Bill Text: NJ S654 | 2022-2023 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Establishes New Jersey Revenue Advisory Board; modifies executive State budget presentation; updates State revenue and expenditure reporting and disclosure requirements; and requires annual State financial stress testing.

Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Republican 2-1)

Status: (Introduced) 2022-01-11 - Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee [S654 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2022-S654-Introduced.html

SENATE, No. 654

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

220th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2022 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  STEVEN V. OROHO

District 24 (Morris, Sussex and Warren)

Senator  PAUL A. SARLO

District 36 (Bergen and Passaic)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senator O'Scanlon

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Establishes New Jersey Revenue Advisory Board; modifies executive State budget presentation; updates State revenue and expenditure reporting and disclosure requirements; and requires annual State financial stress testing.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.

  


An Act reforming the State revenue and expenditure estimating and reporting processes and disclosure requirements and the executive State budget presentation, amending P.L.1944, c.112, P.L.1977, c.158, P.L.1995, c.23, and supplementing Title 52 of the Revised Statutes.

 

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

 

      1.   (New section)     a.   The State Treasurer, ex officio, and the Legislative Budget and Finance Officer, ex officio, shall, together with four public members, shall constitute the New Jersey Revenue Advisory Board.  The board shall provide the Governor and the Legislature with advisory consensus forecasts of State revenues anticipated to be received by the State during the present and next five fiscal years commencing thereafter to support annual State appropriations.

      b.   The public members of the board shall be appointed as follows:

      (1)  one public member, appointed by the Governor, who shall be a representative of the private sector with relevant business experience or background;

      (2)  one public member appointed jointly by the leaders of the political party with the largest combined number of members in the Senate and General Assembly and one public member appointed jointly by the leaders of the political party with the second largest combined number of members in the Senate and General Assembly, who shall be a faculty members affiliated with a public or private institution of higher education in this State and who has knowledge, expertise, and practical experience in economic and financial analysis, government finance and fiscal management, or tax policy; and

      (3)  one public member, jointly appointed by the State Treasurer and the Legislative Budget and Finance Officer, who shall be qualified by education, training, or experience related to State tax policy and revenue analysis. 

      The public members selected shall not be individuals who are holding elective office.  The public members selected shall each serve for a term of four years and may be reappointed for successive terms.  A vacancy in a public member position of the group shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment for the remainder of the unexpired term only.  For purposes of board membership, any vacancy in the Office of the State Treasurer shall be filled by the acting State Treasurer as designated by law by the Governor, and any vacancy in the position of Legislative Budget and Finance Officer shall be filled by the Executive Director of the Office of Legislative Services.

      c.   The New Jersey Revenue Advisory Board shall organize as soon as practicable, but no later than the 10th day following the selection of at least the number of members of the board required to constitute a quorum of the entire board.  The board chairperson shall be elected biennially from among its public members.  The chairperson shall appoint a secretary who need not be a member of the board.

      d.   The New Jersey Revenue Advisory Board shall convene one or more public hearings at the place or places it designates during the second quarter of each State fiscal year.  The board shall receive public testimony and may invite such other participants who, in the judgment of the board, may provide guidance on the current conditions in, and probable outlook for, the performance of the economy of the State, as well as the effect of such conditions and such performance on State revenues.

      Three public meetings shall be conducted on or before January 15 of each State fiscal year.  The advisory consensus forecasts required pursuant to subsection a. of this section shall be adopted at a public meeting held on or before January 15 of each State fiscal year.  Two additional public meetings shall be conducted on or before May 15 of each State fiscal year.  The advisory consensus forecasts required pursuant to subsection a. of this section shall be readopted or revised at a public meeting held on or before May 15 of each State fiscal year.  The board may meet and hold additional public meetings at the times and in the places as the chairperson deems necessary and appropriate to fulfill the duties of the board, including, but not limited to, providing periodic revisions to previous advisory consensus State revenue estimates.  The board shall be entitled to call to its assistance, and avail itself of the services of, the employees of any State department, board, bureau, commission, or agency as it may require and as may be available for its purposes.

      e.   The members of the New Jersey Revenue Advisory Board shall serve without compensation, but may be reimbursed for travel and other miscellaneous expenses necessary to perform their duties, within the limits of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available to the board for its purposes or as may be reimbursed by the agency in which the members may serve.

