ASSEMBLY, No. 3620

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

216th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED DECEMBER 11, 2014

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  GARY S. SCHAER

District 36 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblyman  TROY SINGLETON

District 7 (Burlington)

Assemblyman  TIMOTHY J. EUSTACE

District 38 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblywoman  NANCY J. PINKIN

District 18 (Middlesex)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Establishes a joint legislative and executive branch New Jersey Revenue Advisory Board to provide consensus revenue forecasting advice for State budget purposes.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

 


An Act establishing a joint legislative and executive branch New Jersey Revenue Advisory Board to provide consensus revenue forecasting advice for State budget purposes, amending P.L.1944, c.112, P.L.1995, c.23, and supplementing Title 52 of the Revised Statutes.

 

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

 

     1.  (New section)  a.  The State Treasurer, ex officio, and the Legislative Budget and Finance Officer, ex officio, shall, together with a third public member who shall be jointly selected thereby, constitute a New Jersey Revenue Advisory Board that shall provide the Governor and the Legislature with advisory consensus forecasts of State revenues anticipated to be received by the State during the present and next commencing fiscal year to support annual State appropriations.

     b.  The public member shall be qualified by education, training or experience related to State tax policy and revenue analysis.  The public member selected shall not be an individual who is holding elective office.  The public member selected shall serve for a term of four years and may be reappointed for successive terms.  A vacancy in the public member position of the group shall be filled by the joint selection of the other members.  For purposes of board membership, any vacancy in the Office of the State Treasurer shall be filled by the acting State Treasurer as designated by law by the Governor, and any vacancy in the position of Legislative Budget and Finance Office shall be filled by the Executive Director of the Office of Legislative Services.

     c.  The New Jersey Revenue Advisory Board shall organize as soon as practicable, but no later than the 10th day after the selection of its public member.  The board chairperson shall be designated from among its ex officio members to serve as chairperson on a rotating basis with the State Treasurer serving during the fiscal year commencing July 1, 2015 and during each fiscal year commencing in odd-numbered years and the Legislative Budget and Finance Officer serving as chairperson during fiscal years commencing in even-numbered years.  The chairperson shall appoint a secretary who need not be a member of the board.

     d.  The New Jersey Revenue Advisory Board shall convene one or more public hearings at the place or places it designates during the second quarter of each State fiscal year.  The board shall receive public testimony and may invite such other participants who, in the judgment of the board, may provide guidance on the current conditions in, and probable outlook for, the performance of the economy of the State, as well as the effect of such conditions and such performance on State revenues.

     e.  The New Jersey Revenue Advisory Board shall conduct public meetings at the place or places it designates, (1) one of which shall be on or before January 15 of each State fiscal year to adopt the advisory consensus forecasts required pursuant to subsection a. of this section, and (2) one of which shall be on or before May 15 of each State fiscal year to readopt or revise the advisory consensus forecasts required pursuant to subsection a. of this section.  The board may meet and hold additional public meetings at the times and in the places as the chairperson deems necessary and appropriate to fulfill the duties of the board including but not limited to providing periodic revisions to previous advisory consensus State revenue estimates.  The board shall be entitled to call to its assistance, and avail itself of the services of, the employees of any State department, board, bureau, commission, or agency as it may require and as may be available for its purposes.

     f.     The members of the New Jersey Revenue Advisory Board shall serve without compensation, but may be reimbursed for travel and other miscellaneous expenses necessary to perform their duties, within the limits of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available to the board for its purposes or as may be reimbursed by the agency in which the members may serve.

 

     2.  Section 11 of article 3 of P.L.1944, c.112 (C.52:27B-20) is amended to read as follows:

     11.  The Governor shall examine and consider all requests for appropriations, together with the findings and recommendations of the Director of the Division of Budget and Accounting, and shall formulate the Governor's budget recommendations, which shall be presented as a budget message by the Governor during an appearance before a joint session of the Legislature which shall be convened at 12 noon on a date on or before the fourth Tuesday in February in each year.

     The budget message shall include the proposed complete financial program of the State Government for the next ensuing fiscal year, and shall set forth in columnar form detailed as to each source of anticipated revenue and the purposes to which the recommended appropriations and permissions to spend shall apply for each spending agency in substantially the following form:

     A.   Revenues for the General Fund, other budgeted State revenues, all other dedicated funds, Federal aid funds, and trust funds:

     (1)   An estimate of all balances to be on hand on the first of July next ensuing which are to be available for appropriations, supported by the calculations used in arriving at the estimated figures;

     (2)   An estimate of the anticipated revenues from all sources applicable to the budget period, together with the actual amount earned from each source during the last completed fiscal year, and the estimate of revenues expected to be earned from each source for the current fiscal year.

