Government Affairs

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EPA Abandons Tougher Ozone Standard

In a move welcomed by SEMA, President Obama directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to withdraw its proposal to tighten the national air-quality standards for ozone—the main ingredient in smog.

SEMA Members React to Legislative Successes

No one appreciates victory more than those who have been near defeat, and no one appreciates help more than those who have nearly fallen. As part of this issue is devoted to legislative and regulatory themes, we asked executives from SEMA-member companies to comment on some of the programs that have helped them overcome adversity and improve the marketplace for both the industry and the consumers who benefit from it.

Companies Required to Display "Employee Rights" Poster

As of November 14, 2011, businesses will be required to display a poster informing workers of their right to unionize and bargain collectively with the employer. The 11- x 17-in. notice is required under a rule issued by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) following an extensive rulemaking procedure. The poster can be downloaded for free from the NLRB website as of November 1. 

Federal Agencies Unveil Plans to Trim Red Tape

Last January, President Obama issued an Executive Order directing all federal agencies to review their regulations in an attempt to eliminate rules that hinder economic growth. In response, the agencies have identified more than 500 regulatory requirements that can be dropped and potentially save $10 billion in productivity and elimination of paperwork. 

California Clarifies Law Requiring Tire Pressure Checks When Servicing Cars

All California automobile service providers are required to check tire pressures for every vehicle being maintained or repaired at their facility as of September 2010. The law applies to auto maintenance/repair providers but not to auto parts distributers/retailers, auto body/paint facilities, auto glass installers or wreckers/dismantlers. 

Michigan Bill Would Prohibit Additional Taxes Based on Vehicle Miles Traveled

SEMA is supporting Michigan legislation (H.B. 4885) that would prohibit the state from imposing a vehicle-miles-traveled (VMT) tax or mileage-based user fee on motor vehicles.

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.
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