In Our Community

Assemblyman Moriarty Bill to Stop the Selling of Consumers’ GPS Location to a Third Party Approved By Assembly Panel

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrat Paul Moriarty to protect consumers from having their GPS tracking locations disclosed to third parties by their mobile service providers cleared the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee Thursday.

Although personally identifiable information is often stripped from the data prior to sale along with other data such as geo-tracking, a purchaser could determine personal information including names, home addresses, work addresses, and daily routines by examining this information.

“I find it particularly nefarious that mobile service providers can take your location data and sell it to third party companies who then sell it to whoever wants to buy it,” said Moriarty (D-Camden, Gloucester). “This is private information about your whereabouts, your habits, where you live and when your home.”

The bill (A-5259) would prohibit phone companies from disclosing an individual’s personal global position system and location data to a third party without the customers consent.  The provisions of the bill do not apply to a commercial mobile service provider required to disclose a customer’s GPS data to comply with applicable federal or State law, regulation, law enforcement investigation, legal process, or court order.

The bill would provide that a violation of the bill’s requirements is a violation of the State’s consumer fraud act, which may result in a penalty of not more than $10,000 for the first offense and not more than $20,000 for the second and each subsequent offense.

The legislation will now go to the Speaker for further consideration.

Assemblyman Moriarty Bill to Help Prevent Consumers From Getting Roped into Endless Auto-Renewals Clears Assembly Panel

A consumer protection measure passed by the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee Thursday moves New Jersey closer to requiring notification to customers when a contract is to be automatically renewed.

Assembly Democrat Paul Moriarty sponsored the legislation.

The bill (A-1460) would require the seller of a service to disclose an automatic renewal provision clearly and conspicuously in the contract or contract offer. The measure also would require the seller to notify a consumer at least 30 days, but no more than 60 days, before a renewal cancellation deadline.

“Sometimes contracts are entered into a year, or even two years, before the automatic renewal clause kicks in,” said Moriarty (D-Gloucester, Camden).  “This bill will protect consumers by ensuring that they have the opportunity to cancel any unwanted service prior to renewal of an additional term.”

A violation of the bill’s provisions would be an unlawful practice under the Consumer Fraud Act, punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 for a first offense and up to $20,000 for any subsequent offense. However, the bill also provides that penalties would not be imposed if a seller allows a consumer to cancel the service contract at any time; provides proper notification to the consumer; and refunds the unearned portion of the contract subject to the automatic renewal provision.

The bill now goes to the Speaker for further review.

Assembly Democrats on Bill to Encourage New Jersey Film Industry

In an effort to encourage the burgeoning movie industry in New Jersey, several Assembly Democrats have sponsored legislation to extend tax credits beyond the current program’s scheduled deadline for productions that begin filming before that end date. Bill (A-5580) sponsors Gordon Johnson (D-Bergen), Paul Moriarty (D-Camden, Gloucester) and Louis Greenwald (D-Burlington, Camden) released the following statement:

“In recent years, we incentivized production companies to film in our state, in order to generate more jobs and revenue throughout New Jersey. Those efforts have been successful in bringing many creative projects to the state.

“As such, we must now offer those companies the consistency and stability they need to film long-term projects that can span over the course of several years, such as successful TV shows that stay on air for multiple seasons. This legislation would help maintain the helpful benefits our state receives from these projects by encouraging companies to continue filming them here.”

Assemblyman Moriarty Introduces Legislation to Stop Hidden Fees in TV Bills

Take a look at just about any cable TV bill, and you will find hidden fees and unexpected charges. According to “Consumer Reports,” an independent, non-profit consumer advocacy group, it costs the average cable customer an additional $450 a year for things like equipment, local sports, and acquisition costs. In almost every case, these are required fees that are not included in advertised prices.

 

Today, Assemblyman Paul D. Moriarty introduced legislation to stop hidden and unexpected fees and require cable, satellite, and streaming companies to include the full cost of their services in all advertised prices.

