SCOTUS Rules Agency Shop Fees Are Unconstitutional

The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a crushing blow to the country’s public unions in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31. By a vote of 5-4, the Court held that public-sector “agency shop” arrangements run afoul of the First Amendment. The Court also expressly overruled

NJ Appeals Court Addresses Loss of Pre-existing Nonconforming Structures

In Mikhail v. Lauritsen, the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court addressed when municipalities may extinguish a nonconforming use. The court specifically considered the test for determining when a nonconforming use has been more than partially destroyed in making this evaluation.  Legal Background N.J.S.A. 40:55D-68 authorizes the restoration

NJ Senate Committee Advances Bill to Amend PILOT Process

New Jersey lawmakers are currently considering legislation that would increase oversight over local tax abatement agreements. Senate Bill 1701 aims increase transparency regarding payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs), particularly with respect to how they impact school funding.  As previously discussed in the Scarinci Hollenbeck Government & Law Blog, many New

Gov. Murphy Conditionally Vetoes PFRS Reform Legislation

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has conditionally vetoed legislation that would transfer the management of the Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS) to a Board of Trustees. In his veto message, Gov. Murphy proposed several significant changes to Senate Bill No. 5, which are summarized below.  Proposed PFRS Reform As discussed in

NJ Supreme Court Rules Public Auction Records Subject to OPRA

In William J. Brennan v. Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, the Supreme Court of New Jersey held that the state’s Open Public Records Act (OPRA) compels the disclosure of documents including the names and addresses of persons who successfully bid at an auction of public property. The court’s decision is particularly

Assembly Passes Bill to Allow Volunteer Firefighters to Receive Public Employee Retirement Benefits

The New Jersey Assembly recently passed a bill that would allow firefighters with a pre-existing volunteer relationship with their employer to retire from service covered by the Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) or the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System (PFRS) and continue to serve that employer as a volunteer. The legislation, Assembly