ASSEMBLY, No. 3908

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED MARCH 14, 2011

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman† WAYNE P. DEANGELO

District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)

Assemblyman† DANIEL R. BENSON

District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Implements recommendations of State Comptrollerís report analyzing the on-line transparency of local authorities and commissions.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As introduced.

††


An Act requiring local authorities and commissions to establish an Internet website and amending and supplementing various parts of the statutory law.

 

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

 

†††† 1.††† (New section) †The soil conservation district shall maintain an Internet website.† The purpose of the website shall be to provide increased public access to district operations and activities.† The following information shall be posted on the districtís website:

†††† a.†††† a description of the districtís mission and responsibilities;

†††† b.††† the adopted budget for the current fiscal year and three preceding fiscal years;

†††† c.†††† the most recent Comprehensive Annual Financial Report or other similar financial information;

†††† d.††† the annual audit for the most recent fiscal year and three preceding fiscal years;

†††† e.†††† the districtís rules, regulations, resolutions, and official policy statements;

†††† f.†††† notice, posted at least five business days prior to a meeting of the board of supervisors or any of its committees, setting forth the time, date, location, and agenda of the meeting;

†††† g.†††† the approved minutes of each meeting of the board and its committees; and

†††† h.†††† the name and phone number of a principal executive officer having overall responsibility for the operations of the district.

 

†††† 2.††† (New section) Each Workforce Investment Board shall maintain an Internet website.† The purpose of the website shall be to provide increased public access to the boardís operations and activities.† The following information shall be posted on the boardís website:

†††† a.†††† a description of the boardís mission and responsibilities;

†††† b.††† the adopted budget for the current fiscal year and three preceding fiscal years;

†††† c.†††† the most recent Comprehensive Annual Financial Report or similar financial information;

†††† d.††† the annual audit for the most recent fiscal year and three preceding fiscal years;

†††† e.†††† the boardís rules, regulations, resolutions, and official policy statements;

†††† f.†††† notice, posted at least five business days prior to a meeting of the Workforce Investment Board or any of its committees, setting forth the time, date, location, and agenda of the meeting;

†††† g.†††† the approved minutes of each meeting of the Workforce Investment Board and its committees; and

†††† h.†††† the name and phone number of a principal executive officer having overall responsibility for the operations of the Workforce Investment Board.

 

†††† 3.††† (New section) †Any county park commission established pursuant to the chapter 37 of Title 40 of the Revised Statutes shall maintain an Internet website.† The purpose of the website shall be to provide increased public access to the county park commissionís operations and activities.† The following information shall be posted on the county park commissionís website:

†††† a.†††† a description of the county park commissionís mission and responsibilities;

†††† b.††† the adopted budget for the current fiscal year and three preceding fiscal years;

†††† c.†††† the most recent Comprehensive Annual Financial Report or other similar financial information;

†††† d.††† the annual audit for the most recent fiscal year and three preceding fiscal years;

†††† e.†††† the districtís rules, regulations, resolutions, and official policy statements;

†††† f.†††† notice, posted at least five business days prior to a meeting of the county park commission or any of its committees, setting forth the time, date, location, and agenda of the meeting;

†††† g.†††† the approved minutes of each meeting of the commission and its committees; and

†††† h.†††† the name and phone number of a principal executive officer having overall responsibility for the operations of the county park commission.

 

†††† 4.††† (New section)† The joint insurance fund shall maintain an Internet website.† The purpose of the website shall be to provide increased public access to the joint insurance fundís operations and activities.† The following information shall be posted on the joint insurance fundís website:

†††† a.†††† a description of the joint insurance fundís mission and responsibilities;

†††† b.††† the adopted budget for the current fiscal year and three preceding fiscal years;

†††† c.†††† the most recent Comprehensive Annual Financial Report or similar financial information;

†††† d.††† the annual audit for the most recent fiscal year and three preceding fiscal years;

†††† e.†††† the joint insurance fundís rules, regulations, resolutions, and official policy statements;

†††† f.†††† notice, posted at least five business days prior to a meeting of the insurance fund commissioners or any of their committees, setting forth the time, date, location, and agenda of the meeting;

†††† g.†††† the minutes of each meeting of the insurance fund commissioners and their committees; and

†††† h.†††† the name and phone number of a principal executive officer having overall responsibility for the operations of the joint insurance fund.

