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Palmer will try again to repeal auto dealer hours mandate

Palmer will try again to repeal auto dealer hours mandate

Dustin Hurst
April 1, 2015
Dustin Hurst
Author Image
April 1, 2015

Let’s be cliche for a second: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

Enter Rep. Joe Palmer, R-Meridian, chair of the House Transportation and Defense Committee.

Palmer introduced a resolution Wednesday to repeal an Idaho Transportation Department rule forcing small auto dealers to stay open 20 hours a week. The rule, approved last year, also requires small dealers to report their hours to the state agency.

This is the third time lawmakers will address this issue. Palmer’s committee originally affirmed the rule earlier this year, but then approved legislation to ease the regulation.

That legislation cleared the House, but died in the Senate Transportation Committee due to wording concerns.

Interestingly enough, that Senate committee wouldn’t approve ITD’s hours mandate. Because the House approved the regulation, it will take effect if lawmakers do nothing this year.

Palmer’s new measure, which only requires approval by the Senate and House, and not the governor, only repeals the mandate. The earlier legislation would have allowed small dealers to post their business phone number on their place of business instead of staying open 20 hours a week.

The Legislature’s only auto dealer, Rep. Kathy Sims, R-Coeur d’Alene, told IdahoReporter.com earlier this year she thinks the rule is too far-reaching.

ITD told IdahoReporter.com it would check business owners for compliance during random or scheduled visits.

“The visits are typically based on a need to meet with a dealership due to a request from a consumer to solve a question or complaint,” ITD communications manager Steve Grant said. “These usually are done randomly unless a dealership calls for assistance, then it is done with an appointment.”

With the 2015 legislative session winding down, Palmer told IdahoReporter.com he hopes he has enough time to run the measure through the process.

Lawmakers could finish their work as early as Monday. The Idaho House will likely be off Friday, though the Senate will do some work.

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