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CATA-initiated bills navigate General Assembly as session's end nears

November 24, 2010

Two bills that would impact dealers are poised to gain approval by the Illinois General Assembly before lawmakers adjourn for the summer. The spring session is expected to end May 17. A bill to expand the list of components on a new vehicle which can be repaired without triggering damage disclosure has passed the Senate and awaits a third and final vote in the House.

Favorable balloting would deliver Senate Bill 1851 to Gov. George Ryan for his approval or veto. Dealers must disclose new-vehicle damage when the cost to repair the damage exceeds 6 percent of MSRP. However, damage to glass, tires, bumpers and in-dash audio equipment can be replaced with OEM equipment without triggering disclosure.

The Senate bill adds video and telephonic elements to that list. Other legislation expected to reach Ryan, House Bill 4353, would make it illegal for anyone to install or reinstall in a vehicle any object in lieu of an air bag which is designed specifically for the make, model and year of that vehicle, according to federal safety regulations. The bill passed the House in early April and faces a second reading in the Senate.

Other initiatives advanced this session by lobbyists for the CATA appear stuck in committee and unlikely to pass. One bill (Senate Bill 1852) proposes to reduce from $65 to $13 the cost to dealers to obtain a vehicle title. Another (Senate Bill 1853) would restructure taxes on leased vehicles. With the state budget facing a $1.2 billion-and seemingly growing-hole, bills that would reduce revenue to the state coffers faced a precarious outcome.