Bill in response to Bound Brook incident where two young men passing out flyers offering snow shoveling services were stopped by police for breaking local solicitation law
Legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle that would allow individuals to solicit their snow shoveling services ahead of a snowstorm without fear of breaking local laws gained final legislative approval from the full Assembly by a vote of 73-0 on Monday.
The bill (A-4213) would supersede any municipality ordinance that allows the municipality to regulate the solicitation of snow shoveling services within 24 hours of a predicted snowstorm.
“Young people offering to shovel snow, especially for senior citizens and individuals with disabilities, is a great service to the community,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “Many people have come to rely on their neighbors to shovel their walkway or driveway after a bad snow storm. Entrepreneurial individuals offering to shovel snow should not have to worry about breaking the law simply by promoting their services before the storm hits.”
The bill is in response to an incident last winter in which two teenagers were warned by police that they might have been in violation of the municipality’s solicitation regulation ordinance by passing out fliers to homeowners advertising their snow-shoveling services the night before a big storm was supposed to hit. The sponsor noted that shoveling snow has been a time-honored activity for children when schools are closed, and it is not appropriate for municipal solicitation regulations to be interpreted so broadly as to prohibit children from offering to perform this necessary service within their communities.
“This service is vital for elderly residents and those with physical limitations,” added Vainieri Huttle. “Surely our police have more pressing matters to attend to, then stopping young people who are providing a service that is needed and are being smart about it by getting ahead of the competition.”
The bill now heads to the governor’s desk for consideration.