December 18, 2020
- Marijuana Legalization and Criminal Justice Reform Advance to Governor Murphy’s Desk. The Legislation Includes Strong Pro-Labor Provisions.
- Legislation Extending Unemployment Benefits & Requiring Health Care Facilities to Report COVID-19 Data to Protect Health Care Workers Passes Both Houses
- Anti-Subcontracting in Higher Education Facilities Passes Senate
The State Legislature had a busy day yesterday as lawmakers began to wind down their voting sessions for the holiday break. The New Jersey State AFL-CIO thanks the sponsors of these important pro-labor bills as well as the legislators who voted in favor of them and the affiliated unions that have worked tirelessly toward their passage.
A-21 (Quiano) / S-21 (Scutari / Sweeney): The bills passed both houses yesterday and are expected to be signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy. The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act legalizes personal use of cannabis and decriminalizes small amount of marijuana possession.
The bills also include strong provisions regarding the use of labor peace agreements, project labor agreements and a pathway to organizing and collective bargaining.
A-1897 (Wimberely / Quijano) and S-2535 (Ruiz / Rice) are also on the governor’s desk. The bills provide criminal and civil justice reforms specific to marijuana.
S-2384 (Greenstein / Gill) and (A-4129 (Spearman / Vainieri Huttle / Mukherji) would require health-care facilities to report to the Health Department the number of COVID-19 infections and deaths among health-care workers. A priority for health care unions. The bills passed unanimously.
A-5151 (Egan) and S-3283 (Addiego / Lagana): The bills passed both houses unanimously and provide eight weeks of emergency unemployment benefits during the period from December 22, 2020, to February 27, 2021. Up to $350 million will be allocated. The emergency unemployment benefits provided by the bills are funded entirely by the state. No employer’s account is charged for emergency unemployment benefits.
S-2932 (Sweeney): The bill would prohibit state colleges and universities from entering into subcontracting agreements that may affect the employment of workers in a bargaining unit during the term of a collective bargaining agreement. Similar legislation was signed into law this year that covered public school systems and community colleges in New Jersey. The bill passed 38-2. Senators Doherty (R-23) & Oroho (R-24) voted “no.” The bill is supported by the New Jersey State AFL-CIO, AFT, AFSCME, AAUP, URA, the College Council (AFT) and IFPTE 195.