In a major victory for enthusiasts in California, the Senate Appropriations Committee rejected SAN-opposed legislation (A.B. 616) that threatened to require annual Smog check inspections for vehicles 15-years old and older. After having been approved previously by the full California Assembly and the Senate Transportation Committee, the bill is dead for the year.
“Car clubs and individual hobbyists across the state loudly and forcefully objected to passage of this bill,” said SEMA Vice President of Government Affairs Steve McDonald. “Ultimately, the lawmakers in Sacramento heard their message.”
Through thousands of phone calls and emails, SEMA Action Network (SAN) members were able to convince committee members that these vehicles constitute a small portion of the overall vehicle population and are a poor source from which to look for emissions reduction.
In correspondence to his constituents, Senator Dave Cox expressed his opposition to the bill, “I have not yet seen any evidence that 15 year old vehicles pollute our air substantially more than 14 year old vehicles. Declaring all vehicles 15 years or older are guilty of being gross polluters without any empirical data is backwards and does not reflect the spirit of the law.”
Of additional concern to the enthusiast community were provisions in the bill that would have required that funds generated through the additional inspection fees be deposited into an account which could be used to scrap older cars.
“We are especially indebted to those legislators who opposed the bill because it would have placed an undue burden upon car owners simply because their vehicle is older than an arbitrary date set in law,” McDonald added.
The SAN would like to thank the countless individuals and car clubs whose dedication and persistence in contacting lawmakers in Sacramento as this bill moved through the legislative process. Special thanks to the Association of California Car Clubs for the coordinated effort by their member clubs in opposing this bill.