Road Warrior Newsletter

January 29, 2010


Dear NJGCA Member:


Ok, let me get the quick inspection update out of the way before I get in to the Really Ugly.  This information is as fresh as an egg straight from the hen, as I just hung up with the suits at MVC and Parsons.
I know many of you still have not been fingerprinted yet.  The biometrics has been extended thru February at two locations.  Freehold and Secaucus.  Each location will have one night that will remain open late and will also include Saturdays.  You should all be receiving a VID message soon.  GET YOUR FINGERPRINTS DONE!!
Some of you may be getting a visit from SGS to repair a harness that has been found to malfunction, and an installation of an update of the firmware from the 1.4 version to the 1.6 version.  Many of you received your new equipment with this already done at the factory before delivery.  SGS will only visit you if your equipment was delivered without these upgrades.
Beta testing is complete at all CIFs and next Wednesday is designated as the day to begin switching all CIF lanes to the new program.
Beta testing at PIFs is now delayed one week and is scheduled to begin the week of February 15th.  No reason has been given as to what has caused another week delay in the PIF beta testing.
Now the Really Ugly:

On January 19th, Chris Christie was inaugurated as the 55th Governor of our great state, and he wasted no time in making parts of his agenda a reality.  I want to quickly brief you on the first 8 Executive Orders and what they mean for our Association and you—The Small Business Owner.   However, I am very concerned about something that will have a terrible impact on you and become REALLY UGLY.  I am not kidding…..this is very ugly and it is important that you understand what is happening to you and why it is happening.

According to recent reports, the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund will be in debt more than 1.6 Billion Dollars by March.  This is an absolute crime because the UITF has been raided by previous governors that were desperate to pay the state’s bills.   Had the previous governors (both Democrat and Republican) not diverted money from the UI Trust Fund, there would be about 5 BILLION dollars in reserve today.   The UITF had almost 4 Billion dollars in 1993 when Governor Whitman first began using the fund to pay other general treasury expenses.  Since then Governors McGreevey and Corzine have emptied the fund and NJ now owes the Federal Government 1.6 BILLION Dollars.

Governor Christie has truly been left with a mess!

Unfortunately, under New Jersey Law, when the Unemployment Fund is depleted to a certain level, a tax increase for EMPLOYERS is triggered.  Also unfortunate is that although our new governor has pledged not to raise taxes, there isn’t a damn thing he can do to prevent the tax from being imposed once the fund reaches the trigger point. A law passed back in 1984 imposes the trigger.

I am trying to find out the exact amount that the UI Trust Fund must reach in order to trigger the increased tax, but I am not getting straight answers.  Shame on me since I was part of a coalition back in 1984 that helped get the trigger law passed as part of an overall unemployment reform strategy.  I struggle to remember what I did last week, so please forgive me for not remembering what I did 26 years ago.  Since 1984 unemployment taxes have been reduced significantly, but after 26 years they will be once again be raised to obscene levels.

The annual evaluation of the UI Trust Fund takes place in March.  Unless a miracle takes place, and our new governor finds two BILLION dollars lying around the state house, ALL businesses will be faced with an increase in quarterly payroll taxes that can amount to as much as $1000 per employee per year!

Governor Christie already faces a $10 Billion budget gap for the 2011 Budget which begins on July 1 2010.

If that isn’t bad enough, our new Governor was informed 2 hours after he was inaugurated that Governor Corzine actually handed the state treasury over to him with $1.3 Billion less than needed to pay the state’s bills for the remainder of FY 2010 which ends on June 30.

It is highly unlikely that the money will be found that is needed to avoid the increase in the taxes you will have to pay for unemployment insurance for your workers.

I am very angry that our state’s finances have been so poorly managed.  Is there a silver lining anywhere?  Yes….maybe.

I have been planting seeds all over the state house with legislators, treasury officials, and senior policy folks in the new administration.  Seeds that if allowed to sprout, will change the way motor vehicle inspections are performed, and save the state as much as $56 million a year.

Recently, I have hinted to you some of the seeds that I am planting.  The seeds include everything from requiring ALL re-inspections being performed at PIFs ONLY; to eliminating ALL CIFs and moving to an ALL PIF system.  I have also suggested that measures be taken to divert vehicles fron CIFs to PIFs; or at least encourage less cars inspected at CIFs and more cars inspected at PIFs.

Every vehicle that is not inspected or re-inspected at a CIF and is inspected at your PIF, saves the State of New Jersey 22 dollars.  Re-Inspections alone cost the state over $12 million every year.

