ReMA Ohio Chapters Engage with Representatives on Catalytic Converter Bill

Jul 8, 2024, 08:33 AM
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ReMA Government Relations Staff
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It’s been an active early summer for Ohio recyclers. The Ohio chapters of the Recycled Materials Association (ReMA) have been actively engaged with House Criminal Justice Committee Chair, Representative Cindy Abrams on HB 328, focusing on business-friendly amendments related to catalytic converters.

Significant compromises were reached, resulting in numerous positive changes to the bill. However, negotiations stalled over provisions concerning business-to-business transactions and special purchase item regulations for catalytic converters. 

On Tuesday, June 25, Jonithon LaCross, Government Affairs Attorney at Porter Wright, testified before the Ohio House Criminal Justice Committee on behalf of ReMA’s Ohio Valley and Northern Ohio Chapters regarding HB 328. The testimony emphasized ReMA’s opposition to the bill, objecting to the regulation requiring licensed entities to submit all supplier information, regardless of whether it’s a business or retail transaction, and the provisions mandating a 48-hour hold on payments and mandatory check payments for all catalytic converter purchases. LaCross argued that these measures impose excessive administrative burdens on legitimate businesses without offering significant benefits for law enforcement or regulatory oversight. 

During the testimony, Representative Hearcel Craig asked about the industry’s resistance to the 48-hour hold, arguing its utility in aiding law enforcement investigations into stolen catalytic converters. In response, LaCross highlighted existing reporting mechanisms to the Department of Public Safety and Homeland Security within 24 hours and emphasized that the additional hold period only impedes business operations without enhancing investigative outcomes. 

Chair Cindy Abrams defended the bill, noting comparative regulatory frameworks across Midwest states, asserting HB 328’s less stringent nature. LaCross cautioned against overregulation, citing adverse impacts on licensed businesses and the potential for increased illicit trade. 

Despite Chair Abrams’ advocacy for the bill, she acknowledged opportunities for further refinement as it advances to the Senate. HB 328 successfully passed out of the House Criminal Justice Committee on June 25 and passed the House Floor on June 26. The Ohio legislature has adjourned for the summer recess and will reconvene in November. 

This recess provides a window for discussions with Senate members, particularly the business-friendly Senate Judiciary Committee, to advocate for amendments aligning with ReMA’s concerns. These coming months will offer an opportunity to navigate HB 328’s journey through the Senate, aiming to either incorporate necessary changes or ensure it does not advance further without addressing critical industry concerns. 

For more information, ReMA’s State Resources and Tracking webpages have details on all the bills that ReMA tracks in each state. These pages help users stay well-informed about legislation and provide updates categorized by state or specific issue areas. Members can also access our latest State Update on Region and Chapter Policy Activities sent to ReMA’s Lobbyist Network. The update is compiled from submissions from our members and member-affiliated lobbyists.   

It’s been an active early summer for Ohio recyclers. The Ohio chapters of the Recycled Materials...
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