     (3)  An explanation of any variance of the estimates with respect to item (2) above compared to the advisory consensus forecasts of State revenues prepared by the New Jersey Revenue Advisory Board pursuant to section 1 of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

     B.    (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2003, c.275).

     C.    Appropriations.  The total of the appropriations recommended for the ensuing fiscal year in substantially the following form:

     Detailed Budget:

     (1)   An itemized statement of all appropriation requests and requests for permission to spend from the General State Fund, other budgeted State revenues, other dedicated funds and Federal aid and trust funds;

     (2)   An itemized statement of the amounts recommended by the Governor with respect to item (1) above;

     (3)   An itemized statement of all amounts appropriated and permissions granted for the current fiscal year with respect to item "1" above;

     (4)   An itemized statement of all amounts appropriated and permissions granted for the last preceding fiscal year with respect to item (1) above detailed as to annual and supplemental appropriations, transfers of appropriations, State Emergency Fund allotments, and permission to spend, as the case may be, and showing also total expenditures, reserves, lapses and unencumbered balances;

     (5)   In addition, such other statistical information as may more fully show comparisons and costs of the several departments.

(cf: P.L.2003, c. 275, s.1)

 

     3.  (New section)  If the certification of revenue by the Governor made upon enactment of the annual appropriations act under the Governor's responsibility under Article VIII, Section II, paragraph 2 of the New Jersey Constitution varies from the latest advisory consensus forecast of State revenues prepared by the New Jersey Revenue Advisory Board pursuant to section 1 of P.L.    , c.    (C.  ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) for the next commencing fiscal year to support annual State appropriations, the Governor shall include with the Governor's certification of revenue an explanation of the reason for any difference.

 

     4.  Section 1 of P.L.1995, c.23 (C.47:1A-1.1) is amended to read as follows:

     1.  As used in P.L.1963, c.73 (C.47:1A-1 et seq.) as amended and supplemented:

     "Biotechnology" means any technique that uses living organisms, or parts of living organisms, to make or modify products, to improve plants or animals, or to develop micro-organisms for specific uses; including the industrial use of recombinant DNA, cell fusion, and novel bioprocessing techniques.

     "Custodian of a government record" or "custodian" means in the case of a municipality, the municipal clerk and in the case of any other public agency, the officer officially designated by formal action of that agency's director or governing body, as the case may be.

     "Government record" or "record" means any paper, written or printed book, document, drawing, map, plan, photograph, microfilm, data processed or image processed document, information stored or maintained electronically or by sound-recording or in a similar device, or any copy thereof, that has been made, maintained or kept on file in the course of his or its official business by any officer, commission, agency or authority of the State or of any political subdivision thereof, including subordinate boards thereof, or that has been received in the course of his or its official business by any such officer, commission, agency, or authority of the State or of any political subdivision thereof, including subordinate boards thereof.  The terms shall not include inter-agency or intra-agency advisory, consultative, or deliberative material.

     A government record shall not include the following information which is deemed to be confidential for the purposes of P.L.1963, c.73 (C.47:1A-1 et seq.) as amended and supplemented:

     information received by a member of the Legislature from a constituent or information held by a member of the Legislature concerning a constituent, including but not limited to information in written form or contained in any e-mail or computer data base, or in any telephone record whatsoever, unless it is information the constituent is required by law to transmit;

     any memorandum, correspondence, notes, report or other communication prepared by, or for, the specific use of a member of the Legislature in the course of the member's official duties, except that this provision shall not apply to an otherwise publicly-accessible report which is required by law to be submitted to the Legislature or its members;

     any copy, reproduction or facsimile of any photograph, negative or print, including instant photographs and videotapes of the body, or any portion of the body, of a deceased person, taken by or for the medical examiner at the scene of death or in the course of a post mortem examination or autopsy made by or caused to be made by the medical examiner except:

     when used in a criminal action or proceeding in this State which relates to the death of that person,

     for the use as a court of this State permits, by order after good cause has been shown and after written notification of the request for the court order has been served at least five days before the order is made upon the county prosecutor for the county in which the post mortem examination or autopsy occurred,

     for use in the field of forensic pathology or for use in medical or scientific education or research, or

     for use by any law enforcement agency in this State or any other state or federal law enforcement agency;

     criminal investigatory records;

     victims' records, except that a victim of a crime shall have access to the victim's own records;

     any written request by a crime victim for a record to which the victim is entitled to access as provided in this section, including, but not limited to, any law enforcement agency report, domestic violence offense report, and temporary or permanent restraining order;

