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By Caroline Holland
State Updates on Right to Repair Legislation
Oklahoma State House Bill 1584, the Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act, has died in the Oklahoma legislature. The bill was introduced in February but failed to move through the committee process. Thus, it did not reach the House for a vote during this session.
Oklahoma's House bill would have regulated how automotive service information is provided. Additionally, the legislation would have made a state government agency responsible for administering automotive service information and establishing monetary penalties and legal remedies.
Oklahoma now joins Florida as states unable to move forward with proposed right to repair legislation. It is the hope of the Automotive Service Association (ASA) that other states will join to oppose this legislation, which would interfere with the voluntary, industry-supported service information process already in place.
The Massachusetts Legislature scheduled a hearing in Boston June 26 regarding right to repair legislation proposed in the state. The hearing was an opportunity to hear testimony from opposing sides about the implications of such a bill. ASA submitted testimony for the hearing. ASA also urged Massachusetts repair shop owners to contact their state house members to voice their opposition to House Bill 296.
Research Service Issues Report on Massachusetts v. EPA
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) has issued a report regarding the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, et. al. v. EPA, et al. The report shows that the Environmental Protection Agency has broad discretion in implementing the ruling that would cause the EPA to address carbon dioxide (CO2) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions outlined under the Clean Air Act. The study does not force the EPA to regulate GHG emissions from new motor vehicles, although it does limit the options available to the EPA should they decide not to do so.
The report was written by Robert Meltz, legislative attorney of the American Law Division. According to the report, the court's decision resulted in three options for the EPA: 1) find that motor vehicle GHG emissions threaten the public welfare, 2) find that emissions "do not satisfy the prerequisite," or 3) determine that climate change is too uncertain to issue a definitive ruling. Meltz continued: "The decision also has implications for other climate-change-related litigation, particularly a pending suit seeking to compel EPA regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from
stationary sources of emissions." The report detailed the EPA's options and said the agency had the opportunity to be creative with the Supreme Court's decision.
Fair Minimum Wage Act Signed into Law
President George W. Bush signed into law the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007 in May. This act was presented as part of House Resolution 2206. It outlines a three-step increase in minimum wage, which will first begin July 24, 2007, 60 days after the bill was signed into law. The first increase will be from the current $5.15 per hour to $5.85 per hour. Subsequent increases will include an increase to $6.55 in July 2008 and to $7.25 in July 2009.
The legislation for both Oklahoma House Bill 1584 and Massachusetts House Bill 296 are available on the Automotive Service Association's legislative Web site, www.TakingTheHill.com.
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