November 30, 2023

More EV Mandate Pushback

It seems like every day there is another story about another big car manufacturer pulling back on their plans to go all out with EV production in the face of consumer demand not being as strong as they had hoped for. Car dealers and their trade groups are also getting more and more publicly vocal in pushing back against these mandates, both in New Jersey and now nationally--with nearly 4,000 dealers signing on to a letter to the Biden Administration asking them to slow down on the effort to try and force motorists into electric vehicles whether they want them or not. 

The biggest news though came out of our neighbor to the northeast, Connecticut. Their Governor announced that he was withdrawing his proposed mandate to force his state to join the California Advanced Clean Cars II program, which aims to ban the sale of gas powered cars by 2035, with a phase-in starting in just three years. This came as a surprise to many, but it shows that there is bipartisan opposition to this dramatic plan. Connecticut has a unique aspect of their lawmaking procedure, where regulations issued by the Governor must be approved by a bipartisan committee of the legislature. Normally, party loyalty prevents much from being overturned, but it looks like this plan was so toxic that members of both parties were going to vote to repeal it, so the Governor withdrew it to save face. 

Like New Jersey, Connecticut is a 'blue state', with a Democratic Governor and Democratic control of the Legislature, and has voted for the Democratic presidential nominee in every election for the last thirty years. If the plan is failing there, that's a good sign for our efforts here. While NJ does not have a similar oversight committee, we do have a process in which a majority of the Legislature can repeal a regulation by the Governor, without needing his approval. With so many opposed to this mandate, we are working to get the Legislature to use this process to stop this regulation. It's clear that there is strong bipartisan support to do so, just this week Democratic Senator Paul Sarlo (Bergen) publicly stated that there was no way the mandate was going to work. With a clear majority in both legislative houses opposed to this rule, we just need to convince leadership to put the issue up for a vote, which they will only do if they hear it enough from their voters. 

Even still, Gov. Murphy can't run for reelection, which means he leaves office January 2026. We are hopeful that the next governor, no matter which party they are, will either significantly delay or outright repeal this mandate. 

Paid Family Leave Expansion Proposed

Earlier today, NJGCA testified against a proposed bill, A-5166, that would eliminate the exemption for small businesses in the state's Paid Family Leave program. Under current law, all employees are entitled to take up to 12 weeks of paid leave following the birth of a child or to take care of a sick family member. The leave is paid by the State and funded by payroll taxes. While larger businesses are legally required to reinstate the employee when the leave ends, small businesses have the flexibility to bring them back or permanently replace them. When the program became law, a small business was defined as 50 or fewer employees. A few years ago that was lowered to 30. This bill would eliminate the exemption completely over two years. 

That flexibility is especially important for auto repair shops. It's hard enough to find a qualified technician, its even harder if you have to tell an applicant that no matter how well they do, they're going to be fired in ten weeks because you're legally required to bring back the employee on leave. They'll simply find a job someplace else, and now you may be out of a tech completely for weeks, leading to unhappy customers and possibly even having to shut down for some hours. You'll also be required to bring any employee out on leave back in the same role, for the same pay and benefits, and for the same number of hours. If an employer was already planning to cut back on an employee’s hours or job duties, or even let them go because of budgetary or performance issues, they might now face a costly lawsuit if the employee decides to blame the change entirely on the fact that they had taken PFL recently. 

You can read the testimony we submitted HERE

Gift Card Scams

Those of you with convenience stores may be selling a lot of gift cards this time of year ahead of the holidays. If you are one of these businesses, be aware that gift card scams are still running rampant, and the scammers don’t even need to receive the actual gift cards to pull off the crime. You may remember we previously reported on a law that was passed last year in New Jersey that requires retailers that display gift cards to train employees on how to identify and respond to gift card fraud. The training is basically just requiring every employee to read the brief materials that have been prepared by the state Attorney General's office, which you can find and download by clicking HERE. Look at it as an opportunity for your cashiers as well—they may be able to help protect a customer from being scammed and earn their loyalty for years to come!

Reminder for Tuesday's Webinar to Address Labor Shortage 

We are looking into a new program to help you get temporary workers to come and fill shifts at your business. NJGCA is hoping to work with a company called ShiftSmart to pool together a bunch of our members to access the platform. 

If you are even potentially interested in this, please attend the webinar we are hosting with ShiftSmart this Tuesday December 5th at 12pm. They will talk more about their service and you will have the opportunity to ask questions. You can register by clicking HERE

Please reach out to with any questions, or if you can't make the webinar but are definitely interested in this program. We can only move forward with it if there is enough interest! 

Free photos with Santa

With the holidays coming up you might be interested in this opportunity that was brought to our attention, especially if you're in the Ocean County area. Free photos with Santa in Seaside Park this Saturday December 9th 1pm-4pm. Contact Joe Ocello at or 386-314-6349

Member Benefit Partner Spotlight: Salomone Bros.

Salomone has earned a reputation within the petroleum industry of building and maintaining high quality service stations for nearly 50 years. They are proud to offer their “Testing with Integrity” UST Compliance Program. Their services include:

•All aspects of compliance testing including tanks, product lines, vapor recovery, leak detectors, dispenser shear valves, spill containment, overfill verification and release detection functionality.
•All NJGCA members receive free access to our compliance database, where you can securely access your test results and key compliance site data for all of your facilities at any time.
•In-house Class A and B Operators and training for Class C operators.
•Same day repairs, eliminating multiple site visits and more importantly, reduced downtime.
•Tank cleaning, fuel sampling and testing, fuel polishing, and treatments.
•Extended Offerings: NJDEP interaction and enforcement action mitigation, assistance with UST Registrations, General Air Permits, SPCC plans Right-to-Know Surveys, 14-day notifications to the NJDEP, Seven Day Investigation compliance, completion of installer certification for new UST installations or returning out-of-service USTs to service, release response plans, and substantial modification permit applications.

Contact: John Lynch, 973-417-5416,

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