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  Taking The Hill
Posted 6/25/2007
By Caroline Fuller

Florida Right to Repair Legislation Fails to Move Forward

Florida state Senate Bill 2890, the Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act, died in the Florida State legislature. Since S.B. 2890 never made it through the committee process, it was unable to reach the Senate floor for a vote this session.

S.B. 2890 would have relied on a state government agency and the Florida court system to assist repairers in acquiring automotive service information. The Automotive Service Association had urged Florida repair shop owners to contact their state Senate members, asking that they oppose S.B. 2890. ASA said the legislation would put at risk the progress that has been made through the Automotive Service Association-Automaker Agreement, which already provides independent repairers access to service, tool and training information.

Charlie Elder, AAM, owner of Ray Gordon Brake Service, Tallahassee, Fla., and past chairman of ASA-National, said: "... I am hopeful other states will follow the state of Florida and the U.S. Congress in demonstrating that Right to Repair legislation is unnecessary and will only serve as a bureaucratic nightmare for independent repairers."

Right to Repair legislation has failed on the federal level in the past several congresses. Proponents of Right to Repair legislation have now moved to the state level.

Washington State Passes Insurance Fair Conduct Act

The Washington State Legislature has passed Senate Bill 5726, the Insurance Fair Conduct Act, into law. This legislation makes it unlawful for an insurer to unreasonably deny a first party insurance claim.

The legislation states: "An insurer engaged in the business of insurance may not unreasonably deny a claim for coverage or payment of benefits to any first party claimant."

The American Insurance Association (AIA), the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC), and the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) asked Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire to veto S.B. 5726.

EPA Creates Work Group to Address Increasing Energy Issues

The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Clean Air Act Advisory Committee has stated it is creating a new work group that will make recommendations to the EPA on mobile source and energy issues. The work group will review questions on hybrids and flex-fuel vehicles, and could include the development of a more vigorous "life-cycle testing" on the impact of biofuels during each stage of biofuel production.

In April, the EPA completed a rule that mandates the increased use of gasoline blended with renewable fuels. The EPA determined that this rule will reduce carbon dioxide emissions, but increase emissions of pollutants that contribute to ozone.

Many are becoming increasingly concerned that the EPA has failed to do enough to determine the impacts of increased production and use of ethanol and biodiesel.

More information about both Washington state Senate Bill 5726 and Florida state Senate Bill 2890 are available on the Automotive Service Association's legislative Web site, www.TakingTheHill.com.

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