Gov. Jon Corzine on Sunday and Monday signed 54 bills into law, including legislation requiring major restaurant chains doing business in New Jersey to fully disclose calorie information for menu items.
The measure, S-2905/A-4236, requires restaurant chains with more than 20 locations nationally to provide calorie counts for food and beverage items offered for sale. Such information, Corzine said, is essential for individuals seeking a healthier lifestyle.
"One of the best ways to improve our health and well being is to deal directly with obesity and proper eating," Corzine said. "This legislation is a clear step in that direction, as it will allow New Jerseyans to know the calorie content of the food they are eating at these establishments."Under the new law, retail chain food establishments that use standard printed menus, menu boards, or similar signage must list the total number of calories next to each food or beverage item. Establishments with drive-through windows would be required to display calorie content values on their drive-through menu boards or adjacent stanchions.
The bill was sponsored in the Senate by Senators Joseph Vitale (D-Middlesex) and Shirley Turner (D-Mercer) and in the Assembly by Assemblywoman Connie Wagner (D-Bergen) and Assemblyman Herb Conaway (D-Burlington/Camden).
Corzine also signed two bills promoting the development of diversity training programs affiliated with public works projects.
The first bill, S2730/A4082, requires public bodies to provide funds for outreach and training programs for minority groups and women in connection with construction projects. The second, A4323/S3107, requires state agencies monitoring governmental contracts to ensure that any contract of $1 million or more has allocated at least one-half of one percent to the New Jersey Builders Utilization Initiative for labor diversity programs.
S2730/A4082 was sponsored in the Senate by Ronald Rice (D-Essex), Sandra Cunningham (D-Hudson), and Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex), and in the Assembly by Cleopatra Tucker (D-Newark), Elease Evans (D-Passaic), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Mercer), and Ruben Ramos (D-Hudson).
A4323/S3107 was sponsored in the Assembly by Watson Coleman and Evans and in the Senate by Rice and Richard Codey (D-Essex).
With little time left in his four-year term, Gov. Jon Corzine is expected to sign legislation that would make New Jersey the 14th state to allow the use of marijuana by people suffering from painful illnesses.
Corzine is working in his Newark office as Gov.-elect Chris Christie and his staff move into the governor office at the Statehouse in Trenton.
The other bills Corzine signed into law are described as:
S-52/A-2384 — Permanently disqualifies certain persons convicted child endangerment from working with children.
SCS for S-184/ACS for A-1897 — Requires the Department of Children and Families to provide Safe Haven information to county and municipal agencies, social services agencies, physicians, pregnancy crisis centers, adoption agencies and colleges and universities.
SCS for S-713/A-3239 — Establishes forest stewardship and forest certification programs in the Department of Environmental Protection, establishes Forest Stewardship Incentive Fund
S-1082/A-1775 — Permits municipality to determine permissible parking distance from intersection, crosswalk or "stop" sign.
S-1234/A-537 — Establishes criteria municipalities and counties are to consider when establishing speed limits.
S-1362/A-333 — Requires 45 days' notice to affected municipalities of discontinuance of certain bus and train services.
S-1771/A-3806 — Establishes New Jersey Student Athlete Cardiac Screening Task Force.
S-1830/A-2046 — Increases funding of Senior Citizens and Disabled Resident Transportation Program.
S-2019/A-4110 —- Repeals the New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium statute
S-2312/ACS — Requires uniform billing and reporting of infection rates by ambulatory surgical centers and requires DHSSstate Department of Health and Senior Services to make reported information public.
S-2392/A-3665 — Authorizes state Historical Commission to establish program for roadside markers to designate historic sites.
S-2534/A-3731 — Revises New Jersey False Claims Act to comply with federal Deficit Reduction Act for purposes of entitling state to enhanced recovery in Medicaid fraud cases; establishes an annual reporting requirement for the attorney general.
S-2763/A-4158 — Eliminates statute of limitations in cases brought under the "Survivor's Act" where the death resulted from murder or manslaughter under certain circumstances.
S-2944/A-4026 — Establishes additional investigative and enforcement powers in Division of Consumer Affairs to deter individuals from engaging in unauthorized practice of professions and occupations.
S-3055/A-4230 — Increases Medicaid reimbursement rates for family planning services.
S-3060/A-4373 — Extends transmittal date deadline for fiscal year 2010-2011 gubernatorial budget message to the Legislature from fourth Tuesday in February to March 16.
S-3080/A-4263 — Authorizes negotiations with a bargaining representative of community care residential providers.