ASSEMBLY, No. 5210

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED JANUARY 4, 2021

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman† JOHN J. BURZICHELLI

District 3 (Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Revises composition and certain functions of New Jersey State Firemenís Home.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As introduced.

††


An Act concerning the New Jersey Firemen's Home and supplementing and amending various sections of the statutory law and repealing R.S.54:18-8.†

 

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

 

†††† 1.††† R.S.30:7-1 is amended to read as follows:†

†††† 30:7-1.† The board of managers of the New Jersey Firemen's Home, notwithstanding the provisions of any other law to the contrary, shall consist of the president of the New Jersey State Firemen's Association, the Governor of† the State, the State Commissioner of Banking and Insurance and the State Comptroller, and one member elected from each county of the State [and one† additional member who shall be a fully paid fireman, elected from each of the counties of Essex and Hudson].† The [president of the firemen's association, the] Governor, the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance and the State Comptroller, respectively, for the time being, shall be ex-officio members of the board of managers.

†††† [The elected members shall be elected by New Jersey State Firemen's Association in annual convention assembled.† They] The members from each county shall be firemen who submit applications from their respective county, have served in the fire service for a minimum of five years, and are in good standing. Upon application, the board of managers shall vote upon the appointment of county applicants at the annual September meeting of the board of managers. 

†††† The managers shall hold office for a term of four years from the [first day] second Saturday of October next succeeding their election and until their successors are elected [and qualify] at the annual reorganization meeting of managers.

†††† A vacancy occurring among [the elected members] the managers other than by expiration of a† term shall be filled [as follows:† The president of the] by appointment of the chairman of the board of managers of the New Jersey State Firemen's [Association shall appoint] Home from the county in which the vacancy occurred [a] . The successor [to] shall serve [until the first day of October next succeeding the appointment and at the next annual meeting of the association there shall be elected from the county in which the vacancy occurred a member to serve for] the balance of the unexpired term.

†††† The members shall receive no compensation for their service but may be reimbursed their actual expenses in connection with their duties as managers from the funds of the home.

(cf:† P.L.2000, c.149, s.1)

†††† 2.††† (New section) †The New Jersey Firemenís Home shall have the authority to:

†††† a.†††† purchase, construct, lease and operate a licensed long-term residential care facility; and

†††† b.††† borrow money and secure the same by mortgage upon any property held or to be held by it, subject to the approval of the Governor, for capital improvements, including the construction of a new facility or an additional wing of an existing facility.†

 

†††† 3.††† R.S.54:18-1 is amended to read as follows:†

†††† 54:18-1.† Each insurer, not organized under the laws of the State of New Jersey, which takes fire insurance risks on property in this State, shall on or before March 1 in each year, for the period during the 12 months ending December 31 of the preceding year, cause to be made to the State Treasurer [of the New Jersey State Firemen's Association], on behalf of each municipality or fire district in this State, for any property on which the insurer has taken any fire insurance risk situate therein, a true return in writing, verified by the oath of an officer or representative of the insurer, showing the amount of all premiums received by or agreed to be paid to the insurer, for insurance underwritten by that insurer against loss or injury by fire upon real or personal property, except automobiles that are not stored for sale, including loss of use thereof in the municipality, or fire district.† The return also shall contain the Insurance Services Office "ISO" numerical identification code [or designation] assigned [by the New Jersey State Firemen's Association] for [such] the municipality or fire district.† The insurer shall, on or before March 1 of each year, pay to the State Treasurer [of the New Jersey State Firemen's Association] the sum of 2% upon the amount of all the premiums received or agreed to be paid during the 12 months ending December 31 of the preceding year.

†††† If the insurer fails to comply herewith, and the failure is reported to the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance in writing, [attested by the oath of the Treasurer of the New Jersey State Firemen's Association,] then the commissioner shall forthwith revoke the certificate of authority issued to the insurer, and, until the provisions of this chapter have been complied with by the insurer, it shall not transact further business in this State.

(cf:† P.L.1997, c.41, s.1)

 

†††† 4.††† R.S.54:18-2 is amended to read as follows:

