Bergen County Blue Laws

Bergen County Blue Laws

Posted: Updated:
Paramus, New Jersey (MY9NJ) -

Bergen County is the only place in New Jersey where stores are closed on Sundays because of blue laws.

Blue laws were originally created for religious reasons so that people had Sunday to dedicate solely to their faith, but now some people are questioning whether the laws should still be in place.

Shoppers at the Paramus Park Mall have mixed feelings regarding blue laws. One woman said, “The workers need a break but business-wise I guess it’s not a good option for a lot of store owners.”

A manager for a local Verizon store in Paramus said that when he first opened his store he wasn’t aware of the blue laws and a county representative came over and said that he had to be closed on Sundays. The manager also works in New York where the law do not exist.  He thinks that it’s actually nice and refreshing to not have to work on Sundays and it’s good for business because businesses are not competing with each other.

In 1959, the blue laws were put up for vote and residents of Bergen County voted not to repeal them. Now, a local group called Modernize Bergen County is pushing for the same repeal in 2013.  They are hitting some bumps in the road due to modifications of local laws that are requiring more signatures on a petition than originally thought.

The group believed that it only needed 2500 signatures in order to have the blue laws repeal be up for vote on the upcoming ballot, but the Clerk’s office told them that it has to be 10% of the voting population which would be 55,000 signatures.

Local rapper Rob Carney released a rap in favor of the repeal. Some of the lyrics state: “Who is the government to tell us when to open for business, it’s none of their business, this ain’t the American way, it’s not working it worthless, I thought we separated the states from the churches.”

His stance behind it is for support of single mothers and their kids because they need the jobs, even if it’s on Sunday.

In 2010, Governor Christie looked into these laws and he said that $65 million of new sales tax revenue would be generated in Bergen County if the laws were repealed.  The mayor at that time opposed Christie’s stance.

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