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December 12, 2019
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 Inside this issue
  Executive Directors Message  


Very Important Reminder: Two important labor regulations go into effect on January 1st. Minimum wage will increase to $11 per hour and $10.30 per hour if your business has fewer than six employees. Overtime regulations also change as of January 1st. The "standard salary level" threshold for white-collar exempt employees will increase to $684 per week (or $35,568 per year), meaning, employers will need to pay overtime to employees who earn less than $684 per week. You can read more about that HERE
Last week, the Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition turned in over 100,000 signatures to ensure an initiative petition to update the state's Right to Repair law before the 2020 ballot. This is great news for our progress on Right to Repair as well. In the last go around for Right to Repair, Massachusetts was able to pass a law requiring car manufacturers to share technical information with independent shops because the state has a ballot initiative that allows voters to decide an issue. In 2013 the ballot initiative passed with 86% of voters saying that they want their independent repair shops to have access to the technical information needed to fix their cars. The only other state that had any success with right to repair was right here in New Jersey, as NJGCA was successful having Right to Repair legislation pass the assembly twice. Because the car manufacturers recognized that we would eventually have a law passed in New Jersey, they agreed to the Memorandum of Understanding in 2014. However, it is now 2020 and new issues have popped up with regard to receiving technical information required to fix your customers cars. That issue is telematics. Manufacturers are now gathering vehicle data and telematically transmitting technical information to their car dealers who are repairing the vehicles. Both the Memorandum of Understanding and the law that was passed in Massachusetts are silent with regard to information that is transmitted telematically. Unless this changes, you will once again be shut out of necessary information that car dealers will still be receiving. The next round of right to repair has begun. Massachusetts ballot initiative would give car owners access only to diagnostic and repair data generated by their car, and car owners could opt to provide access of the data to any dealer or repair shop they choose during the lifetime of their car. We are asking for the data that has been produced by the vehicle to be sent to whoever the motorist chooses to receive that information. This could mean the independent shop of the motorists choosing or the car dealer. This is what the next round of the fight will be about. 
For those convenience store owners who give their customers plastic bags this is important for you. A bill was sent to the governor in June of 2018 that would have had a tax on paper and plastic, but was vetoed for not being rigorous enough for environmentalists. For the past eighteen months nothing has really happened with this on the state level (several towns and Atlantic County have already passed their own plastics regulations), but on Thursday the bill passed the Senate Budget Committee. On Monday the bill was expected to pass the Assembly Environment Committee, but was pulled for consideration and its prospects for passing have become questionable. Here's what's in the current version of the bill (S-2776), though it's possible some policies may change in the near future: 
  • Plastics carryout bags be prohibited within one year
  • Paper bags will be banned at grocery stores but will be allowed at food stores with less than 4,500 square feet. There is no tax on these bags.
  • Polystyrene foam (Styrofoam) products (such as cups and food containers) will be prohibited within two years
  • Plastic straws can only be given out if a customer requests one, and food stores will be required to keep some in stock for a customer who asks for one.
  • Any store that violates these provisions must be given a warning on the first offense, then a fine for the second.
  • These regulations will supersede any local ordinance, ensuring one equal marketplace.
Advocates hope the bill will pass in January.

That's all for this week -  
Sal Risalvato
Executive Director




  Training Class Schedule  

All classes held at NJGCA HQ -- 4900 Route 33 West, Wall Township, NJ 07753

Two-Day Emissions Inspector Training Class
December 18th & 19th

Want your technicians to become a NJ Emissions Inspector? We can help! Our new two-day class will provide all the information for becoming a NJ Emissions Inspector. Day one will consist of written test training and the State will administer the written test the very same day at our offices. Day two will be a hands-on training course to prepare you for the hands-on test. Class will run from 7:00am to 4:00pm on day 1. Class will begin at 12:30 PM on day 2. Cost is $479 for members.

December class registration click here




  News Around The State  

New Jersey Approves App to Order Lottery Tickets Via Smartphone
State regulators have approved the launch of New Jersey's first online lottery sales system, clearing the way for a third-party app that allow users to buy tickets, create pools and even collect winnings without ever touching a physical ticket. Jackpocket, which launches Thursday, is the first company registered by the New Jersey Lottery under a 2016 law allowing "courier" services to buy and deliver lottery tickets on behalf of gamblers. New Jersey is the first state to formally approve of such courier services.

