Pat O’Connor, the long-time legislative counsel for NAFA Fleet Management Association, gave his U.S. Legislative Update presentation at the 2020 NAFA Institute & Expo (I&E) Virtual Conference on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, covering myriad topics on both a federal and state level.
O’Connor started his discussion by addressing COVID-19 exposure liability protections; how fleet managers could be potentially liable for coronavirus exposure-related lawsuits. On the topic of COVID-19, he also covered tax credits and reforms, as well as state and local aid.
Another topic discussed in his presentation early on was the unintended tax consequences on personal use of employer provided vehicles. He discussed how NAFA is communicating with the IRS, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, and the House Ways and Means Committee to mitigate this consequence. O’Connor also addressed this in a recent State of the Fleet Industry Spotlight video with Automotive Fleet Editor Mike Antich.
He addressed how tariffs and trade issues impact fleets, particularly how they are impacting vehicle and repair part costs, as well as the state of transportation infrastructure, and a look at the reauthorization of the highway trust fund. The proposed Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) tax was analyzed during his update, as well as the proposed VMT truck only option.
He later covered electric vehicles and alternative fuel vehicles, and provided an overview on details for the tax credits that are being offered for these types of vehicles. Additionally, he also offered an updated on the California Advanced Clean Truck Rule and the Diesel Emission Reduction Act
O’Connor also addressed drugged driving with regards to the impact of the legalization of marijuana. He also explored data privacy with vehicles, focusing particularly on the impact for employer provided vehicles, data ownership, and how NAFA is working to make sure legislation on data protection does not hinder a fleet's ability to monitor driver behavior. The potential impact of autonomous vehicles on the industry was explored, as well as the growing connected vehicle network.
“The goal of NAFA’s government affairs program is to educate legislators and regulators. To inform you as NAFA members as to what the legislators and regulators are up to, and to activate you,” O’Connor said during the virtual presentation.