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April 21, 2022
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 Inside this issue
  Executive Directors Message  







Last week it was announced that there would be yet another delay in the decision by the court in Massachusetts on the lawsuit against the new version of Right to Repair. You will recall that during the 2020 election the voters of Massachusetts overwhelmingly supported expanding the Right to Repair for vehicles to include wireless telematic data. Car manufacturers were supposed to start complying with Model Year 2022 vehicles, but instead they immediately filed suit to try and win in the courts what they couldn't win at the ballot box. They challenged that the new law didn't give them enough time to comply, but also challenged it on more fundamental grounds. This case should have been decided over a year ago, but has been consistently delayed. Now the judge says his ruling will come down before July 1st. It is possible that he will either uphold the law completely, or at the very least only change the effective date to give manufacturers a window to get into compliance. Both sides seem to waiting on this decision before moving forward with the issue nationally. Federal legislation has been introduced, but of course it is very difficult to get anything to pass Congress nowadays. The first version of Right to Repair was accomplished by pushing the issue state by state and forcing a national compromise. New Jersey was a leader in that effort with NJGCA's advocacy, and we plan to be for this expansion as well. If the court upholds the Massachusetts law, then we will begin to work towards passage here in NJ. 


A group of lawmakers recently wrote to Mastercard and Visa urging them to stop swipe fees scheduled to increase this month. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), such increases to interchange swipe fees would amount to $1.2 billion. Considering we are still in an inflation, increased swipe fees only benefit banks and card networks with no benefit to gasoline retailers. To read more about the letter sent from Congress to Mastercard and Visa, click HERE.


Health coverage premiums have been increasing dramatically amongst all insurers in recent months, and the NJGCA program with Association Member Trust is no different. Recently, AMT sent notices to participating NJGCA members explaining that there would be a mid-year increase in health care premiums. It is highly unusual for premium increases to be made mid-year; however, all health insurers have begun to see unusually large claims as a lingering result of the COVID pandemic. AMT has been evaluating the situation for the past few months and has determined that in order to maintain the strong financial position that our self-funded trust has always enjoyed, this mid-year premium increase must be implemented.

I have received calls from many members about this. There are two actions that I encourage NJGCA members to take, and both require you to do some homework. First thing to do is to contact AMT to discuss options that are available that will help to lower the cost of your health care premiums. AMT has provided this option in the letter that was sent to you. Often, small business owners explore these options on a regular basis to ensure that they are purchasing the most cost effective health coverage for their families and their employees. The second homework task is to contact me at sal@njgca.org. I have been exploring other options for NJGCA members so that you can be referred to other choices that come with a recommendation and the confidence that you will be dealing with a reputable representative of an alternate competing health coverage plan.

Costs will be rising on all of your expenses and one of the objectives of the NJGCA staff is to try to assist you to find the best alternatives to all of the products and services that your business requires. We put an enormous effort in to finding the best choices for you to explore.

Remember, first contact AMT to see how they can lower your costs, and second contact me at sal@njgca.org to discuss another option that I have been investigating for you.


Our scholarship application is now live and we are accepting both mailed and online applications. Last year, NJGCA awarded four scholarships to children of NJGCA members and the children of employees of NJGCA members. A total of $10,000 was awarded with $5000 being contributed thanks to the generosity of Utica Insurance. Utica Insurance is the insurance company that insures many NJGCA members. The contribution was arranged by NJGCA MBP Amato Agency. Once again Utica has contributed $5000 towards a scholarship that is to be awarded to a student attending an automotive technical school or studying automotive technology. The NJGCA Board of Directors has also approved additional awards. Each NJGCA member will be entitled to submit ONE application that will be reviewed by the scholarship committee. Applicants may be either the child of a member, or an employee, or the child of an employee that works for the NJGCA member. You can find both the mail-in application and the online application HERE. Do not forget to include the other documentation required (transcripts, essays, etc) to be considered.            

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  


Legislators Urge Visa, Mastercard to Cancel Swipe-Fee Increases

A group of U.S. lawmakers sent a bipartisan letter to Visa and Mastercard urging them to halt their planned credit card swipe fee increases set to take effect this month, reports the Wall Street Journal. . . The Merchants Payments Coalition (MPC) welcomed the letter, agreeing that the increases would drive up prices paid by consumers already facing high inflation. NACS is a founding member of the MPC. . . The letter said that Visa and Mastercard could "play a constructive role" in reducing inflation by reducing swipe fees. Because swipe fees are a percentage of each transaction, the amount collected by credit card companies rises with inflation. At current rates, card networks and banks stand to see nearly 9% more swipe fee revenue this year even if rates stay the same, says the MPC.


EV Battery Shortage Could Be Worse Than Computer-Chip Issues

There could be an electric vehicle battery shortage worse than the current computer chip shortage, says RJ Scaringe, Rivian Automotive's CEO, reports the Wall Street Journal. EV batteries are made from cobalt, lithium and nickel. Each mineral plays an important role regarding the performance of the battery. Nickel boosts a battery's energy density and range. Cobalt extends a battery's lifespan, and manganese helps a battery operate safer at higher temperatures. All work together to help deliver a long lifespan and range and high performance. "Put very simply, all the world's cell production combined represents well under 10% of what we will need in 10 years," Scaringe told reporters last week. "Meaning, 90% to 95% of the supply chain does not exist."


Gasoline Demand Ticks Upward as Prices Ease Off Record Highs

As more areas of the U.S. see pump prices for gasoline fall below $4 a gallon, consumer demand is ticking back up, but fluctuating oil prices and geopolitical risks continue to weigh on the market. "As the days get longer, the weather gets warmer, and pump prices dip from their record highs, consumers feel more confident about hitting the road," said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. "But these lower pump prices could be temporary if the global price of oil increases due to constrained supply." After slight downward trends over concern about increased global oil prices and the return of seasonal domestic gas demands, gas prices are creeping up again, according to AAA. The current national average for a gallon of gas is $4.10, up a penny from yesterday, but down from $4.26 a month ago. Gas prices were $2.87 a gallon a year ago.


Amid High Gas Prices, N.J. Weighs Lifting Its Self-Service Gas Ban

In the Garden State, the "Motorist Fueling Choice and Convenience Act" would allow all gas stations to offer self-service. Those with more than four pumps would still be required to have a full-service option between 8am and 8pm. The bill would also allow stations to lower the price for customers who pump their own gas. Oregon's bill did not make it out of committee before this year's short legislative session ended. In New Jersey, gas station owners argue the move would help ease a labor shortage and bring prices down, but many drivers and politicians remain wary of changing a practice that has become a point of pride. "Every day is a predicament whether the employee will show up or not," said Roger Verma, who owns 11 gas stations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. COVID-19 has made an already difficult to fill job much harder, said Sal Risalvato, executive director with the New Jersey Gasoline-Convenience-Automotive Association. "I have members on busy highways that they have to close, sometimes during the day for a couple of hours because a shift ends, and they don't have anybody to cover it," he said.





  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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