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
(TRENTON) — 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 was signed into law Tuesday.
For up to 24 hours prior to a predicted snowstorm, the new law (formerly A-4213) supersedes any municipal ordinance that allows the municipality to regulate the solicitation of snow shoveling services.
“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.”
Vainieri Huttle crafted the law in response to an incident last winter in which two teenagers in Bound Brook 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 is 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 than stopping young people who are providing a service that is needed and are being smart about it by getting ahead of the competition.”