ASSEMBLY, No. 1936

 

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

 

210th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 28, 2002

 

 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman CLARE M. FARRAGHER

District 12 (Mercer and Monmouth)

Assemblyman MICHAEL PATRICK CARROLL

District 25 (Morris)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblyman Doherty and Assemblywoman McHose

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

    Establishes special license plates to fund certain programs for pregnant women.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

    As introduced.

 

(Sponsorship Updated As Of: 6/13/2003)


An Act concerning special "Choose Life" license plates and supplementing chapter 3 of Title 39 of the Revised Statutes.

 

    Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

    1. a. The Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles, upon proper application therefor, shall issue for any motor vehicle owned or leased and registered in this State special license plates bearing, in addition to the registration number and other markings or identification otherwise prescribed by law, the slogan "Choose Life." These plates may include an emblem, to be designed by the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services and approved by the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles, indicating support for, and an interest in, funding programs for pregnant women seeking an alternative to abortion. "Choose Life" license plates shall be subject to all applicable requirements of chapter 3 of Title 39 of the Revised Statutes, except as hereinafter otherwise specifically provided.

    b. The director shall collect a $50 application fee for the "Choose Life" license plates in addition to the fees otherwise prescribed by law for the registration of the motor vehicle. The director shall collect annually subsequent to the year of issuance of the license plate a $10 fee for the license plate, in addition to the fees otherwise prescribed by law for the registration of the motor vehicle. The additional fees required by this subsection shall be deposited into the "Choose Life License Plate Fund" established pursuant to subsection c. of this section.

    c. There is created in the Department of Treasury a special non-lapsing fund to be known as the "Choose Life License Plate Fund." There shall be deposited in the fund the amount collected from all license plate fees collected pursuant to subsection b. of this section, less the amounts necessary to reimburse the division for administrative costs pursuant to subsection d. of this section. Moneys deposited in the fund shall be dedicated exclusively to supporting programs for pregnant women seeking an alternative to abortion. The Commissioner of Health and Senior Services shall designate the grant recipients and amounts pursuant to this section. The commissioner shall not designate as a grant recipient any program that provides abortion services or otherwise promotes or supports abortion. A grant recipient shall limit the use of the grant to benefit women who are pregnant. Moneys deposited in the fund shall be held in interest-bearing accounts in public depositories as defined pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1970, c.236 (C.17:9-41) and may be invested or reinvested in such securities as are approved by the State Treasurer. Interest or other income earned on moneys deposited into the fund, and any moneys which may be appropriated or otherwise become available for the purposes of the fund, shall be credited to and deposited in the fund for use as set forth in this act.

    d. Prior to the deposit of license plate fees collected pursuant to subsection b. of this section into the fund, amounts thereof as are necessary shall be used to reimburse the division for all costs reasonably and actually incurred, as stipulated by the director, for:

    (1) producing, issuing, renewing and publicizing the availability of "Choose Life" license plates; and

    (2) any initial fees, in an amount not to exceed $150,000, collected from the issuance of "Choose Life" license plates to be allocated to the division to pay the cost of any computer programming changes that may be necessary to implement the "Choose Life" license plate program established by this act.

    The director shall annually certify to the State Treasurer the average cost per license plate incurred in the immediately preceding year by the division in producing, issuing, renewing and publicizing the availability of "Choose Life" license plates. The annual certification of the average cost per license plate shall be approved by the Joint Budget Oversight Committee or its successor.

    If the average cost per license plate as certified by the director and approved by the Joint Budget Oversight Committee or its successor is greater than the $50 application fee established in subsection b. of this section in two consecutive fiscal years, the director may discontinue the issuance of "Choose Life" license plates.

    e. The director shall notify eligible motorists of the opportunity to obtain "Choose Life" license plates by including a notice with all motor vehicle registration renewals, and by posting appropriate posters or signs in all division facilities and offices, as may be provided by the department. The notices, posters and signs shall be designed by the division in consultation with the commissioner.

    f. The Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles, the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services and the State Treasurer shall develop and enter into an interagency memorandum of agreement setting forth the procedures to be followed by the division and the department in carrying out their respective responsibilities under this act.

 

    2. This act shall take effect on the first day of the sixth month after enactment, but the director may take such anticipatory acts in advance of that date as may be necessary for the timely implementation of this act upon its effective date.

 

STATEMENT

    This bill requires the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles in the Department of Transportation to issue special "Choose Life" license plates to persons interested in supporting programs for pregnant women seeking an alternative to abortion. In addition to the registration number and other markings or identification otherwise prescribed by law, the license plate shall display the words "Choose Life" and an emblem to be designed by the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services and approved by the director.

    An application fee of $50 and an annual renewal fee of $10 would be required for the special plates in addition to all fees otherwise required by law for the registration of the motor vehicle. These additional fees, after the deduction of the cost of producing and publicizing the plates, are to be deposited in a special non-lapsing account known as the "Choose Life License Plate Fund." The proceeds are to be used to fund programs for pregnant women seeking an alternative to abortion as designated by the commissioner. The commissioner is prohibited from designating as a grant recipient any program that provides abortion services or otherwise promotes or supports abortion. Grant recipients are limited to using the grant to benefit women who are pregnant.

    The director is required to certify the average cost per unit in producing, issuing and publicizing the child protection license plates each year. If the average cost exceeds $50 for two consecutive fiscal years, the director may discontinue the license plate program. The director would also be responsible for notifying eligible motorists of the availability of the plates.

    Examples of programs for pregnant women seeking an alternative to abortion located in New Jersey include Several Sources Foundation, Helping Hand Pregnancy Centers and Abba House.