 

     2.    Section 11 of article 3 of P.L.1944, c.112 (C.52:27B-20) is amended to read as follows:

     11.  The Governor shall examine and consider all requests for appropriations, together with the findings and recommendations of the Director of the Division of Budget and Accounting, and shall formulate the Governor's budget recommendations, which shall be presented as a budget message by the Governor during an appearance before a joint session of the Legislature which shall be convened at 12 noon on a date on or before the fourth Tuesday in February in each year.

     The budget message shall include the proposed complete financial program of the State Government for the next ensuing fiscal year, and shall set forth in columnar form detailed as to each source of anticipated revenue and the purposes to which the recommended appropriations and permissions to spend shall apply for each spending agency in substantially the following form:

     A.   Revenues for the General Fund, other budgeted State revenues, all other dedicated funds, Federal aid funds, and trust funds:

     (1)   An estimate of all balances to be on hand on the first of July next ensuing which are to be available for appropriations, supported by the calculations used in arriving at the estimated figures;

     (2)   An estimate of the anticipated revenues from all sources applicable to the budget period, together with the actual amount earned from each source during the last completed fiscal year, and the estimate of revenues expected to be earned from each source for the current fiscal year.

     (3)   An explanation of any variance of the estimates with respect to item (2) above compared to the advisory consensus forecasts of State revenues prepared by the New Jersey Revenue Advisory Board pursuant to section 1 of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

     B.    (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2003, c.275).

     C.    Appropriations.  The total of the appropriations recommended for the ensuing fiscal year in substantially the following form:

     Detailed Budget:

     (1)   An itemized statement of all appropriation requests and requests for permission to spend from the General State Fund, other budgeted State revenues, other dedicated funds and Federal aid and trust funds;

     (2)   An itemized statement of the amounts recommended by the Governor with respect to item (1) above;

     (3)   An itemized statement of all amounts appropriated and permissions granted for the current fiscal year with respect to item "1" above;

     (4)   An itemized statement of all amounts appropriated and permissions granted for the last preceding fiscal year with respect to item (1) above detailed as to annual and supplemental appropriations, transfers of appropriations, State Emergency Fund allotments, and permission to spend, as the case may be, and showing also total expenditures, reserves, lapses and unencumbered balances;

     (5)   In addition, such other statistical information as may more fully show comparisons and costs of the several departments.

(cf: P.L.2003, c.275, s.1)

     3.  (New section)  The Governor shall, together with the Governor's budget recommendations presented as the budget message by the Governor pursuant to section 11 of article 3 of P.L.1944, c.112 (C.52:27B-20), include in an appendix:

     a.  For the ensuing fiscal year and each of the next four fiscal years following the ensuing fiscal year, a comparison of the recommended appropriation amounts for each fiscal year to the amounts necessary to fulfill all requirements of permanent State statutes.  The comparison shall be set forth in column form for the following obligations: (1) State pension system employer contributions; (2) employer contributions for State employee health benefits; (3) State aid for education; (4) State aid to municipalities; (5) the State Medicaid program; (6) State support for hospitals; (7) State support for public institutions of higher education; (8) the Annual Transportation Capital Program; and (9) programs of direct taxpayer property tax relief.  The differences, if any, in the amounts required for these programs if the State were to fund all of its obligations under permanent State statutes for these programs shall be stated in a separate column.  The comparison of the recommended appropriations to the amounts required to fulfill all requirements of permanent State statutes shall be without taking into account the modifications to those statutes proposed in the Governor's budget recommendation.

     b.  For the ensuing fiscal year and each of the four fiscal years next following the ensuing fiscal year, an itemized statement of the amounts projected by the Governor, with respect to item (2) of subsection C. of section 11 of article 3 of P.L.1944, c.112 (C.52:27B-20), adjusted for current services basis budgeting for program specific inflation, previously enacted program expansions and eliminations, and caseload or population changes, accompanied by specific statements of underlying assumptions and methods used to calculate all current services basis amounts.  The statement shall include estimates of the amounts necessary to pay principal and interest due on capital projects financed through the issuance of general obligation bonds and appropriations-backed contract bonds issued by independent authorities of the State.