How Late Amendments Have Stalled Effort to Ban Plastic, Paper Bags
The legislation (SCS-2776) unexpectedly was pulled from a vote by the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee on Monday, a step both advocates and foes agreed was spurred by late amendments adopted last week when the measure moved out of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. The critical amendments called for a ban on both plastic and paper single-use bags one year from enactment, as well as a surprise provision that big-chain grocery stores provide free reusable bags for two months after the law takes effect. Previously, the bill would have waited two years before paper bags were banned. With only a month left in the lame-duck legislative session, it is unclear whether the dispute over the late amendments will prevent the bill's passage before a new Legislature is sworn in early in January.

New Jersey Moves Toward Bag Ban
The state Legislature of New Jersey is looking at a bill that places restrictions on everyday plastic products. Northjersey.com reports that as written, "the bill would impose some of the most stringent regulations on plastic bags, paper bags, plastic straws and polystyrene food containers in the nation." If it passes, all retail stores would be banned from giving out plastic or paper bags beginning in 2021. Some legislators say that the paper bag policy is a bit too harsh and that retailers should have the opportunity to charge customers a small fee for a paper bag. Styrofoam would likely be completely banned beginning in 2022, including cups, plates and takeout containers.

FDA Official Testifies on E-Cigarette Guidance
Mitch Zeller, director of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) Center for Tobacco Products, testified yesterday before the House Oversight Reform Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy on the status of pending agency guidance that would ban flavored e-cigarette products. . . Rep. Connolly also cited data that indicate underage users are more likely to get e-cigarettes from a vape shop than a convenience store and asked Zeller, "How would that support a hypothetical plan that allows flavors in vape shops but bans them in gas stations when the numbers suggest just the opposite of where the problem is?" "I think you are making a very good point," Zeller responded.

Bill To Protect N.J. Gig Workers Advances, But Freelancers Still Worried
During a contentious state legislative hearing Thursday on a bill to address the misclassification of workers in New Jersey, the only thing anyone could seem to agree on is that they really don't know what it would do. . . Nonetheless, the bill cleared the state Senate Labor Committee and now heads to the full Senate. The bill (S4204) would update New Jersey labor laws by expanding the definition of who is an employee versus an independent contractor. It would also ensure that employees are properly paid minimum wage, receive benefits and paid overtime. . . There's been major pushback on the bill from independent contractors representing a swath of industries who say it will prevent them from finding work and force them to move out of the state. Some freelancers estimate they could lose two-thirds of their income.

Updated Massachusetts Right To Repair Law Headed To Ballot
The Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition today announced it has turned in 102,000 signatures to ensure an initiative petition to enact an update to the Commonwealth's Right to Repair law before it reaches the 2020 ballot. The Coalition - a group of Massachusetts independent repair shops, auto parts stores, trade associations, consumers, and drivers - said that a lack of progress on an update to the law in the Legislature led them to pursue an initiative petition so that Massachusetts car owners will continue to have access to the repair and diagnostic mechanical information produced by the vehicle they own.


  Energy Information Agency Weekly Retail Gasoline Prices  
Each week, the Energy Information Administration publishes a list of average gasoline prices for the previous three weeks. NJGCA will begin including this list with the Weekly Road Warrior. Remember, these prices are reflective of self-serve everywhere except NJ.


  Member Benefit Partner Message Board  



  Classifieds: For Sale and Help Wanted Ads  



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Business For Sale: Monmouth County gas station and repair shop in business since 2001 is for sale. Owner is relocating out of state and is interested in selling business and equipment. Owner is open to limited financing. Business has a strong 10 year lease. The building has two repair bays and the gas pumps are leased to a large independent tenant. Repair shop business currently employs a Manager and two full-time Technicians. For inquiries and more info, please call Mark at 908-670-7798.

New! Parts For Sale: Incon TS-1000 tank monitor works well just taken out of service. Printer is aprox 2 months old. Also, Incon 8, tank probes. System replaced because on an Exxon upgrade. Call John Twin Towers Exxon (201) 224-8444