[First Reprint]

SENATE, No. 1585

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

208th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED DECEMBER 17, 1998



Sponsored by:

Senator JACK SINAGRA

District 18 (Middlesex)

Senator ROBERT W. SINGER

District 30 (Burlington, Monmouth and Ocean)

Co-Sponsored by:

Senators Kosco and Bucco







SYNOPSIS

"Spinal Cord Research Act;" and establishes $1 surcharge on motor vehicle fines and penalties for deposit in "New Jersey Spinal Cord Research Fund."

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

As reported by the Senate Health Committee on March 15, 1999, with amendments.

(Sponsorship Updated As Of: 5/11/1999)

An Act establishing a New Jersey Commission on Spinal Cord Research, supplementing Title 52 of the Revised Statutes and amending R.S.39:5-41.

Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

1. (New section) This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Spinal Cord Research Act."

2. (New section) As used in this act:

a. "Approved research project" means a peer reviewed scientific research project, which is approved by the commission and which focuses on the treatment and cure of spinal cord injuries and diseases that damage the spinal cord.

b. "Commission" means the New Jersey Commission on Spinal Cord Research established pursuant to this act.

c. "Institutional support services" means all services, facilities, equipment, personnel and expenditures associated with the creation and maintenance of approved research projects.

d. "Qualifying research institution" means the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey; Rutgers, The State University; Princeton University; the Kessler Medical Rehabilitation Research and Education Corporation; 1the Coriell Institute for Medical Research;1 and any other 1[nonprofit]1 research institution in the State approved by the commission.

3. (New section) a. There is established in the Executive Branch of the State government, the New Jersey Commission on Spinal Cord Research. For the purposes of complying with the provisions of Article V, Section IV, paragraph 1 of the New Jersey Constitution, the commission is allocated within the Department of Health and Senior Services, but notwithstanding that allocation, the commission shall be independent of any supervision or control by the department or by any board or officer thereof.

b. The commission shall consist of 11 members, including the 1[CommissionersCommissioner1 of 1[the Department of]1 Health and Senior Services 1[and the Department of Human Services]1, or 1[their designees] his designee1, who shall serve ex officio; one representative of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey; one representative of Rutgers, The State University; one representative of the federally designated Spinal Cord Injury Model System; one representative from the American Paralysis Association; and 1[five] six1 public members who are residents of the State knowledgeable about spinal cord injuries and who include at least one physician licensed in this State and at least one person with a spinal cord injury. The members shall be appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate.

c. The term of office of each appointed member shall be three years, but of the members first appointed, three shall be appointed for a term of one year, 1[three] four1 for terms of two years, and three for terms of three years. All vacancies shall be filled for the balances of the unexpired terms in the same manner as the original appointments. Appointed members are eligible for reappointment upon the expiration of their terms. A member shall continue to serve upon the expiration of his term until a successor is appointed.

The members of the commission shall not receive compensation for their services, but shall be reimbursed for the actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties as members of the commission.

4. (New section) The commission shall:

a. Review and authorize approved research projects, for which purpose the commission may establish an independent scientific advisory panel composed of scientists and clinicians who are not members of the commission to review proposals submitted to the commission and make funding recommendations to the commission;

b. Apportion all available funds to qualifying research institutions to finance approved research projects and necessary institutional support services;

c. Ensure that funds so apportioned to approved research projects are not diverted to any other use;

d. Take steps necessary to encourage the development within the State of spinal cord research projects;

e. Compile a directory of all spinal cord research projects being conducted in the State; and

f. Provide the Governor and the Legislature with a report by January 30 of each year describing the status of the commission's activities and the results of its funded research efforts.

5. (New section) The commission is authorized to:

a. Adopt rules and regulations concerning the operation of the commission, the functions and responsibilities of its officers and employees and other matters as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this act;

b. Maintain offices at such places within the State as it may designate;

c. Employ an executive director and other personnel as may be necessary, whose employment shall be in the unclassified service of the State, except that employees performing stenographic or clerical duties shall be appointed pursuant to Title 11A (Civil Service) of the New Jersey Statutes;

d. Design a fair and equitable system for the solicitation, evaluation and approval of proposals for spinal cord research projects;

e. Apply for and accept any grant of money from the federal government, which may be available for programs relating to research on the spinal cord;

f. Enter into contracts with individuals, organizations and institutions necessary or incidental to the performance of its duties and the execution of its powers under this act; and

g. Accept gifts, grants and bequests of funds from individuals, foundations, corporations, governmental agencies and other organizations and institutions.

6. (New section) The commission shall annually elect a chairman and a vice-chairman from among its members. The chairman shall be the chief executive officer of the commission, shall preside at all meetings of the commission and shall perform other duties that the commission may prescribe.

The executive director shall serve as secretary to the commission and shall carry out its policies under the direction of the chairman.

7. (New section) Nothing in this act shall preclude a qualifying research institution or any other research facility in the State from directly applying for or receiving funds from any public or private agency to conduct spinal cord research.

8. (New section) a. The commission shall establish and maintain, in conjunction with the Department of Health and Senior Services, a central registry of persons who sustain spinal cord injuries other than through disease, whether or not the injury results in a permanent disability, in order to provide a database that indicates the incidence and prevalence of spinal cord injuries and which will serve as a resource for research, evaluation and information on spinal cord injuries and available services.

b. The commission shall require the reporting of all cases of spinal cord injuries, except those caused through disease, and the submission of specified additional information on reported cases as it deems necessary and appropriate.