 

     4.  (New section)  After submission of the Governor's budget message to the Legislature pursuant to section 11 of article 3 of P.L.1944, c.112 (C.52:27B-20), the State Treasurer shall, after the fifth public meeting required by subsection d. of section 1 of P.L.    , c.    (C.       ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), and before May 31 annually, appear before the Legislature's budget committees with a report of any revisions to the estimate of the amount of revenue collected and anticipated to be collected by the State to support appropriations for the current fiscal year and to support appropriations for the ensuing fiscal year as had been provided in the Governor's budget message.  If the State Treasurer reports to the committees any downward revisions to these estimates compared to the estimates presented in the Governor's budget recommendations made pursuant to section 11 of article 3 of P.L.1944, c.112 (C.52:27B-20), the State Treasurer shall report therewith any changes in appropriations recommended for the current and next ensuing fiscal year.

 

     5.    (New section)   If the certification of revenue by the Governor made upon enactment of the annual appropriations act under the Governor's responsibility under Article VIII, Section II, paragraph 2 of the New Jersey Constitution varies from the latest advisory consensus forecast of State revenues prepared by the New Jersey Revenue Advisory Board pursuant to section 1 of P.L.    , c.    (C.  ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) for the next commencing fiscal year to support annual State appropriations, the Governor shall include with the Governor's certification of revenue an explanation of the reason for any difference.

 

     6.  Section 37 of article 3 of P.L.1944, c.112 (C.52:27B-46) is amended to read as follows:

     The Director of the Division of Budget and Accounting shall prepare, within 60 days following December 31 and 90 days following the last day in which annual appropriations are available for expenditure during each fiscal year, a complete report showing:

     a.  Balance sheet of all assets and liabilities for all State funds.

     b.    Statement of General State Fund accrued revenues as compared with anticipated revenues.

     c.     Summary report of the General State Fund, Property Tax Relief Fund, Casino Revenue Fund, and other budgeted State funds showing the condition of the appropriations, which shall reflect the original appropriation, supplemental appropriations, appropriated revenue, reappropriations, transfers to and from, allotments from the emergency fund and expenditures made against such appropriations.

     d.  [Such] Statement of miscellaneous revenues itemized by department, major sources of budgeted federal aid itemized by department, itemized information on income to the General State Fund and other budgeted State revenues from major dedicated and trust funds, sales and use tax collections by industry sector codes, and such other information as [he] the director may deem necessary and proper.

     [Such statement] The report, certified by the director, shall be transmitted forthwith to the Governor, and shall be and remain a public document on file in the office of the director, subject to inspection by any citizen of the State, who shall have the right to make or obtain copies thereof under such reasonable regulations as the director may prescribe.  Copies of [said statement] the report shall be transmitted at the same time to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the General Assembly, the [chairman] chairs of the respective [appropriation] budget committees, the State Treasurer [and] , the State Auditor , and the Legislative Budget and Finance Officer[In addition the director shall prepare a summarized monthly report of the General State Fund no later than 30 days following the end of each month which shall reflect the accrued revenues as compared with anticipated revenues, itemized by revenue source for major taxes, by department for miscellaneous revenues, by department for major sources of Federal aid budgeted and with information on income to the General State Fund from the major dedicated and trust funds.  The report shall reflect the condition of the appropriations and other such data which the director shall determine.]

