I am confused by both of these NJ bills:

A5217 and A1969

Both are nearly identical, and both indicate "Be it enacted".

Are they now the law? They appear to modify existing law. Nevertheless, that they both appear on the legislative agenda, I wonder why the second was added to the session, even though the first was enacted.

Unless "Be it enacted" is the formality to indicate the intention to enact this modification to law, and it doesn't actually become part of the law until something else happens - perhaps a 3rd or subsequent bill for a different session?

2 Answers 2


tl;dr: no, they're not law yet.


The two bills are different. A5217 proposes to create a juvenile alternative to the current community service program, and A1969 proposes changes to the state's anti-bullying law. It looks like they've reassigned the number "5217." The correct version of A5217 is at this link.

A bill becomes law when signed into law by the governor. To be delivered to the governor, the bill has to pass both houses of the legislature. In order to pass in one house, the bill has to survive a full vote there. To be voted upon, a bill typically has to clear its committee. Sometimes that entails getting adequate support (like sponsors). Bills include the language "Be it enacted" because each house has to vote on the precise language the governor will eventually sign.

A5217 is still in progress, meaning that it has yet to pass the Assembly. It has been introduced, referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee, and got a third prime sponsor (on May 24 DiMaso joined Lopez and McKnight as a sponsor). The companion bill, S3447, has been introduced and referred to the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.

A1969 has been introduced and referred to the Women and Children Committee. It does not yet appear to have a Senate companion.


Both contain the text "This act shall take effect immediately," which means it becomes law immediately when one of these actions occur:

  1. The Governor signs it
  2. The Governor vetoes it, but he Legislature overrides the veto by a vote of at least two-thirds of the members of each House

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