2023 General Assembly Session Wrap-Up
Virginia’s part-time legislature gaveled into session on January 11, 2023. Of the over 2300 pieces of legislation before the General Assembly this year, VIADA tracked a handful of bills that would have a direct impact on the Independent Dealer industry in the Commonwealth. Bills that have completed their business and advanced in one chamber “crosses over” to the other chamber for review and consideration starting February 8th. Because this is an election year for all 140 seats of the General Assembly, this was considered a “short session” and ended on February 25.
“Clean Car” Repeal Bills Meet their Expected Fate
Several bills were introduced in the House and Senate aimed at repealing the requirement that the State Air Pollution Control Board implement a low-emissions and zero-emissions vehicle program for motor vehicles similar to what is enacted in California. These bills met an early end in the Senate Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee. In the House, the bill survived committee and passed the full House on a party-line vote. However, it too met its end in committee.
Legislation VIADA Supported
HB1677 – Exempts any amount charged for labor for diagnostic work for automotive repair and emergency roadside service for motor vehicles from retail sales and use tax, regardless of whether there is a sale of a repair or replacement part or a shop supply charge. This bill has passed both chambers and is expected to become law.
HB2254 – Requires the Department of Motor Vehicles to establish and administer a process whereby a vehicle owner may contest an assessed highway use fee. The bill requires the Department to reimburse the vehicle owner for any contested highway use fee or portion thereof that was incorrectly collected. This bill has passed both chambers and is expected to become law.
HB2372 & SB1135 – Makes it a Class 6 felony for any person to sell, offer for sale, or purchase a catalytic converter from a motor vehicle exhaust system that has been detached from a motor vehicle. These bills have passed both chambers and are expected to become law.
HB2422 & SB1509 – Clarifies that the definition of a “home solicitation sale” includes a solicitation of the sale or lease of goods and services in which the seller engages in a solicitation without prior invitation, appointment, or consent. The bill excludes from the definition of “home solicitation sale” a dealer licensed by the Motor Vehicle Dealer Board. These bills have passed both chambers and is expected to become law.
Legislation VIADA Opposed
HB2468 –Current Virginia law requires each location where Tesla or another manufacturer wants to operate be evaluated by the DMV Commissioner through an administrative hearing process. Despite being previously approved for all their locations, Tesla wants to remove the administrative hearing process and receive blanket statewide approval for stores if just a single location is approved. This would create two separate sets of rules for operators. VIADA joined with VADA, the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, and General Motors to speak out against the bill. In a Transportation subcommittee hearing at the end of January the bill was tabled by a vote of 7-2.
2023 is a critical year in Virginia, all 100 seats in the Virginia House of Delegates and all 40 seats in the Virginia Senate are up for election this November. Virginia’s 2023 elections will be a national bellwether test after last year’s national mid-term elections.