SENATE, No. 2017

 

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

 

INTRODUCED MARCH 24, 1997

 

 

By Senators BUBBA and INVERSO

 

 

An Act concerning the filing of financial disclosure statements and the disposition of certain interests by certain State officers and employees and special State officers and employees and amending and supplementing P.L.1971, c.182.

 

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

 

    1. Section 2 of P.L.1971, c.182 (C.52:13D-13) is amended to read as follows:

    2. As used in this act, and unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

    a. "State agency" means any of the principal departments in the Executive Branch of the State Government, and any division, board, bureau, office, commission or other instrumentality within or created by such department, the Legislature of the State and any office, board, bureau or commission within or created by the Legislative Branch, and, to the extent consistent with law, any interstate agency to which New Jersey is a party and any independent State authority, commission, instrumentality or agency. A county or municipality shall not be deemed an agency or instrumentality of the State.

    b. "State officer or employee" means any person, other than a special State officer or employee (1) holding an office or employment in a State agency, excluding an interstate agency, other than a member of the Legislature or (2) appointed as a New Jersey member to an interstate agency.

    c. "Member of the Legislature" means any person elected to serve in the General Assembly or the Senate.

    d. "Head of a State agency" means (1) in the case of the Executive Branch of government, except with respect to interstate agencies, the department head or, if the agency is not assigned to a department, the Governor, and (2) in the case of the Legislative Branch, the chief presiding officer of each House of the Legislature.

    e. "Special State officer or employee" means (1) any person holding an office or employment in a State agency, excluding an interstate agency, for which office or employment no compensation is authorized or provided by law, or no compensation other than a sum in reimbursement of expenses, whether payable per diem or per annum, is authorized or provided by law; (2) any person, not a member of the Legislature, holding a part-time elective or appointive office or employment in a State agency, excluding an interstate agency, or (3) any person appointed as a New Jersey member to an interstate agency the duties of which membership are not full-time.

    f. "Person" means any natural person, association [or], corporation or other business organization.

    g. "Interest" means (1) the ownership or control of more than 10% of the profits or assets of a firm, association, or partnership, or more than 10% of the stock in a corporation for profit other than a professional service corporation organized under the "Professional Service Corporation Act," P.L.1969, c.232 (C.14A:17-1 et seq.); or (2) the ownership or control of more than 1% of the profits of a firm, association, or partnership, or more than 1% of the stock in any corporation, which is the holder of, or an applicant for, a casino license or in any holding or intermediary company with respect thereto, as defined by the "Casino Control Act," P.L.1977, c.110 (C.5:12-1 et seq.). The provisions of this act governing the conduct of individuals are applicable to shareholders, associates or professional employees of a professional service corporation regardless of the extent or amount of their shareholder interest in such a corporation.

    h. "Commission" means the Executive Commission on Conflicts of Interest.

    i. "Cause, proceeding, application or other matter" means a specific cause, proceeding or matter and does not mean or include determinations of general applicability or the preparation or review of legislation which is no longer pending before the Legislature or the Governor.

    j. "Dependent child" means a child for whom the State officer or employee or special State officer or employee or the spouse of the State officer or employee or special State officer or employee claims federal or State tax status as a dependent.

    [i.] k. "Member of the immediate family" of any person means the person's spouse, child, parent or sibling residing in the same household.

    l. "Financial disclosure statement" means a disclosure form required to be filed with the commission by certain persons pursuant to P.L.1971, c.182 (C.52:13D-12 et seq.), as amended and supplemented, or by executive order of the Governor.

    m. "Filing employee" means any person holding any of the following offices in the Executive Branch of State government, together with any offices added to such list by executive order:

    (1) the Governor;

    (2) the head of each principal department where such head is a single executive;

    (3) the assistant or deputy heads of each principal department, including all assistant and deputy commissioners of such department;

    (4) the head and assistant heads of a division of each principal department, or any person exercising substantially similar authority for: (a) any board or commission which is organized as in but not of a principal department or (b) any independent authority;

