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September 22, 2022
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 Inside this issue
A Message From Your Association
  A Message From Your Association  
  A Message From Your Association  

Additional Minimum Wage Increases Expected Due to Inflation

Ten Year Anniversary of Hurricane Sandy: Send in Your Stories

Lottery Program Expands Online

Swipe Fee Legislation Introduced

Minimum Wage Increasing

New Jersey's minimum wage will increase to $14.13 an hour beginning January 1st, 2023, for most employers. Minimum wage employees were due to receive a bump to $14 this January, however, due to inflation, a provision of the law that ties the raise to the Consumer Price Index increased the overall rate even further. For most employers it will be rising from $13 to $14.13, small employers and seasonal employers have been at $11.90 and will increase to $12.93. Small employers are those with fewer than six employees and the definition of seasonal employers includes a business where "not less than two thirds of the employer's gross receipts were received in a continuous period of not more than sixteen weeks."

Superstorm Sandy Remembrance

This October will be the 10th anniversary of Superstorm Sandy's landfall in New Jersey. We would like to do a piece in the next On the Road newsmagazine (out in mid-October) of member experiences and stories from the disaster and the gas supply crisis after. How was it trying to get fuel at your location? Are there any experiences or stories from that time that stood out? Any lessons learned in the event of another natural disaster? It would be great to get stories from all regions of the state. Please email Michelle michelle@njgca.org with your stories and photos if you have any!

Internet Lottery

On Monday, the New Jersey Lottery Commission formally proposed a change in regulations that would allow them to start selling draw-based games directly online or through an app. This does not apply to scratch-off tickets. We are concerned of the impact that these sales might have on physical lottery retail stores, though the Lottery Commission feels it will only add new lottery players that do not go to stores and this online expansion will not hurt retailers. Also this week, Governor Murphy was honored by a private lottery technology company that developed the first digital platform for ordering lottery tickets on any device with no app download or deposit required. The governor therefore must be supportive of this policy. If you have any specific concerns with the lottery or changes you might like to see them make to help retailers email eric@njgca.org

Swipe Fees

Last week we talked about supporting legislation that would bring more competition to the credit card market. This bipartisan legislation was introduced this week in the House and has already been introduced in the Senate. Thank you to all in the past who reached out to our congressional delegation asking them to sponsor. If you haven't yet done so, please take a moment to write in now. 

Be Well-

Your Association Staff



  Training Class Schedule  

All classes held at NJGCA HQ -- 615 Hope Road, Building 2, 1st Floor, Eatontown, NJ 07724

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  


35 States Win OK for EV Charging Infrastructure Plans

The Federal Highway Administration has approved electric-vehicle charging infrastructure plans submitted by 35 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, the agency said. These states will begin to have access to the $900 million for building EV chargers that was approved through the bipartisan infrastructure bill that was passed last November. In February, the Biden Administration released an EV charging infrastructure plan that said states must install an EV charger every 50 miles and must be located no more than one mile off of high-use corridors, mostly interstates.


NJ May Cap Credit Card Fees Charged by Businesses. But Is It A 'Crazy-High' Figure?
Businesses that charge fees for credit card transactions would be required to alert their customers ahead of time about the added cost, which would be capped at perhaps 4%, under a bill moving through the state Assembly. Assemblyman Paul Moriarty said he realizes businesses charge the so-called convenience fee because their finances are tight and they want to pass along the cost of taking credit cards. "I don't have a problem with that, as long as the customer knows up front that it's going to cost them more to use a credit card," said Moriarty, D-Gloucester.


Catalytic Converters Stolen From 9 School Buses At N.J. High School

Thieves stole the catalytic converters from nine school buses at Moorestown High School early Saturday, authorities said. Surveillance footage shows a white utility truck enter the school's main parking lot at midnight, Moorestown police said. The catalytic converters were removed from mini-school buses. Full-sized school buses run on diesel and do not contain catalytic converters.


Support Grows for Reworking NJ Bag Ban

Support is growing for a reworking of New Jersey's controversial plastic bag ban. State Sen. Michael Testa, R-Cumberland, called for "a complete overhaul" of the single-use bag ban that has been in effect since the beginning of May. With reusable bags piling up in the homes and cars of New Jersey residents, Testa says the state should look to New Jersey manufacturers for the solution.


NACS Backs Legislation to Reduce Swipe Fees

NACS supports the bipartisan legislation introduced yesterday in the U.S. House of Representatives that creates choice for merchants when it comes to routing credit card purchases over payments networks. Together with a companion bill introduced in the Senate in July, the House bill looks to pave the way for a more competitive credit card market and address the exorbitant swipe fees Americans pay every year. The Credit Card Competition Act of 2022 (H.R. 8874), introduced by Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Texas), would require the largest U.S. banks that issue Visa or Mastercard credit cards to allow transactions to be processed over at least two unaffiliated card payment networks-the same process that has been used for debit card transactions for more than a decade. The House bill complements the bipartisan Senate version of the bill, S. 4674, that was introduced in July by Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.).


It's True: Gas Is Cheaper Today than before Russia Invaded Ukraine

The average retail price for gas in New Jersey is now lower than it was when Russia invaded Ukraine. That may seem hard to believe, but Eric Blomgren, the chief administrator and the director of government affairs for the New Jersey Gasoline, C-Store, Automotive Association, said the numbers provided by OPIS - or the Oil Price Information Service - bear it out. On Feb. 24, when Russia went on the offensive, the price of gas in New Jersey was $3.63 a gallon. On Wednesday, it was $3.62. The price, which is based on a multiday average, is released every day. So, in theory, it could go up again. But who would have thought it was even close? Blomgren said he wouldn't be surprised if drivers were surprised. He thinks it may be an instance where memory fails us. "Prices had already been increasing before that day, simply because the price of oil had been going up for a variety of factors," he said. "But everything sort of blurs together when there are big increases, so we tend to forget."



  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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