New Hampshire Senate Bill 55, which would establish a commission to study “all aspects of the collision repair industry,” passed the Senate Feb. 4.
The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Betsi DeVries, said the bill addresses “the lack of adequate oversight and qualified mechanics” in the industry.
According to the bill, areas the commission would study include:
Interactions between the collision repair industry and the insurance industry and means of strengthening working relationships of entities within each industry.
The role of the insurance department in the collision repair industry.
Consumer protection and dispute resolution issues, including relevant statutes and enforcement mechanisms.
The economic importance and future of the collision repair industry in the state.
Opponents of the bill fear it’s the first step toward shop licensing in the state, according to the New Hampshire Business Review.
“It’s the little guy who gets left behind whenever you license a commercial enterprise,” Sen. Peter Bragdon said in the Review.
The commission would be made up of one member of the state Senate, four members of the state House of Representatives, two members of the New Hampshire Automobile Dealers Association (NHADA), two members of the New Hampshire Collision Repair Advisory Group, two representatives of the insurance department, two members of the insurance industry and two members of the public.