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February 13, 2020
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 Inside this issue
  Executive Directors Message  

Today's Road Warrior brings some good news and bad news. There is some awesome news for those of you in the gasoline business. Unfortunately, I also have some very bad news for each of you that are in the auto repair, convenience store and gasoline retail businesses. Please read to the end.
First, the good news for gasoline retailers. For those of you who have been paying attention, you know that NJGCA was involved in a below-cost selling complaint in 2016 after a member sent us pictures of two gas stations destroying the local marketplace by selling below-cost. When the charges were filed, one of the gas stations pleaded guilty and paid a few thousand dollars in penalties. The other gas station owned by Speedway, a subsidiary of Marathon Oil, decided rather than pay their fine; they would challenge the below-cost selling law and try to have it declared unconstitutional. It was heard in Mercer County Superior Court in August 2017, and was dismissed with much basis on NJGCA's efforts over a ten-year period to convince the Legislature to continue protecting the law. The court did not want to legislate from the bench since the Legislature had chosen on four different occasions to leave the below-cost selling law intact. Speedway immediately filed an appeal and the appellate division upheld the superior court's decision in April of last year. Speedway then took their last shot and filed an appeal to the New Jersey Supreme Court, asking that the law be overturned based on its constitutionality. Although I was just notified yesterday, the court actually ruled last week that they were denying Speedways appeal. This means that the appellate court decision will be upheld and the below-cost selling statute is deemed to be constitutional. This is a big victory for gasoline retailers in New Jersey. I especially want to thank NJGCA attorney Frank Brennan for the brilliant work that he did preparing an amicus brief on behalf of NJGCA in each of the three phases of court challenges. At one point, Speedway even made a motion to the appellate court to deny NJGCA the right to participate in the case as an amicus. It took the appellate judges all of three hours to deny Speedways motion, permitting NJGCA to file our own briefs in the case. I will have more to say about all of this in the future. Our attorney Frank Brennan is preparing a detailed chronology in an article that you should be able to read about in the April edition of On The Road. I also must give thanks to our friends at Fuel Merchants of NJ, as they stood with us in every step of the court proceedings and shared the legal expenses with us too. The shame of all of this is, why would any intelligent business owner choose to sell their products below the cost? How does the math add up to be profitable when you sell below cost? The only reason to sell below cost is to injure your competition. I alluded to this last week and will repeat myself again: don't be a dope, raise your prices! DON'T SELL BELOW COST. I WILL TURN YOU IN!
Now, on to what I think is one of the worst pieces of legislation to be introduced in the forty years I have been an advocate for the small business community. It is hard to even be polite to the legislators that slapped their names as sponsors on this legislation. So far I have maintained my composure, but barely. I am going to give you some of the details which should anger you, but if you CLICK HERE, you will see an entire memo that Eric prepared for a presentation we made to a coalition that is being organized to fight this. Small and big businesses will be greatly affected and burdened. The legislation that I am speaking about is known to us as the Restrictive Scheduling Bill or Fair Workweek Act to legislative sponsors. Don't let the title fool you, there is nothing about this legislation that is fair. In short, the legislation would basically give control over when you schedule your employees to work. They could pick how much and when they want to work, and the employer can ask them to work otherwise only after going through an "interactive process" with the employee. Their request can only be denied for a "bona fide business reason" that will bring the employer a "significant and quantifiable detrimental effect." All this must be documented by the employer and all records kept for 6 years or else the employer is assumed to be guilty of a violation with massive penalties.
An employee would have to receive extra money anytime they work more than they were scheduled or anytime they work less than scheduled (schedules must be provided at least 14 days in advance). An employee must be given at least a 12 hour break between shifts or else be paid time-and-a-half. An employee who is on-call but not needed would need to be paid at least 4 hours regular pay for the trouble. An employee must be paid for at least 9 hours of work per week, even if they didn't work at all.
There are more details in the attached summary. I encourage all of you to read through it. Under the current language, if you are a standalone business with no connection to a chain of any kind, you would not be covered by the bill; however the labor advocates pushing this bill would like to see it extended to all employers. If you are an independent repair shop as part of a branded gas station, then the provisions of this bill would apply to all employees, even those in the shop (branded franchises are not exempt). The sponsors of this bill are planning to start pushing it next month and hoping to have it passed by the end of June.
As I'm sure you all have seen in the emails sent this week, we will be hosting another two-day PIF training Wednesday, February 19th and Thursday, February 20th. Our class will provide all the information for becoming a NJ Emissions Inspector. On day one the State will administer the written test, after morning class instruction. Breakfast and lunch are provided! Day two will go over the hands-on test at an emission inspection location to fully prepare you for the hands-on test. Click HERE to print and fill out the registration and information forms.  

Unless there is anything urgent, there will not be a Road Warrior next week, as I will be out of town. If there is anything urgent to report, the team will huddle together and send the information to you.
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
February 19th & 20th
March 17th & 18th

April 22nd & 23rd

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.

 February class registration click here
March class registration click here
April class registration click here




  News Around The State  

Mega Millions $202M jackpot won in N.J.: Store owners get $30K bonus for selling winning ticket
While the winner of Tuesday's $202 million Mega Millions drawing has yet to step forward, the owners of the New Jersey convenience store that sold the lucky ticket were rewarded Wednesday for their continued streak of good lottery fortune. Apexa and Kauschik Patel, the owners of the Quick Stop Food Store on Inman Avenue in Edison, will get a $30,000 bonus for selling the lone Mega Millions ticket that matched all of the winning numbers. New Jersey Lottery officials presented the Patels with ceremonial check at their convenience store during an afternoon press conference.

