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LaSata legislation easing restrictions on car dealer hours of operation moves to governor’s desk

LANSING, Mich. — Legislation sponsored by Sen. Kim LaSata that would provide better flexibility for Class A and Class B car dealers to run their business was given final approval by the state Legislature last week and is now on its way to the governor’s desk.

Current law requires car dealers to be open to customers at least 30 hours per week, 52 weeks a year. Senate Bill 128 would reduce that requirement to 48 weeks and remove the hours of operation restrictions for the remaining four weeks of the year.

“Ensuring car dealers are open during certain times began as a noble effort and certainly does help protect consumers from unsavory businesses practices. At the same time, this government mandate is putting a major strain on small and family-owned and operated dealerships, as well as non-profit organizations — whose goal is primarily to help those in need,” said LaSata, R-Coloma. “These businesses don’t always have the manpower, especially in the current economic environment, to meet this requirement.”

LaSata said the purpose of this legislation was simply to provide some flexibility to business owners, while still maintaining protections for consumers.

“The cumbersome requirements were brought to my attention through conversations with a constituent from the 21st Senate District who was unable to give his employees paid time off during last year’s Christmas season because of current state law,” LaSata said. “These operation requirements also interfere with employees being able to take time off to attend professional development programs or the ability to take vacations or use time off.

“Reducing the number of weeks dealerships must be open per year simply gives owners better flexibility to run their business as they see fit and according to their and their staff’s individual needs.”

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has 14 days to sign the bill for it to become law.