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California Autobody Association Offers Legislative Update

The California Autobody Association (CAA) recently released an update on legislation in their state that impacts collision repairers.

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Over 2,300 bills were introduced this year, and they will now make their way through the legislative committee process. As the session moves along, many of the bills will be significantly amended.

Below is a short summary of some of the key bills/areas and regulations the CAA is tracking:

Bureau of Automotive Repair

A.B. 471 – Support. This is a significant bill for the industry which will, among other things, allow BAR to collect educational and training certificate information from automotive repair dealers (ARDs) to provide to consumers, create an independent panel to review citation appeals, provide for remedial training (e.g., “traffic school”) for ARDs that receive citation and combines the current brake and lamp program and renames it the Vehicle Safety Inspection Program; A.B. 220, smog check exemptions.

Towing & Storage

A.B. 294 – Oppose, unless amended. The bill treats ARDs as towing and storage yards and moves them under a new regulatory Towing and Storage Board. The bill also prohibits ARDs from charging fair and reasonable rates for any storage.

Employment Bills

Concerns: several bills, including A.B. 95, employment bereavement (10 days without pay); A.B. 572, minimum wage violations; A.B. 995, extending paid sick leave days (three days to 10 days); A.B. 1003, making it a crime for failure to pay wages.

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COVID-19 Bills

A.B. 62, income tax credits for cost to comply with COVID-19; A.B. 743, business interruption insurance coverage for COVID-19; A.B. 247 and A.B. 1313, COVID-19 immunity from civil liability; A.B. 80, deductibility of expenses paid (up to $150,000) for forgiven PPP loan.

Hazardous Waste Bills

Concerns: Several bills including A.B. 1, which creates a new regulatory board and increases hazardous waste fees. The other companion bills include S.B. 42, Board of Environmental Safety; S.B. 502, green chemistry; S.B. 575, waste facility permits; and A.B. 870, hazardous material
liens.

Career Tech Bills

A.B. 299, career technical education apprenticeship grant program; A.B. 839, career technical education incentive grant program.

Regulations

BAR – Cite and Fine Regulations. BAR is proposing to expand the citation and fine disciplinary process. Currently, cite and fine is used for smog violations and unlicensed activity. Expanding cite and fine authority to apply to all ARDs would provide BAR field representatives with the ability to issue citations and fines (up to $5,000 per violation). Concerns have been raised by the industry. Status: a workshop is expected after the next BAR Advisory Committee meeting on April 22, 2021.

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California Energy Commission (CEC) regulations. The CEC has been collecting information to create regulations to increase tire efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Proposed regulations would create a tire rating system and minimum replacement tire efficiency standards (e.g., lower rolling resistance).

Concerns have been raised that creating a California compliant tire requirement would increase costs to and cause confusion for consumers, and produce additional tire waste due to decrease in the average tire life. The CEC regulation proposal is expected some time later this year.

For more information on the California Autobody Association, visit calautobody.com.

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