(cf: P.L.1977, c.158, s.1)

 

     7.  (New section)  a.  The Director of the Division of Budget and Accounting shall prepare and make public, not later than the 10th day following the end of each month, a report on the financial condition of the State.

     b.  The report required by subsection a. of this section shall contain the following:

     (1)  a detailed, itemized monthly report of revenues accrued to the General State Fund, Property Tax Relief Fund, and Casino Revenue Fund.  The report shall reflect the accrued revenues for the month compared with anticipated revenues for that month, based on the revenue certification by the Governor pursuant to Article VIII, Section II, Paragraph 2 of the State Constitution, or estimates provided pursuant to section 11 of P.L.1944, c.112 (C.52:27B-20) or any revision thereof, and actual revenues for that same month in the prior fiscal year itemized by:

     (i) revenue source for major taxes, including collections of accrued revenue by separate components of each major tax, including, but not limited to: withholdings, direct payments, and estimated payments of by taxpayers of gross income tax; sales and use tax collections by industry sector codes; tax refund payments reimbursed; and those payments pending reimbursement.  The report shall differentiate by collection method, such as by regular periodic taxpayer returns or through regular taxpayer compliance programs and other special efforts;

     (ii)  department for miscellaneous revenues;

     (iii)  department for major sources of federal aid budgeted; and

     (iv)  income source to the General State Fund and other budgeted revenues from the major dedicated and trust funds.

     (2)  a detailed, itemized report of expenditures from the General State Fund, Property Tax Relief Fund, Casino Revenue Fund, other budgeted State revenues, other dedicated funds, federal funds, and trust funds.  The report shall reflect actual expenditures as compared with anticipated and estimated expenditures for each spending agency in the categories of Direct State Services, Grants-in-Aid, and State Aid for the prior month and shall include the total amount expended by each spending agency during the fiscal year.  The report shall account for any changes in spending agency expenditures that differ from the annual appropriations act and all supplements to the annual appropriations act.  The report prepared pursuant to this section shall be published and made public with the report prepared by the director pursuant to subsection a. of this section.

     (3)  an analysis of the State's cash flow including a summary of:

     (i)  all cash receipts received by the General State Fund, Property Tax Relief Fund, Casino Revenue Fund, and all other dedicated funds and trust funds, from all governmental and non-governmental sources, including, but not limited to, interfund transfers and short-term notes issued by the State for cash flow management purposes, during the prior month, and an estimate of the cash receipts to be received during the two months next following the prior month;

     (ii)  all outlays from the General State Fund, Property Tax Relief Fund, Casino Revenue Fund, and all other dedicated funds and trust funds, for each spending agency, stated separately for the categories of Direct State Services, Grants-in-Aid, and State Aid, including, but not limited to, intergovernmental transfers, debt service, capital expenditures, and amounts credited to the Surplus Revenue Fund established pursuant to P.L.1990, c.44 (C.52:9H-14 et seq.), and an estimate of outlays during the two months next following the prior month; and

     (iii)  the estimated undesignated fund balance in the General State Fund, Property Tax Relief Fund, and Casino Revenue Fund.

     c.  Copies of the monthly reports prepared pursuant to this section shall be transmitted at the same time to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the General Assembly, the chairs of the respective budget committees, the State Treasurer, the State Auditor, and the Legislative Budget and Finance Officer, and shall be posted on the Department of the Treasury's Internet website.

 

     8.  (New section)  a.  The New Jersey Revenue Advisory Board shall annually conduct and report a stress test analysis on the State's ability to maintain services and provide necessary assistance to residents in various economic conditions.

     b.  The stress test analyses required pursuant to this section shall include:

     (1) long- and short-term projections of major funding sources in various economic conditions, including revenues from major taxes and funding from the federal government;

     (2) a comparison between projections of major funding sources and historical trends for each of those funding sources in various economic conditions;

     (3) an analysis of expenditures that are likely to increase or decrease in various economic conditions;

     (4) an accounting of the State's reserves, including amounts deposited into the "Surplus Revenue Fund," established pursuant to P.L.1990, c.44 (C.52:9H-14 et seq.); and

     (5) options that the State has to respond to, and lessen the negative impact of, economic recessions.

     c.  The Department of the Treasury and the Office of Legislative Services shall make the report required pursuant to this section publicly accessible on their Internet websites.  The stress test analysis shall be included as part of the Governor's required pursuant to section 11 of article 3 of P.L.1944, c.112 (C.52:27B-20).

