June 14th, 2013
With the state budget on target to be finalized by July 1st, the New Jersey Legislature has been hard at work on a series of bills which could impact the business community. On Thursday, the Senate Environment & Energy Committee approved a bill, S-2094, which would exempt municipalities and sewer authorities from any liability under the Spill Compensation and Control Act. CIANJ, along with most business groups, testified in opposition to the bill on the grounds that the cost of cleanups will only go up for industrial sites if municipalities are not held liable. Although the legislation advanced, Senators from both sides of the aisle agreed that amendments are needed due to the legalities and complexities of the legislation. A companion bill, S-2322, which deals with contribution claims on the same subject matter was also advanced with reservations and likely amendments. On the human resources side of business, the “ban the box” legislation (S-2586) was discussed at length in the Senate Labor Committee. The testimony lasted for hours to the point that the Committee Chair, Senator Madden, had to end it and reschedule for another day. The legislation would prohibit employers from asking about a potential candidate’s criminal history during the application and interview process.