Maryland Bans Disposable Flavored E-Cigarettes
Maryland's comptroller announced a policy banning all flavors of disposable e-cigarettes except for menthol and tobacco, the Washington Post reports. Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's recently released final guidance on e-cigarettes banned most popular flavors of cartridge-based e-cigarettes, disposable flavored e-cigarettes weren't included in the federal ban.

The US cut its CO2 emissions more than any other country in the world in 2019, helping to keep total global emissions from growing past 2018's record-breaking high
Today, the International Energy Agency released its report on global CO2 emissions, which totaled 33 gigatonnes in 2019. The figure matched the total global emissions for 2018, which were the highest ever recorded in human history. In spite of the dire figures, the IEA claimed the findings were 'grounds for optimism,' pointing to the fact that total emissions hadn't risen over all, while the global economy had grown by 2.9 percent, suggesting economic prosperity can continue even with a focus on managing greenhouse gases.


Law Would Ban Pumping Your Own Gas In Illinois
A piece of legislation proposed last week could make it illegal for Illinois residents to pump their own gas. The "Gas Station Attendant Act" was proposed last week by state Rep. Camille Lilly, a Democrat from Oak Park. Under the proposal, starting Jan. 1, 2021, customers would no longer be able to pump their own gas - it would have to be done by a gas station attendant. The proposal comes as just one full-service gas station remains in the Chicago area and is seen as a throwback to a simpler time. 

If You've Bought An Electric Car In New Jersey Recently, You May Be Eligible For $5k
New Jersey residents who have bought an electric car anytime on or after Jan. 17 will be eligible for a new state incentive worth up to $5,000 off the negotiated price, Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday. The rebate became effective the day Murphy signed into law a bill that created the incentive program. Motorists had questioned when the rebate would go into effect, because a contractor for the state Board of Public Utilities is still developing the rebate system. 

Retailers Fear Loss of Lottery Income to Online Sales and Delay in Debit App
Thousands of New Jersey retail outlets selling lottery tickets may be missing out on income they previously took for granted. Retailers are upset that a law signed in July to let lottery players buy tickets in stores via a debit phone app has not taken effect while the New Jersey Lottery in December announced that tickets now can be purchased anywhere in the state on mobile phones.

Even The American Military Is Struggling With Right-To-Repair
Imagine that you're stationed at an outpost deep in a conflict zone. Your MRAP's alternator is busted and you've got a spare, but your mechanic tells you that she'll void the warranty if you let her replace it. It's either tow the whole thing out or let it sit there wasting space. That's what American servicemembers are up against these days. This is the same right-to-repair issue that's affecting farmers, iPhone tinkerers, and even regular old wrenchers across the country, but now it's making it nearly impossible for our armed forces to do their jobs, and it's likely the Pentagon's fault too.

Skimmers Target Independent Gas Stations With Older Pumps
However, he cautioned that criminals are switching to older pumps at independent gas stations that haven't updated the pay-at-the-pump technology. "I think as far as [upgrading] the pumps it comes down to a financial cost," Goodyear said. "A lot of the mom-and-pop stations don't have the money to invest in that type of technology that would help us in keeping the skimmers off their pumps." All gasoline pumps must be equipped to accept chip technology by October or the owners could face liability for fraud.

Vaping Crackdown Is a Mixed Blessing for Tobacco
A ban on fruit and mint-flavored e-cigarette pods that are popular with young consumers came into force Thursday. The Food and Drug Administration is changing how it regulates e-cigarettes as it tries to address a lung disease linked to vaping products and a spike in use among high-school students-28% of whom now vape, according to the 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey. Tighter rules are hurting the smokeless portfolios of major tobacco companies. Last week, Marlboro's U.S. owner Altria MO 0.82% wrote down the value of its 35% stake in e-cigarette business JUUL Labs to $4.2 billion in its second impairment since paying $12.8 billion for the holding in December 2018. Gauloises' manufacturer Imperial Brands IMBBY 1.04% warned Wednesday that the flavored e-cigarette ban will lower its earnings in the first half of 2020 by 10%. The silver lining is more stable demand for traditional cigarettes-which still generate the lion's share of tobacco companies' sales and profits-as fewer consumers make the switch to vaping. U.S. cigarette volumes declined by just 2% in January, according to MSAi data cited by Citigroup analysts, compared with a fall of 5.5% in December. Altria Chief Executive Howard Willard said during the company's latest quarterly call that slower growth in the e-vapor category over the next few years should reduce pressure on cigarette brands.

Trump just rolled back overtime pay. Now, workers like me need Gov. Murphy to protect us. | Opinion
This month the Trump Administration continued its attacks on America's workers with a new rule that lets big corporations continue to make millions if their employees work more than 40 hours a week without any extra pay for their hard work and dedication. President Trump says that if you make more than $35,000 a year, you're a highly paid executive who doesn't need overtime pay. Workers like me need Gov. Phil Murphy to step in to restore our overtime pay - the way that Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee did last year. The overtime rules are a lot like a minimum wage for the middle class: they make sure workers have time for their personal lives by protecting the 40 hour work week - and they guarantee them extra pay when they do have to work longer hours.


  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  



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