Panel clears bill shielding home addresses of local government officials
The push to shield local officials’ addresses, sponsored by Senate President Nicholas Scutari (left), is part of a broader effort to block the release of home addresses of state lawmakers, judges, law enforcement officers, and child protective investigators. (Hal Brown for New Jersey Monitor)
A Senate panel amended a bill Thursday that would shield local government officials’ home addresses from the public, adding a requirement that the officials certify that they meet mandated residency requirements.
The push to shield local officials’ addresses is part of a broader effort to block the release of home addresses of state lawmakers, judges, law enforcement officers, and child protective investigators.
The bill advanced Thursday by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee applies to local elected officials and some non-elected public workers, including zoning officials, members of independent municipal authorities, and certain high-ranking local government officials. If signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy, those officials would no longer have to list their home addresses in the annual financial disclosure forms they must file.
Amendments approved during the committee’s hearing would require the officials to certify they meet residency requirements for their position on their financial disclosure forms and would require them to provide addresses and descriptions for all properties that generate income for them or members of their immediate family.
The measure, sponsored by Senate President Nicholas Scutari (D-Union) and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex), awaits full votes before both legislative chambers.
On Monday, both chambers of the Legislature gave final approval to a separate measure amending the Legislative Code of Ethics to remove a requirement that state legislators reveal their primary and secondary residences on annual financial disclosures.
That measure is a concurrent resolution requiring no action from the governor. The new rules will apply to legislative financial disclosures due in May.
In part, the push to shield officials’ addresses is an extension of Daniel’s Law, which blocks the disclosure of home addresses belonging to judges, prosecutors, and some law enforcement officials. The law draws its name from Daniel Anderl, who was slain during an assassination attempt on his mother, U.S. District Court Judge Esther Salas, in July 2020.
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