In Our Community

Assemblyman Moriarty “Bijou’s Law” Bill Clears Assembly Committee

Also Known As “Pet Grooming Licensing Act,” Would License Pet Groomers; Dog’s Death Prompted Legislation

To prevent tragic loss such as Bijou’s, a healthy Shih Tzu who died unexpectedly under the care of a pet groomer, Assembly Democrat Paul D. Moriarty sponsored a bill (A-3044) that would establish the “Pet Groomers Licensing Act,” or “Bijou’s Law” in honor of the puppy. The legislation was approved Monday by the Assembly Regulated Professions Committee.

The original legislation was introduced in 2014 by Assemblywoman Vainieri Huttle in response to the untimely death of Bijou, who died during a routine grooming at a pet salon when he was only six years old.

The bill calls for the licensing of pet groomers and the registration of certain businesses. It is intended to ensure that all dog groomers in New Jersey are trained and licensed to properly care for the state’s pets which include more than 500,000 dogs.

The bill would establish a Pet Groomers Advisory Committee within the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety. Members would consist of three licensed pet groomers, one licensed veterinarian, and three public members. The bill defines grooming as, but not limited to, bathing, brushing, clipping, or styling a pet.

The bill would mandate that:

· To be licensed as a pet groomer, an applicant be at least 18 years old, of good moral character, and pass an examination.

· The Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety review the qualifications of an applicant, ensure standards of the examination and continuing education, and issue, renew and suspend or revoke licenses to pet groomers and schools.

· All licenses be issued for a two-year period and renewed by filing an application and paying a fee.

· A business offering pet grooming services be registered and provide proof of general liability insurance.

· Pet grooming businesses meet safety and environmental standards such as caging, lighting, sanitation, and the provision of water.

· Every pet grooming business maintain a pet incident file that is submitted annually to the Director of Consumer Affairs including pet injuries, severe illnesses, deaths and pet escapes.

· The State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners establish and implement a public awareness campaign to educate and inform New Jersey consumers about Bijou’s Law. This Board also would provide a toll-free telephone number for consumers making inquiries or complaints regarding pet groomers and pet grooming businesses.

“While we can’t bring Bijou back, we can do our best to prevent deaths like his from
occurring,” said Moriarty. “We owe it to Bijou, his family and to the pet owners throughout our state.”

The bill now heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Now Law: Assemblyman Moriarty Bill to Require Marketplace Facilitators & Certain Remote Sellers to Pay NJ Sales Tax

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Paul Moriarty to ensure a level playing field between brick-and-mortar businesses and online marketplace providers like Amazon, and bring in needed revenue to the state has been signed into law.

The new law (A-4496) will require certain remote sellers and online marketplace facilitators to collect and remit sales tax.

New Jersey could gain between $216 million and $351 million as a result of this legislation–about 2 to 4 percent of total 2016 state and local government general sales and gross receipts tax revenues– according to the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) study in November 2017.

Forty-five states and the District of Columbia levy taxes on the sale of goods and certain services, including those sold remotely, such as over the Internet.

Under the law, if a seller does not have a physical presence in the state but has revenue from sales into the state in the calendar year, or prior year, in excess of $100,000, the seller must collect taxes. The same rule will apply to a seller with 200 or more separate transactions into the state in a calendar year or in the prior year.

These provisions of the law reflect the recent decision of the United States Supreme Court in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., in which the court determined that physical presence within a state was not a prerequisite for the collection of sales tax on purchases of tangible personal property. In that case, the court held that imposing sales tax on a seller that delivers more than $100,000 worth of sales into a state or delivers 200 or more separate transactions into a state has a sufficient nexus with the state for the state to impose tax on the seller.

“The fact that they are not physically located in New Jersey should not exempt a business from sales tax and use requirements,” said Moriarty (D- Camden/Gloucester). “These businesses should play by the same rules as other NJ businesses who pay property taxes, local taxes and make an investment in the communities they’re in.”

The law will also require marketplace facilitators like Amazon to collect tax on sales they facilitate for marketplace sellers. In order to ensure the accurate and timely collection of taxes due, the Director of Taxation will have the discretion to temporarily suspend or delay the collection of a marketplace facilitator for a period not exceed 180 days. The director will have to report any suspension or delay to the governor and the Legislature.

Lastly, the law will clarify that travel agencies and online travel agencies are not transient space marketplaces, and therefore will not be required to collect and pay sales tax or various hotel taxes for sales on their platforms.

The bill was approved 43-35 by the Assembly and 23-14 by the Senate on Sept. 27.

Assemblywoman Mosquera Bill to Strengthen Protections for Victims of Sexual Assault Clears Assembly

In light of the Me Too movement, the Assembly on Thursday approved legislation Assembly Democrat Gabriela Mosquera sponsored to amend the sexual assault statute to better support victims of sexual assault.

The bill (A-2767) would amend certain provisions of the sexual assault statute, making it consistent with current law as established by relevant case law. Specifically, the bill would replace the term “physical force” in accordance with the New Jersey Supreme Court’s holding in State in Interest of M.T.S., 129 N.J. 422 (1992), which holds that the only requirement for a conviction under the sexual assault statute is proof beyond a reasonable doubt that there was sexual penetration and that it was accomplished without the victim’s consent.

