Friday, March 12th
NJ Weekly Newsletter
New Jersey Update
This morning, Governor Phil Murphy joined Elizabeth Mayor, Chris Bollwage, Senator Bob Menendez, Senator Cory Booker and Union Mayor, Michelle Delisfort at the Elizabeth City Hall to provide a press conference on the American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that was signed by President Joe Biden this morning. Senator Menendez thanked the President for signing this bill and stated that it will provide $9.5 billion in stimulus checks, expand child tax credit and provide $350 billion in direct aide to state, local and county governments. Senator Booker highlighted that we are not done fighting this pandemic and we need to stay vigilant. The Governor thanked the Senators and all involved in pushing this bill through Congress as it will be transformative to not only NJ, but the entire country.

Governor Murphy reported 3,544 new positive cases and an additional 40 death. He announced 2,823,731 vaccinations in NJ.

Effective Friday, March 19th, indoor capacities for restaurants, recreational and amusement facilities, gyms and fitness clubs, barber shops and salons, and other personal care facilities will be permitted to increase capacity to 50% from 35%. Additionally, general indoor gathering limits that do not fall under religious services or ceremonies, political events, funerals, memorial services, weddings, or performances will be capped at 25 individuals, up from 10. Outdoor gathering limits will be increased to a 50 person limit, up from 25. This is among new data showing improved hospitalization statistics. 

On Monday, the Governor mentioned New Jersey's #1 Education Ranking from a recently released U.S. News & World Report. As of Monday, the digital divide has been closed and all students in the State have access to devices and connectivity. 

On Wednesday, Department of Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli highlighted that Long Term Care (LTC) Facilities are permitted to have compassionate care, essential care, and end of life care visitations as well as outdoor visitations. Outdoor visitation is permitted in all phases, even if indoor visits are prohibited for the time being. A facility is allowed to resume indoor visitation if the region is in moderate to low level activity for two weeks and meets the following requirements: no new cases in last two weeks, the facility is not conducting outbreak testing, the facility has sufficient PPE and a method to collect informed informed consent from residents and visitors. 

The Commissioner also mentioned that there have been 145 CDC variants of concern reported in the State, six newly reported including the first South African variant. 

The Assembly Budget Committee held their first set of Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Hearings for the public on Wednesday, March 10th. Assembly Budget Chair Pintor Marin stated that the Legislature will begin meeting with Departments and Agencies by April for hearings on their budgets.

Vaccine Distribution Information and Notices from NJ DOH

General Information

EUA Fact Sheet for COVID-19 Vaccine Recipients and Caregivers [Pfizer/BioNTech] [Moderna]

Healthcare Provider Toolkit

Information for Long-Term Care Facilities

Policy, Guidance, and Directives

NJ News Quick Links

Governor's Notices

Department and Agency Notices

Department of Labor and Workforce Development

Department of Education

Department of Human Services

New Jersey Economic Development Authority

Weekly Legislative Update

Assembly Senior Services Committee 3/8

A4615 (Murphy / Dancer / Vainieri Huttle) - Revises and updates law pertaining to conservatorship to encourage ethical conduct by conservators and to provide stronger protections for conservatees and proposed conservatees. Passed w/ amendments

A4616 (Murphy / Dancer / Vainieri Huttle) - Requires residential psychiatric and long-term care facilities to provide certain financial information to facility residents and other individuals. Passed w/ amendments

A4618 (Murphy / Dancer / Vainieri Huttle) - Revises and updates law pertaining to guardianship to encourage ethical conduct by guardians and to provide stronger protections for wards and proposed wards. Passed w/ amendments

A4620 (Murphy / Dancer / Vainieri Huttle) - Revises certain requirements concerning reported cases of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a vulnerable adult. Passed

A4864 (Johnson / Vainieri Huttle / Spearman) - Makes FY 2021 supplemental appropriation of $210,000 to DHS for temporary 25 percent increase to certain assisted living facilities in Medicaid. Passed

Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee 3/8

A1172 (Zwicker / Benson) - Allows county and municipal police departments to establish designated safe areas for Internet purchase transactions; establishes public awareness campaign. Passed w/ amendments

