SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION

No. 34

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JANUARY 30, 2012

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  ROBERT W. SINGER

District 30 (Monmouth and Ocean)

Senator  ANTHONY R. BUCCO

District 25 (Morris and Somerset)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Creates “Blue Ribbon Commission to Study Alimony Reform.”

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


A Joint Resolution creating the “Blue Ribbon Commission to Study Alimony Reform.”

 

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

 

     1.    There is hereby created a commission to be known as the “Blue Ribbon Commission to Study Alimony Reform” to consist of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, or his designee, the Attorney General, or his designee, one member of the Senate appointed by the Senate President, one member of the Senate appointed by the Senate Minority Leader, one member of the General Assembly appointed by the Speaker of the General Assembly, one member of the General Assembly appointed by the Assembly Minority Leader, and five public members to be appointed by the Governor.  The public members appointed by the Governor shall include at least two persons licensed to practice law in the State with a specialization in marital law.  To the extent that it is possible, the commission shall consist of an equal number of male and female members.

 

     2.    The commission shall organize as soon as practicable after the appointment of a majority of its members and shall select a chairperson from among its members.  The chairperson shall appoint a secretary, who need not be a member of the commission.  A majority of all the authorized members shall constitute a quorum.

 

     3.    Members of the commission shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for necessary expenses actually incurred in the performance of their duties as members of the commission within the limits of funds appropriated or otherwise made available to the commission for its purposes.

 

     4.    a.  The commission shall study all aspects of State alimony law and avenues of potential reform, including but not limited to:

     (1)   the scope of State alimony laws as compared with those in other states;

     (2)   Statewide trends in alimony awards, including an analysis of how those trends compare with alimony award trends in other states;

     (3)   whether current economic conditions have affected trends in State alimony awards; and

     (4)   any other such issues as the commission may identify as necessary to understanding and reforming State alimony law.

     b.    The commission shall propose new legislation, if it deems appropriate.


     5.    The commission shall be entitled to call to its assistance and avail itself of the services of the employees of any State, county, or municipal department, board, bureau, commission, or agency as it may require and as may be available to it for its purposes, and to employ stenographic and clerical assistance and incur traveling and other miscellaneous expenses necessary to perform its duties, within the limits of funds appropriated or otherwise made available to it for its purposes.

 

     6.    The commission may meet and hold hearings at the places it designates, at which it may request the appearance of officials of any State agency or political subdivision of the State and may solicit testimony of interested groups and the general public.

 

     7.    The commission shall report its findings and recommendations to the Governor, and to the Legislature pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1), no later than nine months following the organization of the commission.

 

     8.    This joint resolution shall take effect immediately and shall expire upon the submission of the report required pursuant to section 7 of this act.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This joint resolution would create an 11-member commission to be known as the “Blue Ribbon Commission to Study Alimony Reform,” to review State alimony law and propose potential avenues of reform.  In particular, the commission would review the scope of State alimony laws as compared with those in other states, trends in alimony awards, whether current economic conditions have affected trends in State alimony awards, and any other such issues as the commission may identify as necessary to understanding and reforming State alimony law.

     The commission would be comprised of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, or his designee, the Attorney General, or his designee, five public members appointed by the Governor, and four members of the Legislature appointed one each by the Senate President, the Speaker of the General Assembly, and the Minority Leader of each House.  At least two of the public members appointed by the Governor would be required to be attorneys licensed in New Jersey who specialize in marital law.  To the extent that it is possible, the commission would consist of an equal number of male and female members.  Members would serve without compensation but would be reimbursed for necessary expenses actually incurred in the performance of their duties.

     The commission would organize as soon as practicable after the appointment of a majority of its members.  One of the members would be selected chairperson by the other members and the chairperson would appoint a secretary, who need not be a member of the commission.  A majority of all the authorized members would constitute a quorum.

     Within nine months of organizing, the commission would issue a report to the Governor and to the Legislature detailing its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation.  The commission would expire upon submission of this report.