UCOAR Condemns Proponents Misguided Methods to Push Forward Amendment to SB 273

Automotive recyclers decry the misleading tactics used to subvert the democratic process and advance a divisive bill that is dangerous for the people of Ohio.

Nov 30, 2012, 15:13 ET from United Coalition of Ohio Auto Recyclers (UCOAR)

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Nov. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The United Coalition of Ohio Auto Recyclers (UCOAR) strongly condemns the cynical abuse of the amendment process advanced by the proponents of the highly divisive bill SB 273 at the House Insurance Committee meeting on November 27. This misguided legislation, which would open up automotive salvage auctions at the expense of Ohio jobs, consumer safety, law enforcement oversight and environmental safeguards, has been the subject of an intense and ongoing debate in recent weeks.  In an apparent attempt to overpower the strong objections of licensed, registered, tax-paying and law-abiding Ohio recyclers who have raised dire concerns about the bill, the proponents of the bill employed a misleading tactic to fast-track the bill for approval demonstrating remarkable disregard for the harmful consequences SB 273 will produce.

Under the guise of a last-minute "technical amendment," SB 273 was subject to a substantive amendment that trashed the most essential provisions in the bill aimed at ensuring the safety of Ohio's motorists and securing the necessary oversight by local law enforcement. 

"The underhanded tactics employed to steamroll this remarkably dangerous bill through the House Insurance Committee over the strong objections of Ohio's recyclers and at the expense of Ohio's residents are evidence that this legislation does not stand up to true scrutiny," said George Sapir, a spokesperson for UCOAR. "Shouldn't a bill that seeks to undo 30 years of effective legislative oversight of this issue be carefully considered rather than fast-tracked for passage in a way that denies its opponents a fair opportunity to make their case and appropriately amend the bill?"

The substantive amendment adopted by the House Insurance Committee greatly expands the opportunities for unqualified individuals to purchase salvage cars at auction; eliminates the essential record keeping and reporting requirements that would help deter criminals or other fraudulent operators from exploiting the auctions; and reduces the obligations of insurance companies to cover their policy holders who unwittingly purchase stolen cars that were bought at auction by unscrupulous individuals looking to defraud victims. 

Ironically, while the amendment will give insured Ohio residents less protections in their polices, the rate of stolen vehicles will increase significantly. With unqualified persons buying salvage vehicles and acquiring titles and VIN plates, these individuals could easily convert them in a criminal way as they did before the protections of our current law. The present law was the result of the rampant activity with stolen vehicles. All the insurance companies did at that time was raise rates on Ohio consumers which did nothing to eliminate the criminal activity. The same thing will certainly happen now if we do not stop this unnecessary and harmful legislation.

UCOAR urges Ohio's lawmakers to proceed with caution before going down the road of decimating the businesses of local auto recyclers and risking the safety of every man, woman, and child who travels on Ohio's roads.

Updates from UCOAR on this important issue are available at www.ucoar.org.

Contact: George R Sapir

SOURCE United Coalition of Ohio Auto Recyclers (UCOAR)