Government Affairs

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Recent Debate in Washington Raises Questions About the Role of Government

A year ago, we wrote a column discussing the divided American political landscape in which voters were attempting to find the “change” for which they voted. The public clearly was not prepared for the amount of spending pushed through Congress in 2009 to confront the recession and the resulting jobs loss. Having turned the tables in 2010 with an overwhelming shift in power, Washington politicians still seem to be struggling to understand what voters intend when they vote for “change.” In the coming months, perhaps the most important question to be answered by voters is what they expect the role of government to be.

Illinois Bill to Expand Use of Antique Vehicles Signed Into Law

SEMA-supported legislation to provide for an expanded-use antique-vehicle registration class that would allow antique vehicles and replicas to be driven without limitation during the warmer part of the year (April 1 through October 31) was signed into law by Governor Pat Quinn. Under the new law, expanded-use antiques are limited to traveling to and from car shows, exhibitions, servicing or demonstration during the colder months (November 1 through March 31).

Keeping Pace With Legislative Trends

When we think of trends, undercarriage neon lighting, spinners and European-style taillamps spring to mind. Trends develop over time and contribute to movements in design, industry, fashion, entertainment and even legislation. In reacting to trends, legislatures tend to create many of their own. The following trends are currently being pursued by state legislatures across the country and on the national stage. These legislative and regulatory trends do more than create laws to which the industry must comply; they provide insight into underlying conditions that have fueled their creation.

Feds Set Fuel Standards for Heavy-Duty Trucks and Buses

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have established fuel-efficiency and carbon dioxide (CO2) standards for work trucks, buses and other medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.

NHTSA Makes Technical Corrections to Rules Covering Lighting Equipment, Electric-Powered Vehicles and Event Data Recorders

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) amended several unrelated rules to address technical issues in response to industry requests.

Meet the State Lawmakers Passionate About Automobiles

In its daily efforts to promote and protect the auto hobby, SEMA continues to partner with state lawmakers from across the country through the State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership Caucus. Celebrating its six-year anniversary, the caucus is a bipartisan group of state lawmakers whose common thread is a love and appreciation for automobiles.

SEMA's Regulatory and Legislative Priority List for 2011–2012

Vehicle Equipment Standards and Inspections: State policy makers continue to revise and update equipment and inspection standards—often with a bias toward the vehicle manufacturer’s original equipment, such as lighting, tires and wheels, suspension components and bumper/frame height. SEMA opposes arbitrary and unnecessarily restrictive equipment and inspection procedures.

Legislation Introduced in Congress to Require Collection of Sales Tax by Online Retailers

Identical bills have been introduced in the U.S. House and Senate to require companies that sell goods via the Internet and catalogs to collect sales tax in the same manner as “brick-and-mortar” retailers. The so-called “Main Street Fairness Act” would recognize the “Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement,” an ongoing initiative by state and local governments to address the collection of sales/use taxes. The agreement creates a system for companies to register with member states, collect and remit taxes and file one tax return for each state. To date, 44 states have worked to create the agreement and 24 states are participating members.

Hearing Held on SEMA-Supported Legislation to Open Lands without “Wilderness” Characteristics

A U.S. House Natural Resources Subcommittee held a hearing on the SEMA-supported “Wilderness and Roadless Area Release Act of 2011.” The legislation would release 42 million acres of land from “wilderness” designations that have already been set aside as “wilderness study areas” (WSAs) or “inventoried roadless areas.”

New Car Labels to Have One Overall Consumer Safety Rating

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a final rule to create an overall vehicle rating based on the combined frontal, side and rollover crash ratings.
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