordinator. Passed
            A2067  Requires Department of Education to annually report use of federal COVID-19 relief funds. Passed
            AJR59  Designates February 28 of each year as "Amistad Day." Passed 

Assembly Women and Children Committee, 9:30a, remotely.

            A795    Requires employer to provide certain accommodations to employee who is breast feeding. Passed with committee amendments
            A804    Requires midwives and physicians to provide pregnant women information on birthing options prior to delivery. Passed with committee amendments

            A821    Requires certain health care facilities to offer consultations with lactation counselors to persons who have given birth. Passed with committee amendments 

            A829    Expands number of disorders included in newborn screening program. Passed with committee amendments 

Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee, 10:00a, remotely.

The committee took testimony on how the State can improve equity and access for New Jersey's workforce by reducing regional, economic, and other disparities in the transportation network.

Assembly Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, 11:00a, remotely.
            A315    Requires professional boards to issue licenses for veterans with good standing license or certification in another jurisdiction under certain circumstances. Passed
            A655    Exempts discharge of student loan debt of certain veterans through the federal Total and Permanent Disability discharge process from taxation under the gross income tax. Passed
            A856    Grants certain leaves of absence for Vietnam Veterans of America conventions. Passed
            A1455  Permits county clerk or register of deeds and mortgages to issue identification card to Gold Star Family Member. Passed
            A1477  Increases allowance paid to war veterans with certain service-connected disabilities. Passed
            A1591  Makes $2.5 million in federal funds available to EDA to support veteran-owned businesses in need. Passed
            A1662  Allows shore municipalities to provide spouse and dependent children of veterans free or reduced cost access to beaches. Passed 
            AJR57  Expresses support for commissioning of SSN-796, U.S.S. New Jersey, in New Jersey. Passed

Assembly State and Local Government Committee, 12:00p, remotely. (Revised 02/03/2022)

            A208    Raises pay for election workers to $300 per day; appropriates $7,000,000 to Department of State. Passed 
            A992    Authorizes State Chief Diversity Officer to conduct disparity study concerning utilization of minority-owned and women-owned businesses in State procurement process. Passed
            A1107  Requires State agency to redact a person's handwritten signature prior to publishing documents on agency's Internet website. Passed 

            A1450  Concerns information security standards and guidelines for State and local government. Passed
            A2026  Reduces from 18 to 12 specific credit hours required for Animal Health Technician job title in civil service; allows substitution of five years of experience for education requirement. Passed 
            A2158  [bill added] Allows police chief and fire department chief members of PFRS to serve until age 67. Passed 

Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee, 12:30p, remotely.

            A642    Concerns use of steel slag as aggregate. Passed with committee amendments
            A1438  Increases maximum penalty for certain violations concerning asbestos hazard abatement; allocates moneys from increased penalties to asbestos programs. Passed
            A1439  Requires each solid waste management district to develop strategy in solid waste management plan to reduce food waste. Passed 
            A2065  Exempts food banks and food pantries from law prohibiting sale and distribution of plastic and paper carryout bags by certain businesses, and amends definition of "reusable carryout bag." Passed

Assembly Science, Innovation and Technology Committee, 1:00p, remotely.

The committee met to take testimony from invited guests on the cybersecurity tools available to state and local governments and small businesses to combat ransomware and other cyberattacks.

Senate Economic Growth Committee, 10:00a, 1st Floor, Committee Room 4, Annex.

            S339    Requires electric public utility to install and operate smart meter infrastructure and technology at certain customers' premises; provides employment protections for certain electric public utility employees. Passed with committee amendments 
            S341    Requires electric public utility to replace certain distribution service equipment over period of 36 months if certain sustained service interruptions occur. Passed with committee amendments
            S757    Authorizes special occasion events at certain farms on preserved farmland, under certain conditions. Passed
            S772    Directs Department of Agriculture to establish New Jersey Minority, Women, and Underserved Farmer Registry. Passed with committee amendments 
            S787    Requires request for proposal to establish demonstration program to develop distributed energy resource microgrids for electric fleet and heavy-duty vehicle use. Passed with committee amendments 

Senate Environment and Energy Committee, 10:00a, 1sr Floor, Committee Room 6, Annex.
The committee met to hear testimony from invited guests on the impacts of climate change in New Jersey, and what actions the State is taking, and should take, to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

            S333    Prohibits persons convicted of criminal animal cruelty offenses from owning domestic companion animals and from working or volunteering at animal-related enterprises; establishes presumption against pretrial intervention for certain persons; designated as Held 

            S336    Establishes Office of Clean Energy Equity in BPU; directs establishment of certain clean energy, energy efficiency, and energy storage programs for overburdened communities; makes change to community solar program. Passed with committee amendments 

            S417    Requires environmental sustainability plan for State House Complex. Passed 

            S419    Establishes Renewable and Efficient Energy Financing Program; authorizes BPU to transfer up to $20 million annually in societal benefits charge revenues to New Jersey Infrastructure Bank for purposes of program. Passed with committee amendments 

            S1005  Authorizes common law public nuisance suits regarding lead paint under State law; exempts Attorney General from certain aspects of public nuisance claims when pursuing lead paint actions. Passed

Senate Commerce Committee, 1:00p, 1st Floor, Committee Room 6, Annex. (Revised 02/08/2022)

            S334    Requires carriers to pass prescription drug savings to consumers. Passed with committee amendments

            S348    "Packaged Ice Plant Operator and Packaged Ice Dealer Licensing Act." Passed

            S760    [bill added] Expands number of health care professions profiled under "New Jersey Health Care Consumer Information Act." Passed 

            S775    [bill added] Requires person with an alcoholic beverage license to carry alcoholic beverage liability insurance under certain circumstances. Passed with committee amendments 

            S891    Prohibits tax preparers from engaging in certain practices involving refund anticipation checks and loans. Passed with committee amendments 

            S901    Updates notice requirements for actions alleging consumer fraud violations and adds indirect purchasers as parties who can receive damages for antitrust violations. Passed with committee amendments 

            S902    Imposes consumer protection requirements on service contract providers. Passed with committee amendments 

            S1104  [bill added] Revises requirements and process for temporary courtesy licenses and certificates issued by State Board of Examiners, NJ Board of Nursing, and other professional and occupational licensing boards to nonresident military spouses. Passed
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