Road Warrior Newsletter

March 14, 2008


Dear NJGCA Member:


“You guys are crooks!  How can you get away with jacking up the prices like you do?” 

“Let me get this straight. I can’t pump regular gasoline in Jersey.  Yet you guys let me pump my own diesel AND I get to pay 70¢ more a gallon than regular gasoline – what gives?”

These quotes are from consumer emails I recently received at NJGCA.  As the price of gasoline increases, there will be plenty more of these kinds of messages.  Nevertheless, the larger point is clear: there are some misguided perceptions out there on why prices are increasing. 

Motorists are justifiably unhappy at gas prices and just confused about state regulations.  Who can blame them?  All we read about lately are record high energy prices and corporate dishonesty.

As small business owners it is imperative that you educate your customer on what is going on in the market and be clear on what the law states.

The simple answers to the questions above were: “We don’t like high prices anymore than you do; we barely eek out a profit.  Big Oil is raking in the dough, we are just getting by” and “The ban on self service in NJ only applies to gasoline, not diesel fuel.  Diesel demand is incredibly high in Europe because over 50% of their vehicles run on diesel.  This drives up prices in the United States as well.”

Easier said than done, but the rest of the public doesn’t grasp this.  If it isn’t enough that small businesses must deal with over regulation and high taxes, we now have to play a “perception game” as well.  It is a game that we MUST be engaged in or public opinion will erode for our Members.   I encourage you to participate and turn back these stereotypes. 

It’s been a busy week in Trenton.  Check out our Trenton Traffic section for some important update from the State House.

Thanks for reading.  See you next week!


Sal Risalvato
Executive Director


State House Legislative Report

• Paid Family Leave heard in Appropriations Committee; Passed by full Assembly
• UPDATE: NJ Regulatory Flexibility Act Passed in the Assembly
• 120 in 120: Defending Small Businesses, Informing Lawmakers


• Governor’s Budget proposal gets low marks
• New Jerseyans unhappy with toll-hike plan; Guv’s poll numbers sink further
• Poll: Residents okay with traffic cameras
• Small Businesses could face litigation under Paid Family Leave


•AASP/NJ-Northeast 2008 Regional Autobody / Automotive Trade Show
State House Legislative Report


This week clearly illustrated how Paid Family Leave is being fast tracked by the Governor and Majority Party in Trenton without considering the affects on small businesses.

On Monday, the Assembly version of Paid Family Leave, A-873, was heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.  The legislation seeks to extend 6-weeks of PAID leave every year to all employees.

The bill passed by 8 to 4 and the final tally came down to a party-line vote; with Republicans voting against the bill and Democrats voting for it:

Voting YES:
Assemblywoman Nellie Pou, Chair (D-35th Legislative District-Passaic, Bergen Counties)
Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Vice-Chair (D-37th Legislative District-Bergen County)
Assemblyman Nelston T. Albano (D-1st Legislative District-Cape May, Cumberland, Atlantic)
Assemblyman Peter J. Barnes, III (D-18th Legislative District-Middlesex County)
Assemblyman John J. Burzichelli (D-3rd Legislative District-Salem, Cumberland, Gloucester)
Assemblyman Herb Conaway, Jr. (D-7th Legislative District-Burlington, Camden Counties)
Assemblyman Louis D. Greenwald (D-6th Legislative District-Camden County)
Assemblyman Ruben J. Ramos, Jr. (D-33rd Legislative District-Union County)

Voting NO:
Assemblywoman Dawn Marie Addiego (R-8th Legislative District-Burlington County)
Assemblyman Michael J. Doherty (R-23rd Legislative District-Warren, Hunterdon Counties)
Assemblyman Richard A. Merkt (R-25th Legislative District-Morris County)
Assemblyman Samuel Thompson (R-13th Legislative District-Monmouth, Middlesex Counties)

On Thursday the bill came up before the full Assembly and was passed by a 46-30-2 vote.

