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  • NJ A3326
  • The "Municipal Stabilization and Recovery Act."
Introduced
(2/22/2016)
In Committee
(2/22/2016)
Crossed OverPassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill, designated the "Municipal Stabilization and Recovery Act," would authorize the State to assist municipalities experiencing severe fiscal distress by developing a comprehensive rehabilitation plan for such a municipality and implementing that plan on behalf of the municipality. The bill defines a "municipality in need of stabilization and recovery" as a municipality that has experienced a decrease of more than 50 percent in its total assessed property values and an increase in outstanding debt exceeding 50 percent during the immediately preceding five-year period. Under the bill, the director of the Division of Local Government Services may ascertain whether a municipality should be deemed a "municipality in need of stabilization and recovery," and if so, shall recommend that the commissioner of Community Affairs make such a determination. Within 14 days of receipt of the director's recommendation, the commissioner must make the final determination of whether to deem the municipality a "municipality in need of stabilization and recovery" and therefore subject to the provisions of the bill for a period of five consecutive years. The commissioner must notify the Governor, the State Treasurer, and the director when a municipality has been deemed to be subject to the provisions of the bill, and must then notify the municipal clerk, or other appropriate municipal official of the municipality, in writing, of that determination. Following that determination, the Local Finance Board may in its exclusive discretion assume, reallocate to, and vest in the Director, any of the functions, powers, privileges, and immunities of the governing body of that municipality set forth in any statute, regulation, ordinance, resolution, charter, or contract to which the municipality is a party that are, or may be, substantially related to the fiscal condition or financial rehabilitation and recovery of that municipality. The duration of the transfer of the functions, powers, privileges, and immunities of the governing body shall not exceed five consecutive years. The director may be granted the authority by the Local Finance Board to take any steps to stabilize the finances, restructure the debts, or assist in the financial rehabilitation and recovery of the municipality in need of stabilization and recovery. This authority includes, but is not limited to, implementing efficiency and oversight measures; dissolving local agencies; vetoing the minutes of the governing body or any subdivision of the municipality; directing litigation and the municipality's legal affairs; disposing of municipally-owned assets; amending or terminating any existing contracts (excluding financing instruments such as bonds); modifying the terms, including wages and hours, or other terms of collective negotiations agreements or terminating any collective negotiations agreements to which the municipality is a party; negotiating, on behalf of the municipality, future collective bargaining agreements; abolishing any positions in the municipality; unilaterally appointing, transferring, or removing employees; entering into shared services agreements on behalf of the municipality; procuring goods and services on behalf of the municipality; retaining bond counsel and adopting bond ordinances; exercising on behalf of the municipality any authority granted by the "Local Redevelopment and Housing Law," P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-1 et seq,), the "Redevelopment Area Bond Financing Law," P.L.2001, c.310 (C.40A:12A-64 et seq.), or the "Long Term Tax Exemption Law," P.L.1991, c.431 (C.40A:20-1 et seq.); and authorizing and filing on behalf of the municipality a petition and other pleadings and papers with any United States court or federal bankruptcy court for the purpose of effecting a plan of readjustment or composition of debts as set forth in R.S.52:27-40 et seq. The power to file a bankruptcy petition is subject to the written approval of the majority of the members of the legislative Joint Budget Oversight Committee When exercising powers, the director shall, to the extent practicable, comply with all notice, hearing, and other requirements to which the municipality in need of stabilization and recovery is generally subject. Although the director shall not be deemed a "public body" pursuant to the "Senator Byron M. Baer Open Public Meetings Act," P.L.1975, c.231 (C.10:4-6 et seq.), the director shall, to the extent practicable, comply with its requirements when taking action on behalf of the municipality in need of stabilization and recovery that would otherwise be subject to that act. The bill also authorizes the director to use early retirement incentives under P.L.1999, c.59 (C.43:8C-2) as a mechanism to help stabilize the finances, restructure the debts, or assist the financial rehabilitation and recovery of the municipality in need of stabilization and recovery.
Budget
Introduced, Referred to Assembly Budget Committee  (on 2/22/2016)
 
 

Date Chamber Action Description
2/22/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Budget Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
None specified