Christie to Reinstate Bergen County Blue Laws
Sunday shopping restrictions set to return to Bergen County following a request by the Bergen County Executive.
Gov. Chris Christie will reinstate Bergen County's Blue Laws, ending a temporary suspension of the restrictions designed to help residents recover from Hurricane Sandy.
The Blue Laws will be reinstated Sunday at the request of Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan, said Sean Conner, a governor's office spokesman.
"At this time, the unprecedented weather events that impacted the residents of Bergen County so greatly have abated and I am respectfully requesting that you rescind [the executive order], effective immediately, thereby allowing the Bergen County Blue Laws to once again be in full force and effect," Donovan said in a letter to Christie sent Tuesday.
Donovan had first asked Christie to suspend the retail restrictions, saying residents shouldn't be blocked from buying goods needed to recover from the massive storm.
Paramus Mayor Richard LaBarbiera backed the Blue Laws, arguing they offered a break from traffic jams and the crush of mall crowds. The borough mounted an unsuccessful court challenge in an effort to enforce the restrictions.
“I thank the Governor for listening to the will of the people of Paramus and all of Bergen County who spoke loudly in favor of the Blue Laws, which are absolutely essential for protecting our quality of life,” LaBarbiera said in a statement issued in anticipation of Christie's decision.
Blue Laws, established by the state, have been repealed in every New Jersey county except Bergen. The Sunday shopping restrictions have withstood various repeal referendums dating back decades.