    (5) the executive or administrative head and assistant heads of: (a) any board or commission which is organized as in but not of a principal department or (b) any independent authority;

    (6) the following members of the staff of the Office of the Governor:

    (a) Chief of Staff;

    (b) Chief Counsel to the Governor;

    (c) Chief, Office of Policy and Planning;

    (d) Director of Communications;

    (e) Executive Assistant to the Governor and any deputy and the principal administrative assistant to any of the foregoing members of the staff of the Office of the Governor;

    (7) members of the State Board of Agriculture;

    (8) members of the State Board of Education;

    (9) members of the Board of Public Utilities;

    (10) members of the State Parole Board; and

    (11) presidents of the State colleges and universities.

    "Filing employee" also means any person holding an office not specified above, but which is functionally equivalent to any of those offices. Functional equivalence shall be determined by the Chief Counsel to the Governor, the head of each principal department, the head of each agency, board or commission in but not of a principal department or the head of each independent authority, as appropriate, in consultation with the commission.

    In addition to the filing employees listed above, the Governor, by executive order, may designate which members of the staff of the Office of the Governor are "filing employees" for the purpose of P.L.1971, c.182, as amended and supplemented, except that the Chief of Staff, the Chief, Office of Policy and Planning and the Director of Communications shall be "filing employees" for the purposes of that act unless those positions or their equivalents are abolished.

    n. "Filing officer" means:

    (1) the members of the following boards, commissions, independent authorities and public corporations, or their successor organizations together with any offices or bodies added to such list by executive order:

    (a) Agriculture Development Committee;

    (b) Atlantic City Convention Center Authority;

    (c) Capital City Redevelopment Corporation;

    (d) Casino Reinvestment Development Authority;

    (e) Commission on Higher Education;

    (f) Council on Affordable Housing;

    (g) Educational Facilities Authority;

    (h) Election Law Enforcement Commission;

    (i) Executive Commission on Conflicts of Interest;

    (j) Hackensack Meadowlands Development Commission;

    (k) Hazardous Waste Facilities Siting Commission;

    (l) Health Care Administration Board;

    (m) Health Care Facilities Financing Authority;

    (n) Local Finance Board;

    (o) Merit System Board;

    (p) New Jersey Building Authority;

    (q) New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology;

    (r) New Jersey Economic Development Authority;

    (s) New Jersey Highway Authority;

    (t) New Jersey Historic Trust;

    (u) New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency;

    (v) New Jersey Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Facility          Siting Board;

    (w) New Jersey Natural Lands Trust;

    (x) New Jersey Public Broadcasting Authority;

    (y) New Jersey Racing Commission;

    (z) New Jersey Real Estate Commission;

    (aa) New Jersey Redevelopment Authority;

    (bb) New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority;

    (cc) New Jersey State Council on the Arts;

    (dd) New Jersey Transit Corporation;

    (ee) New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund Authority;

    (ff) New Jersey Turnpike Authority;

    (gg) New Jersey Urban Enterprise Zone Authority;

    (hh) New Jersey Water Supply Authority;

    (ii) North Jersey District Water Supply Commission;

    (jj) Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners;

    (kk) Pinelands Commission;

    (ll) Public Employment Relations Commission;

    (mm) School Ethics Commission;

    (nn) Shell Fisheries Council;

    (oo) South Jersey Food Distribution Authority;

    (pp) South Jersey Transportation Authority;

    (qq) State Athletic Control Board;

    (rr) State Lottery Commission;

    (ss) State Planning Commission;

    (tt) Tidelands Resource Council;

    (uu) Wastewater Treatment Trust; and

    (vv) Wetlands Mitigation Council;

    (2) individuals appointed as a New Jersey member to the following           interstate agencies:

    (a) Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission;

    (b) Clean Ocean and Shore Trust Committee;

    (c) Delaware River and Bay Authority;

    (d) Delaware River Basin Commission;

    (e) Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission;

    (f) Delaware River Port Authority;

    (g) Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission;

    (h) Interstate Sanitation Commission;

    (i) Northeast Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Commission;