 

     9.    Section 1 of P.L.1995, c.23 (C.47:1A-1.1) is amended to read as follows:

     1.    As used in P.L.1963, c.73 (C.47:1A-1 et seq.) as amended and supplemented:

     "Biotechnology" means any technique that uses living organisms, or parts of living organisms, to make or modify products, to improve plants or animals, or to develop micro-organisms for specific uses; including the industrial use of recombinant DNA, cell fusion, and novel bioprocessing techniques.

     "Custodian of a government record" or "custodian" means in the case of a municipality, the municipal clerk and in the case of any other public agency, the officer officially designated by formal action of that agency's director or governing body, as the case may be.

     "Government record" or "record" means any paper, written or printed book, document, drawing, map, plan, photograph, microfilm, data processed or image processed document, information stored or maintained electronically or by sound-recording or in a similar device, or any copy thereof, that has been made, maintained or kept on file in the course of his or its official business by any officer, commission, agency or authority of the State or of any political subdivision thereof, including subordinate boards thereof, or that has been received in the course of his or its official business by any such officer, commission, agency, or authority of the State or of any political subdivision thereof, including subordinate boards thereof.  The terms shall not include inter-agency or intra-agency advisory, consultative, or deliberative material.

     A government record shall not include the following information which is deemed to be confidential for the purposes of P.L.1963, c.73 (C.47:1A-1 et seq.) as amended and supplemented:

     information received by a member of the Legislature from a constituent or information held by a member of the Legislature concerning a constituent, including but not limited to information in written form or contained in any e-mail or computer data base, or in any telephone record whatsoever, unless it is information the constituent is required by law to transmit;

     any memorandum, correspondence, notes, report or other communication prepared by, or for, the specific use of a member of the Legislature in the course of the member's official duties, except that this provision shall not apply to an otherwise publicly-accessible report which is required by law to be submitted to the Legislature or its members;

     any copy, reproduction or facsimile of any photograph, negative or print, including instant photographs and videotapes of the body, or any portion of the body, of a deceased person, taken by or for the medical examiner at the scene of death or in the course of a post mortem examination or autopsy made by or caused to be made by the medical examiner except:

     when used in a criminal action or proceeding in this State which relates to the death of that person,

     for the use as a court of this State permits, by order after good cause has been shown and after written notification of the request for the court order has been served at least five days before the order is made upon the county prosecutor for the county in which the post mortem examination or autopsy occurred,

     for use in the field of forensic pathology or for use in medical or scientific education or research, or

     for use by any law enforcement agency in this State or any other state or federal law enforcement agency;

     criminal investigatory records;

     victims' records, except that a victim of a crime shall have access to the victim's own records;

     any written request by a crime victim for a record to which the victim is entitled to access as provided in this section, including, but not limited to, any law enforcement agency report, domestic violence offense report, and temporary or permanent restraining order;

     personal firearms records, except for use by any person authorized by law to have access to these records or for use by any government agency, including any court or law enforcement agency, for purposes of the administration of justice;

     personal identifying information received by the Division of Fish and Wildlife in the Department of Environmental Protection in connection with the issuance of any license authorizing hunting with a firearm.  For the purposes of this paragraph, personal identifying information shall include, but not be limited to, identity, name, address, social security number, telephone number, fax number, driver's license number, email address, or social media address of any applicant or licensee;

     trade secrets and proprietary commercial or financial information obtained from any source.  For the purposes of this paragraph, trade secrets shall include data processing software obtained by a public body under a licensing agreement which prohibits its disclosure;

     any record within the attorney-client privilege.  This paragraph shall not be construed as exempting from access attorney or consultant bills or invoices except that such bills or invoices may be redacted to remove any information protected by the attorney-client privilege;

     administrative or technical information regarding computer hardware, software and networks which, if disclosed, would jeopardize computer security;

     emergency or security information or procedures for any buildings or facility which, if disclosed, would jeopardize security of the building or facility or persons therein;

     security measures and surveillance techniques which, if disclosed, would create a risk to the safety of persons, property, electronic data or software;

