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SENATE, No. 2595 STATE OF NEW JERSEY 214th LEGISLATURE INTRODUCED DECEMBER 30, 2010 Sponsored by: Senator ROBERT W. SINGER District 30 (Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean) SYNOPSIS Requires persons who transport, store, or sell secondhand mattresses to encase mattresses with protective materials. CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT As introduced. S2595 SINGER 2 1 AN ACT concerning secondhand mattresses and supplementing Title 2 26 of the Revised Statutes. 3 4 BE IT ENACTED by the Senate and General Assembly of the State 5 of New Jersey: 6 7 1. The Legislature finds and declares that: 8 a. Bed bugs are small insects with flat bodies, antennae and 9 small eyes; adult bed bugs are oval, wingless and rusty-red in color 10 and are visible to the naked eye, and often hide in cracks and 11 crevices; in homes, bed bugs are commonly found in areas where 12 people sleep, concentrating in mattresses, box springs, and bed 13 frames; bed bugs feed primarily on the blood of humans, usually at 14 night when people are sleeping; 15 b. According to a joint statement issued by the United States 16 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the United States 17 Environmental Protection Agency, bed bugs have been common 18 throughout United States history; although bed bug populations 19 dropped dramatically during the mid-20th century, the United States 20 is one of many countries now experiencing an alarming resurgence 21 in the population of bed bugs, and public health agencies across the 22 country have been overwhelmed by complaints about bed bugs; 23 c. According to the Department of Health and Senior Services, 24 in most cases, bed bugs are transported from infested areas to non- 25 infested areas when they cling onto a person’s clothing, or crawl 26 into luggage, furniture, or bedding that is then brought into the 27 home; if a mattress is contaminated with bed bugs, it is easy for bed 28 bugs to spread to non-contaminated items that are within close 29 proximity; 30 d. Although bed bugs are not known to transmit disease, they 31 are considered to be an extreme nuisance to the general public and 32 can cause a variety of negative physical and mental health concerns 33 and economic consequences; and 34 e. To help curtail widespread infestation of bed bugs it is 35 necessary to take measures to prevent cross-contamination of bed 36 bugs from secondhand mattresses to other furniture or bedding. 37 38 2. a. As used in this act, “mattress” means any quilted pad, 39 mattress, mattress pad, bunk quilt, or cushion stuffed or filled with 40 wool, hair or other soft material, except feathers, to be used on a 41 couch or other bed for sleeping or reclining purposes. 42 b. No secondhand mattress shall be transported, stored, or sold 43 in this State unless the secondhand mattress has been encased in 44 plastic, polyethylene film, or similar material designed to prevent 45 the transfer of insects or other contaminants, by the person 46 responsible for transporting the secondhand mattress. 47 c. A person who violates the provisions of this act shall be 48 subject to a fine of not less than $50 or more than $1,000 for each S2595 SINGER 3 1 violation. A penalty for a violation of this act shall be sued for and 2 recovered in a summary proceeding before the municipal court that 3 has jurisdiction, by and in the name of the Department of Health 4 and Senior Services or by the local health agency for the 5 municipality in which the violation occurred, pursuant to the 6 “Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999,” P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 7 et seq.). 8 When the plaintiff is the Department of Health and Senior 9 Services, the penalty recovered shall be paid by the department to 10 the State Treasurer. When the plaintiff is a local health agency, the 11 penalty recovered shall be paid by the local health agency into the 12 treasury of the municipality in which the violation occurred. 13 14 3. This act shall take effect on the first day of the fourth month 15 following enactment. 16 17 18 STATEMENT 19 20 This bill requires persons who transport, store, or sell 21 secondhand mattresses to encase those mattresses with protective 22 materials in order to prevent cross-contamination of bed bugs from 23 secondhand mattresses to other furniture or bedding. 24 Bed bugs are commonly found in areas where people sleep, 25 concentrating in mattresses, box springs, and bed frames, and feed 26 primarily on the blood of humans, usually at night when people are 27 sleeping. Once virtually eliminated in this country, the United 28 States is now one of many countries experiencing an alarming 29 resurgence in the population of bed bugs. 30 According to the Department of Health and Senior Services, in 31 most cases, bed bugs are transported from infested areas to non- 32 infested areas when they cling onto a person’s clothing, or crawl 33 into luggage, furniture, or bedding that is then brought into the 34 home; if a mattress is contaminated with bed bugs, it is easy for bed 35 bugs to spread to non-contaminated items that are within close 36 proximity. 37 Under the bill, a person who violates the provisions of this bill 38 shall be subject to a fine of not less than $50 or more than $1,000 39 for each violation. A penalty for a violation of this bill shall be 40 sued for and recovered in a summary proceeding by Department of 41 Health and Senior Services or by the local health agency of the 42 municipality in which the violation occurred.
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