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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 said 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 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.

What do you think about the blue laws? Click here to vote in our poll.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Jim Leggate at Jim.Leggate@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Robert Prol February 05, 2013 at 03:28 PM
Shop online. No traffic, and no parking problems. The malls are doomed. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/1659b142-6cba-11e2-b73a-00144feab49a.html#axzz2K2TLnp8Q
Disgusted February 05, 2013 at 04:29 PM
Labarbiera allowed the malls to build and rebuild and add on (btw with horrible ingress and egress to the lots) but doesn't want them open...odd. Try getting to Willowbrook on a Sunday during the christmas rush.....it's all cars from BC!
Robert February 05, 2013 at 04:43 PM
OPEN THE MALLS AND THEY WILL COME ! The Boro of Paramus is a joke about keeping blue laws as if they care about traffic and folks who live in Paramus.
Marge February 05, 2013 at 07:31 PM
Retailers have opened up their stores in Paramus for a reason. With the blue laws, Paramus generates over $5 billion in annual retail sales -- more than any other ZIP Code in the United States! Keeping the malls closed hurts Paramus an insignificant amount, if any. I applaud the mayor of Paramus. He is NOT GREEDY. He wants to keep the residents happy. That is his job. KEEP THE BLUE LAWS!! Shop online. Plan for Christmas better -- You have 364 days' notice before Christmas each year. Cry babies. Also, these are not "19th century laws", unless you think 1957 was in the 19th century. Then you have even more serious problems than not being able to shop on Sunday. If it is so bad here, why do you stay? Why did you come to begin with?
21st century concerned citizen March 19, 2013 at 10:19 PM
As the older "Blue Law" generation moves on and the younger folks have more influence the Blue Laws will go the way of the Horse and Buggy. This is the 21st Century and the stores should be able to open any day of the week. Having antiquated laws on the books damages our economy and only caters to those with special interests. By the way most of us who support the removal of the Blue Laws have live here our entire life (yes in Bergen County) and we have the same rights as you do in stating what we believe on the removal of an ancient law. In terms of technology and economy 1957 is an ancient time. Most of the retailers who were in business then are no longer around (Gimbels, Alexanders, Sterns, Brick Church, Crazy Eddie, EJ Korvette, Two Guys from Harrison, Fortunoff, etc) As I have stated before, the Shop Rites of the world do sell prohibited items on Sunday, why can't the other retailers sell the same items (clothes, electronics etc). Go to the Shop Rite on Route on a sunday and see for yourself. I don't see the mayor of Paramus fining shop rite for breaking the paramus law.

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