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  Special Feature

ASA Federal Legislative Objectives

(Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2010)

Posted 1/14/2010

I. Monitor Legislation in the 111th Congress

A. The Washington office will advocate positions before the Congress in support of or in opposition to legislation as directed by the ASA board of directors.

B. The Washington office will, at the direction of the ASA board, develop new legislation and seek sponsors and supporters for the legislation both inside and outside the Congress to benefit ASA members.

C. The Washington office will study, evaluate and report on all new legislation and its potential impact on ASA members.

D. The Washington office will garner grassroots support from ASA members and other interested parties on issues of principal concern.

E. The Washington office will use official publications, online monitoring technology and other available resources to further the legislative and regulatory goals of ASA.

F. The Washington Office will work with the Government Affairs Committee toward developing political action committee participation by ASA members.

II. Develop a Position and a Lobbying Strategy for All Important Legislation

The Washington office will recommend positions and advocacy strategies to ASA's board of directors for legislation that has been introduced or for any new proposals to be supported or opposed by ASA.

A. Reform of the Insurance Industry

1. ASA supports legislation that prevents insurance companies from requiring the use of replacement crash parts unless the vehicle owner consents in writing.

2. ASA supports the repeal or modification of the McCarran-Ferguson Act, which exempts the insurance industry from federal antitrust laws.

3. ASA supports more stringent solvency regulations.

4. ASA opposes insurer-owned repair facilities.

B. Vehicle Inspection Legislation and Regulations

1. ASA promotes and supports federal programs for assistance to the states in establishing motor vehicle inspections for safety and emissions.

2. ASA supports a mandatory federal emissions vehicle inspection program.

3. ASA supports legislation that encourages states to adopt safety inspection programs, combined with vehicle emissions inspection programs, where feasible.

4. ASA supports technician training and certification initiatives that will generate qualified technicians to perform additional maintenance and repairs. ASA supports technician tracking programs to compile data on technician performance to assist management decisions to improve training, assist shop owners in selecting skilled technicians and provide an incentive for technicians to seek training.

5. ASA opposes legislation promoting accelerated vehicle scrappage programs in instances where older, high-emitting vehicles can be identified and adequately repaired except if a repair option exception is included in the scrappage proposal.

6. ASA supports a federal study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the effectiveness of state safety inspection and maintenance programs.

C. Labor Legislation

1. ASA supports a system of voluntary, nondiscriminatory private sector health care benefits. ASA encourages members to voluntarily provide benefits but opposes legislation that would compel all employers to offer health care coverage to their employees.

2. ASA supports 100 percent deductibility of health costs in small business.

3. ASA supports employer compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) "worker right-to-know" regulations. ASA opposes further legislation that would duplicate or strengthen OSHA's extensive hazard notification requirements. ASA opposes new regulations that place the responsibility of safety in the hands of the employee and not the employer.

4. ASA supports tax incentives for employers to offer a wide array of employee benefits.

5. ASA opposes legislation that would bar employers from permanently replacing striking workers.

6. ASA supports OSHA's consultation program and encourages its members to participate.

7. ASA supports federal incentives for training and apprenticeship programs.

8. ASA supports a reasonable ergonomics regulation for small businesses.

9. ASA supports association health plan legislation.

10. ASA supports a federal exemption for overtime pay for independent automotive technicians.

D. Small Business Legislation

1. ASA supports the reform of product liability law through enactment of a uniform federal product liability law to replace the current system of differing state product liability laws. ASA supports federal and state tort reform.

2. ASA opposes granting vehicle manufacturers monopoly copyright or patent rights on sheet metal parts or design patents on the shapes of other OE parts.

3. ASA supports the continued reform of the U.S. tax code.

4. ASA supports a constitutional balanced budget.

5. ASA supports regulatory flexibility legislation requiring analysis of the likely impact of federal legislation and regulations upon small businesses and to clarify procedures for judicial review of federal agency compliance with regulatory flexibility.

6. ASA supports legislation to reduce federal paperwork and regulatory burdens.

7. ASA supports legislation and regulations that create affordable business liability, health and worker compensation programs.

8. ASA supports repair shop licensing that includes but is not limited to technician training and equipment requirements.

E. Environmental Legislation

1. ASA supports legislation or regulations that limit the sale and distribution of automotive refinish products to those repair facilities with the proper training and equipment necessary for the safe and environmentally sound use of those products.

2. ASA supports attempts to reduce the amount of oil and antifreeze disposed of improperly each year through recycling legislation with business incentives.

3. ASA supports legislation that would provide incentives for the recycling of scrap tires and lead-acid batteries.

4. ASA encourages members to comply with all recycling and disposal voluntary and mandatory laws.

5. ASA supports independent repair and consumer education regarding repair and retrofit of a/c systems.

F. Motor Vehicle Titling Legislation

1. ASA supports national uniform motor vehicle titling legislation.

2. ASA supports national total loss data legislation.

3. ASA supports post-repair vehicle inspection.

4. ASA opposes arbitrary limits on vehicles capable of being repaired.

5. ASA supports removing the cost of repairing, replacing or reinstalling inflatable safety restraints from the total cost of repairs to rebuild or reconstruct a vehicle.

G. Information Availability

ASA supports the ASA-Alliance-AIAM Agreement requiring original equipment manufacturers to provide all emissions and non-emissions service information, training, tools and tool information necessary to repair a vehicle.

H. Airbags

ASA opposes the use of all used and salvage airbags in automobiles.

III. Monitor Changes in Existing Government Regulations

A. The Washington office monitors and reports to the ASA membership on proposals and changes in federal agency regulatory actions that may affect ASA members' businesses. ASA will pay particular attention to regulations governing the Clean Air Act amendments, hazardous waste, ergonomics, worker safety, community right-to-know, underground storage tanks and Superfund.

B. ASA supports and actively participates in a variety of government coalitions and working groups. ASA's Washington representative serves on advisory committees of the U.S. Depart_ments of Transportation and Justice on issues regarding vehicle theft and titling and other issues, in addition to several advisory committees of the U.S. Environ_mental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Labor.

C. ASA will continue to participate in and coordinate comments and responses to the EPA, OSHA and other agency regulations.

IV. Monitor Federal and State Court Activity

V. Provide Ongoing Guidance to the States in Matters of Shop and Technician Licensing and Certification

VI. Respond to the Directives of the Board of Directors and Coordinate Actions According to the Dictates of the ASA Long-Range Strategic Plan

VII. Provide Publications and Public Information Services on Behalf of ASA

A. The Washington office will provide press releases, special reports and other public relations materials to complement and support ASA's legislative and regulatory activities and keep ASA members aware of what is happening in Washington that may affect their businesses.

B. The Washington office will continue working with the national news media and with other automotive trade publications.

C. ASA encourages the independent automotive repair industry to utilize ASA's legislative and regulatory Web site, www.TakingTheHill.com.

VIII. Respond to Other Special Requests of the Board and Maintain Liaison with Other Automotive and Related Trade Associations on Legislation and Regulations.

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