Windshield Replacement Auto glass legislation pits two former House Speakers against each other
Rob Houglum Media Press Team Sunday, April 01, 2012
Auto glass legislation pits 2 previous House Speakers against one another
Two previous House Speakers turned lobbyists are facing off over a bill controlling auto glass, legislation that has escaped intensive attention among arguable debates on the death sentence, spirits laws and teacher reign.
The bill making the Speaker versus. Speaker clash is H.B. 5231. It might need insurance companies to provide a list of auto glass shops instead of referring a customer to one precise shop.
Under current law, insurers are required to ask customers if they've a preferred glass shop and, if the customer doesn't , can suggest one.
This is a contentious issue because Safelite Solutions, a subsidiary of auto glass company Safelite, has contracts to administer auto glass claims for insurers. Therefore , when clients of client insurance corporations call to report a damaged windshield, Safelite Solutions takes the call.
If a buyer has no preferred auto glass dealer, Safelite Solutions can refer purchasers to Safelite.
Richard Balducci, vice president of Doyle, D'Amour & Balducci, represents Safelite and opposes the bill. A longtime representative of Newington in the lawmaking council who now lives in Deep Stream, Balducci served as Speaker 20 years gone.
James Amann represents the corporations that support the bill, including Pay Less Auto Glass, The Whalley Glass Company, Plymouth Auto Glass, Auto Cup of New England Hamden and Nationwide Glass & Mirror, according to state ethics filings.
Pay Less Auto Glass was one of Amann's first clients, according to the Connecticut Mirror.
James Amann, who represented Milford, served as Speaker of the House from 2005 to 2008, straight away preceding current Speaker Chris Donovan, D-Meriden.
Amann formed his lobbying firm, Global Central authority Systems, after a $120,000 gig advising Donovan slid thru. He did not make a response to an email looking for comment.
Balducci announced "when you undress the bill" the object is to get at Safelite, his client, because "they're the big guy."
"What they need us to do is roughly to advertise for them," he explained . "They would like us to present a list. Our guys would then become liable."
"We are trying to continue our business as everybody can continue theirs," he said.
Balducci said both the state Insurance Office and insurance companies in Connecticut oppose the bill. "There's no complaint from consumers on this," he revealed.
"We help in saving shoppers money by shortcutting the process," Balducci claimed.
Balducci said shoppers have the chance to go to any shop if they have a preference, but if Safelite Solutions offers a list, it seems like an endorsement.
"We become liable for making this recommendation," he revealed.
Balducci said he giggled thinking of the bill as a competition between him and Amann or "Jimmy" as Balducci called him.
"He's a lobbyist. I'm a lobbyist," Balducci declared. "We're just like anybody else up there. No enormous difference."
Tags: Windshield Replacement, Auto Glass Repair, Zip Glass Network, Windshield Repair, Auto Glass, Glass Repair Service.