ASSEMBLY, No. 2552

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

213th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED MAY 5, 2008

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman PAMELA R. LAMPITT

District 6 (Camden)

Assemblyman PAUL D. MORIARTY

District 4 (Camden and Gloucester)

Assemblyman ANTHONY CHIAPPONE

District 31 (Hudson)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman Evans

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires counties, municipalities, fire districts, and boards of education to cooperatively develop and implement five-year financial plans.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act requiring boards of education, local units, and fire districts to jointly develop and implement a five-year financial plan, amending N.J.S.18A:22-7, N.J.S.40A:4-3, and P.L.1979, c.453, and supplementing chapter 22 of Title 18A and chapter 4 of Title 40A of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

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

 

     1.  N.J.S.18A:22-7 is amended to read as follows:

     18A:22-7.  a.  The board of education of every school district having a board of school estimate shall prepare and deliver to each member of the board of school estimate, on or before March 22 in each year, and the board of education of every other school district shall prepare a budget for the school district for the ensuing year, on or before March 22.

     b.  Commencing for the fiscal year next following the enactment of P.L.    , c.    (C.     ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), the board of education for a type II school district serving a municipality, in consultation with the county governing body, the municipal governing body, and each board of fire commissioners serving that municipality, shall develop and implement a five-year financial plan, which shall be revised annually as part of the budget adoption process pursuant to the requirements of section 4 of P.L.     , c.    (C.           ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

(cf: P.L.1995, c.278, s.37)

 

     2.  N.J.S.40A:4-3 is amended to read as follows:

     40A:4-3.  The governing body of each local unit shall adopt a budget for each fiscal year.  The budget of each local unit shall be prepared on a cash basis unless otherwise permitted by law.

     Commencing for the fiscal year next following the enactment of P.L.    , c.    (C.     ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), the governing body of each local unit, in consultation with the governing bodies of the other local taxing districts to which its residents pay taxes, shall develop a five-year financial plan, which shall be revised annually as part of the budget adoption process for each local unit pursuant to the requirements of section 5 of P.L.    , c.    (C.           ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

(cf:  N.J.S.40A:4-3)

 

     3.  Section 5 of P.L.1979, c.453 (C.40A:14-78.1) is amended to read as follows:

     5.  The fire commissioners of any fire district shall introduce and approve the annual budget not later than 60 days prior to the annual election held pursuant to N.J.S. 40A:14-72.  The budget shall be introduced in writing at a meeting of the fire commissioners.  Approval thereof shall constitute a first reading which may be by title, and the fire commissioners shall at that time fix the time and place for the holding of a public hearing upon the budget. Notice of the date, time, place and purpose of such public hearing, and of the time and place at which a copy of the approved budget shall be available to each person requesting it during the week preceding such public hearing, shall be advertised at least 10 days prior to such hearing in a newspaper having substantial circulation in the fire district.

     Commencing for the fiscal year next following the enactment of P.L.    , c.    (C.     ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), the board of fire commissioners of each fire district, in consultation with the governing bodies of the county and other taxing districts to which the residents of the fire district pay taxes, shall develop a five-year financial plan, which shall be revised annually as part of the budget adoption process for each fire district pursuant to the requirements of section 6 of P.L.    , c.    (C.           ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

(cf: P.L.1979, c.453, s.5)

 

     4.  (New section)  a.  Each board of education of a type II district shall adopt and annually revise a five-year financial plan for the school district that shall include its capital.  The plan shall provide financial direction to the school district as each annual budget is prepared.  The school board’s adopted budget for the fiscal year next following the enactment of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the legislature as this bill) shall be consistent with the first year of the initial five-year financial plan, which shall be revised annually and submitted for review to the Commissioner of Education not later than 100 days prior to the beginning of each budget year.  The board of education of each school district shall meet annually with the governing bodies of the county and municipality, and fire district, to which the same property taxpayers provide direct property tax support, to discuss the contents of their five year plans and to discuss with each other their budgetary and capital needs for the year, to minimize the property tax impact of those needs on those property taxpayers during any single year.  A district board of education that does not attend such a meeting annually and certify that attendance to the Commissioner of Education shall be ineligible to receive any aid, loan or grant funds from the State, or from any agency or instrumentality of the State.

     b.  Each five-year financial plan and revision shall include the following information:

     (1) an executive summary of the plan;

     (2) current year revenues, expenditures, and outstanding short-term and long-term debt obligations;

     (3) estimated revenues, expenditures, and outstanding short-term and long-term debt obligations for each of the other budget years in the five-year financial plan;

     (4) a forecast of revenue and expenditure trends;

     (5) projected increases in expenditures directly linked to collective bargaining agreements with employees;

     (6) projected increases in spending directly linked to employee costs and health benefits;

     (7) projected or anticipated changes in the ratable base;

     (8) projected or anticipated changes in capital spending plans;

     (9) planned economies and efficiencies in services; and

     (10) any other items required pursuant to regulations promulgated by the Commissioner of Education pursuant to subsection d. of this section.

     c.  The five-year financial plan shall be made available in print for public inspection at the local library, and also posted on the school district’s website, if one exists, within three days after its adoption or revision, as appropriate.

     d.  The Commissioner of Education, in consultation with the Director of the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs, shall promulgate rules and regulations necessary to effectuate the provisions of this section pursuant to the provisions of the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.).

