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December 16, 2021
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 Inside this issue
  Executive Directors Message  






I know you get a lot of lengthy and detailed emails from me, but it's a quiet week this week ahead of the holidays, so enjoy this easy reading!


On January 1, 2022 the minimum wage will increase for all workers in New Jersey. It will be set at $13.00 an hour. For an employer with fewer than six employees, the minimum is $11.90 an hour. If any of your employees are making less than this amount, make sure to inform your payroll company to increase their wages as they will not do it without your permission.


In DC, the Senate is trying to pass the Build Back Better Act before they break for Christmas. In an attempt to do so, the tax for vaping products has been dropped by the Senate. The proposal would have taxed vaping products, which include e-cigarettes, vaping liquids and oral nicotine pouches, at a rate that is similar to the existing federal cigarette tax rate of $1.01 a pack. The federal tax would have been based on volume of nicotine in the products, meaning in many cases they would have been taxed even higher than cigarettes. This will take a federal vape tax off the table for now. 


Trenton is back in session, though lately they have been light on issues that pertain to us. 

We recently weighed in on a bill that may affect everyone with restrooms in their businesses. The bill would require any new bathrooms in rest stops, gas stations, and county buildings to install baby diaper changing stations. Although this isn't a big deal from a cost point of view, we think it could be an issue with regard to the space available in your restrooms to have a changing table. We opposed this unless there was a sufficient amount of square footage available for the business to install a baby changing station. You can read our testimony on this by clicking the link HERE.

Another bill that was just introduced would ban the sale and distribution of gasoline leaf blowers statewide. The bill also states that four years after passing, the state would also ban the use of gasoline leaf blowers altogether. There are some New Jersey towns that have already instated town ordinances against gasoline-powered leaf blowers similar to this statewide ban, including Montclair. California has also introduced a similar ban that will include lawn mowers as well. We are also awaiting news that the EDA will offer tax credits for electric leaf blowers should this bill pass, though no statement has been made yet. We will be watching both of these bills closely and report back with any updates. 


Be Well -  

Sal Risalvato
Executive Director




  Training Class Schedule  

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


ASE Training Course - Reach Out Today!

Are you (or an employee) getting ready to take your A6, A8, or L1 in preparation to recertifying your Emission Repair Technician (ERT) credentials through the State's Emission Technician Education Program (ETEP)?  

We can help --- but we need to hear from you, first! 
NJGCA wants to hear from students interested in our ASE-prep training program, so we can gauge demand and schedule our next session series. 

As you know, the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has always maintained a "dual-track" system to allow technicians to earn their Emission Repair Technician (ERT) credentials through New Jersey's Emission Technician Education Program (ETEP). In doing so, technicians were allowed to certify as ERTs through either an ASE-test track or an ETEP-educational class track. Starting on January 1, 2020, NJDEP amended the ETEP criteria, and the ETEP-educational class track was abolished.  

Today, only the ASE-test track remains, and all ERTs must certify or re-certify their credentials though ASE to remain in the Program. 

NJGCA has recently offered an ASE-prep class to help you get ready for the A6, A8, and L1. In doing so, students were welcome to participate in a ten-session preparatory class that covered material for all three ASE exams. We also had a handful of students who joined us only for the A8 or L1 sections.  

Once completed, students took their ASE exams with a local ASE-approved test proctor (NJGCA can train you to prepare for the ASE exams, but are not permitted to offer the actual exam - students must make these arrangements individually themselves). 

Building on that success, we are now seeking student participation in our next training series session. To make arrangements and organize a session, we need to hear from you! 

If you are interested, please email us at training@njgca.org ASAP. 

We'll record your interest, inquire on your availability, and schedule a class once we have a full complement of students.   

Only with your feedback can we gauge student headcount and participation.  

Please reach out to us today, and thank you for your interest! 

Contact Nick De Palma at Nick@njgca.org to inquire about potential trainings and class dates



  News Around The State  


N.Y.C.'s Gas Ban Takes Fight Against Climate Change to the Kitchen

The City Council on Wednesday approved a bill banning gas hookups in new buildings - effectively requiring all-electric heating and cooking - after what council members and lobbying groups described as weeks of intense negotiations. The ban takes effect in December 2023 for buildings under seven stories; for taller buildings, developers negotiated a delay until 2027.



Lawmakers Want To Knock 50 Cents off Your Turnpike, Parkway Tolls, Delay Future Toll Hikes

With less than three weeks until a Jan. 1 toll increase takes effect - a rate hike that caught many New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway drivers by surprise - a quartet of state legislators want to hit the brakes on it and give drivers a discount. The brakes in this case are two bills, one introduced Monday and another to drop on Dec. 20 that would curb the New Jersey Turnpike Authority's ability to make annual toll increases.



Alcohol, Cigarette Sales Went Up In 2020. Now, We're Drinking and Smoking Even More

After more than a year and a half of coronavirus-related cancellations, travel and entertainment restrictions, masking and vaccination requirements, and widespread illness and death, New Jerseyans have continued to smoke and drink more than in pre-pandemic times, according to industry officials, addiction fighters, and rising tax revenues on the sale of tobacco and alcohol. The most recent year-to-date revenue figures from the state indicate there's been no let-up this year in the increased volume of tobacco and alcoholic beverage purchases experienced in 2020, the first year of the pandemic.



New York To Impose Statewide Mask Mandate

All New Yorkers must wear masks inside any business that does not implement a vaccine requirement, Gov. Kathy Hochul said Friday, announcing one of the most stringent mandates in the nation. The new requirement, which takes effect Monday and will be reassessed on Jan. 15, comes amid a surge in Covid-19 cases throughout much of upstate New York, and as more cases of the Omicron variant are confirmed throughout the state.



California to Eliminate New Gas-Powered Lawn Mowers, Leaf Blowers By 2024

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) voted Thursday to ban the sale of new gas-powered leaf blowers and lawn mowers starting in 2024 and portable generators by 2028 in an effort to reduce harmful pollutants. . . The CARB believes that battery technology will improve and zero-emission gear will become more available before 2024 when the ban kicks in, the Los Angeles Times writes.



  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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