By B.J. Johnson
ASA-Arizona to Hold Sunrise Convention
The 14th annual ASA-Arizona Sunrise Convention will be held July 8-10 at the Prescott Resort in Prescott, Ariz. The event will provide attendees management and technical training, and industry vendors will be available to showcase their products and services.
In addition to the education portion of the event, the affiliate will recognize one of its members for outstanding support and commitment to ASA and the industry. A highlight of the convention is the silent auction. Attendees bid on various items throughout the Saturday night dinner. The proceeds of the auction assist in the funding of ASA-Arizona's scholarship program, as well as to offset convention costs.
For more information on the Sunrise convention, visit the ASA-Arizona Web site, www.asaaz.org.
ASA-Texas Holds Licensing Meetings
In January, the ASA-Fort Worth chapter conducted a combined meeting with the ASA-Denton and ASA-Dallas chapters to discuss the potential shop and technician licensing legislative issue.
More than 40 people attended to learn and provide input on possible legislation. Charles Parker, ASA-Texas executive director, began the meeting with an overview of the many ways a member can recruit a potential member and encouraged all members to take advantage of the materials ASA has designed.
Parker then distributed an outline of the proposed shop and technician legislation and a lively discussion ensued. "One thing was clear, the industry and ASA-Texas members believe we have reached a point in our history where a licensing law could be for the better," said Rod Burtch, ASA-Texas president-elect.
Concerns surfaced, including: Who would enforce this law, how would current technicians test out and how long would the license be good? John Miller, ASA-Texas chairman of the Licensing Committee and shop owner from Stafford, Texas, was on hand to lead several parts of the discussion.
Kevin McCartney, a technical instructor and educator, gave a brief summary of some of the successes and problems he has witnessed from other states that have taken similar action. His insight help shed some light on several key issues.
The recurring theme among the attendees was to take it slow in constructing a law or bill and gather as much information from other states and learn from their success or failure.
Bill Haas, AAM, ASA vice president of service repair markets, reminded the members the national office has worked on this issue with other states and offered ASA-Texas the full support of the ASA national staff.
ASA-Texas will be conducting this information-gathering meeting across the state.
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Class Action Fairness Act by a vote of 279-149.
The U.S. Senate passed the bill by a vote of 72-26 in February. President Bush is expected to sign the legislation.
The measure calls for moving many class-action lawsuits from state courts to federal courts when the amount in dispute exceeds $5 million and when the defendant and the plaintiff live in different states.
"We are pleased with the House's quick passage of this important legislation," said Bob Redding, the Automotive Service Association's Washington, D.C., representative.
He added, "The association wants to thank all ASA members who contacted their U.S. Congressional representatives in support of class-action legislation."
Legislation currently pending in the U.S. Congress would allow small business owners to band together and purchase group health insurance. ASA supports this legislation.
To ensure this legislation becomes law, members are urged to contact their U.S. representatives and ask for support of Association Health Plan legislation.
For more information on how to contact representatives, visit ASA's legislative Web site, www.TakingTheHill.com.
Reminder of the Month
For many people, the month of April brings anxiety and worry because April 15 is the deadline for federal income tax filings. The U.S. government has a Web site that provides good tax information. The site can be accessed at www.irs.ustreas.gov.
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