SEMA ‘Disappointed’ in Newsome Veto

By Staff Writer June 18, 2024

The Specialty Equipment Market Association stated it is deeply disappointed that California’s Senate Bill 301, legislation aimed at incentivizing the conversion of gas and diesel-powered cars into Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs), was vetoed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Authored by California Senator Anthony Portantino, SB 301 sought to establish the groundbreaking Zero-Emission Aftermarket Conversion Project (ZACP) under the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Despite being lauded as a “Job Creator” by the California Chamber of Commerce and receiving unanimous support from lawmakers, the bill faced a veto at the Governor’s desk. This program would have provided rebates of up to $4,000 to California residents undertaking the conversion of eligible used vehicles, with stringent guidelines ensuring compliance with safety, range, and affordability criteria.

SEMA’s statement said, “This missed opportunity is glaring, especially as California boasts several programs promoting new ZEV purchases but lacks support for ZEV conversions of existing gas-powered vehicles. This setback hinders the rollout of a program that bolsters cleaner air, reduces carbon emissions, and fuels job growth and economic prosperity statewide.”

Gov. Newsome explained his veto in a press release.

“While I share the author’s desire to further accelerate the state’s transition to ZEVs, this bill creates a new program at a time when the state faces a $44.9 billion shortfall for the 2024-25 fiscal year. Additionally, there is no funding currently identified or available in the state budget to support this new program,” he said.

But SEMA’s said the bill was a “catalyst for progress,” making this a missed opportunity, adding the bill represented a chance to supercharge the industry, aligning seamlessly with the Governor’s stated priority of advancing cleaner vehicles.

“SEMA is profoundly disappointed by Governor Newsom’s lack of foresight in vetoing SB 301,” said Mike Spagnola, SEMA’s president and CEO. “This legislation would have advanced environmental sustainability and leveled the playing field for aftermarket conversions while fostering innovation, supporting small businesses, and providing consumers with affordable and sustainable transportation options.”

SEMA remains steadfast in its commitment to advocating for policies that promote innovation and sustainability within the automotive industry. While SB 301 may not have secured the Governor’s signature this time, SEMA will continue collaborating with lawmakers, stakeholders and the community to advance initiatives that drive innovation.

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Last modified on Monday, 24 June 2024 07:56