 

†††† 5.††† (New section) Any fire district established pursuant to N.J.S.40A:14-70 shall maintain an Internet website.† The purpose of the website shall be to provide increased public access to the fire districtís operations and activities.† The following information shall be posted on the fire districtís website:

†††† a.†††† a description of the fire districtís mission and responsibilities;

†††† b.††† the adopted budget for the current fiscal year and three preceding fiscal years;

†††† c.†††† the most recent Comprehensive Annual Financial Report or similar financial information;

†††† d.††† the annual audit for the most recent fiscal year and three preceding fiscal years;

†††† e.†††† the fire districtís rules, regulations, resolutions, and official policy statements;

†††† f.†††† notice, posted at least five business days prior to a meeting of the board of fire commissioners or any of their committees, setting forth the time, date, location, and agenda of the meeting;

†††† g.†††† the approved minutes of each meeting of the board of fire commissioners and their committees; and

†††† h.†††† the name and phone number of a principal executive officer or raking elected official having overall responsibility for the operations of fire district.

 

†††† 6.††† Section 4 of P.L.1938, c.67 (C.26:3-86) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 4.††† a.A regional health commission shall arrange annually with each board of health participating therein as to the nature and amount of public health services, approved by the Director of Health of New Jersey, to be furnished by the said commission to such board of health and the sum to be paid by the board† of health to the commission for such services.† It shall report annually to† each board of health participating therein, and to the State Department of† Health, regarding its activities for the year.

†††† b.††† The regional health commission shall maintain an Internet website.† The purpose of the website shall be to provide increased public access to regional health commissionís operations and activities.† The following information shall be posted on the regional health commissionís website:

†††† (1)†† a description of the agencyís mission and responsibilities;

†††† (2)†† the adopted budget for the current fiscal year and three preceding fiscal years;

†††† (3)†† the most recent Comprehensive Annual Financial Report or other similar financial information;

†††† (4)†† the annual audit for the most recent fiscal year and three preceding fiscal years;

†††† (5)†† the districtís rules, regulations, resolutions, and official policy statements;

†††† (6)†† notice, posted at least five business days prior to a meeting of the board of supervisors or any of its committees, setting forth the time, date, location, and agenda of the meeting;

†††† (7)†† the approved minutes of each meeting of the board and its committees; and

†††† (8)†† the name and phone number of a principal executive officer having overall responsibility for the operations of the regional health commission.

(cf:† PL.1938, c.67, s.4)

 

†††† 7.††† Section 5 of P.L.1983, c.313 (C.40A:5A-5) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 5.††† a.† The Local Finance Board shall, within 60 days of its receipt of an application pursuant to section 4 of [this act] P.L.1983, c.313 (C.40A:5A-4), approve in writing the creation of the proposed authority if it shall determine that the creation of the proposed authority is an efficient and feasible means of providing and financing this project or projects, given the needs of, and the financial burdens to be placed upon, the inhabitants of the local unit or units.

†††† If the application is not disapproved within 60 days of its submission to the Local Finance Board, it shall be deemed to be approved, and the local unit or units may proceed to adopt the proposed ordinance or resolution.† If the Local Finance Board shall not approve the creation of the authority, it shall specify in writing the reason or reasons therefor, and shall file its statement† with the clerk or clerks of the local unit or units.† A local unit shall not† adopt any ordinance or resolution which is disapproved by the Local Finance† Board within the 60 days, but may resubmit the application to the board with† such changes as the local unit deems appropriate, and the review and approval† of the resubmitted application shall be subject to the limitations set forth† above.

†††† b.††† Any authority subject to the provisions of this chapter shall maintain an Internet website.† The purpose of the website shall be to provide increased public access to the authorityís operations and activities.† The following information shall be posted on the authorityís website:

†††† (1)†† a description of the authorityís mission and responsibilities;

†††† (2)†† the adopted budget for the current fiscal year and three preceding fiscal years;

†††† (3)†† the most recent Comprehensive Annual Financial Report or other similar financial information;

†††† (4)†† the annual audit for the most recent fiscal year and three preceding fiscal years;

†††† (5)†† the authorityís rules, regulations, resolutions, and official policy statements;

†††† (6)†† notice, posted at least five business days prior to a meeting of the authority or any of its committees, setting forth the time, date, location, and agenda of the meeting;

†††† (7)†† the approved minutes of each meeting of the authority and its committees; and

†††† (8)†† the name and phone number of a principal executive officer having overall responsibility for the operations of the authority.

