Government Affairs News

Posted on: Thursday, July 22, 2010 - 7:21pm

SEMA has been asked by the federal government if any companies would be
interested in converting domestic vehicles for export to right-hand-drive countries. The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) purchases
about 90,000 vehicles a year for various government agencies, and a
small number of those vehicles are exported for use in foreign
countries.

Posted on: Thursday, July 15, 2010 - 7:35pm

Environment Canada issued a SEMA-supported final rule to indefinitely
extend an exemption allowing the use of leaded gasoline in competition
motor vehicles. The exemption has been renewed several times since it
was first established in 1996. SEMA had previously opposed efforts to
permanently terminate the exemption and effectively ban racing vehicles
using leaded fuel. The new rule recognizes the relationship between
the Canadian and U.S. racing industries and adopts a consistent
environmental approach to leaded fuel use.

Posted on: Thursday, July 15, 2010 - 7:35pm

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has published answers to “frequently
asked questions” (FAQs) to help businesses better understand the FTC’s
“Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in
Advertising.” The Guides were revised in October 2009 to clarify that
they apply to all types of advertising, including via social media
websites and blogs.

Posted on: Thursday, July 15, 2010 - 7:35pm

Bill would offer smaller banks access to $30 billion fund to spur lending to small businesess, and includes extension of program allowing 50% write-off on newly purchased depreciable property.

Posted on: Thursday, July 8, 2010 - 7:32pm

This Friday, industry professionals and enthusiasts across the country will gather tocelebrate collector cars. The U.S. Senate declared July 9, 2010, as “Collector Car Appreciation Day” when it passed Senate Resolution 513(S. Res. 513) at the request of SEMA and the Automotive RestorationMarket Organization (ARMO) council.

Posted on: Thursday, July 8, 2010 - 7:32pm

Small-business owners and consumers shopping for health insurance have
a new tool to learn more about the health care options in their area.
The site, www.healthcare.gov,
provides information on coverage options, health care providers and
important dates for the implementation of the new health care law.

Posted on: Thursday, July 8, 2010 - 7:32pm

The Small Business Administration (SBA) released a study that examines
the types of credit used by small businesses, namely bank credits
(loans or lines of credit) and trade credits (from suppliers). The
study compares companies that use credit (leveraged) with those that do
not (unleveraged).

Posted on: Thursday, July 8, 2010 - 7:32pm

SEMA-supported legislation to extend the emissions inspection exemption
to vehicles five model years old or newer has been signed into law by New
Jersey Governor Chris Christie. The new law acknowledges the relatively
minimal environmental impact of the vehicles targeted for this
exemption and that it is senseless to test newer vehicles, the results
of which demonstrate no significant air quality benefits.

Posted on: Thursday, June 24, 2010 - 7:46pm

After passing in the Assembly with the full support of the automotive
hobbyist community, the California Senate Transportation Committee
failed to approve legislation to increase the registration limit for
exempted specially constructed vehicle registrations from 500 to 750
vehicles per year. The bill was defeated on a 3 to 5 vote.

Posted on: Thursday, June 24, 2010 - 7:46pm

One week remains for diesel performance parts manufacturers to have
these parts placed on the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB)
“Parts in Progress List,” thereby providing a one-year period for
obtaining emissions compliance for these components.

Posted on: Thursday, June 24, 2010 - 7:46pm

As of January 1, 2011, it will be illegal to sell or install a wheel
weight that contains lead or mercury in Illinois. The state joins
several others that have enacted laws banning the manufacture, sale and
use of lead wheel weights. California’s law went into effect on January
1, 2010. Maine, Vermont and Washington also ban the products while
Iowa, Maryland, New York, Rhode Island and Wisconsin have considered a
ban.

Posted on: Thursday, June 24, 2010 - 7:46pm

A bill introduced in the U.S. Senate to create a large, new wilderness
reserve in central Idaho has been endorsed by the Obama administration.
The legislation threatens to designate nearly 330,000 acres of land in
central Idaho as wilderness, the most restrictive designation that can
be placed on public lands. SEMA opposes the legislation as drafted
since many off-highway vehicle (OHV) trails in the Sawtooth and Challis
National Forests could be closed as a result of its passage.