     information which, if disclosed, would give an advantage to competitors or bidders;

     information generated by or on behalf of public employers or public employees in connection with any sexual harassment complaint filed with a public employer or with any grievance filed by or against an individual or in connection with collective negotiations, including documents and statements of strategy or negotiating position;

     information which is a communication between a public agency and its insurance carrier, administrative service organization or risk management office;

     information which is to be kept confidential pursuant to court order;

     any copy of form DD-214, NGB-22, or that form, issued by the United States Government, or any other certificate of honorable discharge, or copy thereof, from active service or the reserves of a branch of the Armed Forces of the United States, or from service in the organized militia of the State, that has been filed by an individual with a public agency, except that a veteran or the veteran's spouse or surviving spouse shall have access to the veteran's own records;

     any copy of an oath of allegiance, oath of office or any affirmation taken upon assuming the duties of any public office, or that oath or affirmation, taken by a current or former officer or employee in any public office or position in this State or in any county or municipality of this State, including members of the Legislative Branch, Executive Branch, Judicial Branch, and all law enforcement entities, except that the full name, title, and oath date of that person contained therein shall not be deemed confidential;

     any memorandum, correspondence, notes, report or other communication prepared by, or for the specific use of, a member of the New Jersey Revenue Advisory Board in the course of the board's or board member's consultations, deliberations or official duties as a board member, except that this provision shall not apply to an otherwise publicly accessible report submitted to the New Jersey Revenue Advisory Board or its members, or the advisory consensus State revenue forecasts required by section 1 of P.L.     , c.    (C.         ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) to be prepared and adopted by the board;

     that portion of any document which discloses the social security number, credit card number, unlisted telephone number or driver license number of any person; except for use by any government agency, including any court or law enforcement agency, in carrying out its functions, or any private person or entity acting on behalf thereof, or any private person or entity seeking to enforce payment of court-ordered child support; except with respect to the disclosure of driver information by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission as permitted by section 2 of P.L.1997, c.188 (C.39:2-3.4); and except that a social security number contained in a record required by law to be made, maintained or kept on file by a public agency shall be disclosed when access to the document or disclosure of that information is not otherwise prohibited by State or federal law, regulation or order or by State statute, resolution of either or both houses of the Legislature, Executive Order of the Governor, rule of court or regulation promulgated under the authority of any statute or executive order of the Governor; 

     a list of persons identifying themselves as being in need of special assistance in the event of an emergency maintained by a municipality for public safety purposes pursuant to section 1 of P.L.2017, c.266 (C.40:48-2.67); and

     a list of persons identifying themselves as being in need of special assistance in the event of an emergency maintained by a county for public safety purposes pursuant to section 6 of P.L.2011, c.178 (C.App.A:9-43.13).

     A government record shall not include, with regard to any public institution of higher education, the following information which is deemed to be privileged and confidential:

     pedagogical, scholarly and/or academic research records and/or the specific details of any research project conducted under the auspices of a public higher education institution in New Jersey, including, but not limited to research, development information, testing procedures, or information regarding test participants, related to the development or testing of any pharmaceutical or pharmaceutical delivery system, except that a custodian may not deny inspection of a government record or part thereof that gives the name, title, expenditures, source and amounts of funding and date when the final project summary of any research will be available;

     test questions, scoring keys and other examination data pertaining to the administration of an examination for employment or academic examination;

     records of pursuit of charitable contributions or records containing the identity of a donor of a gift if the donor requires non-disclosure of the donor's identity as a condition of making the gift provided that the donor has not received any benefits of or from the institution of higher education in connection with such gift other than a request for memorialization or dedication;

     valuable or rare collections of books and/or documents obtained by gift, grant, bequest or devise conditioned upon limited public access;

     information contained on individual admission applications; and

     information concerning student records or grievance or disciplinary proceedings against a student to the extent disclosure would reveal the identity of the student.

