State by State Advocacy Series – July 2020 Western Recap

To conclude NMMA’s July state advocacy update, here’s an update on government actions in the Western region of the U.S. 

Business Liability: As businesses deal with the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic, outdated business liability rules have come to the forefront of business protection needs.

  • Utah: SB 3007 limits liability fordamages or an injury resulting from exposure of an individual to COVID-19 on the premises owned or operated by the person.
  • California: AB 1035 exempts a small business with 25 or fewer employees from liability for an injury or illness to a person due to coronavirus (COVID-19) based on a claim that the person contracted COVID-19 while at that small business, it has passed the Assembly and is pending action in the Senate.
  • Kansas: HB 2016 grants civil immunity to businesses for a COVID-19 claim if such person was in substantial compliance with public health directives. The new law will expire on January 26, 2021.

Conservation: California’s AB 3030 would set a goal to protect 30 percent of the state’s land and coastal waters by 2030. A coalition including NMMA, boating, and fishing stakeholders support conservation and the intent of the international “30x30” movement. The outdoors coalition has proposed amendments to clarify the bill’s vague descriptions of protection and to accept that nearly 30 percent of inshore waters already are heavily protected.

Wakesurfing: The Oregon State Marine Board recently rejected a petition to allow wakeboats to tow in only one direction along the Upper Willamette which would have opened up access. NMMA submitted testimony supporting the one-way petition and asking the Marine Board to explore rule making on this topic. The Marine Board also rejected a petition from the city of Portland to expand a no-wake zone along three miles of the Lower Willamette in downtown Portland. In Idaho, NMMA partnered with WSIA to introduce a bill to requiring wakesurfers be at least 200 feet from shore and structures. The initiative was to counter calls for extreme buffer zones by lakefront homeowners. Although passage was blocked in the legislature, NMMA/WSIA also focused on protecting access to lakes near Boise and on the Spokane River near Coeur d’Alene.

Privacy: NMMA continues its push for changes to the California Consumer Privacy Act to ensure that marine dealers can share the consumer information needed by boat and engine manufacturers for warranty verifications and product recalls. Pandemic-related delays may push consideration of these necessary changes to the 2021 legislative session.

Contact David Dickerson, ddickerson@nmma.org, or Libby Yranski, lyranski@nmma.org, with questions or for more information.