Posted on: Thursday, June 17, 2010 - 8:22pm

On March 23, President Obama signed the “Patient Protection and
Affordable Care Act” into law, completing a year of contentious debate
and creating the largest government mandate in recent history. Given
the sweeping nature of the legislation, it will take some time for the
ramifications of this historic action to be fully understood. However,
some facts are immediately known. [Read More]

Posted on: Thursday, June 10, 2010 - 8:36pm

Manufacturers of diesel performance parts have just three weeks left to apply for a one-year period of obtaining emissions compliance with the California Air Resources Board.

Posted on: Thursday, June 10, 2010 - 8:36pm

The SEMA Political Action Committee (SEMA PAC) has unveiled a
redesigned website at www.semapac.com that makes participating in the
PAC easier than ever. At the website, members can learn more about
actions taking place on Capitol Hill, which have a direct impact on our
industry and your company. For the first time, you can sign-up to
become “PAC-approved” (allowing SEMA to communicate directly with you
about PAC activities) or make an online contribution through our new,
safe, electronic forms.

Posted on: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 7:44pm

The Ohio House Transportation Committee unanimously passed SEMA-model
legislation to create a vehicle registration and titling classification
for street rods and custom vehicles and provide for special license
plates for these vehicles. The bill defines a street rod as an altered
vehicle manufactured before 1949 and a custom as an altered vehicle at
least 25 years old and manufactured after 1948.

Posted on: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 7:44pm

The House Energy and Commerce Committee passed a bill to mandate new
automaker safety standards and strengthen the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) authority. The legislation would
require the NHTSA to establish new motor vehicle safety standards for
unintended accelerations, such as a brake-override requirement.

Posted on: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 7:44pm

For the past 14 years, a coalition of lawmakers who support the
automotive specialty-equipment aftermarket and recognize our industry's
positive economic impact has been growing on Capitol Hill. The
Congressional Automotive Performance and Motorsports Caucus is now
nearing 100 members and pays tribute to America's ever-growing love
affair with the car and motorsports.

Here are the current members of the caucus

Posted on: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 - 7:21pm

Just months after establishing mileage and emissions standards for
model year (MY) 2012–2016 cars and light trucks, the Obama Administration
has begun work on even stronger rules for 2017 and beyond. Last week,
President Obama directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
to reduce emissions of conventional pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides.

Posted on: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 - 7:21pm

Effective June 15, 2010, employers are required to notify their workers
when there is any hexavalent chromium present in the workplace, even
when it is below the permissible exposure limit (PEL).

Posted on: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 - 7:21pm

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a streamlined process for manufacturers for approving fuel conversion systems. The conversion systems allow light- and heavy-duty vehicles to run on alternative fuels (natural gas, propane, alcohol, electricity, etc.) while complying with Clean Air Act emissions standards.

Posted on: Thursday, May 20, 2010 - 6:30pm

Working with the SEMA Action Network (SAN),
SEMA convinced Kansas legislators to delete provisions from a revenue
bill that increased the fees on antiques, street rods and special-interest vehicles. The language sought to raise the registration fees
on these vehicles, including a $10 increase on January 1, 2013, and
another $10 increase on January 1, 2014.

Posted on: Thursday, May 20, 2010 - 6:30pm

SEMA-supported legislation to provide an exemption to automotive
hobbyists from the restrictions on salvage yards was signed into law by
Vermont  Governor Jim Douglas. The new law increases the regulation of
salvage yards and automobile graveyards in the state, but includes a
provision stipulating that hobbyists are not to be confused with the
owners of automobile graveyards.

Posted on: Thursday, May 20, 2010 - 6:30pm

In its daily efforts to promote and protect the auto hobby, SEMA
continues to partner with lawmakers across the country through the
State Automotive Leadership Caucus. Celebrating its five-year
anniversary, the caucus is a bipartisan group of state lawmakers whose
common thread is a love and appreciation for automobiles. Supported by
SEMA's Government Affairs office in Washington, D.C., the caucus serves
to raise the motor-vehicle hobby's profile in the state legislatures
and in the public's eyes. [Read more

Posted on: Thursday, May 13, 2010 - 6:56pm

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has issued its new test
procedure and related requirements to obtain Executive Orders (E.O.s)
for emissions-related diesel performance parts. Of note is CARB’s
development of a “Parts in Progress List” that identifies companies
having submitted all traditional E.O. applications materials but who
must now address additional requirements. By following the required
steps, parts will be prevented from causing failure of the smog-check
test.

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