     "Personal firearms record" means any information contained in a background investigation conducted by the chief of police, the county prosecutor, or the Superintendent of State Police, of any applicant for a permit to purchase a handgun, firearms identification card license, or firearms registration; any application for a permit to purchase a handgun, firearms identification card license, or firearms registration; any document reflecting the issuance or denial of a permit to purchase a handgun, firearms identification card license, or firearms registration; and any permit to purchase a handgun, firearms identification card license, or any firearms license, certification, certificate, form of register, or registration statement.  For the purposes of this paragraph, information contained in a background investigation shall include, but not be limited to, identity, name, address, social security number, phone number, fax number, driver's license number, email address, social media address of any applicant, licensee, registrant or permit holder.

     "Public agency" or "agency" means any of the principal departments in the Executive Branch of State Government, and any division, board, bureau, office, commission or other instrumentality within or created by such department; the Legislature of the State and any office, board, bureau or commission within or created by the Legislative Branch; and any independent State authority, commission, instrumentality or agency.  The terms also mean any political subdivision of the State or combination of political subdivisions, and any division, board, bureau, office, commission or other instrumentality within or created by a political subdivision of the State or combination of political subdivisions, and any independent authority, commission, instrumentality or agency created by a political subdivision or combination of political subdivisions.

     "Law enforcement agency" means a public agency, or part thereof, determined by the Attorney General to have law enforcement responsibilities.

     "Constituent" means any State resident or other person communicating with a member of the Legislature.

     "Member of the Legislature" means any person elected or selected to serve in the New Jersey Senate or General Assembly.

     "Criminal investigatory record" means a record which is not required by law to be made, maintained or kept on file that is held by a law enforcement agency which pertains to any criminal investigation or related civil enforcement proceeding.

     "Victim's record" means an individually-identifiable file or document held by a victims' rights agency which pertains directly to a victim of a crime except that a victim of a crime shall have access to the victim's own records.

     "Victim of a crime" means a person who has suffered personal or psychological injury or death or incurs loss of or injury to personal or real property as a result of a crime, or if such a person is deceased or incapacitated, a member of that person's immediate family.

     "Victims' rights agency" means a public agency, or part thereof, the primary responsibility of which is providing services, including but not limited to food, shelter, or clothing, medical, psychiatric, psychological or legal services or referrals, information and referral services, counseling and support services, or financial services to victims of crimes, including victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, violent crime, child endangerment, child abuse or child neglect, and the Victims of Crime Compensation Board, established pursuant to P.L.1971, c.317 (C.52:4B-1 et seq.) and continued as the Victims of Crime Compensation Office pursuant to P.L.2007, c.95 (C.52:4B-3.2 et al.) and Reorganization Plan No. 001-2008.

(cf: P.L.2019, c.255, s.4)

 

     10.  This act shall take effect immediately and shall first apply to the fiscal year commencing July 1, 2022.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill reforms and modernizes several important elements of the State's budget process and financial reporting requirements to make more transparent and publicly available information that is considered by the executive and legislative branches in enacting the annual State appropriations act.  These include annual State revenue estimating, revenue and expenditure reporting, budget contingency planning, and economic stress testing.

      Revenue Advisory Board.  The bill establishes a New Jersey Revenue Advisory Board to provide consensus revenue forecasting advice for State budget purposes.  The New Jersey Revenue Advisory Board will consist of six members: the State Treasurer, ex officio, the Legislative Budget and Finance Officer, ex officio, and four public members. 

      One public member, appointed by the Governor, will be a representative of the private sector with relevant business experience or background.  Two public members, one appointed jointly by the leaders of the political party with the largest combined number of members in the Senate and General Assembly, and one public member appointed jointly by the leaders of the political party with the second largest combined number of members in the Senate and General Assembly will be from academia with knowledge and experience in accounting, economic and financial analysis, government finance and fiscal management, and tax policy implementation and administration.  One public member, jointly appointed by the State Treasurer and Legislative Budget and Finance Officer, shall be qualified by education, training, or experience related to State tax policy and revenue analysis.  The board's chairperson will be elected biennially from its public members.