    (j) Palisades Interstate Park Commission;

    (k) Port Authority of New York and New Jersey;

    (l) Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corporation;

    (m) South Jersey Port Corporation; and

    (n) Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor.

    o. "Government instrumentality" means the Legislative, Judicial and Executive Branches of State government, including any office, department, division, bureau, board, commission, council, authority or agency therein and any county, municipality, school board, district, public authority, public agency or other political subdivision or public body in the State.

    p. "Income" means all income from whatever source derived.

    q. "Relative" means a son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter, father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, great-grandfather, great-grandmother, brother, sister, nephew, niece, uncle or aunt. Relatives by adoption, half-blood, marriage or remarriage shall be treated as relatives of the whole kinship.

    r. "Asset" means property of any kind, real or personal, tangible or intangible, having a value greater than $1,000.

    s. "Interest in a closely held business entity" means any ownership or control of any profits or assets of such business entity.

    t. "Doing business" with any government instrumentality means business or commercial transactions involving the sale, conveyance or rental of any estate, goods or services, and does not include compliance with regulatory procedures.

(cf: P.L.1987,c.432,s.2)

 

    2. (New section) Every filing employee and filing officer, as such terms are defined in subsections m. and n. of section 2 of P.L.1971, c.182 (C.52:13D-13), shall file a current sworn and duly notarized financial disclosure statement with the commission. Each statement shall include the following information:

    a. the name and position of the filing employee or filing officer;

    b. any occupation, trade, business or profession engaged in by the filing employee or filing officer and the employee's or officer's spouse and dependent children;

    c. (1) a list of all assets having a value of more than $1,000, both tangible and intangible, in which a direct or indirect interest is held by the filing employee or filing officer or the employee's or officer's spouse or dependent children, valued as of the statement date, except that when the value cannot be determined as of that date, a separate valuation date shall be specified for the particular asset. Where stocks and bonds are involved, there shall be included the name of the company, mutual fund, holding company or government agency issuing them, except that whenever such interest exists through ownership in a mutual fund or holding company, the individual stocks held by such mutual fund or holding company need not be listed, and whenever such interest exists through a beneficial interest in a trust, the stocks and bonds held in such trust shall be listed only if the filing employee or filing officer has knowledge or what stocks and bonds are so held. Where more than 10 percent of the stock of a corporation is held, the percentage of ownership shall be stated;

    (2) a list of assets consisting of any direct or indirect interest, whether vested or contingent, in any contract made or executed by a government instrumentality;

    (3) a list of assets consisting of real estate interests, including the location, size, general nature and acquisition date of any real property in New Jersey in which any direct, indirect, vested or contingent interest is held, together with the names of all individuals or entities who share a direct or indirect interest therein and the name of any government instrumentality that is a tenant of such property or that has before it an application, complaint or proceeding directly affecting such property.

    A filing employee required to file a financial disclosure form need not include on any of the above lists of assets any of the holdings of a qualified blind trust or a qualified diversified trust as defined in regulations adopted by the commission, but a filing employee shall report the category of the amount of income received by the employee or officer or the employee's or officer's spouse from the trust as provided in this section.

    The commission shall have authority to adopt regulations defining qualified blind trusts and qualified diversified trusts, establishing standards and procedures for the certification of such trusts, establishing standards for independent trustees, establishing restrictions on fiduciaries and interested parties, establishing filing requirements for qualified trusts, and providing for the revocation of trust certificates and trustee approvals.


    In promulgating and adopting such regulations the commission shall be guided by and conform substantially to the standards and prerequisites for qualified blind trusts and qualified diversified trusts set forth in the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (Pub.L.95-521, as amended) and regulations adopted by the Office of Government Ethics pursuant thereto.