I have plenty of people listening, but so far I don’t have any commitments.  The pressure to find money for the treasury is going to get uncomfortable over the next few months as legislators argue where to make budget cuts.   I expect motor vehicle inspections will be part of the debate.  I am working on it and I expect to have the ear of Governor Christie.

There is some other good news, and I want to thank Governor Christie for beginning to implement his pro-business agenda on Day One by signing the following Executive Orders.

Executive Order #1, freezes all proposed and unpublished regulations for a period of 90 days.  This Executive Order does not include regulations that can adversely affect health of individuals or the environment.  While this Executive Order may not directly affect your business, it is a strong signal that Environmental Regulations will strive to be both pro-environment and NOT anti-business in the Christie Administration.

Executive Order #2, promotes common sense principles in the regulation of business and industry in New Jersey.  In part, this Executive Order asks agencies to review regulations in conjunction with the Red Tape review and to adopt rules for waivers, provide advance notice of rules, and most importantly illustrate that a cost/benefit analysis has been completed to show the economic impact of regulations.  This Executive Order has the potential to change the “Gotcha” mentality of DEP in regulating USTs, and provides strict guidelines for the promulgation and adoption of regulations.

Executive Order #3, creates the “Red Tape Review Group”, which will be led by Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, and will place particular focus on Environmental Regulations, and the conflicting regulations and compliance mandates that many small businesses face.  This Group has the power to change the way business is done in Trenton with regard to regulations, and it can be a tremendous benefit to all small businesses in our state.

The other 5 Executive Orders include an Expansion of New Jersey’s Pay-to-Play laws to included Legislative Committees and contributions from Labor Unions, Establishing Casino Monitors as essential state employees so that if the state shuts down again during budget negotiations then Atlantic City may remain open for business, and a Budget Transparency Order so that the people of our state can see where their money is being allocated, creation of the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors to oversee the fiscal condition of NJ, and finally, Governor Christie mandated an end to all unfunded mandates, which will certainly help reduce the tax burden in our state.

I know I just hit you with a lot, and you may not understand everything I said.  I will continue to update you as more news comes out of Trenton.

The bottom line is that our new Governor has apparently been left with a bigger mess than anyone could have imagined.  Let’s all hope and pray he gets it cleaned up soon, or this will be one cleanup that we will be paying for over many years.

Lastly this week, please be sure to take a look below at an employment opportunity with PH2 Solutions and our updated training class schedule. 

Thanks for reading.  See you next week!

Sal Risalvato
Executive Director

 IN THIS WEEK’S NJGCA ROAD WARRIOR                                    

•See our new class schedule below!!

•Participate in the NJGCA PAC today and help us keep our Agenda rolling in Trenton!

•Sign up for classes aimed at improving your small business today!

•Are you interested in a position with PH2 Solutions?  See below for details!!

•Christie supports I&R
•Governor transition team, experts release proposals
•Panel urges Christie to raise gas tax, impose new tolls
•Garden State establishes driver amnesty program

 ON THE NJGCA HOMEPAGE                                                           

Check out all of our MBPs and Programs designed to SAVE YOU MONEY!

Looking for something? Take a look at our list of useful links!

Find all our communications and search for old e-newsletters. Take a look!

Need to catch up on events?  Want to see what's going on?  Find out here!

 KNOW YOUR TERRITORY MANAGER!                                           

Henry Darden: Territory Manager for Middlesex, Union, Part of Essex (Southern Half)

Cell: 908-247-2992

Jack Leli: Territory Manager for Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Ocean, Salem
Cell: 732-995-1637

Bob Quirk: Territory Manager for Bergen, Hudson, Part of Essex (Northern Half)
Cell: 201-214-8836

Frank Stewart: Territory Manager for Morris, Sussex, Warren, Hunterdon, Passaic
Cell: 973-234-7403
Don Stohrer: Territory Manager for Monmouth, Mercer, Somerset
Cell: 732-539-2955


Due to overwhelming demand, NJGCA has added additional classes in January, February and March!

Emission Repair Technician Re-Certification Class
NJGCA is offering the ETEP course that your ERT’s need in order to re-certify their license.

Our Course includes:
•New Jersey State Specific Information Course
•ETEP Section 6 “OBDII Monitoring Failures”
•Section 7 “Light-Duty Diesel Vehicle Technologies and Testing”.
•Five (5) nights class instruction

Everything your technician needs to Re-Certify his ERT license!!!