      The bill requires the advisory board to hold three public meetings on or before January 15 of each fiscal year to receive public testimony and invite participants who can provide guidance on the current conditions in, and probable outlook for the performance of, the economy of the State, as well as the effect of such conditions and such performance on State revenues.  The board must adopt its advisory consensus forecast at a public meeting held on or before January 15 of each State fiscal year.  The board must hold two additional public meetings on or before May 15 and readopt or revise the advisory consensus forecast on or before May 15 of each State fiscal year.

      While the bill does not change the State constitutional responsibility given exclusively to the Governor to certify State revenue available to support annual State appropriations, the bill requires the Governor to explain in the Governor's annual Budget Message any difference in revenue estimates made in the Budget Message compared to the advisory consensus forecasts of State revenues prepared by the board. As amended, the bill requires the State Treasurer to appear before the Legislature's budget and appropriations committees, prior to May 31 of each year, to report on any revisions to the revenue estimates for the current and ensuing fiscal year compared to the recommendations in the Governor's budget message.

      The bill provides that the State Open Public Records Act will not apply to any memorandum, correspondence, notes, report, or other communication prepared by, or for the specific use of, a member of the board in the course of the board's or board member's consultations, deliberations, or official duties except for otherwise publicly accessible reports.

      The Governor's Budget Message.  The bill requires the Governor's budget message to include a five-year comparison of recommended budget amounts and statutorily required budget amounts for certain major appropriations programs.  Also to be included for the ensuing fiscal year and four subsequent fiscal years, is a comparison of all recommended appropriations against appropriations projected to be required on a current services basis budgeting method.  A current services budget indicates what the State would have to spend on a given program in order to maintain the program at its current funding level, in the absence of any proposed policy changes.  It reflects the impact of factors that cause year-to-year variations in the cost of providing a given service and the number of people who use it, as well has enacted policy changes that have yet to take effect.

      Revenue, Expenditure, and Cash Flow Reporting.  The bill updates the disclosure requirements for monthly and annual reporting of State financial information by updating the State's monthly revenue, expenditure, and cash flow reporting requirements.  The bill also requires the Director of the Division of Budget and Accounting (now also known as the Office of Management and Budget) to issue a monthly report of expenditures by each spending agency, such as a State department or board, and a monthly analysis of cash flow. 

      The bill enhances the current practices of monthly financial reporting to include the condition and income of all major State funds, including prompt disclosure of the State's accrued revenues as compared with accrued revenues, itemized by revenue source for major taxes.  Annual revenue reporting will also include a statement of miscellaneous revenues itemized by department, major sources of budgeted federal aid itemized by department, itemized information on income sources to the General State Fund and other budgeted State revenues from major dedicated and trust fund, and sales and use tax collections by industry sector codes.  The bill also expands the reporting requirement to include the Casino Revenue Fund and the Property Tax Relief Fund.

      The expenditure summary will provide an accounting of expenditures by spending agencies in the main categories of State appropriations.  The report will include information on actual expenditures, as compared to anticipated and estimated expenditures for each State spending agency and the total amount expended during the fiscal year.  The report will also account for any changes in expenditures differ from the annual appropriations act.

      The bill also requires the preparation of a monthly cash flow analysis to provide a more comprehensive view of the State's financial position than is provided in the current monthly revenue report.  The cash flow analysis will include information on receipts from all sources, including interfund transfers and short-term borrowing, and outlays, including intergovernmental transfers, capital expenditures, and debt service.

      Financial and Economic Stress Testing.  The bill requires the New Jersey Revenue Advisory Board to report on an annual basis a stress test analysis of the State's ability to maintain services and provide necessary assistance to residents in various economic conditions.

      The stress test analyses required by the bill will include: (1) long- and short-term projections of major funding sources, including revenues from major taxes and funding from the federal government; (2) a comparison between projections of major funding sources and historical trends for each of those funding sources; (3) an analysis of expenditures that are likely to increase or decrease in various economic conditions; (4) an accounting of the State's reserves, including amounts deposited into the "Surplus Revenue Fund"; and (5) options that the State has to respond to, and lessen the negative impact of, economic recessions.

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