†††† 54:18-2.† If any person residing or having an office or place of business in this State, in the capacity either of agent, broker, or insurer shall effect, or cause to be effected, any insurance, or shall receive any application for the effecting of insurance upon property in any municipality or fire district in this State, and shall directly or indirectly place the insurance or cause the same to be placed in an insurer not organized under the laws of this State, the agent, broker or insurer shall make a return to the State Treasurer [of the New Jersey State Firemen's Association] on behalf of the municipality or fire district in which the property is situate, as set forth in R.S.54:18-1, on or before March 1 in each year.† The return shall contain an account, under oath, of all premiums received by such agent, broker or insurer, or by any other person for him, or agreed to be paid, during the 12 months ending December 31 of the preceding year, for insurance against loss or injury by fire upon real or personal property, except automobiles that are not stored for sale, including loss of use thereof in the municipality or fire district.† The return also shall contain the Insurance Services Office "ISO" numerical identification code [or designation assigned by the New Jersey State Firemen's Association] of [such] the municipality or fire district.† The agent, broker or insurer shall, on or before March 1 of each year, pay to the State Treasurer [of the New Jersey State Firemen's Association] the sum of 2% upon the amount of all the premiums received or agreed to be paid as aforesaid within the 12 months ending December 31 of the preceding year.† The State Treasurer [of the New Jersey State Firemen's Association] shall allocate the tax monies received to the appropriate local firemen's relief association incorporated and affiliated with the State association, collected on behalf of the municipality or fire district under the control thereof, and to the Board of Managers of the New Jersey Firemen's Home.† Any monies received, allocated or paid by any agent, broker or insurer pursuant to the provisions of this chapter on behalf of any municipality or fire district that does not have a† local firemen's relief association affiliated with the New Jersey State Firemen's Association shall be allocated to the New Jersey Firemen's Home in accordance with the provisions of section 7 of P.L.1997, c.41 (C.54:18-8).

(cf:† P.L.1997, c.41, s.2)†

 

†††† 5.††† R.S.54:18-3 is amended to read as follows:††

†††† 54:18-3.† Every agent, broker, or insurer residing or having an office or authorized or licensed to do business in this State shall make the return and payment as set forth in R.S.54:18-2 and shall keep accurate books of account of all business done by him.† The agent, broker or insurer shall record the name of the insured, the date and expiration of the insurance, a description of the property insured, a statement of its location, including the Insurance Services Office "ISO" numerical identification code or designation of the municipality or fire district, the amount of the insurance and premiums paid therefor.† If an agent, broker or insurer fails, neglects or refuses to comply with any provisions of this chapter, or if any fraud or dishonesty in the returns required pursuant to the provisions of this chapter is apparent or becomes known, the State Treasurer [of the New Jersey State Firemen's Association], on behalf of the municipality or fire district, may obtain from a judge of the Superior Court, in the county wherein the insured property is located, an order compelling the agent, broker or insurer to produce all books and records required to be kept by this chapter for an accounting and examination by the court.

(cf:† P.L.1997, c.41, s.3)†

 

†††† 6.††† R.S.54:18-4 is amended to read as follows:†

†††† 54:18-4.† Any such agent, broker or insurer who fails, neglects or refuses to keep books of account as required, or to produce them in the Superior Court upon an order of the court, or to make proper and accurate returns as hereinbefore provided, or to pay over the percentage due upon any premium as required, at the time and in the manner specified in this chapter, or who is found, upon examination by the court, to have made a false return of the business done by him, shall, for each offense, be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree and forfeit and pay the amount owed to the State Treasurer [of the New Jersey State Firemen's Association].

(cf:† P.L.1997, c.41, s.4)

 

†††† 7.††† R.S.54:18-5 is amended to read as follows:†

†††† 54:18-5.† If any such agent, broker or insurer fails, neglects or refuses to pay any percentage herein provided for, or† to pay and satisfy any forfeiture or penalty adjudged to be due under the provisions of this chapter, and that fact is reported to the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance in writing, [attested by the oath of the Treasurer of the New Jersey State Firemen's Association,] the commissioner shall forthwith revoke any certificate of authority previously issued under which the failure has occurred.† The revocation of a certificate shall not release any penalty or forfeiture previously incurred.

(cf:† P.L.1997, c.41, s.5)

 

†††† 8.††† R.S.54:18-7 is amended to read as follows:

†††† 54:18-7.† This chapter shall not alter or abridge any reciprocal legislation existing between different states of the United States, in regard to the percentage of taxes collected and received for this State.† The amount of premiums paid by any insurance company pursuant to this chapter shall be deemed part of the reciprocal tax to be collected for this State.† The Commissioner of Banking and Insurance, in consultation with the Treasurer of the State of New Jersey, shall enforce the provisions of this chapter [and shall require the Treasurer of the New Jersey State Firemen's Association to provide a certified annual accounting of the monies received and allocated under the provisions of this chapter and R.S.43:17-1 et seq., and shall hold the treasurer and officers accountable and subject to the penalties provided herein].

