POLITICAL PARTICIPATON: THE NJGCA PAC
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EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S MESSAGE: GREETINGS & SAL-UTATIONS!
MAKING FULL USE OF YOUR MEMBERSHIP, NEWS FROM TRENTON, AND REMINDERS
I’m one of those folks that can, at times, get easily irritated. No matter if it’s my wife putting away something on me that I was just about to use or having puzzling problems with my computer at work, I’ll get fired up over it. It’s just how I’m made and I’m too old to change my ways.
However, as bad as that is, you can only imagine how utterly frustrated I get when there is something that can be utterly preventable goes wrong. Nothing makes me more irritated, angry, or just plain $&!*^&?# upset than dealing with a problem that shouldn’t have existed to begin with!
Let me give you a two recent example of this:
Recently we got a phone call from a member who was being smacked with a fine from DEP for failing to produce paperwork showing that his cathodic protection test was done. As you know, a steel tank cathodic protection test is required every three years and it is one of those requirements that DEP regularly checks for.
This member, who has been aimlessly switching from one testing company to another, completely forgot about this requirement. Part of this was due to his own foolishness in not keeping accurate records for himself. And part of it was that his endless switching from one company to another made recordkeeping for his environmental company that much more difficult. NJDEP visited for a routine inspection and yes he was fined.
As you may recall from an earlier Road Warrior, a similar situation happened not long ago where a member was called by ATS, a trusted Member Benefit Partner and our preferred environmental testing company, to set up his annual vapor recovery test. Unfortunately, this member was experiencing a budget problem and couldn’t afford the test at the time, so he said he would call them back in a few weeks to come out and do the test. Sounds innocent enough, right?
Can you guess what happened? This member didn’t call back ATS and the test was never performed. Two months later, NJDEP comes strolling in the door on a routine test and he was whacked with a fine.
In both of these situations the problems could have been easily averted and the fines avoided. Yet it frustrates me to no end when a member is aware of the tools we make available to them and refuses to make appropriate use of them. We don’t vet these companies and spend many hours negotiating rates and contracts for you merely for fun. We do it because we’re looking out for you!
To me, it’s kind of like having access to a brand new Cadillac to get you around, but you stubbornly refuse to drive it and end up taking the bus or riding a bike everywhere. Where’s the sense in that?
When I bring up these examples, it’s not to poke fun at the dealers who were affected or rant endlessly for no reason. I do this to illustrate real world situations that needlessly cost you money.
Like I’ve always said: Why would you permit Trenton any excuse to pick your pocket when it could have been avoided?
If I’m on your case and sound like a broken record, it’s for your own good. If you have access to the tools and information needed to fix these issues, make use of them. If you don’t, you’re not only under-utilizing your NJGCA membership, you’re hurting your business.
This week we have good news and sad news from Trenton.
The good news? Two bills we supported were signed into law on Monday by Governor Christie.
A bill we fought to have amended, A3133, is now law. Sponsored by Assemblywoman Riley, and commonly referred to as the ‘Rebate Bill’, the law would have originally permitted gas stations to partner with supermarkets to offer rewards for points accrued from loyalty cards. However, as initially written, it would have created a back door to below cost selling. Thankfully, we were able to work with the sponsors and our friends at the NJ Food Council to work out a compromise. The final result was a much better bill and a win for both gasoline retailers and super markets.
The other bill, S847, was the ‘Sign Bill’ we have been working on for some time now. Sponsored by Senator Turner, we initially supported this legislation. The original bill was amended in the Assembly and would have required you to post as many as EIGHT DIFFERENT PRICES on your street sign if you utilized Cash/Credit Pricing at your location. We opposed the amended version. Thankfully we were able get the bill amended back to the version originally sponsored by Senator Turner.
So how does the Sign Bill affect you? It doesn’t. It merely takes rules that were a regulation and makes them into a law. If you are currently implementing Cash/Credit Pricing, and are following the sign rules, you have to change nothing. If, however, you decide at some point down the line to implement Cash/Credit Pricing, you just have to follow the rules as they exit now.
The sad news? NJGCA has lost a longtime friend and a strong leader in Trenton.
Assemblyman Alex DeCroce died on Tuesday night in the State House right after the final session of the 214th Legislature. Alex was the leader of the Republican Caucus in the General Assembly and worked with us on many of our causes. Thanks to Alex’s strong support of small business owners like you, he was able to help us harness the entire Republican Caucus to get bills we supported passed in the Assembly. I’ve known Alex personally for many years and was proud to call him a friend. He will be missed and our prayers go out to his wife, Betty Lou, and the entire DeCroce family.
You can read more on this tragic loss by clicking HERE
While we mourn Alex’s loss, we hope to have a similar relationship with his eventual successor as Republican Assembly Leader in Trenton. Right now it seems likely that Assemblyman Jon Bramnick will step into this role. Assemblyman Bramnick, as you recall, has been a very close ally and a champion for NJGCA causes. It was the Assemblyman who co-sponsored our Right of First Refusal legislation and has been a trusted friend.
Finally this week, we end on two housekeeping items:
1. The Community Right to Know survey is due on March 1st. Unlike past surveys, this one is to be completed online. We’ll have more details for you on this in our next installment of On The Road, which should be hitting your mailbox in the next two weeks. Be sure to check it out and get back to us with any questions or comments.
2. We have begun to mail out DEP Compliance Calendars to members. If you haven’t received one already, you should be getting it within the next week. Call if you don’t receive one by the end of next week.
Thanks for listening - See you next week!