A3804 (Armato) - Designates 9-1-1 operators or dispatchers as 9-1-1 first responder dispatchers. Passed

A3883 (Speight / Timberlake / McKnight) - Prohibits VCCO from denying award of compensation to victims with certain outstanding warrants and charges. Passed

A4685 / S415 (Quijano / Verrelli / Turner) - Requires Division of Parole to offer parole services to certain defendants who have served their maximum sentence. Passed w/ amendments

Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee 3/8

A733 (Johnson / Mukherji / Holley) - Provides sales and use tax exemption for sales of fuel cell devices and systems and certain tangible personal property powered by fuel cells. Passed w/ amendments

A4634 (Schaer / Johnson / McKnight) - Allows corporation business tax credit for subcontracting work to NJ small businesses. Passed w/ amendments

A4918 (Greenwald / Johnson) - Allows corporations to hold remote shareholder meetings. Passed

A4958 (Tully) - Provides temporary exemption under sales and use tax for winterizing certain small business operations. Passed

A5218 (Freiman / Armato / Tully) - Allows certain restaurant owners to accelerate depreciation of certain expenditures under corporation business and gross income taxes. Passed w/ amendments

A5389 (Chaparro / Danielsen / Dancer) - Allows gross income tax credit for nonresidential building improvement expenses to reduce spread of COVID-19. Passed w/ amendments

A5443 (Johnson / Freiman / Armato) - Appropriates $25 million in federal funds to EDA to support microbusinesses in need. Passed w/ amendments

A5444 (Mazzeo / Tully / Mejia) - Appropriates $35 million in federal funds to EDA to support food and beverage establishments in need. Passed w/ amendments

A5445 (Swain / Mosquera / Taliaferro) - Appropriates $10 million in federal funds to EDA to support child care centers in need. Passed w/ amendments

A5446 (Zwicker / Downey) - Appropriates $15 million in federal funds to EDA to support businesses and nonprofits in need. Passed w/ amendments

A5447 (Carter / Houghtaling / McKnight) - Appropriates $15 million in federal funds to EDA to support arts and culture organizations in need. Passed w/ amendments

S3305 (Smith / Oroho) - Allows tax credit for nonresidential building improvement expenses to reduce spread of COVID-19. Passed w/ amendments

Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee 3/8

A1601 (Lampitt / Mukherji / Holley) - Allows termination of motor vehicle lease in event of death; prohibits imposition of fee for early termination. Passed w/ amendments

A5240 (McKeon / Moriarty / Quijano) - Limits forum of consumer contract disputes to New Jersey. Passed

Assembly Health Committee 3/8

A798 (Verrelli / Vainieri Huttle / Armato) - Establishes local drug overdose fatality review teams in each county in State. Passed

A3326 / S1676 (Conaway / Reynolds-Jackson / Vainieri Huttle / Smith / Vitale) - Allows hospitals to construct housing and provide wrap-around services for homeless persons. Passed w/ amendments

A4205 (Greenwald / Lampitt / Conaway) - Enters New Jersey into Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact. Passed w/ amendments

A5052 (Armato / Vainieri Huttle / Verrelli) - Permits emergency medical responders to dispense opioid antidotes. Passed

A5179 / S2875 (Reynolds-Jackson / Bergen / Holley / Singleton / Turner) - Revises certain restrictions on ownership of medical cannabis alternative treatment centers. Passed w/ amendments

A5215 (Conaway / Peterson) - Requires Medicaid Fraud Division to enter into data sharing agreement upon request of county to provide access to third party insurance liability data regarding certain COVID-19 related health claims. Passed w/ amendments

A5353 (Conaway / Vainieri Huttle / Benson) - Provides for certification of temporary nurse aides. Passed w/ amendments

AR212 (Conaway / Benson) - Supporting NJ Sharing Network and opposing new federal rules on organ procurement organizations. Passed w/ amendments

Assembly Tourism and Gaming Committee 3/8

A1146 (Freiman / Murphy / Houghtaling) - Requires Division of Travel and Tourism establish New Jersey Historical Markers Trail. Passed w/ Committee Substitute