(cf:† P.L.1997, c.41, s.6)†

 

†††† 9.††† (New section) †All monies received from the two percent tax on fire insurance premiums paid by insurance companies not incorporated in this State on behalf of all municipalities or fire districts, regardless of whether the municipalities or fire districts have a duly incorporated local firemenís relief association affiliated with the New Jersey State Firemenís Association pursuant to R.S.43:17-1 et seq., shall first be dedicated to the New Jersey Firemenís Home in the amount of the full sum of its annual budget, as approved by the Governor. The State Treasurer shall remit monies to fund the annual budget of the New Jersey Firemenís Home on or before the first day in May of each year.†

†††† The balance of the funds shall be dedicated to and for the benefit of firemen throughout the State, as determined by the Governor.

 

†††† 10.† R.S.54:18-8 is repealed.† ††

 

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

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill revises certain procedures related to the management of the New Jersey Firemenís Home.† The New Jersey Firemenís Home is the only licensed health care facility in this State that provides long term care and residential services exclusively for New Jersey firefighters. †

†††† The Firemanís Home is governed by a board of managers who, subject to the approval of the Governor, direct and control its property and concerns; make by-laws, rules, and regulations; and determine the compensation, duties, and term of service of its officers and employees.† Under current law, the board of managers consists of the President of the New Jersey State Firemen's Association, the Governor of the State, the State Commissioner of Banking and Insurance and the State Comptroller, one member elected from each county, and one additional member who is a fully paid fireman, elected from Essex and Hudson counties.† This bill removes from the board of managers the President of the New Jersey Firemanís Association and the additional members from Essex and Hudson counties.† The bill also provides that the members from each county are to be firemen who submit applications from their respective county, have served in the fire service for a minimum of five years, and are in good standing. Upon application, the board of managers are to vote upon the appointment of county applicants at the annual September meeting of the board of managers. 

†††† In addition, the bill revises the procedures by which managers of the New Jersey Firemenís Home are elected and their vacancies are filled.† Under current law, members are elected by the New Jersey Firemanís Association to serve four-year terms and membership vacancies are filled by the president of the New Jersey Firemenís Association.† Under the bill, the managers are to be elected by the New Jersey Firemenís Home for four-year terms.† Membership vacancies also would filled by the chairman of the board of managers to serve the balance of the unexpired term.†

†††† The bill also grants the New Jersey Firemenís Home the power and authority to purchase, construct, lease and operate a licensed long-term residential care facility. The New Jersey Firemenís Home also would have the authority to borrow money and secure a mortgage for capital improvements, including the construction of an additional facility or a new wing of an existing facility.†

†††† Under current law, R.S.43:17-1 et seq. provides for the establishment of a firemen's relief organization in any municipality where there are organized one or more fire companies. The purpose of the relief association is to establish and maintain a fund for the relief, support, or burial of indigent exempt firemen and their families. These local associations are funded by monies received from a two percent tax on the premiums of foreign and alien insurers transacting fire insurance in this State. The Treasurer of the New Jersey State Firemenís Association then distributes the tax monies to (1) each local firemen's relief association depending upon the amount of revenue derived the from insurance policies written in that municipality, and (2) the managers of the New Jersey Firemen's Home pursuant to the home's annual budget.

†††† This bill requires these tax moneys to be paid to the State Treasurer, rather than the Treasurer of the New Jersey State Firemenís Association.† The State Treasurer would then allocates the funds to cover the costs of the relief associations and New Jersey Firemen's Home.

†††† Finally this bill repeals R.S.54:18-8, which requires a two percent tax on the premiums of fire insurance policies written by out-of-State insurance companies on New Jersey properties.† This tax is currently paid to the New Jersey State Firemanís Association, which distributes a portion of the tax receipts to the New Jersey Firemenís Home based on the homeís annual budget and distributes a portion to the local firemenís relief associations. The two percent tax that is paid by insurance companies on behalf of municipalities or fire districts which do not have a local firemenís relief association are dedicated to the New Jersey Firemenís Home.† If there are not sufficient funds for the annual operating expenses of the New Jersey Firemenís Home, the Treasurer of the New Jersey State Firemanís Association is required to pay the difference.† In addition, capital projects for the New Jersey State Firemenís Home are required to be approved by the officers of the New Jersey State Firemanís Association.

†††† Under the provisions of this bill, all monies received by the Treasurer of the State of New Jersey from the two percent tax paid by insurance companies not incorporated in this State on behalf of all municipalities or fire districts, regardless of whether the municipalities or fire districts have a local firemenís relief association, are required to first be dedicated to the New Jersey Firemenís Home in the full sum of the annual budget, as approved by the Governor.† The State Treasurer is to remit monies to fund the annual budget of the New Jersey Firemenís Home on or before May 1st of each year.† The balance of the funds are required to be dedicated to and for the benefit of firefighters throughout the State, as determined by the Governor.† In addition, the bill removes the requirement for the New Jersey State Firemanís Association to approve capital projects.