NJGCA was in the State House during these proceedings.  Executive Director Sal Risalvato testified against the bill in Committee and Government Affairs Director Chris Stark spoke with Legislators on Thursday prior to the full Assembly vote. 

You can hear Sal’s testimony before the Assembly Appropriations by clicking HERE – move the slide to 1:44:47 and listen until 1:56:22 when the Chair cut off future discussion on Sal’s testimony. 

Considering most legislation lingers for months on end, this is incredibly quick progress for Paid Family Leave.  Clearly Legislators are hoping to push the bill through while the rest of the public is distracted by the budget process. 

NJGCA strongly encourages ALL Members to contact the Governor’s Office and ask him to NOT sign the Paid Family Leave Act.  Call 609-292-6000 or email the Governor by clicking HERE and completing the online form.  Tell him to STOP Paid Family Leave from becoming law in New Jersey. 

Click HERE to read a recent NJGCA Press Release condemning passage of the Paid Family Leave Act.


Last month, NJGCA informed you about A-832 - the New Jersey Regulatory Flexibility Act – sponsored by Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula.

The bill seeks to ease regulatory fines that are agency derived and not directly imposed by the Legislature. It would essentially force departments to provide a cost benefit analysis and prove that businesses will not be overwhelmed. Furthermore, business advocates will have the option of a judicial review, which is currently unavailable to them.

We are happy to say that the bill passed the Assembly by an 75-1-1 vote and is now heading to a Senate Committee to be considered. 

NJGCA strongly supported Assemblyman Chivukula’s bill because it would compel departments like the DEP to defend their regulations and fines.

Please reach out to your State Senators and ask them to support the “Reg Flex” bill.  Find your Senator by clicking HERE - Just click on your town to see who represents you in Trenton.

You can read the full bill language by clicking HERE

Please visit the US Small Business Administration-Office of Advocacy for more information – Click HERE

NJGCA is committed to bringing our issues and message to every member of the Legislature. 

We have embarked on an ambitious plan to meet with all 120 State Legislators in the first 120 days of the new 213th Legislative Session. 

Our efforts continued this week as NJGCA staffers met with Assemblyman Jon Bramnick (R-21st District) and Assemblyman Vincent Prieto (D-32nd District) to discuss Zone Pricing and Right to Repair.

The meetings were productive.  We thank the Assemblymen for their time and are look forward to working with them on these issues.

NJGCA will continue to meet with Legislators in the coming weeks and bring you updates.

Governor’s Budget proposal gets low marks
Only 10% of state residents approve of Governor Corzine’s recently unveiled budget for Fiscal Year ’09.  Most residents feel that, despite a dip in spending, the plan will do nothing to alleviate financial hardships for taxpayers. 

New Jerseyans unhappy with toll-hike plan; Guv’s poll numbers sink further
Further illustrating the public’s rejection of the Governor’s toll-hike plan, a new poll puts Corzine’s overall disapproval rating at 52%, with 56% of respondents opposing his plan. 

Poll: Residents okay with traffic cameras
According to a recent poll, residents are fine with traffic cameras being used to catch motorists violating traffic laws and overwhelmingly support the new cell phone use ban.  However, some fear that these new measures, while well intentioned, may be used to raise more money from the public. 

Small Businesses could face litigation under Paid Family Leave
A letter from New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram to the Labor Commissioner David Socolow states that small businesses may encounter legal ramifications if Paid Family Leave is enacted in its current form.  Employers who are unable to hold jobs open for those who take leave may face a law suit by their former employees.



March 28-30, 2008
Rockland Community College Field House - Suffern, New York

We have been invited by our friends at the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ) to attend a 3 day trade show.  There will be over 400 booths and over 140 companies in attendance, representing in the repair equipment and business software products industry. 

NJGCA will have a booth at the event and will provide free tickets to any members would like to attend.

This is a great opportunity to see the latest technology, equipment, services, and related suppliers in person!

Northeast Regional Autobody Automotive Trade Show c/o Rockland Exposition Inc.
388 East Main Street
Middletown NY  10940

Serving the small businesses that serve the motorist