(cf:† P.L.1983, c.313, s.5)

 

†††† 8.††† Section 8 of P.L.1983, c.303 (C.52:27H-67) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 8.††† a.† The governing body of any qualifying municipality may, by ordinance, create or designate a nonprofit corporation established pursuant to the provisions of Title 15 of the Revised Statutes or Title 15A of the New Jersey Statutes to act as the zone development corporation for the municipality.† Any zone development corporation so created or so designated shall include on its board of directors representatives of the government of the qualifying municipality, members of the business community thereof, and representatives of community organizations in the municipality, and the total membership of the board of directors shall be broadly representative of businesses and communities within the municipality.†

†††† b.††† Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law to the contrary, a zone development corporation shall be considered to be a local development corporation for the purpose of receiving any State financial or technical assistance as may be available, and the creation of a zone development corporation shall not preclude a qualifying municipality from creating another local development corporation for the municipality with responsibilities not related to the enterprise zone, nor preclude that other corporation from receiving State financial or technical assistance.†

†††† c.†††† The zone development corporation shall develop and maintain an Internet website.† The purpose of the website shall be to provide increased public access to the zone development corporationís operations and activities.† The following information shall be posted on the zone development corporationís website:

†††† (1)†† a description of the zone development corporationís mission and responsibilities;

†††† (2)†† the adopted budget for the current fiscal year and three preceding fiscal years;

†††† (3)†† the most recent Comprehensive Annual Financial Report or other similar financial information;

†††† (4)†† the annual audit for the most recent fiscal year and three preceding fiscal years;

†††† (5)†† the zone development corporationís rules, regulations, resolutions and official policy statements;

†††† (6)†† notice, posted at least five business days prior to a meeting of the zone development corporation or any of its committees, setting forth the time, date, location, and agenda of the meeting;

†††† (7)†† the approved minutes of each meeting of the zone development corporation and its committees; and

†††† (8)†† the name and phone number of a principal executive officer having overall responsibility for the operations of the zone development corporation.

(cf: P.L.1993, c.367, s.4)

 

†††† 9.††† This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This legislation would implement changes to State laws recommended by the Office of the State Comptroller in its report entitled, ďAn Analysis of the On-Line Transparency of New Jerseyís Local Authorities and Commissions.Ē† The State Comptrollerís report identified 587 local agencies in New Jersey with independent fiscal authority responsibility for the expenditure of public funds.† The agencies subject to the State Comptrollerís review were local authorities and commissions, fire districts, housing authorities, joint insurance funds, workforce investment boards, soil conservation districts, urban enterprise zone development corporations, regional health commissions, and county parks commissions.

†††† The report indicates that even when local agencies establish websites, those websites often lack basic and significant information about the operations and fiscal affairs of local commissions and authorities.† According to the State Comptrollerís report, about 377 of local agencies have established a web presence.† Of these agencies, only 15 posted a Comprehensive Annual Financial Report or other similar information on their website.† Only 8% of these agencies post the schedule, agendas, and minutes of their public meetings, 53% make one of those three documents available, and the remaining 40% do not post any meeting information.† Only 7 of 587 local authorities and commissions satisfied all of the transparency measures tested as part of the State Comptrollerís analysis.

†††† This bill requires all local authorities and commissions to maintain an Internet website for the purpose of providing increased public access to each entityís operations and activities.† The following information must be posted on each website:

†††† 1)††† a description of the entityís mission and responsibilities;

†††† 2)††† the adopted budget for the current fiscal year and three preceding fiscal years;

†††† 3)††† the most recent Comprehensive Annual Financial Report or other similar financial information;

†††† 4)††† the annual audit for the most recent fiscal year and three preceding fiscal years;

†††† 5)††† the entityís rules, regulations, resolutions, and official policy statements;

†††† 6)††† notice, posted at least five business days prior to a meeting of the entityís governing body or any of its committees, setting forth the time, date, location, and agenda of the meeting;

†††† 7)††† the approved minutes of each meeting of the governing body and its committees; and

†††† 8)††† the name and phone number of a principal executive officer having overall responsibility for the operations of the entity.