     personal firearms records, except for use by any person authorized by law to have access to these records or for use by any government agency, including any court or law enforcement agency, for purposes of the administration of justice;

     personal identifying information received by the Division of Fish and Wildlife in the Department of Environmental Protection in connection with the issuance of any license authorizing hunting with a firearm.  For the purposes of this paragraph, personal identifying information shall include, but not be limited to, identity, name, address, social security number, telephone number, fax number, driver's license number, email address, or social media address of any applicant or licensee;

     trade secrets and proprietary commercial or financial information obtained from any source.  For the purposes of this paragraph, trade secrets shall include data processing software obtained by a public body under a licensing agreement which prohibits its disclosure;

     any record within the attorney-client privilege.  This paragraph shall not be construed as exempting from access attorney or consultant bills or invoices except that such bills or invoices may be redacted to remove any information protected by the attorney-client privilege;

     administrative or technical information regarding computer hardware, software and networks which, if disclosed, would jeopardize computer security;

     emergency or security information or procedures for any buildings or facility which, if disclosed, would jeopardize security of the building or facility or persons therein;

     security measures and surveillance techniques which, if disclosed, would create a risk to the safety of persons, property, electronic data or software;

     information which, if disclosed, would give an advantage to competitors or bidders;

     information generated by or on behalf of public employers or public employees in connection with any sexual harassment complaint filed with a public employer or with any grievance filed by or against an individual or in connection with collective negotiations, including documents and statements of strategy or negotiating position;

     information which is a communication between a public agency and its insurance carrier, administrative service organization or risk management office;

     information which is to be kept confidential pursuant to court order;

     any copy of form DD-214, or that form, issued by the United States Government, or any other certificate of honorable discharge, or copy thereof, from active service or the reserves of a branch of the Armed Forces of the United States, or from service in the organized militia of the State, that has been filed by an individual with a public agency, except that a veteran or the veteran's spouse or surviving spouse shall have access to the veteran's own records;

     any memorandum, correspondence, notes, report or other communication prepared by, or for the specific use of, a member of the New Jersey Revenue Advisory Board in the course of the board's or board member's consultations, deliberations or official duties as a board member, except that this provision shall not apply to an otherwise publicly accessible report submitted to the New Jersey Revenue Advisory Board or its members, or the advisory consensus State revenue forecasts required by section 1 of P.L.     , c.    (C.         ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) to be prepared and adopted by the board; and

     that portion of any document which discloses the social security number, credit card number, unlisted telephone number or driver license number of any person; except for use by any government agency, including any court or law enforcement agency, in carrying out its functions, or any private person or entity acting on behalf thereof, or any private person or entity seeking to enforce payment of court-ordered child support; except with respect to the disclosure of driver information by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission as permitted by section 2 of P.L.1997, c.188 (C.39:2-3.4); and except that a social security number contained in a record required by law to be made, maintained or kept on file by a public agency shall be disclosed when access to the document or disclosure of that information is not otherwise prohibited by State or federal law, regulation or order or by State statute, resolution of either or both houses of the Legislature, Executive Order of the Governor, rule of court or regulation promulgated under the authority of any statute or executive order of the Governor.

     A government record shall not include, with regard to any public institution of higher education, the following information which is deemed to be privileged and confidential:

     pedagogical, scholarly and/or academic research records and/or the specific details of any research project conducted under the auspices of a public higher education institution in New Jersey, including, but not limited to research, development information, testing procedures, or information regarding test participants, related to the development or testing of any pharmaceutical or pharmaceutical delivery system, except that a custodian may not deny inspection of a government record or part thereof that gives the name, title, expenditures, source and amounts of funding and date when the final project summary of any research will be available;

     test questions, scoring keys and other examination data pertaining to the administration of an examination for employment or academic examination;

     records of pursuit of charitable contributions or records containing the identity of a donor of a gift if the donor requires non-disclosure of the donor's identity as a condition of making the gift provided that the donor has not received any benefits of or from the institution of higher education in connection with such gift other than a request for memorialization or dedication;

     valuable or rare collections of books and/or documents obtained by gift, grant, bequest or devise conditioned upon limited public access;

     information contained on individual admission applications; and

     information concerning student records or grievance or disciplinary proceedings against a student to the extent disclosure would reveal the identity of the student.

     "Personal firearms record" means any information contained in a background investigation conducted by the chief of police, the county prosecutor, or the Superintendent of State Police, of any applicant for a permit to purchase a handgun, firearms identification card license, or firearms registration; any application for a permit to purchase a handgun, firearms identification card license, or firearms registration; any document reflecting the issuance or denial of a permit to purchase a handgun, firearms identification card license, or firearms registration; and any permit to purchase a handgun, firearms identification card license, or any firearms license, certification, certificate, form of register, or registration statement.  For the purposes of this paragraph, information contained in a background investigation shall include, but not be limited to, identity, name, address, social security number, phone number, fax number, driver's license number, email address, social media address of any applicant, licensee, registrant or permit holder.

