The laws and regulations that govern how SEMA members do business have a continuous impact on the way automotive specialty-equipment products are made, distributed and marketed. The charge of the SEMA government affairs office is to stay on top of all relevant state and federal legislation and regulations and advocate for industry positions to ensure the best possible outcome for SEMA’s membership. The following are a few examples of critical legislative/regulatory issues addressed by the SEMA government affairs team over the past year.
South Dakota—Collector Car Appreciation Day: The South Dakota State Legislature issued a resolution commemorating Thursday, August 27, as Collector Car Appreciation Day in the state. The resolution was introduced by State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership Caucus member Representative Larry Zikmund, pictured here.
Michigan—Military Vehicles: The Michigan House of Representatives passed SEMA-supported legislation to allow for the titling and registration of historic military-surplus vehicles. Such vehicles are not currently able to be titled or registered for use on highways in the state. The bill awaits consideration by the Senate Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
Maintenance Backlog on Federal Lands: The U.S. Senate passed the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA)—a SEMA-supported bill that is critically important to revitalizing America’s outdoor recreation industry. The GAOA would dedicate $9.5 billion over the next five years to addressing the maintenance backlog on federally owned lands by creating a national parks and public land legacy restoration fund. The bill would also appropriate $900 million annually to the Land and Water Conservation Fund to help fund the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service and several other federal agencies as they rebuild and improve trails, roads, docks, campgrounds and more.
The Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports (RPM) Act clarifies that the Clean Air Act allows motor vehicles to be converted into dedicated race cars and that it is legal to produce, sell and install race parts for those vehicles. As Congress prepares to come back into session in September, the RPM Act enters a critical period. The legislation has strong bipartisan support, including 60 co-sponsors for the House bill (H.R. 5434) and 29 co-sponsors for the Senate bill (S. 2602), but lawmakers in Congress need to hear from SEMA members about why the bill is important to motorsports parts businesses in order to enact the bill into law in 2020.