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August 20, 2020
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 Inside this issue
  Executive Directors Message  

Recently we heard from several members who have been contacted regarding their A/B Operator licensees and the need to "renew" their credentials. 

In reaching out to us, our members were reacting to a notice from the International Code Council (ICC), reminding them they were 60 days out from the renewal deadline. Receiving this notification is seemingly "official" and noteworthy. After all, to obtain your A/B Operator license, one must pass the ICC's own test to gain accreditation. 
It must be legitimate, right?
Unfortunately, it's not. It's a marketing email, and you can ignore it. If you read through the "closing statement," the email leaves it open for you to contact your state authorities before signing up for the renewal ("Contact your local authorities to verify state licensure requirements. State licensing renewal requirements vary from state-to-state and may be different from those of ICC's national certification.")

There's a good reason they did that, New Jersey does NOT require A/B Operators to renew their licenses. The only way you would have to retest is if you had run afoul of an existing regulations in performing your A/B Operator duties, and the State required you to get re-credentialed as part of a larger disciplinary action. Failing that, your license lasts indefinitely.

So, if you did receive such a notice from the ICC, you can ignore it. It doesn't pertain to you or New Jersey. NJDEP is aware of the issue and has requested that ICC stop sending these notices to A/B Operators in NJ, apparently without much success.

The Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) recently sent out a VID message to all Private Inspection Facilities (PIFs) concerning the COVID pandemic and Commission auditing visits.
The substance of the message was very straightforward: All PIF owners (and their employees) are to follow proper facemask and social distancing requirements when MVC auditors are on site during routine visits. Failure to adhere to this requirement will result in PIFs bringing their invoices and stickers to an MVC Regional Office for the audit to be conducted.
This is obviously common sense and not a surprising development. Governor Murphy's Executive Orders stipulate that masks are required to be worn in indoor spaces that are accessible to members of the public. When MVC auditors visit a PIF location they are typically in close proximity to PIF owners and their employees. As the pandemic lingers, everyone has become more "comfortable" with the crisis. That's only natural, but can lead to a false sense of comfort and lax personal habits. Don't let any bad habits become a routine practice.
We encourage all small business owners to act responsibility, but especially when MVC (or any other State agency, for that matter) is visiting your location. There's no need to draw attention to yourself, make any State employee feel unsafe, or create a problem when none exists. There's no need to take time away from your business and sit through an audit at a regional office; especially when it could have been avoided altogether. So if MVC comes to audit your shop, throw on a mask, and make sure your staff does the same, and follow social distancing guidelines.
This week, Senate Republicans introduced a slimmed down Coronavirus stimulus relief measure to the government funding bill that includes liability and a second round of PPP. We mentioned last week that it looked like the liability portion of efforts in DC were not going anywhere, and that businesses would be facing frivolous lawsuits down the line. This puts these protections back on the table. Please be on standby, as we may ask you to contact your member of Congress to continue fighting against harmful liability measures.
Governor Murphy is planning to put forward his spending proposal for what will be a nine-month fiscal "year" 2021 on Aug. 25. The budget must be adopted by October 1st. Though there has been some improvement, tax collections remain low throughout the state and state finances are currently suffering. This means that Governor Murphy will be looking to tax anything that moves or can be taxed in order to make up for the shortfall.
Be Well -  
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
September 16th & 17th, 2020

After a long delay due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis, NJGCA is pleased to announce that our training classes will resume! If you, a colleague, or an employee technician wishes to become a NJ Emissions Inspector, we can help and now is your chance! NJGCA will offer a two-day class with all the information and training you need to become a NJ Emissions Inspector.
On day one you will receive in-class instruction from NJGCA's instructor. We will break for lunch (provided), and the State will administer the written test in the afternoon. On day two will go over the hands-on test at an emission inspection location to fully prepare you for the hands-on test.
In light of the current crisis, and to protect both students and staffers, all participants must wear facemasks at all times while on the premises and respect social-distancing guidelines.

September class registration click here



  News Around The State  

Bank of America Says Oil Prices Are Set to Recover
After plummeting this spring during the pandemic, oil prices are set to recover by the first half of next year, according to a recent Bank of America report. The impact of the market collapse on the nation's energy industry will endure for years to come, as Business Insider reports. But Bank of America expects the industry's growth model to change and that companies will be forced to focus on cash generation and modest growth. The recovery is driven by a global drop in output, largely through an OPEC agreement to curb production and a steady increase in fuel demand, bank analysts said.

Senate Republicans To Introduce Smaller Covid Package That Includes Billions For Postal Service
Senate Republicans are planning to introduce a "skinny" coronavirus relief bill, amid an impasse in negotiations between the White House and top Democratic leaders. The latest GOP coronavirus relief bill is expected to include $300 in boosted weekly federal unemployment benefits until December 27, another round of money for the Paycheck Protection Program and an additional $10 billion for the U.S. Postal Service and liability protections. The proposal is also expected to include money for education and testing.

Pandemic Boosts Adoption of Contactless Payment
The number of retailers accepting contactless payment is on the rise, according to RetailDive.com, and that increase is the result of the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent National Retail Federation and Forrester survey found that 67% of retailers surveyed accept some form of no-touch payment, and 58% accept contactless cards, an increase from 40% last year. Ninety-four percent of retailers surveyed said they anticipate contactless payments to increase over the next 18 months, and 19% think no-touch payments have accounted for more than half of their in-store transactions. However, 67% of retailers said they are concerned about the costs of contactless payments, including fees for processing transactions.



  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.


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