Senator LINDA R. GREENSTEIN
District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)
Adds tick control to duties of State and county mosquito control commissions.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning tick control and amending P.L.1956, c.135 and chapter 9 of Title 26 of the Revised Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 4 of P.L.1956, c.135 (C.26:9-12.6) is amended to read as follows:
4. It shall be the duty of the commission to carry on a continuous study of mosquito and tick control and extermination in the State, to recommend to the Governor and the Legislature, from time to time, changes in legislation which in its judgment may be necessary or desirable to be enacted in order to enforce and carry out mosquito and tick extermination and control work throughout the State, to recommend to the Legislature the amount of money which in its judgment it shall deem necessary and desirable to be appropriated each year by the State for mosquito and tick control purposes and to allocate funds appropriated for State aid to counties in the performance of such work among the various counties through the New Jersey State Agricultural Experiment Station, to act in an advisory capacity in all matters pertaining to mosquito and tick extermination and control, and to co-operate with the agencies of other [States] states and the [Federal Government] federal government in the elimination of mosquito breeding areas under their control.
(cf: P.L.1956, c.135, s.4)
2. R.S.26:9-21 is amended to read as follows:
26:9-21. The commission shall constitute a body politic, with power:
a. To sue and be sued;
b. To use a common seal;
c. To make by-laws; and
d. To perform all acts which in its opinion may be necessary for the elimination of mosquito breeding areas, or which will tend to exterminate mosquitoes and ticks within the county.
3. R.S.26:9-23 is amended to read as follows:
26:9-23. The board of freeholders of the county or other body having control of the finances thereof, shall include annually in the tax levy the amount of money needed for mosquito and tick control; but in no year shall the amount so raised exceed the following amounts:
a. In counties where the assessed valuations are not more than [$25,000,000.00] $25 million, a sum not greater than one mill on every dollar of assessed valuations.
b. In counties where the assessed valuations are not more than [$50,000,000.00] $50 million, a sum not more than one-half of one mill on every dollar of assessed valuations.
c. In counties in which the assessed valuations are in excess of [$50,000,000.00] $50 million, a sum of not more than one-quarter of one mill on every dollar of assessed valuations.
(cf: P.L.1977, c.366, s.2)
4. R.S.26:9-26 is amended to read as follows:
26:9-26. Nothing in [sections 26:9-13 to 26:9-25 of this title] R.S.26:9-13 to R.S.26:9-25 shall be construed to alter, amend, modify, or repeal the provisions of [article 1 of this chapter (s. 26:9-1 et seq.)] R.S.26:9-1 et seq., or to alter, amend, modify, or repeal any law conferring upon the [state] State department or local boards of health any powers or duties in connection with the extermination of mosquitoes or ticks, but shall be construed to be supplementary thereto.
5. R.S.26:9-27 is amended to read as follows:
26:9-27. The board of freeholders in any county may:
a. Eliminate all breeding places of mosquitoes within the county;
b. Adopt and execute such plans as in its judgment will tend to exterminate mosquitoes and ticks; and
c. Purchase such material and equipment as may be necessary or proper for said purpose.
6. R.S.26:9-28 is amended to read as follows:
26:9-28. When the board of freeholders of any county, by resolution approved by a majority of the members of the board, shall declare that it is expedient or necessary to eliminate breeding places of mosquitoes or reduce the tick population within the county, the board may issue bonds, in the corporate name and under the corporate seal of the county, to provide moneys for such work. Such bond issue shall not exceed [three hundred thousand dollars] $300,000.
7. R.S.26:9-30 is amended to read as follows:
26:9-30. The board of freeholders of any county in which there is a county mosquito extermination commission may authorize, designate, and employ such commission to submit plans and to perform the work and furnish the material which, in the judgment of the board, may exterminate mosquitoes or eliminate their breeding places, or reduce the tick population.
8. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill adds tick control to the duties of the State and country mosquito control commissions.
Ticks, like mosquitos, are vectors for disease. Ticks are known to transmit anaplasmosis, babesiosis, Lyme disease, Powassan disease, and other diseases to humans. Ticks can also transmit diseases to household pets.
New Jersey is especially conducive to ticks because of its climate, its woodland, and its large agricultural sector. Furthermore, New Jersey’s proximity to major ports such as New York City and Philadelphia make the State susceptible to invasive species, such as the East Asian Tick, which was recently found in Hunterdon County. East Asian ticks have been known to spread severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome, a potentially life-threatening disease.
Under current law, no Statewide or countywide measures are authorized to control the tick population. This bill would authorize the State and county mosquito control commissions to create and implement tick control measures. The commissions would use their existing revenue-raising powers to finance any tick control measures that they deem appropriate.