Government Affairs

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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.

Agreement Reached on Future Fuel-Economy Standards

The federal government, California regulators and auto industry representatives have agreed on fuel economy and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions limits for model year ’17–’25 vehicles. The fleetwide average will rise from 35.5 mpg at the end of ’16 to 54.5 mpg for model year ’25—a nearly 5% annual increase with slightly lower standards for light-duty trucks.

CARB Proposes Engine Certification Program for Specially Constructed Vehicles

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is considering a proposed rule that would allow OEM engines from previously certified, on-road vehicles to be installed in “specially constructed vehicles” (SCVs). Under the proposal, CARB officials would also create a program for certifying engines that are not from certified vehicles (e.g., crate engines).

Iowa Bill to Restrict Consumer Information on Ethanol Content in Gasoline Dead for the Year

SEMA-opposed legislation in Iowa to change labeling requirements on gas pumps across the state to only require labeling for unblended gasoline and E85 was successfully defeated this year.

SEMA Encourages Racing Community to Help Save the Bonneville Salt Flats From Destruction

The history of the Bonneville Salt Flats is well known. Since 1914, racers have gone to Utah to set land-speed records and achieve personal best times. In addition to its professional racing programs, Bonneville remains at the heart of every racer’s dreams. For decades, the Salt Flats have decreased in size, strength and thickness because salt has been removed by an adjoining potash-mining operation.

NHTSA to Correct Lighting Standard References to Blue and Green Colors

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a proposed rule to restore the blue and green color boundaries within the federal lighting standard. The boundaries were inadvertently removed from Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 108 several years ago when the agency reorganized the lighting standard.
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