Thank you for your message regarding Senate Bill 1239 by Senator Ted Gaines. I appreciate hearing from you.
SB 1239 would have expanded the smog check exemption for pre-1976 model year vehicles to include any vehicles manufactured between 1976 and 1981, if the owner can provide proof that the vehicle is insured as a collector car.
As you may know, SB 1239 failed to pass the Senate on June 2. It received only 18 “aye” votes, three votes short of a majority. With the exception of one senator who was out ill, all the senators who opposed or did not vote for the bill are Democrats.
I supported SB 1239 on three separate occasions. I voted for it as a member of the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee on April 19, as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee on May 27 and finally on the Senate Floor on June 2. SB 1239 simply recognizes that most pre-1981 vehicles constitute a very small portion of the overall vehicle population and are well-maintained and infrequently driven. I wholeheartedly agree that it is wrong for the state to continue to scapegoat these vehicles and their owners as a reason for California’s air quality issues.
I believe SB 1239 provides a fair and environmentally sensitive pathway for the “older car” hobbyists to pursue their hobby and should have been approved. If Senator Gaines reintroduces the measure again, it will have my strong support.
Please let me know if I can be of assistance on other state matters in the 36th Senate District (Orange and San Diego counties).
PATRICIA C. BATES
Senator, 36th District