TRALA-Supported Amendments Adopted in AL Fleet Management Bill
The Alabama legislature has approved Alabama Department of Transportation (DOT) Fleet Management legislation after TRALA-supported changes were made to the bill. Alabama SB 20 has now been sent to Governor Robert Bentley, who is expected to sign the bill into law.
SB 20 was one piece of a larger movement intended to implement a "streamlining" of several agencies and departments. SB 20 as originally introduced contained language which would have required that state-funded purchases, as well as leases, be acquired from dealerships located in the State of Alabama. This concerned TRALA because some of its members currently lease vehicles to the State of Alabama, and the legislative language originally contained in SB 20 would have prevented that. It was initially reported to TRALA that this wording focusing on purchases and leases from dealerships was necessary because it was meant to put back in place a previously existing provision to the same effect that was somehow dropped as a result of the larger streamlining initiative. Upon further review, legislators agreed that the previous provision only mandated that purchases come from dealers, not leases.
Once the legislation was transferred to the Alabama House, the House Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security passed the TRALA-supported changes. As a result of that change, the key language of the bill now specifies that as part of the Alabama Department of Transportation's Fleet Management program, "Any motor vehicle bought wholly or partially with state funds pursuant to the fleet management program or other state operated motor vehicle acquisition program for use of state officers, officials, or employees on official business shall be purchased from dealerships in the state." The amended bill does not contain any references to leases, meaning that leasing companies that are not registered as dealers can continue to lease vehicles to the State.
The amended bill was adopted by the Alabama House, and then sent back to the Senate for concurrence, where the Senate agreed with the changes. To see a copy of the original version of SB 20, click here. To see an enrolled version incorporating TRALA-supported changes, click here.
TRALA appreciates the leadership and support of Alabama Trucking Association President and CEO Frank Filgo on not only this issue, but also the important issue of fighting back against a proposal to increase Alabama's lease tax as a means to help close the budget deficit, something which will likely not be decided until a special legislative session is held later this year.
For questions on this issue, contact TRALA's Joe Sculley at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (703) 299-9120.