Brothers and Sisters:
Below are critical pieces of legislation moving through the New Jersey Legislature.
At the of the writing of this report (March 24, 2015), the New Jersey State Legislature is in the midst of the 2014 – 2015 Legislative Session.
The current session ends in January 2016. Compared to past Legislative Sessions, the current session is proving to be one of the busiest for law enforcement matters.
Robert W. Fox
State FOP President
In addition to ongoing pension reform discussions taking place among Legislators and the Governor’s Office, the following pieces of legislation are being monitored:
***Assembly Bill No. 837: Requires retired law enforcement officers to qualify in the use of firearms once a year instead of every six months. In Committee. FOP Supports
***Senate Bill No. 1447/Assembly Bill No. 2829: Prohibits the posting, publishing on the internet, or disclosing of certain information regarding law enforcement officers. Passed in the Senate and ready for passage in the Assembly, This is a FOP Initiative.
***Senate Bill No. 1567/Assembly Bill No. 410: Establishes roadside memorial program for fallen police officers, sheriff’s officers, EMS workers, and firefighters. Ready for passage in both the Senate and Assembly. FOP Supports.
***Senate Bill No. 2583/Assembly Bill No. 3836: Upgrades simple assault to aggravated assault if committed against certain law enforcement officers and employees while clearly identifiable as being engaged in their duties. Ready for passage in both the Senate and the Assembly. FOP Supports.
***Senate Bill No. 2649: Establishes “Police Body Camera Implementation Task Force” to study and make recommendations concerning use of body cameras by law enforcement agencies in the State. Passed in the Senate. In the Assembly Committee. This bill was proposed by the FOP as an alternative to a previous bill which would have mandated the use of body cameras without any clear evidence that such cameras are effective or protective of the rights of law enforcement personnel. The Study Commission would include a member of the FOP.
***Senate Bill No. 2718/Assembly Bill No. 4162: Requires AG to appoint a special prosecutor when criminal complaint is filed against a law enforcement officer. In Committees. FOP Opposes.
***Senate Bill No. 2789/A-4311: Allows PFRS to pay pension to member who resigns and retires from PFRS-covered employment to assume elective office with the same employer to eliminate a conflict of incompatible positions. Passed in Senate. In Assembly Committee. FOP Supports.
***Assembly Bill No. 1908/Senate Bill No. 929: Provides , from July 1, 2015 forward, an annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) in the weekly workers’ compensation benefit rate for any worker who has become totally and permanently disabled from a workplace injury at any time after December 31, 1979 and for any surviving dependents of any worker who died from a workplace injury after December 31, 1979. On the Governor’s desk awaiting his action. FOP Supports.
***Assembly Bill No. 3450/Senate Bill No. 2180: Requires certain health benefits plans to provide treatment for behavioral health care services when determined medically necessary. In Committees. FOP Supports.
***Assembly Bill No. 3492: Grants certain employment protections to campus police officers, such as dismissal for just cause only. In Committee. This is a FOP Initiative.
***Assembly Bill No. 3493/Senate Bill No. 2564: Requires police departments of certain educational institutions to adopt AG Guidelines on internal affairs policies and procedures. On the Governor’s desk awaiting his action. This is a FOP Initiative.
***Assembly Bill No. 3756/Senate Bill No. 2527: Requires prosecutorial or law enforcement review of fatal incidents involving police officers or State Police. In Committees. FOP Opposes.
***Assembly Bill No. 3929: Creates an exclusion from municipal property tax levy cap for amounts necessary to provide required matching funds to qualify for grants and other funds. In Committee. FOP Supports.
***Assembly Bill No. 3950: Permits correctional facilities to utilize body imaging scanning equipment. Passed in the Assembly. In Senate Committee. FOP Supports.
***Assembly Bill No. 4000: Confers civil service status on police officers employed by Rutgers University. In Assembly Committee. This is an FOP Initiative.
***Assembly Bill No. 4062/Senate Bill No. 2851: Requires local units and agencies to extend family health coverage for six months to surviving spouse and dependents of public safety officers who had family medical coverage but did not die in the line of duty. In Committees. FOP Supports.
***Assembly Bill No. 4081: Clarifies that a law enforcement officer who knowingly chokes another person engages in the use of deadly force. In Committee. FOP Opposes.
***Assembly Bill No. 4096/Senate Bill No. 2689: Prohibits the termination of a law enforcement officer based upon the determination that the officer is physically unable to perform duty under certain circumstances. In Committees. FOP Supports.
***Assembly Bill No. 4099: Extends to all county sheriffs authorization to appoint Class Two special law enforcement officers to perform court security assignments. In Committee. FOP Opposes.
***Assembly Bill No. 4109: “Santiago/Ramos/Liu Police Protection Act”; requires certain law enforcement vehicles to have tinted windows. In Committee. FOP Initiative.
***Assembly Bill No.4265/Senate Bill No.2783: Permits municipalities to establish five year residency requirement for police officers and firefighters. A-4265 is ready for passage in the Assembly. S-2783 is in Senate Committee. FOP Opposes.