ASSEMBLY, No. 2663
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
INTRODUCED JANUARY 14, 1997
By Assemblyman CORODEMUS
An Act authorizing the creation of a State-sponsored affinity card and allocating fees collected therefrom for recreation and conservation and fish and wildlife management purposes, and supplementing Title 52 of the Revised Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. The Legislature finds that the provision of lands for public recreation and the conservation of natural resources promotes the public health, prosperity, and general welfare and is a proper responsibility of State government; that lands now dedicated to these purposes will not be adequate in the years to come to meet the needs of the citizens of New Jersey; that the fish and wildlife resources of the State add immeasurably to the quality of life of the citizens of New Jersey and provide recreation and economic benefits as well; that the need for funding sources for all of these purposes is ever present and expanding; and that the citizens of the State, in numerous forums, have expressed a willingness to personally participate in efforts to preserve and manage the environment.
The Legislature therefore determines that it is appropriate for the State to establish a State-sponsored affinity card, to be known as the "New Jersey Nature Card," the proceeds from which shall be used for recreation and conservation and fish and wildlife management purposes.
2. As used in this act:
"Affinity card" means a credit or debit card bearing the name of the sponsoring entity, the credit or deposit account of which is held and managed by the credit or debit card issuer;
"Credit" means the right to defer payment of debt or the right to incur debt and defer its payment;
"Credit card" means any instrument or device, whether known as a credit card, credit plate, or by any other name, issued by an issuer for the use of the cardholder in obtaining money, goods, services, or anything else of value on credit;
"Debit card" means any card or devices which access a cardholder deposit account with or without a line of credit;
"Financial institution" means a State or federally chartered bank, savings bank or savings and loan association with its headquarters and card processing unit located in this State and which is directly licensed by VISA or Mastercard for processing credit transactions and a direct member of the MAC and NYCE networks for processing debit transactions;
"Issuer" means the financial institution that issues a credit or debit card, or its duly authorized agent; and
"Sponsoring entity" means an entity that contracts with a particular financial institution whereby the financial institution agrees to be an issuer of an affinity card bearing the sponsoring entity's name in exchange for a fee.
3. a. The Department of the Treasury shall participate in an affinity card program for the benefit of the State. Within six months after the date of enactment of this act, the State Treasurer shall determine which financial institutions in the State issue or are able to issue affinity cards and develop and submit to these financial institutions a request for proposal for a New Jersey affinity card program.
b. Based on responses by financial institutions to its request for proposal, the State Treasurer shall enter into a contract with a financial institution to be the issuer of the New Jersey affinity card and negotiate with the financial institution the most favorable rate for the State's fee.
1The financial institution may issue the New Jersey affinity card to any person deemed qualified therefor by the financial institution upon proper application. The financial institution shall publicize throughout the State the availability of the New Jersey affinity card.1
c. Upon entering into a contract with a financial institution pursuant to subsection b. of this section, the State Treasurer shall notify all State agencies possessing any credit or debit card to replace any such cards with the State-sponsored affinity card as soon as is reasonably practicable and to use the affinity card for all new orders for which an agency normally uses a credit or debit card.
d. The State-sponsored affinity card shall be known as the "New Jersey Nature Card."
4. a. The State Treasurer shall establish a special non-lapsing fund, to be known as the "New Jersey Nature Card Fund," and the moneys therein are to be held in those depositories as the State Treasurer may select. The State Treasurer shall deposit into the fund all proceeds received from any fees collected pursuant to this act. The moneys in the fund are specifically dedicated to be used only for the purposes set forth in this section.
b. Moneys deposited in the fund shall be held in interest-bearing accounts in public depositories as defined pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1970, c.236 (C.17:9-41), and may be invested or reinvested in such securities as are approved by the State Treasurer. Interest or other income earned on moneys deposited in the fund, and any moneys that may be appropriated or otherwise become available for the purposes of the fund, shall be credited to and deposited in the fund for use only as set forth in this section.
c. Moneys in the fund shall not be expended except in accordance with appropriations from the fund made by law. Any act appropriating moneys from the "New Jersey Nature Card Fund" shall identify the particular project or projects to be funded by the moneys.
d. Moneys in the fund shall be allocated, appropriated, and expended according to the following formula:
(1) One-third for use by the State to acquire lands for recreation and conservation purposes under the State Green Acres program in the Department of Environmental Protection;
(2) One-third for use by the State to provide State grants, on an up to 50% matching basis, to qualifying tax exempt nonprofit organizations to acquire lands for recreation and conservation purposes in accordance with the program and criteria therefor established for the award of matching grants to qualifying tax exempt nonprofit organizations for recreation and conservation purposes pursuant to the "Open Space Preservation Bond Act of 1989," P.L.1989, c.183, the "Green Acres, Clean Water, Farmland and Historic Preservation Bond Act of 1992," P.L.1992, c.88, and the "Green Acres, Farmland and Historic Preservation, and Blue Acres Bond Act of 1995," P.L.1995, c.204, or similar Green Acres bond acts that may be enacted into law and approved by the voters of the State after the date of enactment of this act; 1[and]1
(3) 1[One-third] One-sixth1 for deposit in the "hunters' and anglers' license fund" created pursuant to R.S.23:3-11 and R.S.23:3-12, to be used by the Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife for the same purposes as other moneys deposited in the "hunters' and anglers' license fund 1[."] ," except such moneys deposited into that fund pursuant to this paragraph shall not be allocated, appropriated, expended, or used by the division for salaries, wages, or administrative costs; and
(4) One-sixth for deposit in the Monmouth County Clam Depuration and Relay Program Fund established pursuant to section 3 of P.L.1995, c.335 (C.58:24-13) for the same purposes as other moneys deposited in that fund.1
5. The State Treasurer shall adopt, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), rules and regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this act.
6. This act shall take effect immediately.
Authorizes creation of a State-sponsored affinity card and allocates fees collected therefrom for Green Acres land acquisition and fish and wildlife management.