Transportation and the Environment

New Rule Will Require All Car Sales to be Electric by 2035 – Governor Murphy announced the filing of Advanced Clean Cars II on Nov. 21 by the Department of Environmental Protection. The new rule will require 51% of all car sales in NJ to be for zero emissions vehicles by 2027 and 100% by 2035. This administrative rule forms a part of Governor Murphy’s clean energy agenda and does not require legislative approval, yet it remains vulnerable to reversal by future gubernatorial administrations. Supporters of the rule underscore the urgency of reducing transportation emissions, which make up 35% of greenhouse gas emissions in NJ, according to a 2022 report. Critics have voiced concern over the timeline, citing the need for more electric charging stations, affordable options, and an expanded electric grid to meet increased demand. (Source: NJ Spotlight News)

Clean Energy Bill Stalled in Senate Committee – A five-hour hearing on Nov. 20 considered Bill S2978, which would require NJ to be emissions-free by 2035 and codifying an existing executive order by Governor Murphy, but concluded without a vote. Environmental justice advocates have called for amendments to prevent the emission of harmful pollutants, and labor rights advocates have voiced concern that the legislation could reduce jobs. Business groups and others have criticized the bill for moving too quickly, potentially straining the power grid and raising costs for consumers. The Senate Environment and Energy Committee expects to revise the legislation and conduct a vote on Dec. 18, 2023. (Source: NJ Spotlight News)

Health and Social Policy

Lawmaker Proposes Parental Permission Requirement for Minor Social Media Use – Newly proposed legislation would mandate minors to obtain parental permission to register for social media accounts. Assemblymember Herb Conoway, chairman of the Assembly Health Committee, proposed A5750 to intervene given rising rates of anxiety and depression among youth, arguing social media is a key contributor to this crisis. Legislation restricting social media use has passed in Utah and Arkansas, but Assemblymember Conoway, a Democrat, is the first legislator to propose such legislation in a Democrat-controlled legislature. Critics state that the law would violate first amendment rights of both minors and adults, arguing LGBTQ+ youth would be affected particularly. Others also cite a 2021 CDC report that online communities improved youth mental health over the pandemic and express concern over the potential for data mining. (Source:

Proposal Advances for NJ to Join Multi-State Counseling Compact – Bill A5311, which would enter NJ into an interstate agreement allowing counselors licensed and living in member states to practice without the need for multiple licenses, passed the Assembly Health Committee on Nov. 20, 2023. Joining the ‘counseling compact’, which currently comprises thirty states, would address an ongoing shortage of mental health professionals, which has led to long wait times for people to receive mental healthcare. (Source: NJ Spotlight News)

New Law Allows People to Continue Driving a Deceased Spouse’s Car – Governor Murphy signed into law on Nov. 20 Bill A1550 which will allow a person to continue driving their deceased spouse’s car until the registration expires. Previously, surviving spouses had to renew the car’s registration within 30 days or risk getting a ticket. The state may lose out on some revenue from fines. (Source:

Menthol Cigarette Ban Advances – On Nov. 20, the Assembly Health Committee voted 7-2, with one abstention, to approve Bill A1989, which would halt the legal sale of menthol products in NJ. A similar bill was previously passed by both houses, but this revised legislation expands the ban to non-premium flavored cigars costing under $10, which comprise 90% of sales. Proponents assert that menthol products appeal to young people and have historically been marketed to Black communities, and a ban will save lives. Representatives from the convenience store industry argue the ban will create an illicit market, and others question why there was no racial impact statement, which is required when legislation requires law enforcement. (Source:

Public Administration

Attorney General Releases Report on Racism in Clark Township – The NJ Attorney General’s office released a report on Nov. 20 detailing how the government of Clark Township in Union County expended significant public resources to cover up racism and misconduct by the mayor and police force. Attorney General Matthew Platkin has called for the firing of top police officers, a review of arrests and traffic stops, a civil rights inquiry into hiring practices, and ethics charges for the township’s lawyer. (Source:

Warehouse Legislation Up for Review – Over the course of the ongoing lame duck session, the NJ legislature should consider over two dozen bills related to the expansion of warehouses in the state. Proposed legislation would enlist state support for municipal-led efforts to curb warehouse development, which many members of the public view as pollutive or harmful to suburban and rural living. Many argue that warehouse development should be subject to state or regional regulation, since development in one municipality affects those nearby. Assemblymember Alex Sauickie has sponsored over a dozen warehouse-related bills, including Bill A4950, which would require the State Planning Commission to adopt model ordinances and encourage municipalities to zone to prevent the development of particularly large or unpopular warehouses. Bill A5123 would limit the construction of large, speculative warehouses on farmland until the state has preserved 500,000 acres of farmland. Bill 5802, sponsored by Assemblymember Joe Danielsen, would set up a pilot program for the state to reimburse municipalities for reviewing their master plans. (Source: NJ Spotlight News)


Final Legislative Actions


Bill No. Bill Title


Pass A5165 Relates to which refrigerants are permissible for use within current State Uniform Construction Code and local codes. 11/20/23
Pass A5096 Replaces statutory terms regarding alcohol and substance use. 11/20/23
Pass A4616 Allows passage of Certified Respiratory Therapist examination to qualify for licensure as respiratory therapist. 11/20/23
Pass A4488 Limits common interest community regulation of certain vehicles. 11/20/23
Pass A3808 Allows tenants with temporary or permanent restraining in order to change locks on residential rental units. 11/20/23
Pass A2583 Requires information on seizure first-aid to be disseminated to employers. 11/20/23
Pass A1746 Revises effects of delinquency and insolvency proceedings against insurer-members of federal home loan banks. 11/20/23
Pass A1550 Authorizes surviving spouse or family member of decedent to use motor vehicle registration certificate of decedent until registration certificate expires. 11/20/23