Senator PAUL A. SARLO
District 36 (Bergen, Essex and Passaic)
Senator DIANE B. ALLEN
District 7 (Burlington and Camden)
Assemblyman FREDERICK SCALERA
District 36 (Bergen, Essex and Passaic)
Assemblyman JOHN J. BURZICHELLI
District 3 (Salem, Cumberland and Gloucester)
Assemblyman JOHN F. MCKEON
District 27 (Essex)
Assemblyman SCOTT T. RUMANA
District 40 (Bergen, Essex and Passaic)
Assemblyman JAY WEBBER
District 26 (Morris and Passaic)
Senator Oroho, Assemblywoman McHose, Assemblymen Chiusano, Rudder, Assemblywomen Addiego and Coyle
Allows certain organizations to file complaints with Council on Local Mandates in certain circumstances.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning the Council on Local Mandates and amending P.L.1996, c.24.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 12 of P.L.1996, c.24 (C.52:13H-12) is amended to read as follows:
12. a. It shall be the duty of the council to review, and issue rulings upon, complaints filed with the council by or on behalf of a county, municipality, local fire district, or school district that any provision of a statute enacted on or after January 17, 1996 and any part of a rule or regulation originally adopted after July 1, 1996 pursuant to a law regardless of when that law was enacted constitutes an unfunded mandate upon the county, municipality, local fire district, or school district because it does not authorize resources to offset the additional direct expenditures required for the implementation of the statute or the rule or regulation. A complaint filed with the council shall be in the form of or accompanied by a resolution passed by the governing body of a county or municipality or local fire district or by a local board of education. A complaint filed with the council by the New Jersey Conference of Mayors, the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, the New Jersey School Boards Association, the New Jersey Association of Counties, the New Jersey Council of County Colleges, the Garden State Coalition of Schools, or the New Jersey Association of Fire Districts shall be on behalf of at least two constituent members of the organization, which constituent members shall be identified in the complaint. A county executive or a mayor who has been directly elected by the voters of the municipality may also file a written complaint with the council, after the mayor or county executive has provided the governing body with written notice of intention to file a complaint with the council. A complaint may be accompanied by supportive evidence. The council shall review each complaint and, when necessary, interview witnesses and examine documents. The council, by majority vote of its membership, shall issue a written ruling, accompanied by any concurring or dissenting opinions, as to whether or not a statute or a rule or regulation constitutes an unfunded State mandate and an explanation of the reasons for its determination. If the council determines that any provision of a statute or any part of a rule or regulation constitutes an unfunded State mandate which is prohibited by Article VIII, Section II, paragraph 5 of the New Jersey Constitution and this act, that provision of the law or that part of the rule or regulation shall cease to be mandatory in its effect and shall expire. A ruling of the council shall be restricted to the specific provision of a law or the specific part of a rule or regulation which constitutes an unfunded mandate and shall, as far as possible, leave intact the remainder of a statute or a rule or regulation. The council shall not have the authority to determine whether the funding of any statute or any rule or regulation is adequate.
b. The council shall have the authority to consolidate complaints filed by or on behalf of more than one governing body, mayor, county executive [or], local board of education, county, municipality, or local fire district in regard to the same provision of a statute or the same part of a rule or regulation.
c. Any group or individual may file a written request with the council to appear in the capacity of an amicus curiae in regard to a complaint. The request shall state the identity of the group or individual, the issue it wishes to address, the nature of the public interest therein and the nature of the requestor's interest, involvement or expertise with respect thereto. The council shall grant the request if it is determined by a majority vote of the council's members that the request is timely, that participation by the group or individual will assist in the resolution of the matter and that no interested party will be prejudiced thereby. In granting permission, the council shall specifically define the extent of the requestor's participation in the matter.
(cf: P.L.1996, c.24, s.12)
2. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill allows the New Jersey Conference of Mayors, the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, the New Jersey School Boards Association, the New Jersey Association of Counties, the New Jersey Council of County Colleges, the Garden State Coalition of Schools, or the New Jersey Association of Fire Districts to file a complaint with the Council on Local Mandates concerning a potential unfunded mandate. Complaints filed by such organizations shall be on behalf of at least two constituent members of the organization, which constituent members shall be identified in the complaint. Currently, only the governing body or directly elected chief executive of a county or a municipality or a local board of education may file complaints with the Council.
The bill also allows complaints to be filed by local fire districts, as they are creations of a municipality authorized to perform traditional municipal public safety functions of firefighting and rescue funded through a property tax, and may face circumstances constituting a State unfunded mandate.
This bill implements recommendation number 21 of Governor Chris Christie’s 33-bill package of reforms aimed at solving New Jersey's property tax crisis.