ASCCA/CAA Legislative Day focuses on Career Technical Education and other bills
Sacramento, Calif.—Every year, the ASCCA/CAA Joint Legislative Day enables shop owners from throughout the state to meet with their political representatives to discuss current laws and pending bills that can greatly affect their businesses. On April 24, approximately 40 members from both organizations met at the Capitol Event Center in Sacramento and then proceeded to the Capitol to discuss several “hot button” bills dealing with career technical education, tire recycling fees and major sales tax reforms.
By strategically scheduling appointments throughout the Capitol’s offices throughout the day, ASCCA/CAA members broke into smaller groups to cover as much territory as possible.
“This is the one day when our members can air their concerns and help make a change,” ASCCA/CAA Legislative Advocate Jack Molodanof said. “By getting access to their representatives, these independent shop owners can affect bills that can help themselves and improve the overall climate in California for small businesses in general.”
Speakers included Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham (San Luis Obispo) who discussed AB 1743 (O’Donnell), the Career Tech Education (CTE) Incentive Grants bill; Betty Jo Toccoli, California Small Business Association, and Pat Dorais, Bureau of Automotive Repair.
Cunningham has always been a proponent of CTE and has championed AB 1743 since day one. The proposed bill will provide $500 million in ongoing funding in a 1:1 matching program and won’t need to be renewed every three years, so that schools can plan ahead rather than change on the fly. While college education in California is now unattainable for many young people due to high costs, technical training is an excellent way for them to build lucrative careers, Cunningham said. “Only 30 percent of high school graduates can get college degrees, so what will the other 70 percent do? By age 20-22, these people who want to work with their hands can get certified in a wide range of industries, obviously including automotive repair and the jobs pay well. For example, a welder can make $90,000 annually after just a few years and a plumber starts at approximately $60,000, so these are great careers. There is a labor shortage of qualified people in those areas, so we, the state, needs to provide training to fill that void.”
ASCCA and CAA oppose AB 2908 (Berman), the Tire Regulatory Fee Bill. The bill would give CalRecycle, which oversees the tire recycling program, the ability to create a new per tire fee up to one dollar on top of the current $1.75 per tire fee already charged in California, meaning a total of $11 for a new set of tires.
Both organizations also are concerned about SB 993 (Hertzberg) that intends to make major tax reforms, including the expanding of the sales tax to all services, including automotive repair labor, which is currently excluded. Extending the sales tax to services will increase the costs to small businesses, so ASCCA/CAA wants to analyze the bill more before deciding whether to support or oppose it, association representatives said.