Road Warrior Newsletter

April 1, 2010


Dear NJGCA Member:


As you know, the state budget process is unfolding and things are getting very heated on all sides.  Just as in any contentious issue, things will get more divisive, facts will get twisted, accusations will fly, and, ultimately, it will all get blown out of proportion before the truth surfaces.

However, unless something more pressing arises, I will report to you each week on the status of our state’s budget crisis and how it will affect your small business.

It’s important that you know this is truly a fluid process.  What you read in the morning paper with your coffee may be changed by the time you get a Google update that night at dinner.  The budget must be finalized by the end of June or state government will shut down.  Between now and then there will be countless hearings, press conferences, and meetings as Trenton essentially pours all efforts into hammering a budget together.

With this in mind, we endeavor to keep you well informed and focus our budget reports on three main topics: the General Budget (local, school, municipal funding), Unemployment Insurance, and Motor Vehicle Inspection.

Keep in mind that this budget WILL AFFECT YOU no matter what your personal situation is.  What’s more, it will also affect your patrons.  Obviously the increase to your Unemployment Insurance contributions and the possibility of changing the Motor Vehicle Inspection system will affect you directly -- but so will the general budget and what it does to your business and property taxes.

To illustrate this point, I’ve been meeting with Legislators and officials in the Christie Administration to sell our idea on closing the CIF lanes and moving to an all PIF system.  Just in the last few weeks I’ve met with the Governor’s Director of Policy, the Assistant Treasurer, the Budget Director, new MVC Administrator Ray Martinez and next week I will be testifying before the State Privatization Task Force.  The Task Force is headed up by former Congressman Dick Zimmer and was established to explore what state services may be privatized to realize tangible savings for residents and taxpayers.  I’ve known the Congressman for years and he has always been a strong proponent of smaller government. This is exactly the forum we need to convince state officials that our idea will not only save money but help your establishment.

However, this is a contact sport and there is no room for spectators to sit this one out.  I still have reason to believe that there are officials that are still advocating to eliminate safety inspections as a more viable way for the state to save money.  That means, when the time comes, I may need you there to help me prove to the authorities how all of this may affect you if things go awry.  Be ready!!

When he assumed office in January, the Governor was left with little option when it came to the budget.  We spend too much, we tax too much, and we are driving away residents and businesses. For over a decade we have created the very monster we are now trying tame – and it will not be easy.  Case in point is the ensuing public squabble between the Governor and the NJEA, which represents most of the state’s public school teachers.  The union is not willing to bend and there just isn’t enough money in the state’s coffers to keep one group of people happy with lavish benefits and automatic raises while another group has to tighten its belt and do with less.  If you guys don’t get this kind of privilege and are scraping to get by, should they?  Should anyone?  Should we just let it go indefinitely as more people and business get fed up and move out?

As a small business owner, you know that something has got to give or we will all be moving en masse to Pennsylvania and Delaware. Don’t be shocked, therefore, when you see how nasty things get as this situation progresses.  Things are bad so brace yourselves for what’s coming!

On Wednesday, President Obama signed the PACT Act into law, which concerns tax evasion by online sellers of tobacco products, prevents underage online tobacco sales, and closes the loophole that has put brick-n-mortar stores at a disadvantage for so long.  NJGCA has been supporting this measure for some time and we’ve been working alongside the Coalition to Stop Contraband Tobacco to win support for the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (PACT) Act.

Click HERE to read a recent article on the Convenience Store News website and learn more about the bill.

This is a great victory for us and we thank you for your support in helping us get this bill signed into law!

There’s some good news if you’re involved in the new inspection program.  As we have reported earlier, MVC began to convert current PIF locations to the new inspection system on Monday, March 29th.  As of Wednesday afternoon, the state has officially converted 577 of the state’s 1100 PIF locations to the new program in only three days.  MVC and Parsons hope to have the rest of the locations converted by the end of next week.

In addition, 375 service stations have actually conducted an inspection test with new equipment and all seems to be operating properly.  All CIF locations were converted to the new program last Friday as well.

However, that doesn’t mean we don’t have any housekeeping that needs to be addressed.  MVC reports that 942 out of 1100 locations have activated their equipment and downloaded the new, required software.  That means that roughly 160 locations have yet to perform this task.  In addition there are still a number of locations that still must get their technicians fingerprinted.

As I stated last week, any hold up in getting these details completed will put you at the back of the line to have your facility converted to the new program.  DON’T LET THAT HAPPEN!  If you have any question or comments, please remember that the SGS user manual is built into the work station – use it!

Many of you have called to ask about how to handle procedures for MVC audits of paperwork. MVC has informed us that you should keep doing what you are currently doing. Keep a copy of your company invoice with audit paper and end of day report from machine. The end of day report from inspection machine will track the stickers. The machine will not give VIR report on passing vehicles but only on failures. Keep regular invoice on both passing and failing vehicles with audit paper. MVC will have new procedures out soon.

Thankfully there’s some light at the end of the tunnel in converting to the new inspection program.  If you have any questions or comments, please contact us.

Finally, we close on a happy note.  Earlier this week, many of you observed Passover while this weekend many others will be celebrating Easter.  We have a lot of work ahead of us but also much to be thankful for.  So this holiday, be sure to take a few moments to count your blessings and enjoy your family.  And on behalf of all of us at NJGCA, a very Blessed Passover and Happy Easter to you all!

Thanks for reading and 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!

•President to allow for oil drilling off Virginia’s coast
•Christie proposes wage freeze for teachers in exchange for more aid
•GM and Department of Energy partner on new biofuel research
•Right to Repair introduced in the US Senate

 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: 973-477-0057

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


NJGCA has added additional classes in March and April!

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”.

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

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

April Class - Springfield/Union County
Tuesday and Thursdays: April 6th, 8th, 13th, 15th, and 20th
7:00pm to 10:00pm

NJGCA is offering a full ETEP course for those wishing to be cetified as a Emission Repair Technician.

Class Cost (Including Manuals):
•NJGCA Member rates: $1,495.00
•NON-Member rates: $1,695.00

March-May Class - Springfield/Union County

All classes are on Thursdays, once a week starting on March 18th through May 20th
8am to 4pm

PLEASE NOTE: We are currently in the process of putting together additional class 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. 


President to allow for oil drilling off Virginia’s coast
Seen as a reversal of a long-standing ban, President Obama will now allow oil drilling 50 miles off the coast of Virginia.  The plan follows the end of a drilling moratorium that expired during the Bush Administration.  A series of other potential drilling expansion sites in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico will also be considered.

Christie proposes wage freeze for teachers in exchange for more aid
Governor Christie says he will consider extending additional aid to school districts which accept a one year wage freeze for teachers and staffers.  The proposal comes after a very public fight with the NJEA over budget cuts.  The additional funds will come from Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes, which the state pays for teachers.

GM and Department of Energy partner on new biofuel research
General Motors and the U.S. Department of Energy are seeking to develop biofuel from a new variation of the Jatropha plant.  The plant produces oil that can be made into biofuel and is usually considered a weed. Researchers hope to create a unique strand of the plant which will yield of oil.  Since the plant grows in harsher climates and has little commercial value, it may help significantly reduce the cost of biofuel production.

Right to Repair introduced in the US Senate
Motor Vehicle Owners Right to Repair Act has been introduced in the US Senate by Senators Boxer and Brownback.  Enjoying bi-partisan support, the new bill is modeled after similar legislation currently in the US House of Representatives.  If enacted, Right to Repair would require car manufacturers to provide diagnostic and repair information, plus other data, to independent auto repair facilities.


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