Last month, we updated you on the status of summer legislative activities, including three pending bills in New Jersey. Governor Phil Murphy has issued conditional vetoes for all three, citing concerns about the infrastructure to support them. In New Jersey, a conditional veto is one in which the Governor objects to parts of a bill and proposes amendments that would make it acceptable. For each bill, Murphy extended the effective date to allow additional time for implementation:
New Jersey Assembly Bill 2762 – This bill provides that when an employee applies for temporary disability benefits (TDI) for a pregnancy or birth related disability, the plan, whether state or private, must automatically process an application for the paid family leave benefits (FLI) program, unless the individual opts out. The FLI benefits, if approved, would begin immediately following the end of the TDI benefits. As submitted to the Governor, the bill would have taken effect 180 days after signature. In the conditional veto, the Governor extended the effective date to one year after signature.
New Jersey Assembly Bill 2763 – This bill expands the data that the Commissioner of Labor must provide in annual reports. The conditional veto would change the effective date from immediately to one year after the date of enactment.
New Jersey Assembly Bill 4118 – This bill would permit individuals to submit TDI and FLI claims early (up to 60 days before the start of leave) in certain circumstances. The conditional veto extends the effective date from immediately to one year after the date of enactment.
In his message accompanying the conditional veto, the Governor stated that while he “unequivocally support[s] the expansion of these benefits for workers in the State,” he identified “significant issues with the infrastructure supporting these programs…that will render the Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOLWD) unable to administer the benefits contemplated by the bills, and will disrupt the timely delivery of all benefits managed by the system.” He “recommended an extension of the effective dates of the bills to allow additional time for the Department to implement these measures.”
Per New Jersey law, after a conditional veto, the bill returns to the legislature, which can agree with the changes by a simple majority or vote to override the veto by a two-thirds majority. The legislature next votes on September 27.