ASSEMBLY, No. 2948

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JUNE 17, 2010

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  JOAN M. VOSS

District 38 (Bergen)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires certain persons to refund monies to school district if the DOE determines that the monies were non-allowable costs for the district.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning the recoupment of certain costs by school districts and supplementing chapter 55 of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

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

 

     1.    a.  If the Department of Education finds that a school district expenditure of public funds for legal fees was a non-allowable cost and reduces State aid to the district as a result of that finding, the law firm that was the recipient of the legal fees shall refund to the school district the total amount of non-allowable costs for legal services identified by the department.

     The department shall maintain a list of law firms that are not in compliance with the provisions of this subsection and a school district shall be prohibited from contracting for the legal services of a law firm on that list.

     As used in this subsection, “law firm” means a lawyer or lawyers in a law partnership, professional corporation, sole proprietorship or other association authorized to practice law.

     b.    If the Department of Education finds that a school district has expended public funds for non-allowable costs and that those costs were incurred in furtherance of the personal interests of the superintendent of schools, a school board member, or any employee of the school district, and the department reduces State aid to that district as a result of this finding, the superintendent of schools, the school board member, or the employee of the school district, as appropriate, shall refund to the school district the total amount of the non-allowable costs identified by the department.

     c.     A penalty imposed pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be collected in a summary proceeding pursuant to the "Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999," P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.).

 

     2.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill provides that if the Department of Education finds that a school district expenditure of public funds for legal fees was a non-allowable cost and subsequently reduces State aid to the district as a result of that finding, then the law firm that was the recipient of the legal fees will be required to refund to the district the total amount of non-allowable costs for legal services identified by the department.

     Under the provisions of the bill, the department will maintain a list of law firms that have not refunded monies to districts as required under the provisions of the bill, and all school districts will be prohibited from contracting for the legal services of law firms on the list.  A “law firm” is defined as a lawyer or lawyers in a law partnership, professional corporation, sole proprietorship or other association authorized to practice law.

     The bill also provides that if the department finds that a district has expended public funds for non-allowable costs and those costs were incurred in furtherance of the personal interests of the superintendent of schools, a school board member, or any employee of the school district, and the department reduces State aid to that district as a result of the finding, then the individual with the personal interest will be required to refund to the district the total amount of the non-allowable costs identified by the department.