Update January 5, 2015: On December 18, 2014, S2335 was substituted for A3480. The Assembly then passed S2335 which would eliminate the data collection requirement.
Originally Posted October 7, 2014:
New Jersey has been at the epicenter of gift card discussions since 2010 when the state, struggling to close budget gaps, passed a law requiring the unused portions of gift cards sold in the state to be reported as unclaimed property. Business interests in the state immediately attacked the law on several fronts, including lawsuits that led to a Third Circuit Court of Appeals decision rejecting parts of the law. Eventually, the state amended the law, removing retroactive applications as well as delaying the data collection requirement.
Efforts have continued in the state to completely undo the 2010 law. With SB 1928 in 2012, dormancy periods were extended to five years and data collection requirements were delayed under July 2016. There was a lull in activity until this summer, when Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan, Jr. introduced A3480 in the Assembly, identical to S2335 introduced in the Senate. The Senate passed its version of the bill on June 30, 2014. The bill was then sent to the Assembly, where it was referred to the Consumer Affairs Committee. Last Thursday, both A3480 and S2335 were reported favorably by the Consumer Affairs Committee and then referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
Diegnan and others are more concerned now than ever about the data collection requirements, in light of the recent disclosures of major data security breaches at large national retailers. The law, as currently written, does not require any special data security efforts.
Barganier will continue to monitor the New Jersey bills, providing updates as important events happen.