 

     5.  (New section)  a.  The governing body of each local unit shall adopt and annually revise a five-year financial plan for the local unit that shall include the requirements of any capital budget prepared pursuant to N.J.S.40A:4-43 et seq.  The plan shall provide financial direction to the local unit as each annual budget is prepared.  The local unit’s adopted budget for the fiscal year next following the enactment of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) shall be consistent with the first year of the initial five-year financial plan, which plan shall be revised annually and submitted for review to the Director of the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs not later than 100 days prior to the beginning of each budget year.  The governing body of each municipality shall meet annually with the governing body of the county and with the board of fire commissioners of each fire district and the board of education of each type II school district serving its property taxpayers to discuss the contents of their five year plans and to discuss with each other their budgetary and capital needs for the year for the purpose of minimizing the property tax impact of those needs on those property taxpayers during any single year.  A county or municipality that does not attend such meetings annually and certify that attendance to the Commissioner of Community Affairs shall be ineligible to receive any aid, loan or grant funds from the State, or from any agency or instrumentality of the State.

     b.  Each five-year financial plan and revision shall include the following information:

     (1) an executive summary of the plan;

     (2) current year revenues, expenditures and outstanding short-term and long-term debt obligations;

     (3) estimated revenues, expenditures, and outstanding short-term and long-term debt obligations for each of the other budget years in the five-year financial plan;

     (4) a forecast of revenue and expenditure trends;

     (5) projected increases in expenditures directly linked to collective bargaining agreements with employees;

     (6) projected increases in spending directly linked to employee costs and health benefits;

     (7) projected or anticipated changes in the ratable base;

     (8) projected or anticipated changes in capital spending plans;

     (9) planned economies and efficiencies in services; and

     (10) any other items required pursuant to regulations promulgated by the Director of the Division of Local Government Services pursuant to subsection d. of this section.

     c.  The five-year financial plan shall be made available in print for public inspection at the local library, and also posted on the local unit's website, if one exists, within three days after its adoption or revision, as appropriate.

     d.  The Director of the Division of Local Government Services, in consultation with the Commissioner of Education, shall promulgate rules and regulations necessary to effectuate the provisions of this section pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.).

 

     6.  (New section)  a.  The board of fire commissioners of each fire district shall adopt and annually revise a five-year financial plan for the fire district.  The plan shall provide financial direction to the fire district as each annual budget is prepared.  The fire district's adopted budget for the fiscal year next following the enactment of P.L.     , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) shall be consistent with the first year of the initial five-year financial plan, which plan shall be revised annually and submitted for review to the Director of the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs not later than 100 days prior to the beginning of each budget year.  The board of fire commissioners shall meet annually with the governing bodies of the county and municipality, and the board of education of each type II school district, to which the same property taxpayers provide direct property tax support, to discuss the contents of their five year plans and to discuss with each other their budgetary and capital needs for the year, to minimize the property tax impact of those needs on those property taxpayers during any single year.  A board of fire commissioners that does not attend such a meeting annually and certify that attendance to the Commissioner of Community Affairs shall be ineligible to receive any aid, loan or grant funds from the State, or from any agency or instrumentality of the State.

     b.  Each five-year financial plan and revision shall include the following information:

     (1) an executive summary of the plan;

     (2) current year revenues, expenditures, and outstanding short-term and long-term debt obligations;

     (3) estimated revenues, expenditures, and outstanding short-term and long-term debt obligations for each of the other budget years in the five-year financial plan;

     (4) a forecast of revenue and expenditure trends;

     (5) projected increases in expenditures directly linked to collective bargaining agreements with employees;

     (6) projected increases in spending directly linked to employee costs and health benefits;

     (7) projected or anticipated changes in the ratable base;

     (8) projected or anticipated changes in capital spending plans;

     (9) planned economies and efficiencies in services; and

     (10) any other items required pursuant to regulations promulgated by the Director of the Division of Local Government Services pursuant to subsection d. of this section.

     c.  The five-year financial plan shall be made available in print for public inspection at the local library, and also posted on the local unit's website, if one exists, within three days after its adoption or revision, as appropriate.

     d.  The Director of the Division of Local Government Services shall promulgate rules and regulations necessary to effectuate the provisions of this section pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.).

 

     7.  This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would require local units of government (counties and municipalities), fire districts and boards of education to annually adopt a five-year financial plan.  The purpose of the plan is to provide financial direction to local units, fire districts, and boards of education as each entity prepares its annual budget.  The local unit’s, fire district’s, or board of education’s adopted budget for the fiscal year next following the enactment of the bill must be consistent with the first year of its initial five-year financial plan, which plan shall be revised annually and submitted for review to the Director of the Division of Local Government Services, in the case of a county, municipality, or fire district, or to the Commissioner of Education, in the case of a board of education of a type II school district, not later than 100 days prior to the beginning of each budget year for the particular taxing entity.

     The bill requires that each five-year financial plan must include the following information:

     (1) an executive summary of the plan;

     (2) current year revenues, expenditures, and outstanding short-term and long-term debt obligations;

     (3) estimated revenues, expenditures, and outstanding short-term and long-term debt obligations for each of the other budget years in the five-year financial plan;

     (4) a forecast of revenue and expenditure trends;

     (5) projected increases in expenditures directly linked to collective bargaining agreements with employees;

     (6) projected increases in spending directly linked to employee costs and health benefits;

     (7) projected or anticipated changes in the ratable base;

     (8) projected or anticipated changes in capital spending plans;

     (9) planned economies and efficiencies in services; and

     (10) any other items required pursuant to regulations promulgated by the Director of the Division of Local Government Services, or the Commissioner of Education, as appropriate.

     The five-year financial plan must be made available in print for public inspection at the local library, and also posted on the school district’s website, if one exists, within three days after its adoption or revision, as appropriate.

     The bill also requires local units, fire districts and boards of education to meet annually to discuss the contents of their five year plans and to discuss with each other their budgetary and capital needs for the year, and makes ineligible for the receipt of any State aid, loan or grant a local unit, fire district or board of education that does not attend such an annual meeting.