A4297 (Houghtaling / Downey / Space) - Permits conduct of bingos and raffles remotely. Passed w/ amendments

A4706 (Tucker / McKnight) - Requires Division of Travel and Tourism establish Black Heritage Trail; establishes NJ Black Cultural Heritage Commission. Passed w/ amendments

A5078 (Dancer / Caputo) - Extends time outstanding parimutuel ticket may be claimed from six months to 12 months. Passed w/ amendments

Assembly Financial Institutions 3/8

A4238 (Chiaravalloti / Schaer / Benson) - Establishes minimum Medicaid reimbursement rate for adult medical day care services. Passed w/ amendments

A4558 (Giblin / Armato / Benson) - Requires pharmacies to provide certain information regarding insulin manufacturer assistance programs. Passed

A4932 (Johnson) - Permits use of alternate names by limited liability partnerships. Passed w/ amendments

A5213 (Verrelli / McKnight / McKeon) - Establishes New Jersey Easy Enrollment Health Insurance Program.

Senate Education Committee 3/9

S508 (Vitale / Ruiz) - Requires public and nonpublic secondary schools to annually conduct written or verbal substance use screening on all students using a particular screening program. Passed

S555 (Codey / Beach) - Establishes task force to examine public school programs and services designed to address student mental health. Passed

S1857 (Ruiz / Turner) - Establishes five-year community schools pilot program. Passed w/ amendments

S2166 (Oroho) - Provides certain sending school districts one nonvoting advisory representative on receiving school district board of education. Passed w/ amendments

S3253 (Singleton / Ruiz) - Establishes alternate route to expedite certification of teachers at early college high school programs. Passed w/ amendments

S3434 (Addiego / Sweeney) - Requires boards of education to provide special education and related services to certain students exceeding age of eligibility for special education and related services. Passed

S3470 (Turner / Diegnan) - Allows certain students to repeat prior grade level during 2021-2022 school year upon parental request. Passed w/ amendments

S3488 (Sweeney / Gopal / O'Scanlon) - Establishes grant program for cost reimbursement of conducting school district regionalization feasibility studies and provides financial incentives for regionalization. Passed

S3531 (Ruiz) - Requires public schools to offer or expand summer school programs to students. Introduced and Referred to Senate Education Committee

Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee 3/9

S690 (Ruiz / Vitale) - Provides that New Jersey residents have access to one cost-free postpartum home visit. Passed w/ Committee Substitute

S1039 (Gopal) - Authorizes pharmacists to dispense HIV prophylaxis without individual prescription under certain circumstances; mandates prescription benefits coverage. Passed w/ amendments

S1409 (Pennacchio) - Provides for voluntary contributions by taxpayers on gross income tax returns for New Jersey Commission on Cancer Research. Passed w/ amendments

S1431 (Pennacchio / Bucco) - Provides for voluntary contributions by taxpayers on gross income tax returns for pediatric cancer research. Passed

S2160 (Sweeney / Oroho / Singer) - Creates special education unit within the Office of Administrative Law; requires annual report. Passed

S2487 (Rice) - Establishes "2020 New Jersey Burial Assistance Program;" appropriates $20 million. Passed w/ amendments

S3009 (Vitale / Gopal / Gill) - Permits establishment of additional harm reduction programs to distribute clean syringes and provide support services to injection drug users. Passed w/ amendments

S3065 (Vitale) - Permits syringes and related supplies to be exchanged via postal mail. Passed w/ amendments

S3306 (Diegnan) - Establishes requirements for optometrists to be authorized to administer immunizations. Passed w/ amendments

S3333 (Sweeney) - Authorizes Assistant Commissioner of Division of Developmental Disabilities to establish exception rates, and programmatic and staffing requirements, for individuals with highly acute needs. HELD

S3455 (Madden / Bucco) - Revises eligibility requirements for NJ Workability Program and Personal Assistance Services Program. Passed w/ amendments

S3491 (Vitale) - Permits any person to administer or dispense opioid antidotes. Passed w/ amendments

S3493 (Vitale) - Permits expungement of possession or distribution of hypodermic syringe or needle offense in cases of previous expungement; repeals criminal offense of possession of syringe. Passed

