ASSEMBLY, No. 2866
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
INTRODUCED MAY 1, 1997
By Assemblymen COTTRELL, MALONE, Gregg, Assemblywoman J. Smith, Assemblymen Augustine, Blee, Azzolina, Romano and Assemblywoman Murphy
An Act concerning special child protection license plates and supplementing chapter 3 of Title 39 of the Revised Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. a. The Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles shall, upon proper application therefor, issue child protection license plates for any motor vehicle owned or leased and registered in this State. In addition to the registration number and other markings or identification otherwise prescribed by law, a child protection license plate shall display words or a slogan and an emblem indicating support for, and an interest in, protecting children through the establishment of assessment and treatment programs for parents with substance abuse problems who have had their children removed from the home due to a finding of abuse or neglect. The words or slogan and emblem shall be chosen by the director, in consultation with the Commissioner of Human Services. Issuance of child protection license plates shall be subject to all applicable requirements of chapter 3 of Title 39 of the Revised Statutes, except as hereinafter otherwise specifically provided.
b. The director shall collect a $50 application fee for the child protection license plates in addition to the fees otherwise prescribed by law for the registration of the motor vehicle. The director shall collect annually subsequent to the year of issuance of the license plate a $10 fee for the license plate in addition to the fees otherwise prescribed by law for the registration of the motor vehicle. The additional fees required by this subsection shall be deposited into the Child Protection License Plate Fund established pursuant to subsection c. of this section.
c. There is created in the Department of Treasury a special non-lapsing fund to be known as the "Child Protection License Plate Fund." There shall be deposited in the fund the amount collected from all license plate fees collected pursuant to subsection b. of this section, less the amounts necessary to reimburse the division for administrative costs pursuant to subsection d. of this section. Moneys deposited in the fund shall be dedicated exclusively to funding the substance abuse assessment and treatment programs required by P.L. , c. (C. ) (now pending before the Legislature as Assembly Bill No. 1893). 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 into the fund, and any moneys which may be appropriated or otherwise become available for the purposes of the fund, shall be credited to and deposited in the fund for use as set forth in this act.
d. Prior to the deposit of license plate fees collected pursuant to subsection b. of this section into the fund, amounts thereof as are necessary shall be used to reimburse the division for all costs reasonably and actually incurred, as stipulated by the director, for:
(1) producing, issuing, renewing and publicizing the availability of child protection license plates; and
(2) any initial fees, in an amount not to exceed $150,000, collected from the issuance of child protection license plates to be allocated to the division to pay the cost of any computer programming changes that may be necessary to implement the child protection license plate program established by this act.
The director shall annually certify to the State Treasurer the average cost per license plate incurred in the immediately preceding year by the division in producing, issuing, renewing and publicizing the availability of child protection license plates. The annual certification of the average cost per license plate shall be approved by the Joint Budget Oversight Committee or its successor.
If the average cost per license plate as certified by the director and approved by the Joint Budget Oversight Committee or its successor is greater than the $50 application fee established in subsection b. of this section in two consecutive fiscal years, the director may discontinue the issuance of child protection license plates.
e. The director shall notify eligible motorists of the opportunity to obtain child protection license plates by including a notice with all motor vehicle registration renewals, and by posting appropriate posters or signs in all division facilities and offices, as may be provided by the department. The notices, posters and signs shall be designed by the division in consultation with the commissioner.
f. The director, the commissioner and the State Treasurer shall develop and enter into an interagency memorandum of agreement setting forth the procedures to be followed by the department and the division in carrying out their respective responsibilities under this act.
2. This act shall take effect on the first day of the sixth month after enactment, but the director may take such anticipatory acts in advance of that date as may be necessary for the timely implementation of this act upon its effective date.
This bill requires the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles in the Department of Transportation to issue special child protection license plates to persons interested in establishing programs to assess and treat parents with substance abuse problems who have had their children removed from the home due to abuse or neglect. In addition to the registration number and other markings or identification prescribed by law, a child protection license plate would display words or a slogan and an emblem chosen by the director, in consultation with the Commissioner of Human Services.
An application fee of $50 and an annual renewal fee of $10 would be required for the special plates in addition to all fees otherwise required by law for the registration of the motor vehicle. These additional fees, after the deduction of the cost of producing and publicizing the plates, are to be deposited in a special non-lapsing account known as the "Child Protection License Plate Fund." The proceeds are to be dedicated exclusively to funding substance abuse assessment and treatment programs established pursuant to pending legislation, the Senate Committee Substitute for Senate Bill Nos. 996 and 1355. That bill requires parents who have had their children removed from the home due to a finding of abuse or neglect to be assessed and, when necessary, treated for substance abuse problems. The return of the child to the parental home is conditioned upon the parent's receipt of treatment and compliance with a treatment program.
The director is required to certify the average cost per unit in producing, issuing and publicizing the child protection license plates each year. If the average cost exceeds $50 for two consecutive fiscal years, the director may discontinue the license plate program. The director would also be responsible for notifying eligible motorists of the availability of the plates.
Establishes special child protection license plate to fund substance abuse programs for certain parents.