May 2019 Legislative Report

Dave Bajumpaa

   The 2019 State Legislative Session began on January9 and will end on June 5. In we have retained theservices of Hughes and Cronin Public Affairs Strategies to monitor legislation related to the antique auto hobby, as we have done in previous sessions. In this monitoring capacity, Hughes and Cronin informs us of the pending legislation. We report to you on any legislation potentially impacting the hobby, and ask you to contact your legislators and help get favorablelegislation passed, and unfavorable legislationdefeated (i.e., a "grass roots" approach).The table included in this newsletter summarizes thecurrent status of bills related to the hobby and other transportation related matters of interest that have been introduced in the legislative session to date (May25, 2019). At previous business meetings, we discussed House Bill 6973 which proposed that number plates only be required on the rear of motor vehicles when no adequate mounting place exists on the front of the vehicle. This would be of benefit to some hobby vehicles, and as I understand it, certain modern motor vehicles. A Public Hearing on this bill took place on this bill on February 13th. On behalf of the 4C’s I submitted written testimony in favor of this bill. As noted in the table contained in this newsletter, the concept has been moved to Section 16 of Senate Bill 924, which is a DMV “Clean Up” bill. This is the annual type bill where minor, non-controversial changes to the DMV statutes are included. Senate Bill 924 remains on the Senate’s calendar for a vote (and has been there for around six weeks with no action), and should have a high likelihood of successin passing both the Senate and the House this Session provided both houses take the bill up before the session ends on June 5. In previous newsletters I reported on Senate Bills 431and 1139 where the state proposed eliminating the cities and towns ability to collect tax motor vehicles and instead implement a state wide tax on motor vehicles. In other words, the state is proposing to take this source of revenue away from the cities and towns,and use that tax revenue for State expenses. This is not adverse to the antique auto hobby by itself. What it means is that we won’t pay our towns taxes on our cars, but, of course, we will have to pay or town more tax for our homes and other property to pay for town expenses (in addition to paying a new tax to the state).I did provide written testimony on behalf of the 4C’son both these bills. As I reported in previous newsletters, the testimony did not take a position regarding whether a state-wide motor vehicle tax should or should not be enacted. However, if it is enacted, it is very important that the current provisions of Section 12-71(b), which contains the $500 maximum assessed value of an antique, rare or special interest motor vehicle be maintained.I have good news to report that both these bills appear to have died and will not progress any further in this session. So today, it appears that there will be no change to the way the cities and towns collect property taxes on our motor vehicles. We will need to remain vigilant on this issue, since, as you know, the state is looking for new sources of tax revenue.The fiscal problems for the state are far from over,and will continue to dominate this and future legislative sessions. With about a week and a half to go in the Regular Session, the state budget remains yet to be agreed upon. Senate Bill 877 included in the table identifies proposed sources of revenue for the state, but these are subject to change. The legislative leadership and the Governor continue to express optimism that the budget will be finalized prior to theJune 5th end of the Legislative Session. We will see. On other issues in this session (as shown on the tablein this newsletter) three bills on highway tolls, one on motorcycle helmets, and a bill on seat belts for all passengers in a motor vehicle appear to be advancing.The seat belt bill continues to only require seat belt use in vehicles that were originally equipped with them. Regarding tolls, a new draft of House Bill 7202 was released earlier this week. It appears that tolls will not be addressed before the end of the session, and the Governor will be calling for a Special Session, perhaps in August.Regarding titles for motor vehicles, as reported inprevious newsletters, the new DMV leadership is in place. At this point, we need to maintain our focus onthe current legislative session and will pursue changes to the DMV regulations after the conclusion of the session 

 *Legislation charts mentioned above can be seem at: 

https://ctccc.net/  (on the home page) or

 https://www.facebook.com/groups/connecticutcouncilofcarclubs

Up Coming Events

Tue Jul 23 @ 4:00AM -
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Pawcutuk
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Wed Jul 24 @ 5:30PM - 08:00PM
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