As many of you have been reading about and hearing about the past few months, yesterday was the senate vote for Assembly Bill 1740 – the bill brought forth by assemblyman Kevin Jeffries relating to increasing the number of annual kit car registrations from 500 to 750 in the state of California. The bill was defeated. We received the following note from assemblyman Jeffries office explaining the defeat and what’s next.
Goodguys would like to thank everyone who rallied behind this bill and took the time to call, fax, write and e-mail California assembly members in support of this bill and our beloved hobby and industry. We will keep you posted on any new bills or developments through the year. Here is the note from Jeffries’ office:
Yesterday, AB 1740 (Jeffries), relating to increasing the number of annual kit car registrations from 500 to 750, failed on a party line vote, 3-5. Three Republicans, Vice-Chair Bob Huff (Diamond Bar), Tom Harman (Huntington Beach), and Roy Ashburn (Bakersfield) voted in favor of the measure. Five Democrats, Chair Alan Lowenthal (Long Beach), Christine Kehoe (San Diego), Fran Pavley (Santa Monica), Mark DeSaulnier (Walnut Creek) and Joe Simitian (San Jose) voted against the bill.
Assemblyman Jeffries, using arguments compiled from many in the kit car community, cited the fact that these 250 additional kit cars were a minuscule amount of cars compared to the nearly 23 million registered cars in California. Other witnesses from the community worked to debunk the Democratic assumption that there is a ‘typical’ kit car; these witnesses clearly explained that cars range in price from $10,000 to well in excess of that. The witnesses expressed the views of many- that, as a hobby, kit cars are more works of art, and can not be defined as ‘typical’ by any means.
In committee, Chairman Lowenthal suggested that instead of increasing the limit to 750, kit cars could simply be retrofitted with modern emissions controls or use a modern ‘green’ engine developed by General Motors. The California Air Pollution Control Officers Association cited California Air Resources Board (CARB) studies that claimed that the ‘typical’ kit car polluted 200 times more than a regular 2005 model year car. The representative from CARB cited their ‘statistics’ claiming that most of the recent cars registered under the SB 100 exemptions were high polluting, large model engines. Senator Kehoe, also citing the fact that retro fits and emissions controls were available for kit cars, announced that she would be unable to support AB 1740.
Unfortunately, this negative vote in the Senate Transportation Committee marks the end of the road for this bill. With the bill 2 votes short of passage and no Democratic Senators willing to vote for the bill (or suggest any amendments that would allow them to vote for the bill) AB 1740 will not advance any further this year. Assemblyman Jeffries is committed to working on this issue again next year- whether the bill takes a form similar to this or something a bit different.
I personally want to thank each of you who have invested so much time and energy in this bill. AB 1740 would not have advanced this far without your dedicated hard work and outstanding perseverance. Many of you gathered signed letters, made phone calls and contacted elected officials. Thank you for your efforts and passion for your hobby.
As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. Please feel free to contact me with any bill ideas for the next legislative cycle, or if you have any questions about the legislative process. Thank you again for your outstanding efforts.
Office of Assemblymember Kevin Jeffries