In Our Community

New Jersey Job Resource Portal

Governor Murphy has launched a new online portal for New Jersey residents looking for jobs during these difficult times. In the link below there are now more than 12,000 jobs available with more jobs being added by essential employers.

Offices Closed During State of Emergency

Due to Governor Murphy’s State of Emergency, and social distancing protocols, our offices will be closed to the public until March 30, 2020. If immediate assistance is needed, staff can be reached in our Turnersville office at (856)232-6700.

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Consumer Affairs Panel Approves Assemblyman Moriarty’s Bill to Require Dealers to Pay Off Consumer Debt of Trade-in Cars

For many people, buying a new car also means trading in their old car that still has a lien on it. So dealers will agree to pay off the remainder of the loan, and the consumer can go home with their new car worry-free. Unfortunately, not every dealer follows through.

A recent ABC 7 report has detailed how dealerships in North Jersey closed abruptly and left several consumers with tens of thousands of dollars in debt after the dealers defaulted on their trade-in loans instead of making the payouts.

While there is no law to force dealerships to pay off the loans in a timely manner, at their January meeting, the Consumer Affairs committee unanimously approved Assemblyman Paul D. Moriarty’s bill, A-1483. The bill would require dealers to pay off a loan on a customer’s trade-in within 15 days of accepting the car or face fines.

“Consumers deserve the peace of mind that when they drive off the lot in their new car, the dealership is going to hold up their end of the bargain and pay off the loan on the trade-in,” Assemblyman Moriarty said. “They shouldn’t find out a few months later that they are on the hook for two car payments; it’s unfair, and it’s bad business.”

The bill, which has gained support from both dealerships and consumers, will also require the lien holders on the trade-ins to release the car title to the dealer within 15 days after receiving payment. “By speeding up the process for dealers to pay off trade-ins, consumers will know that their loan has been taken care of, and the dealer will be able to resell the car sooner. It’s a win-win.”

Now that the Consumer Affairs Committee has approved the bill, it will head to the Appropriations Committee for consideration. Assemblyman Moriarty believes that this bill should receive the full support of the Assembly, “It’s a no brainer when the industry and the consumers can agree there is a problem – the Legislature must act.”

Senator Madden Bill Creating Task Force on Driver Distractions Clears Senate

On February 10, the Senate voted in favor of Senator Madden’s S561, which creates the Task Force on Driver Distractions.

The charge of the thirteen-member task force will be to study and make recommendations regarding the impact of driver distractions on highway safety. Areas of study are to include, but not be limited to, the use of electronic communication devices while operating a motor vehicle.

The bill requires the task force to develop recommendations for public and private strategies to combat distracted driving and to make legislative or regulatory recommendations if appropriate. The recommendations are to include suggestions for the development of a public awareness campaign to educate the public on the risks of driver distractions and how to eliminate these risks. The task force would also be responsible for creating recommendations specifically pertaining to the reduction of motor vehicle accidents related to the use of electronic communication devices.

According to the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, driver inattention was a contributing factor in nearly 800,000 accidents in New Jersey between 2012 and 2016. Young drivers are particularly prone to distractions. Drivers in their 20s account for 23 percent of drivers in all fatal crashes. However, these drivers account for 27 percent of distracted drivers and 37 percent of the distracted drivers who were using cell phones in fatal crashes.

The bill now heads to the Assembly for consideration.

Assemblywoman Mosquera on Resolutions Promoting Awareness and Involvement in 2020 Census

n an effort to raise awareness about the 2020 Census, Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera (D-Camden, Gloucester) has sponsored two resolutions that would encourage increased participation throughout the state.

On Monday, the Assembly Women and Children Committee – which Assemblywoman Mosquera chairs – received testimony from various experts regarding how the Census will impact New Jersey residents. Advocates for Children of New Jersey, the regional director of the Census Bureau and the New Jersey Secretary of State were among the guests who spoke.

The committee also advanced a resolution (AR-79) to designate March 12th – 22nd as “Get out the Count Week” and another resolution (AR-78) to urge counties and municipalities to form Complete Count Committees. These committees would be comprised of government and community leaders who would create an awareness campaign encouraging participation in the Census, based on their understanding of the community.

Upon the resolutions advancing, Assemblywoman Mosquera released the following statement:

“Many people don’t realize just how important the Census is to their community and how it will impact various aspects of their lives. We need to make our residents more aware of how the data gathered during the Census will affect their friends and family.

“The number of people recorded within a region influences federal allocation of funding for various social programs, including Medicare and SNAP. It also affects funding for school programs and infrastructure improvements, while determining the amount of Congressional delegates that will represent New Jersey.

“Business owners, non-profit organizations and lawmakers alike use the collected data to determine what daily services, products and support will be provided to communities.

“An awareness campaign with the help of county and municipal committees can help spread this information to get more residents involved in the Census.”

The resolutions will now go to the Assembly Speaker for further consideration.

Assembly Panel Advances Assemblywoman Mosquera Bill to Allow Public to Submit Complaints on State Websites

Each New Jersey government department, agency and authority would be required to feature a link on its website for the public to submit complaints under legislation (A-1296) approved Monday by the Assembly State and Local Government Committee.

Complaints concerning the entity’s performance, customer service or similar matter of interest to the entity would be periodically reviewed by the head of the agency to assess appropriate action.

Bill sponsors, Assembly Democrats Gabriela Mosquera (D-Camden, Gloucester), Carol Murphy (D-Burlington) and Joe Danielsen (D-Middlesex, Somerset) released the following joint statement:

“New Jersey residents deserve an outlet to voice their concerns when necessary. There may be a contact form on its website or phone number to call, but it often isn’t specific to complaints and their query may get lost in the shuffle. Providing a convenient avenue to submit complaints on websites can be a more direct, and even more expedient, way for State agencies to manage grievances.”