Blue Laws Repeal 'Inevitable,' Retail Group Says

The president of the New Jersey Retail Merchants Association said he expects Bergen voters will repeal the county's "blue laws."

The leader of a retail group expects Bergen County will get rid of its "blue laws" prohibiting the sale of certain items on Sundays, according to a report on NJ.com.

John Holub, the president of the New Jersey Retail Merchants Association, said he believes there is more support to repeal the blue laws now than there was the last time voters considered the issue in 1993, according to the report.

"It's not a matter of if they'll repeal, it's just a matter of when," Holub stated in the report. "We are light-years away in public sentiment than we were 20 years ago."

The blue laws have been debated around the county since Gov. Chris Christie temporarily suspended the laws after Hurricane Sandy. Westwood resident Rosemary Shashoua is the leader of a new group called "Modernize Bergen County," which seeks to repeal the blue laws via a voter referendum.

"All I want is more revenue for the state and more jobs," Shashoua previously said.

Holub also said he believed state legislation could be used to eliminate the blue laws, according to the NJ.com report.

Others, like Paramus Mayor Richard LaBarbiera, are fighting to keep the blue laws. He recently called the argument to repeal the laws "ridiculous."

"Don't worry about Paramus and we won't worry about what you do in your town," LaBarbiera said at a council meeting last month.

Mitch Horn, a Hackensack resident who is also involved with Modernize Bergen County, said he wanted to "change the story so that it's not really about the people of Paramus, but about the other 900,000 people who live in Bergen," according to the NJ.com report.

The blue laws have been challenged twice: once in 1980 and again in 1993. The plans to repeal the laws were defeated 192,394 to 157,648 in 1980 and 185,821 to 105,040 in 1993.

Do you think Bergen Blue Law repeal is "inevitable?" Sound off in the comments below or take our poll.

Have a question or news tip for Wyckoff-Franklin Lakes Patch? Contact editor Joseph M. Gerace at Joseph.Gerace@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox every morning, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Gary Rabinowitz February 05, 2013 at 05:28 PM
Mr Holub is a shyster lobbyist -- his Trenton organization's sole purpose is to advocate on behalf of retailers, because everyone else is of secondary importance to stores that sell stuff we can get 6 days a week in Bergen, 7 days a week elsewhere, or anytime over the internet. Do us a favor Mr Holub, find a meaningful calling. As for Ms Shashoua, she chooses to waste the precious gift of life on opening stores on Sunday, in 1 of NJ's 21 counties. Let politely ignore what this incessant gadfly has to say, and hope she returns to (I'm guessing) a house full of cats. As for Mr Horn, nj.com describes him thus: "a 32-year-old father from Hackensack..... who works in finance for Nestle, acknowledges that the campaign ...may seem..Don Quixote tilting at windmills, but he notes that his small group has a tool not available to the previous campaigns: social media. Horn created a Facebook page dedicated to eliminating the blue laws in August, after he had to drive to Hudson County for baby supplies on Sundays. "There were three weekends in a row where I found myself driving to Babies 'R' Us in Secaucus on a Sunday."
Gary Rabinowitz February 05, 2013 at 05:29 PM
(cont.) Geez, Mr Horn moves to Bergen Cty, is inconvenienced for a mere "three weekends," and because of this wants to change a longstanding law based on the traditions and customs of the area, and compares himself, laughably, to the impoverished Egyptians taking bullets and risking their lives. My gosh, the arrogance and hubris on Mr Horn knows no end. Worse, here's a dad with a job and small kids who has the time to waste facebooking &, his words, a "Don Quixote" (ie, improbable, idealistic) cause. This "cause" is neither noble, edifying, useful or socially redeeming, it entails allowing an area oversaturated with consumption to consume more. Who are THESE people? The same people who frequent the malls I go out of my way to avoid.....GXR
John Briggs February 05, 2013 at 09:31 PM
Good luck getting 55,000 signatures to get this referendum on the next ballot, when you can only get 4 people to attend your meeting at Starbucks! And how bizarre is it to compare the blue laws to last years Arab Spring?! Find a worthwhile cause to spend your time on


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