Class Cost (Including Manuals):
•NJGCA Member rates: $489.00
•NON-Member rates: $629.00

January Class - Union
January 12th, 14th, 19th 21st & 26th
Tuesdays and Thursdays
7:00pm to 10:00pm

February Class - Union
February 9th, 11th, 16th, 18th & 23rd
Tuesdays and Thursdays
7:00pm to 10:00pm

March Class - Rumson --- UPDATED!!
March 8th, 11th, 15th, 18th, & 22rd
Monday and Thursdays
7:00pm to 10:00pm

PLEASE NOTE: We are currently in the process of putting classes together for April, May and June. If you are interested in taking classes in this time period, please call NJGCA and let us know so we can add you to the list.

Call Debbie Hill to enroll in the classes at or call 973-376-0066.


Ensuring our friends in the legislature are re-elected and advocating for our agenda in Trenton are of utmost importance to the agenda of NJGCA.

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 the shoulders of a few.  This is not fair to them, and it is not fair to many of you who are relying on the benefits of good legislation being passed in Trenton.

To truly understand the importance of fundraising for our allies, let’s look back upon the overwhelming successes of the last year:

NJGCA successfully lobbied against BELOW COST SELLING. If approved, BELOW COST SELLING would have cost each of you thousands of dollars and put many of you out of businesses.  NJGCA leaned on some of our friends in the Assembly and literally had the bill pulled off the floor on the day it was scheduled to be voted on.  Our friends in the Legislature helped us get this accomplished.

NJGCA made history and led the charge to pass the most comprehensive protection of franchisees in decades with FIRST RIGHT OF REFUSAL legislation.  FIRST RIGHT OF REFUSAL passed only because NJGCA and dealers throughout the state were able to lean on several friends in the Assembly and the Senate.

NJGCA has been rallying support for RIGHT TO REPAIR over the last two years among key legislators.  This would end the practice of car manufacturers denying you the codes necessary to complete the repairs you make on your customers cars.  Every state has tried to pass RIGHT TO REPAIR and no state has even been able to get the legislation out of committee.   Because of our friends in the Legislature, NJGCA has been successful in getting this bill passed by the Assembly and now awaits a vote in the Senate.

I am asking some of you as individuals to make a contribution and attend a fundraising event sponsored by one of our friends in the Assembly.

However, we will not be able to host events for all of our friends, so the NJGCA PAC will have to make contributions.  You will be receiving letters soon from the NJGCA PAC asking you to make contributions. 

If every member contributes just $100.00 we will be able to provide the help necessary to ensure victory for our allies.

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.


Affinity Federal Credit Union, an NJGCA Member Benefit Partner, is offering a number of classes designed specifically to help small business owners.

Some of these classes include:

•Managing Money Wisely
•Career Navigation in a Pink Slip Economy.
•Kean University Small Business Counseling Sessions
•Entrepreneur Certificate Program (ECP)
•Accounting and QuickBooks Certificate
•Small Business Seminars

•And much more!

Take advantage of this opportunity!  Click HERE to visit the Calendar of Events on the Affinity homepage and sign up for a class!

Pleas contact Phil Apruzzi with any questions or comments at 973-376-0066. 


An Employment Opportunity is available for Drivability Technicians with PH2 Solutions:

General Requirements: Seeking a qualified repair technician familiar with the fundamentals of On-Board Diagnostic (OBD II) drivability concepts such as DTC’s, Pending Codes, Data Stream and Readiness Monitors.

Position: Drivability Technicians

Role: Market Areas, Demonstrate, Train and Support unique and proven drivability software driven product.

Market Areas: NJ Counties - Essex, Union, Morris, Hudson, Passaic, and Bergen

Compensation type: Base + Commission

For information: Call 973.902.5517 or email your resume to or



Christie supports I&R
The Governor has stated that he will support the adoption of an “initiative and referendum” measure which would allow citizens to use petitions to put important issues on the ballot and have them voted on buy the public.  Christie believes that it presents a good opportunity for the public to chime in policy questions and rein in government.

Governor transition team, experts release proposals
A team of advisors to Governor Christie have released a number of proposals on how the state may reduce spending and seek public input on policy changes.  Among the ideas submitted include merging the South Jersey Transportation Authority, which runs the Atlantic City Expressway, with the NJ Turnpike Authority, for the state to stop subsidizing its public television station and for the state to enact a sales tax holiday to spur retail sales. 

Panel urges Christie to raise gas tax, impose new tolls
n order to pay for infrastructure repairs and other highway transportation projects, a group of experts has proposed raising additional revenues from raising the gas tax and adding new tolls to roadways such as Routes 80 and 78.  Christie has stated in the past that he opposes raising the state's gasoline tax.

Garden State establishes driver amnesty program
New Jersey will create a driver's amnesty program which will drivers with outstanding surcharges could pay their fines without interest or collection fees.  This will allow motorists who owe millions to the state to get a break in paying back their fees.


Serving the small businesses that serve the motorist