 

According to Assemblyman Moriarty, “If you advertise your service for $79 a month, it should cost $79 a month – not $99.” The legislation has been referred to the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee, and Assemblyman Moriarty is hopeful this legislation will find widespread support in the Legislature: “It’s unfortunate that we need to pass legislation to stop this deceptive type of advertising, but if that’s what we have to do – we will!”

Assemblyman Moriarty Introduces Bill To Ban Binary Tiggers, Modification Turns Firearms Into Assault Weapons

A 30-round magazine can be emptied in 30 seconds with the use of a trigger adaptation called a binary trigger. Manufactured by gun makers to circumvent the national ban on bump stocks, the binary trigger allows a firearm to shoot one bullet when the trigger is pulled and one when the trigger is released.

“A binary trigger turns a firearm into an assault rifle in minutes; and magnifies the impact a shooter can have with this weapon by seconds,” said Assemblyman Paul Moriarty. “We’ve seen what a shooter with a bump stock, a similar type of adaptation that increases firing speed, can do. We may not be able to stop the manufacturing of these tools; however, we can discourage sales and ensure that any individual who is in possession of one is held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

Moriarty introduced legislation Tuesday that would ban this type of modification, establish a crime of possessing or selling a binary trigger and clarify that a firearm affixed with a binary trigger constitutes a machine gun.  The bill was prompted by this New York Times article.

“Acts of mass gun violence cannot be our new norm,” continued Moriarty. “If it takes banning firearm modifications like this one to protect more innocent people, then that’s what we have to do.”

The measure aims to strengthen current law prohibiting the sale and possession of bump stocks and trigger cranks, which are similar devices that enable a person to fire a semiautomatic firearm at a greater speed than originally intended by the firearm manufacturers.

The Las Vegas mass shooting last year prompted the U.S. Department of Justice to ban bump stocks, which enabled the shooter to fire more than 1100 rounds in 11 minutes.

Assemblywoman Mosquera Bill To Provide Lactation Rooms In Certain Public Facilities Becomes Law

To ensure nursing mothers have a safe place to breastfeed when they’re in public, a measure sponsored by Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera to provide lactation rooms in certain public facilities was signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy.

The law (formerly bill A-1663) requires certain public facilities to make at least one lactation room available upon request to any mother utilizing on-site services, including any:

  • health care facility;
  • federally qualified health center;
  • county or municipal welfare office or agency;
  • Medical Assistance Customer Center (MACC);
  • One-Stop Career Center operated by or under the authority of, the Department of Labor and Workforce Development;
  • adoption agency or center operated by or under the authority of, the Division of Child Protection and Permanency in the Department of Children and Families;
  • foster care agency contracted by the Division of Child Protection and Permanency; or
  • local office of the Division of Child Protection and Permanency

The presence of any such lactation room will not abrogate or otherwise limit the mother’s right to breast feed her baby in public, as provided by existing law.

“The benefits of breastfeeding for babies and mothers are well documented. While some women are comfortable nursing in public, others are not,” said Mosquera (D-Camden/Gloucester). “This law will ensure mothers have a quiet place to nurse their babies while they take care of business.”

The law requires the Department of Health (DOH) to create signage that contains information about breastfeeding, affirms a mother’s right to nurse in public and indicates that lactation rooms are available for the privacy and comfort of nursing mothers.

The signage must be distributed directly to the facilities identified in the bill, and posted in a printable format on the department’s website. A facility required to provide a lactation room must to display the signage in a clear and conspicuous manner in its public waiting room and any lactation room.

The DOH is required to establish and post on its website a list of all facilities that have lactation rooms. The list will be regularly updated to provide the most current availability.

Additionally, the law requires the Department of Education (DOE) to annually report to the Governor and Legislature on the lactation-related policies that have been implemented at schools, colleges, and universities in the state.  Each annual report will summarize the applicable policies in this area, indicate the number and percentage of policies that authorize access to a designated lactation room; and address how were communicated to students, parents, and guardians during the preceding school year.  Each report will be posted at a publicly-accessible location on the DOE’s website.

The measure was approved by the full Assembly in May by a vote of 76-0, and by the Senate in June 2018, 39-0.