Senate Economic Growth Committee 3/11

S1476 (Cruz-Perez / Beach) - Creates "Economic Gardening Program" in Department of State to provide customized services to certain businesses. Passed w/ amendments

S3086/A4808 (Ruiz / Scutari / Zwicker / Conaway / Benson) - Establishes office in BPU to assist in provision and expansion of broadband Internet service in State to address inequities in accessing broadband service. Passed w/ amendments

S3336 (Cruz-Perez) - Establishes small hospitality business winter preparation purchase or reimbursement program in EDA; appropriates $50 million to EDA from federal funds. Passed

S3396 (Cryan) - Requires BPU to post on its website report from public utility on public utility's capital investments in response to petition from public utility to increase rates. Passed w/ amendments

S3403 (Gopal) - Directs Department of Agriculture to request annual funding for food banks or organizations operating them and requires distribution of grants based upon percentage of food insecure households served; establishes fund therefor. Passed w/ amendments

S3465 (Oroho / Sweeney) - Directs Department of Agriculture to pay annual premiums for the federal Dairy Margin Coverage Program to enrolled dairy farmers. Passed

S3527 / *A5405 (Sweeney / Coughlin / Speight / Armato) - Appropriates $10 million in federal funds to Department of Agriculture to support food bank organizations. Passed

Senate Law and Public Safety Committee 3/11

S568 (Madden / Sweeney) - Requires notification of local law enforcement prior to expungement of certain mental health records of prospective firearms purchasers. Passed w/ amendments

S2693 (Greenstein) - Establishes Employment Application Registry database in Division of State Police. Passed w/ amendments

S2921 (Gopal) - Allows municipalities to designate outdoor areas upon which people may consume alcoholic beverages. Passed

S2953 (Sweeney / Cunningham) - Expands scope of inmate reentry assistance and benefits. Passed w/ amendments

S3173 (Gopal) - Permits operation of pedicabs and alcoholic beverage consumption by passengers of pedicabs in certain circumstances. Passed

S3319 (Pou) - Eliminates certain juvenile justice fines, fees, costs, and other monetary penalties. Passed w/ amendments

Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee 3/11

S306 (Rice / O'Scanlon) - Clarifies and expands landlord registration procedures; creates certain rights for tenants; makes certain changes concerning tenant notifications, inspections, and maintenance in multiple dwellings; permits percentage of affordable housing obligation. Passed w/ amendments

S466 (Sacco / Rice) - Requires notice of development applications be given to residential tenants on that property. Passed

S1787 (Stack / Singleton) - Establishes "Tiny Home Pilot Program" in three regions of State. Passed

S2142 / A1653 (Smith / Bateman / Quijano / Pinkin / Karabinchak) - Encourages development of public electric vehicle charging infrastructure in redevelopment projects. Passed w/ amendments

S2516 (Turner) - Establishes guidelines for creditworthiness determinations concerning affordable housing programs. Passed

S3358 (Pou) - Requires DCA to establish standards for prisoner reentry transitional housing. Passed

S3459 (Singleton) - Removes restrictions on special assessments and bond issuances for replacement of residential lead service lines; revises budgetary, maintenance, and reporting requirements for operators of certain water systems. Passed w/ amendments

Senate Higher Education Committee 3/11

S356 / A2311 (Cryan / Calabrese / Jasey) - Establishes study commission to examine development of mutually beneficial relationships between institutions of higher education and municipalities. Passed w/ amendments

S1823 (Cunningham) - Requires institutions of higher education to provide graduating students with information on income-contingent student loan repayment programs. Passed w/ amendments

S3313 (Pou) - Establishes task force to evaluate quality, efficacy, costs, and educational outcomes of online courses offered by public and independent institutions of higher education during COVID-19 pandemic. Passed w/ amendments

SJR105 (Cunningham / Kean) - Designates April of each year as "Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) Month" in New Jersey. Passed

Federal and National Update
Administration and Department Information
The New Jersey Governor's Office
The Governor's Office has been updating their website with the latest information on the COVID-19 response.

The New Jersey Legislature
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