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ASA Ohio Legislative Update: May 2016

As expected, May has proven to be an extremely busy month at the Statehouse as legislators attempt to pass as much legislation as possible before breaking for summer recess. Any legislation left pending after May will likely need to wait until the end of the year to be passed. Below are some of the issues we have been actively engaged in since legislators returned in April.

Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher Program (HB 429):

ASA Ohio has helped spearhead legislation (HB 429) that would allow repair shops to qualify for funding under the Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher Program. This program was designed to provide financial assistance to train workers. Unfortunately, when the program was created it was tailored to just a few industries and automotive repair facilities were not eligible to receive funding. The program would match up to $4,000 to help employers pay for additional training for their workforce – this could include I-CAR and ASE certification. HB 429 was passed earlier this month with overwhelming support. We are now working with members of the Ohio Senate to pass this legislation before they break for summer recess. Matt Dougher of ASA Ohio testified in support of HB 429 this past week along with other automotive professional associations.  This Wednesday, HB 429 will hopefully be voted out of committee and to the floor for a vote.  Expediting HB 429’s passage is necessary in order to allow shop owners to apply for 2017 funding. Independent repair shops, tire dealers and the auto dealers have all come out in support for this legislation.

Towing Reforms (HB 341):

Last week, legislation (HB 341) was passed by the Ohio House of Representatives 92-4.  We don't imagine this legislation will be taken up in the Senate prior to legislators breaking in June, so it appears as if it will be left until lame duck, at which point we can fight for its passage. This would build upon the towing reforms made last session. While the bill’s focus is primarily on towing issues, it does impact the unclaimed motor vehicle affidavit process that shops use to obtain a title to unclaimed vehicles. The legislation would increase the threshold value from $3,500 to $4,400 for when the affidavit can be used on a vehicle. It also creates a new affidavit process for disabled vehicles that cannot be repaired to operating condition. Under this new process, shops would be able to obtain a salvaged title on vehicles left unclaimed with a value less than $1,500 and again, they would have to be inoperable and unable to be repaired to operating condition.  This legislation has undergone numerous revisions. ASA Ohio has been involved in this legislation since before its introduction and has ensured that the interests of automotive repair facilities were protected. 

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