NJ Assembly Coronavirus Legislation Passed

New Jersey Expands COVID-19 Call Center Options
March 18, 2020
Covid-19 Update from Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce
March 19, 2020

NJ Assembly Coronavirus Legislation Passed

LEGISLATION PASSED BY THE ASSEMBLY TO ADDRESS COVID-19 IN NEW JERSEY – MARCH 16

A-3095 – EXTENDS THE DEADLINE TO SEND MAIL-BALLOTS FOR THE PRIMARY ELECTION.

  • The law require mail ballots to be sent 45 days prior to an election (April 18, 2020).
  • The bill allows clerks to mail them by April 25, 2020, an additional week.
  • This applies only to this year’s primary election.
  • Passed the Assembly 65-0.

A-3813 – ENSURES VIRTUAL SCHOOL CLASSES TO COUNT TOWARD THE 180-DAY MANDATED SCHOOL YEAR.

  • Permits K-12 school districts to use virtual or remote instruction if it is required to close more than three school days.
  • This bill apply to future emergencies.
  • Passed the Assembly 56-0-8.

A-3839 – APPROPRIATES $20 MILLION TO SANITIZE SCHOOLS.

  • Public, private and charter schools that are closed by the state Health Department or by a local health officer for COVID-19 are eligible for the aid.
  • The funds must be used to purchase cleaning supplies or related personnel costs.
  • Passed the Assembly 65-0.

A-3840 – CONTINUES SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM DURING THE CORONAVIRUS SHUTDOWN.

  • Provides meals or vouchers to public school students who are eligible for free and reduced school lunches and breakfasts.
  • The state will bear any costs not reimbursed by the federal government.
  • This applies only to the COVID-19 health emergency.
  • Passed the Assembly 65-0.

A-3841 – EXTENDS BUSINESS TAX FILINGS.

  • Businesses must file their 2019 income tax returns and 2020 1st quarterly payments on April 15.
  • This bill allows them to make the payments without penalties or interest by May 15 – an additional month.
  • This applies only to this year’s filings.
  • Passed the Assembly 65-0.

A-3842 – A NEW GRANT PROGRAM ADDRESSING ‘DIGITAL DIVIDE’ IN SCHOOLS.

  • Appropriates monies from the general fund to the Department of Education to provide internet access at home and electronic devices for low-income students.
  • This bill be an ongoing program beyond the current emergency.
  • Passed the Assembly 58-4-3.

A-3843 – REQUIRES INSURANCE CARRIERS COVER CORONAVIRUS TESTING.

  • It applies only if a medical order has been issued for testing.
  • It also waives co-pays and deductibles paid by patients for testing.
  • Passed the Assembly 64-0-1.

 A-3845 – AUTHORIZES ZERO-INTEREST LOANS TO BUSINESSES STRUGGLING TO MAKE PAYROLL.

  • It appropriates $25 million from the general fund to the Economic Development Authority.
  • Expands the EDA small business loan program to provide these loans to small businesses with less than 100 employees.
  • Allows the EDA to end these loans once the governor has rescinded the declared state of emergency.
  • Passed the Assembly 65-0.

A-3846 – $20 MILLION TO REIMBURSE EMPLOYERS AND INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS FOR LOSS WAGES.

  • Expands eligibility under the sick leave law, the family temporary disability leave law, the temporary disability benefits law, and the family leave act to include situations related to COVID-19.
  • Passed the Assembly 65-0.

A-3847 – GIVES ADDITIONAL PAID LEAVE FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES.

  • Allows local government employees to take paid sick leave without using their accumulated time if documentation is provided in relation to COVID-19 within three days of their initial absence.
  • This applies only to the COVID-19 health emergency.
  • It is retroactive to March 9, when Murphy declared a state of health emergency.
  • Passed the Assembly 56-4-5.

A-3848 – PROTECTS EMPLOYEES FROM BEING FIRED FOR COVID-19.

  • Prohibits employers from firing employees taking off work under a doctor’s orders.
  • It also penalizes employers $2,500 for not allowing employees to return to work.
  • Passed the Assembly 65-0.

A-3849 – EXTENDS OPRA DEADLINES DURING EMERGENCIES.

  • Gives public agencies 21 calendar days instead of seven to respond to OPRA requests during a state emergency.
  • This will be an ongoing exception for future emergencies.
  • Passed the Assembly 65-0.

A-3850 – ALLOWS PUBLIC OFFICIALS TO MEET ELECTRONICALLY DURING EMERGENCIES.

  • It authorizes state and local public meetings via telephone or video conference to conduct meetings, votes, and receive public comment during a state of emergency, public health emergency, or disaster emergency.
  • This will be an ongoing exception for future emergencies.
  • Passed the Assembly 64-0.

A-3851 – EXTENDS BUDGET DEADLINES FOR COUNTIES AND MUNICIPALITIES.