“Now more than ever, in the age of the Me Too movement,’ it is crucial that we strengthen the law to empower sexual assault victims to speak up and speak out,” said Mosquera (D-Camden/Gloucester). “No should always mean no.”

The bill would also amend the statute to mirror the New Jersey Supreme Court’s ruling, as determined in State v. Olivio, 123 N.J. 550 (1991), that a person is “mentally defective”, if at the time of the sexual penetration, that person does not understand the sexual nature of the conduct and is incapable of understanding their right to refuse the sexual act.

The bill also would amend paragraph (3) of subsection a. of the statute to clarify that the phrase “aggravated assault on another” refers to a person other than the victim, and adds the crime of carjacking as an aggravating offense.

Lastly, the bill would replace gender-specific language with gender-neutral terms.

The bill was approved 79-0 by the Assembly and now awaits further consideration by the Senate.

Assemblywoman Mosquera Bills Requiring Sexual Assault Reporting, Training For Airline Industry Approved By Assembly

I am a primary sponsor on a three-bill package to
require sexual assault reporting and
training in the airline industry.

The first bill A-4175 would require the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey to require airlines, vendors and contractors to adopt and maintain sexual assault policies, and require the agency to collaborate with law enforcement to investigate and prosecute sexual assaults. While it is difficult to determine how
frequently assaults occur on commercial flights in the United States since no federal regulatory agency tracks such data nationwide–FBI investigations into midair sexual assaults increased 66 percent from
fiscal years 2014-2017.

The second bill AR-167 urges the Federal Aviation
Administration to require air carriers to submit annual sexual assault reports.

Although not commonly known, sexual assaults occur on U.S. airlines. Nearly a year ago, one such assault occurred against a minor aboard a flight to Newark Liberty International Airport. Unfortunately, without federal reporting standards, there is no systematic way to address this issue.

The last measure AR-172 requires airlines to adopt policies as well as mandated-training regarding sexual assaults on airplanes.

Each measure was moved through the Assembly Women & Children’s  Committee and passed the full Assembly with unanimous support. The three-bill
legislative package will now go to the Senate for further consideration.

 

The Judiciary Committee Approves Assemblyman Moriarty’s Bill to Ban Ghost Guns & 3D Printed Firearms In NJ

New Jersey legislators are concerned about how the rise of ghost guns in America could undo sensible gun control laws in our state. To prevent this, Assemblyman Moriarty’s bill, A-3129, is intended to keep untraceable gun parts and 3D printed firearms out of New Jersey. During its’ September meeting, the Assembly Judiciary Committee approved this bill.

Ghost guns are homemade firearms that do not have serial numbers. Through a loophole in federal policy, these weapons can be manufactured by individuals at home without going through a background check. Currently, an individual can order a kit online containing a nearly complete gun. After a few hours of assembly and minor alterations, an individual who has never undergone a background check could have an untraceable semi-automatic weapon.

With the advent of 3D printed firearms, it is now possible to download the plans for a gun and print it at home. With this technology, an individual could manufacture guns to look like inconspicuous items such as toys or canes. Even more alarming is that these weapons could be made with plastic and as such undetectable by metal detectors.

The bill would make it a third-degree crime to manufacture, sell or possess the parts to create an undetectable firearm. The bill would also make it a third-degree crime to possess or create covert guns such as those that resemble keychains, pens or canes. A third-degree crime is punishable by a term of incarceration of three to five years, and a fine up to $15,000.

Now that the bill has passed through committee it can go to the General Assembly for approval. If passed, the bill will head to the Senate at large for concurrence before going to the Governor’s desk. The bill would take effect immediately upon the Governor’s approval.

Assemblyman Moriarty has worked tirelessly throughout his tenure in the General Assembly to protect New Jerseyans with sensible gun reforms. Earlier this year, the Assemblyman championed a package of new laws intended to reduce ammunition magazine capacity, keep guns away from dangerous persons, and require background checks for private gun sales. Ghost guns and 3D printed firearms could enable individuals to get around these sensible measures. However, Assemblyman Moriarty is confident that if this bill becomes law, it will maintain the strength of our current laws and keep guns away from dangerous people.

Senator Madden Introduces Bill to Re-Establish the Fire and EMS Crisis Hotline

Senator Madden introduced legislation this month that would re-establish the Fire and EMS Crisis Hotline with Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care. The bill, S2898, would revive the hotline that was discontinued in 2009.

Our fire and emergency services personnel are currently underserved when it comes to coping with the stresses of their duties. Since the discontinuation of the hotline in 2009, there has been a void in the treatment of those professionals who need help most. Presently, fire and emergency service personnel may contact the similar Cop2Cop hotline; however, as the names suggests, this hotline has been tailored to serve the law enforcement community, and the operators of this hotline are not equipped to handle the specific stresses that firefighters and emergency services personnel face day to day.

The Hotline would operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and would service fire and EMS professionals and their families experiencing depression, anxiety, stress, or any other psychological or emotional disorder or condition. Specially trained operators would be available to help callers with the varying stresses that come from their duties. The conversations would be confidential. However, the Division of Fire Safety in consultation with Rutgers University would be permitted to establish guidelines for the monitoring of any fire or emergency services caller who exhibits signs of an extreme psychological or emotional condition that could result in harm to themselves or others.

The bill has passed out of the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee and awaits a hearing in the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee before it can be considered by the full Senate.