New Jersey State Assoc. of Fire Districts

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News

Attached is the link to our firefighter injury report that involved the failure of a sand cast aluminum LDH appliance that injured a firefighter. We are looking for assistance with respect to notifying the fire service of this potential problem, collecting information about similar failures, whether a firefighter injury was involved or not, and identifying a federal agency that has jurisdiction to intervene.

http://www.state.nj.us/dca/divisions/dfs/reports/hampton_township_ff_Injury_rpt.pdf

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As you know, the special item of revenue bill passed the Assembly and is now on the Governor’s desk. However, there are numerous other bills of interest to fire districts that are moving in the lame duck session:

A4394, Greenwald – Establishes procedure for school districts, municipalities or voters to move the annual school election to November. FIRE DISTRICTS ARE NOT INCLUDED.
The bill was heard and released by the Assembly Appropriations Committee on Dec 8. Fire district elections were not mentioned in the discussion. The Senate version,S3148, sponsored by Senator Norcross, was introduced on Dec 12. It is being heard by the Senate State Government Committee on Thurs, Dec 15. This bill will move through both houses in the lame duck. Here is the link to the bill:

A4262, Wisniewski – Requires DOT Commissioner to erect signs informing motorists of State’s “move over” law.
Passed the Assembly 51-16-10 on Dec 5.
Senator Sacco introduced S3158 on Dec 12. It was referred to the Senate Transportation Committee which he chairs. It is very likely that the bill will pass the Senate in January. However, the Governor’s reaction is a question mark – if he perceived it is going to cost money, it is unlikely that he will sign it.

S2794, Sweeney – Encourages local unit sharing of services.
It was reported out of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee on Dec 8. It is NOT on the Senate Board list for Thurs, Dec 15. Word from the Governor’s office is that they do not like the bill, particularly how it revives and gives too much power to LUARC.
A3918 is the Assembly version, sponsored by Assemblywoman Lampitt. It has not moved in the lower house.

S1802, Norcross - Authorizes payment of funeral expenses for certain public safety employees, including those in the fire service, killed in the line of duty.
Jake testified in support when the bill was heard and released by the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee on Nov 21. The bill was scheduled to be heard by the Senate Budget Committee on Dec 8 but the bill was held over until their next meeting on Dec 15. We have submitted a slip indicating the Fire Districts’ support. The Assembly companion, A4328, was just introduced on Nov 21 when it was referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee. The fiscal estimate from OLS said that the costs were “indeterminate.” They looked back to 2004 for a response from Treasury to fiscal note request and the estimate then was $50,000 per year. It’s likely that this will move through the legislature in the lame duck.

A1463, Wisniewski/S1080, Bucco – Requires designated fire command structure in municipal fire emergency operations plans involving mutual aid responses to fires
As I reported to you earlier this year, A1462 passed the Assembly unanimously on June 28. The bill was heard and released by the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee on Dec 8. It has been 2nd referenced to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

A3278, Wisniewski – Requires fire suppression systems in new single and two family homes.
The bill was heard and released by the Assembly Housing and Local Govt Committee on Nov 21. There is strong opposition to this bill. It is, however, on the Assembly Board List for Thursday, Dec 15. Senators Bucco and Norcross are the sponsors of the Senate Bill, S2287. The bill was transferred to the Economic Growth Committee on Dec 8. It was on the Committee’s Dec 12 agenda but not released.

AJR87, Tucker – Designates month of October as “Fire Safety Education Month.”
Introduced on Dec 8

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This is our bill that allows fire districts to amend their budgets to insert a special item of revenue. 

A3278 – requires fire suppression systems in new single and two family homes.  Link is below.  It’s a Wisniewski bill.  Since we will be there for A898, it would be nice for the Association to register support.    
S787  It establishes “NJ Fire and EMS Crisis Intervention Services” telephone hotline.  It is sponsored by Sen Madden (D-Gloucester/Camden).
Here is the link: 

Election and Leadership Results

Election and Leadership Results 

Clearly, the main story here is the change in majority leaders in each house:  Joe Cryan was replaced by Lou Greenwald in the Assembly (Vinnie Prieto will become Budget Chair) and Loretta Weinberg replaced Barbara Buono in the Senate.   

The Election  

Following Tuesday’s elections, Democrats retained their almost identical majorities in the Senate (24-16) and Assembly (48-32 – they gained one seat).  Members of the new legislature, elected on Tuesday, met today to select their leadership for the next legislative session – see below.   Note that the current members of the legislature will be the ones meeting in the upcoming lame duck session beginning on November 21 through January 9, 2012 and current leadership will also remain in place until the new session.   

Leadership for the 215th NJ Legislature:
 
Senate Democrats:   
Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester, Cumberland , Salem ) will serve as Senate President. This will be his second term in that position.  Senator Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) will serve as Majority Leader. This will be her first term in that position.  Senator Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen, Essex, Passaic ) will serve as Deputy Majority Leader and chair of the Budget and Appropriations Committee. Senator Nia Gill (D-Essex, Passaic ) will serve as President Pro Temp. Both will be serving their second terms in those positions. 

Senate Republicans: 
Senator Tom Kean, Jr. (R-Union), will serve as Republican Leader, with Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) serving as Deputy Republican Leader.  Rounding out the caucus's leadership team is:  Senator Kevin O'Toole (R- Bergen ), Republican Whip; Senator Robert Singer (R-Ocean ), Conference Chairman; Senator Christopher "Kip" Bateman (R-Somerset ), Deputy Conference Chairman; and Senator Anthony Bucco (R-Morris ), the caucus's Budget Officer.  

Assembly Democrats: 
Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex) will continue as Assembly Speaker and Assembly budget chief Lou Greenwald (D-Camden) will be the new Assembly Majority Leader. John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex) will serve as a key Assembly Deputy Speaker with expanded duties, Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson) will become the new Assembly Budget Committee chairman, Jerry Green (D-Union) will continue as Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore and Gordon Johnson (D-Bergen) will serve as Majority Conference leader. 

Assembly Republicans:  
Alex DeCroce (R-Morris)will serve as Minority Leader leader for his fifth consecutive term. In addition to DeCroce, Assemblyman Jon Bramnick (R-Union) was re-elected for his second term as conference leader and Assemblyman Dave Rible (R-Monmouth) was selected to serve his second term as whip.

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