On Tuesday, April 12, the New York State Auto Collision Technicians Association (NYSACTA) and its affiliate associations visited the state capitol to meet with New York assemblymen and senators, and to lobby for some of their legislative initiatives.
Over 50 collision repair industry professionals traveled to Albany from all over the state, allowing legislators to meet with their constituents in this targeted Lobby Day effort.
The Long Island Auto Body Repairmen's Association (LIABRA) is one of NYSACTA's affiliates that were present at the 2016 NY Lobby Day.
Ed Kizenberger, Executive Director of LIABRA, said, "We went to Albany to introduce our state legislators to the legislative initiatives we've undertaken to improve the collision repair industry, and we shared our perspective with our state legislators to help them understand why these issues are important to consumers as well."
The majority of the meetings held during the 2016 NY Lobby Day were leadership meetings with the Department of Financial Services and the Attorney General's office. Representatives from the collision repair industry taught legislators about several bills that New York associations are lobbying in favor of, including the Unfair Claims Settlement Bill which strives to prevent arbitrary capping of materials, and their Parts Procurement Bill which would prohibit insurance companies from requiring shops to use a specific vendor or process to acquire parts.
According to Kizenberger, "Our group talked to legislators about what it takes to repair today's cars in terms of new technology, training and equipment. Labor rates and procedures also came up, and we explained the importance of utilizing OEM recommendations in our repairs. We also talked to them about preventing the use of imitation parts on vehicles that are three years old or newer since this voids the warranty."
NYSACTA and its affiliate associations stress that this is an ongoing process and plan to follow up with leadership meetings throughout the year. They have also encouraged members to meet with their local legislators to promote better understanding of industry concerns.
Overall, the 2016 NY Lobby Day was successful and should prove beneficial to the collision repair industry in their state.
Kizenberger noted, "We are dealing with a lot of new people in the legislative and regulatory offices, so we had to introduce them to our industry and get them up to speed on the issues impacting our businesses; we want them to understand who we are and what problems we deal with on a daily basis, and I think that now, after our 2016 NY Lobby Day, our legislators and regulators understand our issues better than ever."