    Assets of a filing employee and the employee's spouse shall be listed according to the following value categories:

    (a) greater than $1,000, but not more than $5,000;

    (b) greater than $5,000, but not more than $10,000;

    (c) greater than $10,000, but not more than $20,000;

    (d) greater than $20,000, but not more than $40,000;

    (e) greater than $40,000, but not more than $80,000;

    (f) greater than $80,000, but not more than $120,000;

    (g) greater than $120,000, but not more than $160,000;

    (h) greater than $160,000, but not more than $200,000;

    (i) greater than $200,000, but not more than $240,000;

    (j) greater than $240,000, but not more than $280,000;

    (k) greater than $280,000, but not more than $320,000;

    (l) greater than $320,000, but not more than $360,000;

    (m) greater than $400,000.

    The value of assets of a filing employee's dependent children or of a filing officer and the officer's spouse and dependent children need not be disclosed unless specifically requested by the Governor or the commission;

    d. A list of all liabilities of the filing employee or filing officer and the employee's or officer's spouse and dependent children, valued by category in the same manner as required by subsection c. above, except liabilities which are:

    (1) less than $10,000 and owed to a relative, as defined in subsection q. of section 2 of P.L.1971, c.182 (C.52:13D-13);

    (2) less than $l,000 and owed to any other person;

    (3) loans secured to purchase a personal motor vehicle, household furniture or appliances where the loan did not exceed the purchase price of the item and the outstanding balance did not exceed $10,000 as of the close of the preceding calendar year; and

    (4) revolving charge accounts where the outstanding liability does not exceed $10,000 as of the close of the preceding calendar year;

    e. A list of all former liabilities of the filing employee or filing officer and the employee's or officer's spouse and dependent children which have been forgiven by the creditor within 12 months of the statement date. For each such forgiven liability so listed, the name of the creditor to whom such liability was owed shall be stated;

    f. A list of all sources of income of the filing employee or filing officer and the employee's or officer's spouse and dependent children. Statements filed before July 1 of any year shall disclose sources of income for the preceding calendar year. Statements filed after July 1 of any year shall provide this information for the 12-month period immediately preceding the filing date or for such time period as may be designated by the filer with the concurrence of the commission. The amounts of such income received shall be listed and valued by category in the same manner as assets as set forth in subsection c. The amount of income of a filing employee's dependent children or of a filing officer and the officer's spouse and dependent children need not be disclosed unless specifically requested by the Governor or the commission. Sources of income that are not required to be reported are:

    (1) cash gifts in an aggregated amount of less than $100 received during the preceding 12 months from a person;

    (2) non-cash gifts with an aggregated fair market value of less than $200 received during the preceding 12 months from a person; and

    (3) gifts with an aggregated cash or fair market value of less than $3,000 received during the preceding 12 months from a relative;

    g. A list of any offices, trusteeships, directorships or positions of any nature, whether compensated or uncompensated, held by the filing employee or filing officer or the employee's or officer's spouse or dependent children and the name of firm, corporation, association, partnership, business or other entity with which the position is held. If any listed firm, corporation, association, partnership or business does business with or is licensed, regulated or inspected by a State agency or does business with a casino license holder or applicant, the State agency, casino or applicant must be identified.

    h. A list of entities that do business with any government instrumentalities in which the filing officer has an interest, as defined in subsection g. of section 2 of P.L.1971, c.182 (C.52:13D-13).

 

    3. (New section) Each statement shall contain a certification by the filing employee or filing officer that the employee or officer has read the statement, that to the best of the employee's or officer's knowledge and belief it is true, correct and complete and that the employee or officer has not transferred and will not transfer any asset, interest or property for the purpose of concealing it from disclosure while retaining an equitable interest therein.

 

    4. (New section) a. Within 120 days from the effective date of this act, each filing employee and filing officer who has not already done so shall file the original signed statement required herein with the commission. The statement shall contain a certification in lieu of oath and shall be notarized. In furtherance of its duties under the "New Jersey Conflicts of Interest Law," P.L.1971, c.182 (C.52:13D-12 et seq.) and pursuant to this act, the commission shall review each statement to determine its internal conformity with the provisions of this act and other applicable provisions of the law. Upon accepting such statement for filing, the commission shall file and maintain a copy of it for public inspection and copying in accordance with the procedures set forth in P.L.1963, c.73 (C.47:1A-1 et seq.).

    b. Each prospective filing employee and filing officer shall, before assuming the office to which the employee or officer has been appointed, satisfy the filing requirements of this act.

    c. Updated statements shall be filed on the May 15 next succeeding the submission of the original statement and each May 15 thereafter.

