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1HomePageMap small mw 0816Local news stories affecting the auto body industry in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin

On April 28, 2014, the Ohio House of Representatives Insurance Committee held its first hearing on House Bill 526 (HB 526) that seeks to prohibit insurers from requiring a vehicle be repaired by a specific repair facility, or make a recommendation without first being asked for one by the consumer.

The bill, sponsored by Representatives Matt Lynch (primary) and Robert Hagan (cosponsor) has been placed on the agenda of the Insurance Committee for its first hearing before the committee. House Rules require the sponsor of a bill or resolution to appear at least once before the committee considering the bill or resolution unless he or she has been excused from appearing by the committee chairperson or the Speaker of the House.

The Buckeye Career Center vocational school in New Philadelphia, OH, was one of the first schools in Ohio to introduce the PPG Envirobase Waterborne Paint System when the program implemented it in 2012, said auto collision repair instructor Jeff Newsome.

The school has already been teaching and using solvent-borne refinishing and with the addition of a water-base paint system, Newsome explained, it allows the students to keep up with the growing popularity of the product.

“The reason we have both systems is because some shops still use the solvent-borne, and other shops went green and went with the waterborne,” said Newsome. “Waterborne is starting to become popular because it’s good for the environment.”

Starting in the fall of 2014, Richland Community College in Decatur, IL, will be offering degree programs in two growing industry fields, namely Collision Repair Technology and Diesel Medium/ Heavy Truck Technology.

“Technology is changing, jobs are changing, and there is a huge, huge need for workers with advanced skills and certifications in these areas,” said Jack Adwell, dean of business and technology at Richland. “People going into these industries can be pretty assured that it is not going to be that hard to find a job.”

The Safe Automobiles for Everyone (SAFE) Educational Symposium was held at the Schaumberg Convention Center in Schaumberg, IL, May 30–31, 2014. The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Illinois (AASPI) hosted the two-day event.

SAFE is a network of collision industry and legal professionals who abide by this mission: “To provide a resource for collision training and business skills so every consumer can receive a proper repair by a shop with the knowledge necessary to be paid for all the parts and procedures required for the repair.”

The line up of speakers highlighting the two-day event included:

Monday, 02 June 2014 23:32

State Farm Raises Rates in Illinois

State Farm, Illinois’ biggest car insurer, raised its auto rates in Illinois by an average of 2.3 percent as of May 26, 2014, according to a filing.

“Auto insurance rates in Illinois were adjusted to better reflect changing claims costs,” namely a rise in car repair costs, said Missy Dundov, spokeswoman for the Bloomington-based home and auto insurer. The exact price change will depend on the coverages that policyholders have, where they live, what kind of car they drive, how the car is used, and who drives it, she said.

Farmers filed nine class actions in April 2014 against nearly 200 communities in the Chicago, IL, area. It is arguing that local governments should have known rising global temperatures would lead to heavier rains and did not do enough to fortify their sewers and storm-water drains. The legal debate may center on whether an uptick in natural disasters is foreseeable or an “act of God.” The cases raise the question of how city governments should manage their budgets before costly emergencies occur.

“We will see more and more cases,” said Michael Gerrard, director of the Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School in New York, NY. “No one is expected to plan for the 500-year storm, but if horrible events are happening with increasing frequency, that may shift the duties.”

Gerrard and other environmental law experts say the suits are the first of their kind. Lawyers for the localities will argue government immunity protects them from prosecution, said Daniel Jasica of the State Attorney's Office in Lake County, IL, which is named in the Illinois state court suit. “If these types of suits are successful—where is the money going to come from to pay the lawsuits? The taxpayers,” he said.