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  • NJ A2080
  • Authorizes municipalities to establish program for public or private financing of certain energy, water and storm resiliency projects under PACE program through use of voluntary special assessments for certain property owners.*
Introduced
(1/27/2016)
In Committee
(6/20/2016)
Crossed Over
(6/27/2016)
PassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill authorizes municipalities to facilitate private financing of water conservation, storm shelter construction, and flood and hurricane resistance projects through the use of voluntary special assessments, thereby expanding the "clean energy special assessment," established by P.L.2011, c.187 (C.40:56-1.4 et al.), and renaming it the "PACE special assessment," to utilize a concise acronym for the term "property assessed clean energy." Currently, the governing body of a municipality, upon application to and approval by the Director of the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs, may undertake the financing of the purchase and installation of renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements made by property owners. By ordinance, the municipality may provide for a "clean energy special assessment" to be imposed on those properties when the property owner has requested the assessment in exchange for receiving assistance with the initial financing. Currently, the only projects eligible for this treatment are installations of renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements. Under the bill, water conservation projects, flood resistant construction projects, hurricane resistant construction projects, storm shelter projects, and safe room projects are also eligible for a "PACE special assessment." The bill allows most municipalities to establish and operate PACE programs without applying for approval by the Director of the Division of Local Government Services. Municipalities that (1) have received Transitional Aid within last three years, (2) are subject to State supervision under the "Local Government Supervision Act (1947)," P.L.1947, c.151 (C.52:27BB-1 et seq.), or (3) are subject to the "Municipal Rehabilitation and Economic Recovery Act," P.L.2002, c.43 (C.52:27BBB-1 et al.), are required by the bill to apply for approval from the director prior to establishing a PACE program. Under current law, to finance eligible projects, the governing body of the municipality may issue bonds pursuant to section 3 of P.L.2011, c.187 (C.40:56-13.2), or may apply to a county improvement authority that issues bonds pursuant to paragraph (2) of subsection (j) of section 12 of P.L.1960, c.183 (C.40:37A-55). Currently, use of private financing is not explicitly prohibited. This bill permits municipalities to issue bonds by ordinance, upon the terms set forth in the ordinance. However, the bill provides that no such funding shall be guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the municipality, or any other public entity. The bill also provides that the governing body of the municipality may use private funds to finance eligible projects. The bill allows a municipality, a county, or a county improvement authority or other public entity, implementing a PACE program on behalf of a municipality, to designate private entities to finance the purchase and installation of eligible PACE projects. An eligible entity shall include a "related competitive business segment of a public utility holding company," or a "related competitive business segment of an electric public utility or gas public utility," as defined under section 3 of P.L.1999, c.23 (C.48:3-51), so long as the organization is not subject to the jurisdiction of the Board of Public Utilities. Similar to programs administered by municipalities and county improvement authorities, the bill provides for private entities to be repaid through PACE special assessments. Because of the specialized and qualitative nature of the services to be provided through agreements between municipalities, county improvement authorities or other public entities, and private entities to administer PACE programs, the bill specifies that these agreements will not be subject to the "Local Public Contracts Law," P.L.1971, c.198 (C.40A:11-1 et seq.). The bill takes effect immediately upon enactment.
2nd Reading in the Assembly, 2nd Reading in the Senate, Environment and Solid Waste, Passed Assembly
Senate Amendment (27-0) (Smith)  (on 12/7/2017)
 
 
Date Chamber Action Description
12/7/2017 S Senate Amendment (27-0) (Smith)
6/30/2016 S Received in the Senate without Reference, 2nd Reading
6/27/2016 A Passed by the Assembly (64-11-3)
6/20/2016 A Reported out of Assembly Comm. with Amendments, 2nd Reading
6/20/2016 A Transferred to Assembly Appropriations Committee
6/20/2016 Assembly Appropriations Hearing (10:00 6/20/2016 Committee Room 11, 4th Floor)
6/20/2016 Assembly Appropriations Hearing (13:00 6/20/2016 Committee Room 11, 4th Floor)
1/27/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
Detail 12/7/2017 Senate Floor: Amend 26 0 12
Detail 12/7/2017 Senate Floor: Second Reading (Voice Vote) 0 0 0
Detail 6/27/2016 Assembly Floor: Third Reading - Final Passage 64 11 5
Detail 6/20/2016 Assembly Appropriations Committee: Reported with Amendments 8 2 1