NEWS AROUND THE STATE
Education Reform: New law will permit private companies to build urban schools
On Thursday, Governor Christie signed into law a new measure which will allow private nonprofit companies to build schools in urban areas. Known as the Urban Hope Act, the new law will allow a total of 12 “renaissance” schools to be built in Newark, Trenton, and Camden. The schools will be overseen by the New Jersey Department of Education. Click above to read the full article.
Environmental lobby seeks full fracking ban in New Jersey
Despite a one-year moratorium on fracking in New Jersey, state environmental groups are pushing ahead with a plan to win an outright permanent ban. Hydraulic fracturing, common known as ‘fracking’, is a process of drilling into the earth’s crust and using hydraulic pressure to fracture underground geological formations to release gas deposits. Though this type of drilling isn’t currently done in New Jersey, it is being used in Pennsylvania and other states. Opponents of fracking fear any drilling will cause water and soil contamination.
Trenton: New 215th Legislature is sworn in
A new two year legislative session began on Tuesday, marking the start of the 215th Legislature. Both houses of the Legislature were reorganized, with a new Majority leader being appointed in both the Senate and General Assembly. Click the link above to read full details, including new committee assignments.
Economic Report: New Jersey’s economy improving
On Tuesday, James Hughes, a top economist at Rutgers University, stated that the state’s economy seems to have regained some footing in 2011. Citing the creation of 41,800 private sector jobs, New Jersey has now rejoined the ranks of 10 states with the highest employment. Hughes believes that the economic outlook for 2012 will be slightly ahead of 2011 results.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ARTICLES IN OUR “NEWS AROUND THE STATE” ARCHIVE
-ALL CLASSES WILL BE HELD AT NJGCA HEADQUARTERS-
66 Morris Avenue - Springfield, NJ 07081 (Union County)
PLEASE NOTE: FUTURE DATES WILL BE ADDED UPON REQUEST AND ACCORDING TO DEMAND. CONTACT DEBBIE at 973-376-0066 or DEBBIE@NJGCA.ORG TO LET HER KNOW YOU ARE INTERESTED IN TAKING A SPECIFIC CLASS. THIS WILL ALLOW US TO GAUGE YOUR NEEDS AND KEEP TRACK OF THOSE WISHING TO PARTICIPATE!!
MEMBER BENEFIT PARTNER MESSAGE
TMP Energy Solutions
Another Way to Save on Your Energy Bills
We have had a number of NJGCA members successfully reduce their rate per kWh signing up through our energy saving program. We know it’s difficult to collect 12 months worth of previous electric bills to get an “accurate” analysis when comparing a variable rate to a fixed rate, but we now have another option available.
This new solution is a power purchase option; the other program is still in full force and has saved members thousands of dollars. If you sign up for the power purchase option, you will be grouped with other NJGCA members until the minimum KW demand is acquired. By pooling the member’s usage together, you will be able to take advantage, as large energy users do, and receive a lower kWh rate.
Each member will receive their own contract. Each member is responsible to sign and return the agreement the day it is received in order to secure the price for their group.
Please do your due diligence, so when you receive the proposal and the agreement you will be able to make an intelligent decision.
If by chance, you still want us to assess you bills, to give you a price to compare, we will require12 months of your most recent utility bills.
There are no bills required, but we would still like to have one bill per meter on file to check account #’s, meter #’s service addresses and other pertinent information incase there is a problem.
The term of the agreement is for 12 months. During this term period, you will have price protection against any energy price increases along with a low fixed kWh rate.
If you are interested in becoming part of this power purchase option, please contact Phil Apruzzi at the NJGCA.
Remember when you sign up your energy through the NJGCA Energy Program, TMP makes a considerable donation to the NJGCA Scholarship Fund through their proceeds. This has no affect on your rate, and costs you nothing out of pocket.
We hope to help hundreds of NJGCA members reduce their utility costs by participating in this and our other cost reduction programs. Our purpose, in the endeavor, is to help NJGCA members lower their energy costs while supporting the NJGCA Scholarship Fund.
Contact Phil Apruzzi at 973-376-0066 or email Phil at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mention that you are interested in saving money on your energy bills. NJGCA & TMP Energy Solutions will handle all the rest.
POLITICAL PARTICIPATON: THE NJGCA PAC
DEFENDING OUR MEMBERS.
PROTECTING YOUR INTERESTS.
ANSWER THE CALL & CONTRIBUTE TODAY!!
Promoting our agenda in Trenton is of utmost importance to NJGCA and our members.
To truly understand the importance of supporting our allies, consider our successes in Trenton:
However, in order to truly affect the debate, we must ensure our friends in the Legislature are re-elected. It is for this reason that your Association has established the NJGCA PAC.
For too long, the weight of funding our Political Action Committee, the arm of the Association responsible for political donations, has rested upon a few. This is not only unfair to those few members who have shouldered this burden, but means we are not utilizing our full strength to affect the debate in Trenton.
We defeated BELOW COST SELLING
We made history in getting FIRST RIGHT OF REFUSAL signed into law!
We have built large support for RIGHT TO REPAIR and got it passed out of the Assembly
We defended your small business against the false accusations of Attorney General Anne Milgram
We gained wide support to move New Jersey to an all PIF Inspection System and close the CIF lanes
...and MUCH MORE!!
In each instance, we achieved these goals with the help of our friends in the Legislature!
If every member contributes just $100.00 we will be able to provide the help necessary to ensure victory for our allies.
PLEASE SEND YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS TO:
66 Morris Avenue
Springfield, NJ 07081
Please make your donation payable to NJGCA PAC
I understand that times are tough for all NJGCA members, but this is just as important as any battle we have fought in the past.
We have made great progress in Trenton. I hope that you will answer the call.
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NEWS AROUND THE STATE ARCHIVE
Need to catch up on events? Want to see what's going on? Find out here!