Last week in Albany, the 2016 legislative session came to an end in the wee hours of Saturday morning. After a very active and encouraging spurt early in the week, when the relief from vicarious liability on loaner bill (S.5992/A.8289) passed the Senate and moved through the Assembly Transportation Committee, the bill's progress ground to a halt. The bill had been referred to the Assembly Codes Committee and there it remained when session ended. The bill did not make it onto a Codes Committee agenda. Our Assembly bill sponsor, Assembly Transportation Committee Chairman David Gantt (D. Rochester), said that he could not do any more than he had done. NYSADA pushed hard for more. We are grateful for the support of the Senate. We know that the Governor's people raised the bill in discussions with both houses. Ultimately, though, we could not go any greater distance than our Assembly sponsor wished to go. Once Assemblyman Gantt said that he had gone as far as he could in 2016, the bill could go no further.
Used Car Dealer Surety Bonds
On Friday, as expected, the State Senate followed the Assembly and passed S.5485-B/A.8166-A. NYSADA has supported this bill. The bill will increase the surety bond requirements for used car dealers who sell more than fifty vehicles a year to $100,000 and for used car dealers who sell 50 or less to $20,000 per year. Currently, used car dealers are required to maintain a surety bond of $10,000 if they sell less than 200 vehicles a year and $25,000 if they sell more than 200 vehicles per year. The bill also strengthens the reporting requirements when bonds are terminated or cancelled. The bill is sponsored in the Senate by Senator Jeff Klein (D. Bronx) and in the Assembly by Assemblyman Marcos Crespo (D.Bronx). It now goes to the Governor for his action.
Also on Friday, the Assembly, as expected, followed the Senate and passed a bill to impose mandatory penalties of at least $1,000 on auto brokers who violate the law (A.10081 (Assemblyman Abbate, D. Brooklyn)). This bill will encourage automobile broker businesses to comply with existing laws including those regarding contracts, advance payments, deceptive acts, advertising and recovery of damages. NYSADA is pleased this bill will now be presented to the Governor for his action. We have spoken at every opportunity about the problems presented by unscrupulous motor vehicle brokers.
In a bit of a surprise, a third bill NYSADA supports passed both houses of the Legislature on Friday. The bill, S.5639A/A.7738A, sponsored by Senator John DeFrancisco (R. Syracuse) and Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli (D.Syracuse) requires that when an insurer provides an insured with an estimate, the estimate must also include the following statement, in 12 point type: "PURSUANT TO SECTION 2610 OF THE INSURANCE LAW, AN INSURANCE COMPANY CANNOT REQUIRE THAT REPAIRS BE MADE TO A MOTOR VEHICLE IN A PARTICULAR PLACE OR REPAIR SHOP. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO HAVE YOUR VEHICLE REPAIRED IN THE SHOP OF YOUR CHOICE". If the Governor approves the bill, it would become effective 180 days after the Governor's approval, and would apply to all policies issued or renewed after that date.
NYSADA would like to thank Legislative Committee Chairman John McClurg, Chairman Ken Miller, and the entire Legislative Committee for all their hard work. Also, Thank you to all the dealers who took the time to call their legislators on the vicarious liability bill.