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State Legislative Roundup

As of August 1, only California, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, and Pennsylvania will remain in their regular 2016 legislative sessions.

While bills in most states will not carry over to the 2017 session, legislators can often bring bills back during a special session. You can find summaries below of a few of the bills that passed and are pending that impact recyclers; however, that list is not exhaustive. To learn more about these and other bills visit ISRI's State Legislative Tracking System, or contact Danielle Waterfield or Justin Short if you have any questions about the system or bills impacting your state. The state metals theft summaries and links to state laws impacting recyclers on the State Specific Resources page are also kept updated, so be sure to check the requirements in your state.

Materials Theft

Nine states have passed amendments to their metals theft laws; these have already been added to ISRI's state metals theft law summaries available on ISRI's State Specific Resources page and the Metals Theft Law Database. In short:

  • Colorado HB 1182 revises the definition of "commodity metal" and extends the state's metals theft task force;
  • Connecticut HB 5411 adds special recordkeeping requirements for a load of scrap metal that contains materials, equipment, or parts used in the construction, operation, protection, or maintenance of a railroad right-of-way;
  • Hawaii HB 1578 adds urns to the additional recordkeeping and reporting requirements for copper and beer kegs and makes theft of an urn a class C felony;
  • Louisiana HB 209 repeals the state metals theft law's sunset provision;
  • Mississippi SB 2649 provides a process for appeal of penalties imposed by the Secretary of State for violations of the state metals theft law;
  • New Mexico SB 76 adds lead material to the list of regulated metals;
  • Tennessee HB 2339 is a clean-up bill that ensures that scrap metal dealers and dismantlers that handle vehicles pay the one-time $500 fee to pay for a system to track salvaged vehicles, which sunsets in 2017;
  • Oklahoma HB 2624 changes the documentation required from a person selling a vehicle to a scrap metal dealer and makes conforming changes to the vehicle detitling laws, while Oklahoma SB 1270 amends the local reporting provision to allow local governments to prescribe the reporting methods and add internet-based reporting to the allowed formats; and
  • Utah HB 269 adds mandatory fines to violations by dealers or sellers.

ISRI has also updated the state metals theft law summaries and database for Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi to better reflect the laws in those states. If you operate in any of these states, please make sure you're up-to-date on the requirements using the resources available on ISRI's State Policy page.

Taxes

ISRI's North Carolina members won a major state legislative battle in getting recognition for recyclers with the passage of North Carolina HB 1030. The result of a multi-year lobbying effort, HB 1030 expands the scope of the state's 1 percent sales price privilege tax.  N.C.G.S. § 105-187.51B already included "major recycling facilities" that purchased certain large equipment; the new language will allow a person "that gathers and obtains ferrous metals, nonferrous metals, and items that have served their original economic purpose and that converts them by processes... into a new or different product for sale" to take advantage of the rate for equipment, or an attachment or repair part for the equipment, that is capitalized for tax purposes and will be used in the conversion process.

Electronics

Illinois HB 6321 regarding storage of CRT glass for future retrieval was put on hold in favor of a process to achieve a non-legislative solution for recycling CRT glass. This legislation had passed the House and was on track to pass the Senate, but using their grassroots relationships with Illinois Senators and the Governor, ISRI members helped to put the bill on hold. HB 6321 would have allowed CRT glass to be stored in cells designed for future retrieval and to prevent certification bodies from penalizing recyclers (e.g., by revoking their certification to the R2 Standard) because their use of such storage cells conflicts with standard requirements.
 
In the days before the second reading of HB 6321 in the Senate, the bill's proponent agreed to present its case for including retrievable CRT glass storage as a viable option in electronics recycling standards in hopes of amending the standards rather than legislatively undermining them. Senator David Koehler, the sponsor of the legislation, favored this approach after discussing the impacts of HB 6321 with Sustainable Electronics Recycling International (SERI). SERI argued that the bill unfairly harmed its R2 standard and undermined the voluntary standards process. Accordingly, if the bill were passed as written, the value of R2 would be diminished. Moreover, a state should not interfere in a voluntary standard.
 
Other standards organizations, certification bodies, and accreditation bodies, such as ANAB, also weighed in. ISRI members were alerted to contact their Illinois Senators and the Governor to express their opposition to HB 6321. ISRI staff made contact with the Governor's office to make the case that the bill would undercut the primary international standard that worldwide has delivered improvements in electronics recycling and greater confidence that used electronics are being responsibility reused and their components, including CRT glass, are recycled rather than disposed of. ISRI will keep members apprised of developments related to HB 6321. For more information, please contact ISRI Chief Lobbyist Billy Johnson at (202) 662-8548, or Electronics Division Liaison David Wagger at (202) 662-8533.

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