 

    5. (New section) The commission shall keep the approved statements on file for so long as the person submitting such statements is a filing employee or filing officer of this State, and for five years thereafter.

 

    6. (New section) a. A filing employee shall not be permitted to maintain or retain any interest in any closely held business entity doing business with a government instrumentality except as provided in subsections c. and d. below.

    b. After the effective date of this act, a State agency shall not hire a filing employee who holds any interest in any closely held business entity doing business with a government instrumentality except as provided in subsections c. and d. below. An individual seeking employment in such a position shall not divest a covered asset in a manner otherwise prohibited by this act for the purpose of satisfying the provisions of this act. A filing employee shall not obtain any prohibited interest in a closely held business entity during the filing employee's tenure.

    c. The provisions of subsections a. and b. shall not apply to any purchase, sale, contract, or agreement with a government instrumentality, other than a State agency, which is made or awarded after public notice and competitive bidding as provided by the "Local

Public Contracts Law," P.L.1971, c.198 (C.40A:11-1 et seq.), or similar public bidding laws or regulations, provided that any such purchase, sale, contract or agreement, including a change in orders and amendments thereto, shall receive the prior approval of the commission.

    d. The provisions of this section may be waived in whole or in part by the commission if, in the judgment of the commission, the filing employee's interest in a closely held business entity doing business with a government instrumentality will not interfere with the responsibilities of the filing employee and will not give rise to a present or potential conflict of interest or a present or potential appearance of a conflict of interest.

    e. A filing employee may only maintain an interest in a closely held business entity covered by this section while and until the commission makes a final determination on the status of such interest. A person seeking employment or appointment in a State agency shall disclose to the commission the person's interest, and the interest of the person's spouse, in any such business entity as soon as practicable, and the commission shall render a determination no later than 30 days after receiving such disclosure, or at its next regularly scheduled meeting, whichever shall occur later. An individual seeking employment or appointment in a State agency shall not divest a covered asset in a manner otherwise prohibited by this act for the purpose of satisfying the provisions of this act.

 

    7. (New section) The commission shall review all financial disclosure statements as they may from time to time be submitted by filing employees and filing officers to determine whether the covered persons have obtained ownership or interest in any assets that give rise to a present or potential conflict of interest, or a present or potential appearance of a conflict of interest, within the meaning of this act.

 

    8. (New section) Each filing employee or filing officer shall amend the employee's or officer's financial disclosure statement within 30 days of gaining knowledge of: a. the acquisition by the employee or officer or the spouse thereof of any interest in any closely held business entity; or b. the commencement of any business activity covered by the provisions of this act.

 

    9. (New section) Any filing employee or filing officer subject to this act who acquires an interest prohibited under this act by way of inheritance, bequest or similar circumstances beyond the employee's or officer's control shall follow the procedures for disclosure and disposition set forth in section 8 and section 10 of this act. The commission may adopt rules and regulations governing the disposition of such interests pending compliance with the procedures for disclosure and disposition set forth in this act. These rules and regulations may provide a reasonable period of time for divestiture of an interest, considering the nature of the filing employee's or filing officer's duties and the nature and marketability of the interest.

 

    10. (New section) All required divestiture shall be subject to the following conditions:

    a. ownership or control of the asset may not be transferred to a member of the filing employee's or filing officer's immediate family; and

    b. the terms and conditions of any conveyance of ownership and control of the asset shall not contain any provisions regarding the return of the asset to the filing employee or filing officer subsequent to the employee's or officer's State service.

 

    11. This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

    This bill requires that certain State officers and employees and certain special State officers and employees file financial disclosure statements and dispose of certain prohibited interests.

 

 

                             

Requires that certain State officers and employees and certain special State officers and employees file financial disclosure statements and dispose of certain prohibited interests.