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July Update: California bills to watch as they make way through legislative process

CAA is continuing to closely monitor these bills that affect the state’s aftermarket, providing analysis and updates as the session moves forward

Sacramento, Calif.—The California Autobody Association (CAA) has provided its Legislative & Regulatory Update for July, noting that more than 2,300 bills were introduced this year. The bills are making their way through the legislative committee process.

“We will continue to monitor closely, provide analysis and updates as the session moves forward,” CAA stated in an email. Below is a short CAA summary of some of the key bills/areas and regulations it is tracking. To learn more as bills advance and how to join CAA, visit www.calautobody.com.

Catalytic Converter Theft Bills – Concerns

AB 1740 – Requires core recyclers who accept converters from commercial enterprise, which includes auto repair dealers, to obtain the following from seller: name, business address and phone, business license or tax ID, date of sale, number of converters sold, amount of money and written agreement to be kept for two years. Status: Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 2407 – Requires core recycler who accept converters from seller to have a written agreement and obtain thumb prints from seller disposing of catalytic converters. The bill was amended to exempt automotive repair dealers from thumb print requirements. Status: Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 2682 – Any auto repair shop that installs or replaces a catalytic converter must ensure that it is engraved or otherwise permanently marked with VIN. The repair shop may charge a reasonable fee for permanently marking the converter. A smog station must visually inspect and notify customer whether or not converter engraved with VIN. The smog station needs only perform a visually inspection without any responsibility of removing any part, if converter not visible. The bill also makes it a crime to remove or alter a VIN that has been added to the catalytic converter. Status: Senate Appropriations Committee.

SB 986 – Requires core recyclers who accept converters to maintain specified written records from seller with sufficient particularity, including markings to match any converter in recyclers inventory to written agreement and prohibits a dealer from selling a vehicle unless converter has been engraved, etched or permanently marked with VIN. Status: Assembly Appropriations Committee.

SB 1087 – Requires core recyclers who accept converters from seller to obtain and maintain written records, including name, date number of converters and amount of money and specifically prohibits any person from purchasing used converter other than specified business which includes an auto repair dealer. Status: Assembly Appropriations Committee. 

Employment Bills – Concerns

AB 1949 – Provides for five unpaid days of employee bereavement leave upon the death of a family member. Status: Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 2243 – Requires Cal-OSHA to submit a proposal to the Heath Standards Board to revise the heat illness standard. Status: Senate Appropriations Committee.

SB 1044 – Allows employees to leave work or refuse to show up to work if employee feels unsafe regardless of existing health and safety standards. Employers could be subject to lawsuits and costly Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) lawsuits, if they dispute the employee’s decision or need to have another employee take over any job duties. Status: Assembly Appropriations.

SB 1162 – Requires employers of 100 or more workers to publish annual pay data reports by company name. Encourages litigation against employers based on the publication of broad, unreliable data collected by the state. Undermines employers’ ability to hire, imposes burdensome administrative and record keeping, and subjects’ employers to a private right of action and penalties under PAGA. Status: Assembly Appropriations.

Employer Tax Credits – Support

SB 1349 – Support – Allows for $1,000 state tax credit for each employee hired by employer. Status: Assembly Appropriations Committee. 

AB 1864 – Allows for a tax credit against taxes to qualified small business employers in an unspecified amount for each newly hired employee, as specified. Status: Assembly Revenue and Tax for hearing only. 

Career Tech Bills – Support

AB 2058 – Support – This bill would increase career tech funding from $300 million to $450 million annually. Status: Senate Education Committee.

SB 1351 – Establishes the California Youth Apprenticeship Program for purpose of awarding grant funds. Status: Assembly Appropriations Committee. 

Tires – Watch

SB 1181. This bill requires the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery to strengthen the California tire tracking system to quantify the number of used tires flowing from and through California into Mexico. Status: Assembly Appropriations Committee. 

Battery Fee – Watch

AB 1. This bill makes technical corrections to the current notice requirement to reflect the increase of the battery fee from $1.00 to $2.00 that went into effect on April 1, 2022. Status: Senate Floor – Inactive file.      

Hydrofluorocarbon Gases – Concerns

SB 1206. This bill prohibits a person from selling or distributing hydrofluorocarbons gases (which are used in refrigerants, air conditioning, etc.) that exceed global warming limits. Status: Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Zero Emissions Aftermarket Conversions – Watch

AB 2350. Requires CARB to establish the Zero Emissions Aftermarket Conversion Project to provide applicant with a rebate for the aftermarket conversion of a motor vehicle into zero emissions vehicle. Status: Senate Appropriations Committee.  

Vehicle Exhaust – Concerns

AB 2496. As introduced, this bill would have required smog stations to include a sound level test that vehicles would fail smog if the exhaust system emits a sound level of more than 95dBA. The bill has been amended to delete the smog check station requirements and instead require a court, beginning January 1, 2027, to notify DMV to place a registration hold on a vehicle found to have a noncompliant modified muffler until the court has been presented with a certificate of compliance from a referee authorized to test the vehicle Status: Senate Appropriations Committee. 

Vehicle Insurance – Support

SB 1107 – Support. This bill, among other things, would increase the amount of liability insurance coverage an owner of vehicle is required to maintain from the current $15,000 for single injury or death, $30,000 for injury or death of more than one person and $5,000 for property ($15k,$30k,$5k) to ($30k, $60k, $15k). Status: Assembly Appropriations Committee.    

State Budget

The recently passed $300 billion state budget, included “inflation relief,” authoring the “middle class tax refund,” where California joint tax fliers making up to $500,000 in 2020 and single fliers making $250,000 are eligible for one-time relief checks of up to $1,050.00. See Franchise Tax Board link to determine eligibility. https://www.ftb.ca.gov/about-ftb/newsroom/middle-class-tax-refund/middle-class-tax-refund.html

BAR Regulations

BAR Vehicle Safety Inspection Regulatory Workshop. As part of the AB 471 implementation, BAR is holding a regulatory workshop on July 21, 2022. The workshop is on developing the vehicle safety inspection program for revival of rebuilt salvage vehicles. CAA plans on attending and will report. 

Citation & Fine Regulation. BAR continues to move forward with the citation and fine regulation, which would provide the BAR the ability to issue citations and fines to auto repair facilities, up to $5,000 per citation. The BAR has held three workshops on these proposed regulations. Due to the passage of AB 471, the regulations will include the ability for shops to informally appeal citations before an independent three-member panel and the option to take remedial training to prevent the citation from being posted on the BAR website. Concerns have been raised that any citations and fines issued must be based on objective and fair and reasonable guidelines. The BAR continues to work on addressing concerns raised by the automotive repair industry.

BAR Advisory Group Committee Meeting. The next BAR advisory committee meeting is scheduled for July 21, 2022. CAA will attend the meeting and report.

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