Connecticut Auto Glass Bill Doesn’t Make it Out of 2020 Session

The auto glass legislation introduced earlier this year has failed to make it out of Connecticut’s 2020 session. The House Bill, also known as HB 5294, looked to “establish an auto glass temporary license to allow auto glass companies doing business in the state to perform auto glass work in the event of a state disaster or emergency.” Had it passed the legislation would have allowed state auto glass companies to hire up to 15 unlicensed auto glass technicians on an emergency basis.

The bill would have added the following to the state’s current auto glass law:

“The Commissioner of Consumer Protection may, in the event of a state disaster or emergency, and upon payment of an eighteen hundred dollar licensing fee, grant an annual auto glass temporary license to an auto glass company that employs individuals who perform automotive glass work and does business in the state,” a portion of the bill reads.

Background

In March auto glass businesses and associations spoke some in support and some in opposition to the bill. According to the legislation’s text, the temporary license “shall be utilized by an auto glass company that employs out-of-state employees who perform automotive glass work, and whose qualifications are substantially similar to, or higher than, those of this state.”

This means, had HB 5294 passed, those who obtain an auto glass temporary license would have to provide a list on a form prescribed by the commissioner, stating each out-of-state employee that the auto glass company may utilize to perform work in Connecticut in the event of a state disaster or emergency.

Connecticut’s Automotive Glass Work and Flat Glass Examining Board (AGWFGEB) opposed the bill.

“The AGWFGEB is against HB 5294 because it appears to put profit over Connecticut driver’s safety,” the examining board said in a release regarding the bill.

The Connecticut Glass Dealers Association (CGDA) also opposed and called for legislators to vote against it. The Auto Glass Safety Council’s (AGSC) legislative and government affairs director, Seth Maiman, highlighted the associations concerns with HB 5294.

“The prospect of Connecticut allowing auto glass companies to use unlicensed technicians who have not been vetted through the State’s normal procedures is of great concern to the AGSC. Our concern about safety rises exponentially when we consider how many cars now have Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) that require complex recalibration during the replacement of auto glass. Connecticut has been a national leader in advancing safety with stringent training requirements and we hope that this legislation will be defeated,” said Maiman in a previous statement.

The Safelite Group supported the bill.

“We find ourselves in a distinct and difficult position whenever there is a storm or severe weather event in this state. We cannot bring in other highly qualified technicians (who meet or exceed Connecticut’s licensure requirements) for a temporary period of time to help handle large backlogs of auto glass repair claims,” a portion of Safelite Group (Safelite) release reads. “The result is that Connecticut consumers are often waiting longer than necessary times to have service and have their claims addressed.”

To view HB 5294’s complete text, click here.

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