The commission shall, by regulation, specify the health care facilities and providers required to make the report of a spinal cord injury to the registry, information that shall be included in the report to the registry, the method for making the report and the time period in which the report shall be made.

c. The reports made pursuant to this section are to be used only by the commission and the Department of Health and Senior Services and such other agencies as may be designated by the commission or the department and shall not otherwise be divulged or made public so as to disclose the identity of any person to whom they relate; and to that end, the reports shall not be included under materials available to public inspection pursuant to P.L.1963, c.73 (C.47:1A-1 et seq.).

d. No individual or organization providing information to the commission in accordance with this section shall be deemed to be, or held liable for, divulging confidential information. Nothing in this section shall be construed to compel any individual to submit to medical, commission or department examination or supervision.

e. A health care facility or health care provider who is required to report a spinal cord injury to the commission that fails to comply with the provisions of this section shall be liable to a penalty of up to $100 per unreported spinal cord injury case. A penalty sued for under the provisions of this section shall be recovered by and in the name of the commission and shall be deposited in the "New Jersey Spinal Cord Research Fund" established pursuant to this act.

9. (New section) a. There is established in the Department of the Treasury a nonlapsing revolving fund to be known as the "New Jersey Spinal Cord Research Fund." This fund shall be the repository for moneys provided pursuant to subsection e. of R.S.39:5-41. Moneys deposited in the fund, and any interest earned thereon, shall be used exclusively for the purpose of making grants for approved spinal cord research projects at qualified research institutions.

b. Any costs incurred by the department in the collection or administration of the fund may be deducted from the funds deposited therein, as determined by the Director of the Division of Budget and Accounting.

10. R.S.39:5-41 is amended to read as follows:

39:5-41. a. All fines, penalties and forfeitures imposed and collected under authority of law for any violations of R.S.39:4-63 and R.S.39:4-64 shall be forwarded by the judge to whom the same have been paid to the proper financial officer of a county, if the violation occurred within the jurisdiction of that county's central municipal court, established pursuant to N.J.S.2B:12-1 et seq. or the municipality wherein the violation occurred, to be used by the county or municipality to help finance litter control activities in addition to or supplementing existing litter pickup and removal activities in the municipality.

b. Except as otherwise provided by subsection a. of this section, all fines, penalties and forfeitures imposed and collected under authority of law for any violations of the provisions of this Title, other than those violations in which the complaining witness is the director, a member of his staff, a member of the State Police, a member of a county police department and force or a county park police system in a county that has established a central municipal court, an inspector of the Board of Public Utilities, or a law enforcement officer of any other State agency, shall be forwarded by the judge to whom the same have been paid as follows: one-half of the total amount collected to the financial officer, as designated by the local governing body, of the respective municipalities wherein the violations occurred, to be used by the municipality for general municipal use and to defray the cost of operating the municipal court; and one-half of the total amount collected to the proper financial officer of the county wherein they were collected, to be used by the county as a fund for the construction, reconstruction, maintenance and repair of roads and bridges, snow removal, the acquisition and purchase of rights-of-way, and the purchase, replacement and repair of equipment for use on said roads and bridges therein. Up to 25% of the money received by a municipality pursuant to this subsection, but not more than the actual amount budgeted for the municipal court, whichever is less, may be used to upgrade case processing.

All fines, penalties and forfeitures imposed and collected under authority of law for any violations of the provisions of this Title, in which the complaining witness is a member of a county police department and force or a county park police system in a county that has established a central municipal court, shall be forwarded by the judge to whom the same have been paid to the financial officer, designated by the governing body of the county, for all violations occurring within the jurisdiction of that court, to be used for general county use and to defray the cost of operating the central municipal court.

Whenever any county has deposited moneys collected pursuant to this section in a special trust fund in lieu of expending the same for the purposes authorized by this section, it may withdraw from said special trust fund in any year an amount which is not in excess of the amount expended by the county over the immediately preceding three-year period from general county revenues for said purposes. Such moneys withdrawn from the trust fund shall be accounted for and used as are other general county revenues.

c. (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1993, c.293.)

d. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections a. and b. of this section, $1.00 shall be added to the amount of each fine and penalty imposed and collected under authority of any law for any violation of the provisions of Title 39 of the Revised Statutes or any other motor vehicle or traffic violation in this State and shall be forwarded by the person to whom the same are paid to the State Treasurer. In addition, upon the forfeiture of bail, $1.00 of that forfeiture shall be forwarded to the State Treasurer. The State Treasurer shall annually deposit those moneys so forwarded in the "Body Armor Replacement" fund established pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1997, c.177 (C.52:17B-4.4). Beginning in the fiscal year next following the effective date of this act, the State Treasurer annually shall allocate from those moneys so forwarded an amount not to exceed 1[$250,000] $400,0001 to the Department of Personnel to be expended exclusively for the purposes of funding the operation of the "Law Enforcement Officer Crisis Intervention Services" telephone hotline established and maintained under the provisions of P.L.11998, c.1491 (C.111A:2-25 et al.1)1[(now pending before the Legislature as Assembly, No. [806 of 1996] 1801 of 1998)]1.

e. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections a. and b. of this section, $1 shall be added to the amount of each fine and penalty imposed and collected under authority of any law for any violation of the provisions of Title 39 of the Revised Statutes or any other motor vehicle or traffic violation in this State and shall be forwarded by the person to whom the same are paid to the State Treasurer. The State Treasurer shall annually deposit those moneys so forwarded in the "New Jersey Spinal Cord Research Fund" established pursuant to section 9 of P.L. , c. (C. )(pending before the Legislature as this bill).

(cf: P.L.1997, c.177, s.2)

1 11. The commission shall adopt such regulations pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.) as are necessary to carry out the provisions of this act.1

1[11.] 12.1 This act shall take effect on the 1[first day of the third month] 90th day1 following enactment.