ASSEMBLY, No. 4244

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED JUNE 8, 2020

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman† ROBERT J. KARABINCHAK

District 18 (Middlesex)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Authorizes religious corporations to hold remote meetings during state of emergency declared by Governor.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As introduced.

††


An Act concerning religious corporations and remote meetings and amending R.S.16:1-5 and R.S.16:1-10.

 

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

 

†††† 1.††† R.S.16:1-5 is amended to read as follows:

†††† 16:1-5.†††† a.†† The proceedings, orders and acts of a majority of the members of such corporation present in person at any duly convened annual or special meeting, but not of a less number shall be valid and effectual.† During a state of emergency declared by the Governor, a meeting of members may be held by means of remote communication to the extent the trustees authorize and adopt guidelines and procedures governing such a meeting.

†††† b.††† One or more members may participate in a meeting by means of remote communication to the extent the trustees authorize that participation.† Meetings conducted in part or solely by means of remote communication and any memberís remote participation in those meetings shall be subject to those guidelines and procedures as the trustees adopt and shall be in conformity with subsection c. of this section.

†††† c.†††† A member participating in a meeting by means of remote communication, in reliance upon subsection a. of this section, shall be deemed present in person and shall be entitled to vote at the meeting regardless of whether that meeting is held at a designated place or solely by means of remote communication.† In any meeting conducted in part or solely by means of remote communication in reliance upon subsection a. of this section, the corporation shall implement reasonable measures to:

†††† (1)†† verify that each person participating remotely is a member;

†††† (2)†† provide each member participating remotely with a reasonable opportunity to participate in the meeting, including an opportunity to vote on matters submitted to the members, and to read or hear the proceedings of the meeting substantially concurrently with those proceedings; and

†††† (3)†† record and maintain a record of any votes or other actions taken by remote communication at the meeting.

(cf: P.L.1955, c.124, s.1)

 

†††† 2.††† R.S.16:1-10 is amended to read as follows:

†††† 16:1-10.††††† The annual meetings for the election of trustees and officers shall be called by the board of trustees of such religious society or congregation upon [ten] 10 daysí notice, signed by the secretary of the board and posted as required in [section] R.S.16:1-1 [of this Title].† If the board has authorized participation by members by means of remote communication pursuant to R.S.16:1-5, the notice to members shall describe the means of remote communication to be used.† A meeting held by means of remote communication may occur after a state of emergency has been lifted if notice of the meeting was provided during the state of emergency.† The meeting when convened shall select its own officers and determine its own rules of procedure.

(cf: P.L.1955, c.124, s.6)

 

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

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill allows members of religious corporations to hold, either solely or in part, meetings by means of remote communication during a state of emergency.

†††† Pursuant to current law, meetings of members are required to be held at a physical location, with no provision for members to participate by alternative means during a state of emergency. Under this bill, remote communication of meetings will be permitted if a state of emergency is declared by the Governor. During the state of emergency, a meeting of members may be held by means of remote communication to the extent that the board of trustees authorize and adopt guidelines and procedures governing such a meeting.

†††† The bill will also provide that members are deemed present if participating in a meeting by means of remote communication, regardless of whether the meeting is held solely by means of remote communication or in part.

†††† In times of crisis, remote meetings can offer broader accessibility to members and increase member participation. It also provides religious corporations with the flexibility that they may need to respond to any challenges that may occur because of a state of emergency declaration.