     "Public agency" or "agency" means any of the principal departments in the Executive Branch of State Government, and any division, board, bureau, office, commission or other instrumentality within or created by such department; the Legislature of the State and any office, board, bureau or commission within or created by the Legislative Branch; and any independent State authority, commission, instrumentality or agency.  The terms also mean any political subdivision of the State or combination of political subdivisions, and any division, board, bureau, office, commission or other instrumentality within or created by a political subdivision of the State or combination of political subdivisions, and any independent authority, commission, instrumentality or agency created by a political subdivision or combination of political subdivisions.

     "Law enforcement agency" means a public agency, or part thereof, determined by the Attorney General to have law enforcement responsibilities.

     "Constituent" means any State resident or other person communicating with a member of the Legislature.

     "Member of the Legislature" means any person elected or selected to serve in the New Jersey Senate or General Assembly.

     "Criminal investigatory record" means a record which is not required by law to be made, maintained or kept on file that is held by a law enforcement agency which pertains to any criminal investigation or related civil enforcement proceeding.

     "Victim's record" means an individually-identifiable file or document held by a victims' rights agency which pertains directly to a victim of a crime except that a victim of a crime shall have access to the victim's own records.

     "Victim of a crime" means a person who has suffered personal or psychological injury or death or incurs loss of or injury to personal or real property as a result of a crime, or if such a person is deceased or incapacitated, a member of that person's immediate family.

     "Victims' rights agency" means a public agency, or part thereof, the primary responsibility of which is providing services, including but not limited to food, shelter, or clothing, medical, psychiatric, psychological or legal services or referrals, information and referral services, counseling and support services, or financial services to victims of crimes, including victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, violent crime, child endangerment, child abuse or child neglect, and the Victims of Crime Compensation Board, established pursuant to P.L.1971, c.317 (C.52:4B-1 et seq.) and continued as the Victims of Crime Compensation Office pursuant to P.L.2007, c.95 (C.52:4B-3.2 et al.) and Reorganization Plan No. 001-2008.

(cf: P.L.2014, c.19, s.2)

 

     5.  This act shall take effect immediately and shall apply first to the fiscal year commencing July 1, 2015.


STATEMENT

 

     This bill establishes a joint legislative and executive branch New Jersey Revenue Advisory Board to provide consensus revenue forecasting advice for State budget purposes.  More than half the states (28) successfully employ a “consensus” forecasting process.  A "consensus" process has the virtue of eliminating controversy and allows the participants to focus more clearly on the underlying budgetary issues each year.  In addition, the process outlined in this bill will provide greater public input and transparency to the revenue forecast.

     The New Jersey Revenue Advisory Board will consist of the State Treasurer, ex officio, the Legislative Budget and Finance Officer, ex officio, and a third public member jointly selected by the two State officials.  The third public member shall be qualified by education, training or experience related to State tax policy and revenue analysis.  The advisory board will hold at least one public hearing during the second quarter of each State fiscal year to receive public testimony and invite participants who can provide guidance on the current conditions in, and probable outlook for the performance of the economy of the State, as well as the effect of such conditions and such performance on State revenues.  The board shall adopt its advisory consensus forecast at a public meeting held on or before January 15 of each State fiscal year and readopt or revise the advisory consensus forecast at a public meeting held on or before May 15 of each fiscal year.

     While the bill does not change the State constitutional responsibility given exclusively to the Governor to certify State revenue available to support annual State appropriations, the Governor will be required to explain in the Governor's annual Budget Message any difference in revenue estimates made therein compared to the advisory consensus forecasts of State revenues prepared by the board.  The bill also requires the Governor to provide with the Governor's certification of revenue an explanation of any difference in the revenue certification from the latest fiscal year advisory consensus forecast made by the board.

     The existence of the board will encourage collaboration in formulating the professional forecasting advice given by State budget officials on State revenues.  It is intended to promote agreed-upon revenue estimates as a starting point for the budget-making policy debates involving the executive and legislative branch, and encourage a more thorough and regular public discussion of State revenue estimates in advance of State budget deadlines.

     To ensure effective collaboration prior to the formulation of the board's consensus forecasts, the State Open Public Records Act will not apply to any memorandum, correspondence, notes, report or other communication prepared by, or for the specific use of, a member of the board in the course of the board's or board member's consultations, deliberations or official duties except for otherwise publicly accessible reports.