  • Extends the deadlines for the introduction, approval and adoption of county and municipal budgets during times of emergency by at least 60 days.
  • This will be an ongoing exception for future emergencies.
  • Passed the Assembly 65-0.

A-3852 – PERMITS ELECTRONIC LEGISLATIVE SESSIONS DURING EMERGENCIES.

  • Current law requires the Legislature to conduct business, such as sessions, in Trenton.
  • This will be an ongoing exception for future emergencies.
  • Passed the Assembly 65-0.

A-3854 – WAIVES STAFFING RATIOS AND PERMITS HOSPITALS AND LABS DEVELOP COVID-19 TESTS.

  • It permits the commissioner of Health to waive staffing ratio requirements during a public health emergency, which will be ongoing in future emergencies.
  • And, authorizes health care facilities and clinical labs to develop and administer a test for COVID-19.
  • Passed the Assembly 65-0.

A-3855 – PLACES FOOD ACCESS INFORMATION ON STATE WEBSITES.

  • It requires the statewide 2-1-1 system and all executive branch departments to prominently display information concerning food access programs on websites and social media throughout a declared public health emergency.
  • This will be an ongoing requirement for future emergencies.
  • Passed the Assembly 65-0.

A-3856 – APPROPRIATES $10 MILLION TO SANITIZE RESIDENTIAL FACILITIES.

  • The commissioners of Health, Human Services, Children and Families, and Community Affairs are left to determine how the funding will be distributed.
  • This applies only to the COVID-19 health emergency.
  • Passed the Assembly 65-0.

A-3857 – APPROPRIATES $5 MILLION FOR FOOD BANKS.

  • Funds will be distributed among the Community Food Bank of NJ, the Food Bank of South Jersey, and Fulfill Monmouth & Ocean to be distributed to food banks throughout the state.  
  • Passed the Assembly 65-0.

A-3858 – DOUBLES CASH PAYMENTS FOR PUBLIC ASSISTANCE.

  • It allows the commissioner of Human Services to double monthly benefits for Work First New Jersey, SNAP and WIC during a state of emergency if recipients’ wages decline or childcare closes for their dependents.
  • This will be an ongoing allowance for future emergencies.
  • Passed the Assembly 53-0-12.

A-3859 – PROHIBITS EVICTIONS DURING STATE EMERGENCIES.

  • The bill permits the governor to issue an executive order, during public health or state emergencies, protecting tenants and homeowners from eviction or foreclosure proceedings.
  • Passed the Assembly 60-0-5.

A-3860 – PERMITS TELEMEDICINE DURING PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCIES.

  • Permits health care providers to use telemedicine and telehealth during a public health emergency regardless of whether regulations have been adopted.
  • Passed the Assembly 64-0.

A-3861 – ALLOWS CORPORATIONS TO CONDUCT ELECTRONIC SHAREHOLDER MEETINGS. 

  • Current law requires meetings take place at a physical location within the state.  This allows the entire meeting to be online. 
  • This will be an ongoing exception for future emergencies.
  • Passed the Assembly 64-0.
     

A-3862 – ALLOWS PROFESSIONAL LICENSING BOARDS TO PROCESS OUT-OF-STATE LICENCES AND WAIVE REQUIREMENTS. 

  • It allows the Division of Consumer Affairs to adopt emergency rules for licensing. 
  • This will be an ongoing exception for future emergencies.
  • Passed the Assembly 65-0.

A-3863 – EXTENDS THE CANDIDATE PETITION FILING DEADLINE BACK TWO WEEKS. 

  • It also waives signature requirements for county committee.
  • This applies only to this year’s primary election.
  • As of March 18, this bill is not listed on the Senate board list for March 19.
  • Passed the Assembly 65-0.

A-3864 – ALLOWS NOTARIES TO CONDUCT PROCESS ONLINE. 

  • Applies to all future notary actions; not just during emergencies. 
  • Passed the Assembly 63-0-2.

A-3865 – BANS FOOD RETURNS DURING EMERGENCY.

  • It prevents food stores from accepting grocery returns during and 30 days after current public health emergency. 
  • Fines violators $10,000. 
  • Passed the Assembly 49-4-12.

 ACR-165 – URGES STATE TO APPLY FOR FEDERAL WAIVERS FOR INCREASED SNAP BENEFITS.

  • This resolution urges the Department of Human Services to apply for all available federal waivers to increase state residents access to SNAP benefits during the coronavirus outbreak.
  • Passed the Assembly 65-0.

AJR-158 – URGES BROADBAND ACCESS FOR THOSE AFFECTED BY COVID-19.

  • Urges the Federal Communications Commission to secure universal broadband access by taking temporary measures, such as approving experimental licenses to expand wireless networks, applying funds to boost connectivity in areas of need, and urging private carriers to launch mobile cell towers.
  • Passed the Assembly 63-0.
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