Regulations

New England Group Stays Active on Legislative Front

Posted on March 20, 2013

NELA President Michael Callahan (L) and NELA CEO Rick Szilagyi (R) were joined by NLA executive director Philip Jagiela to update the membership at the NELA general meeting on March 12.
NELA President Michael Callahan (L) and NELA CEO Rick Szilagyi (R) were joined by NLA executive director Philip Jagiela to update the membership at the NELA general meeting on March 12.

The New England Livery Association is working on several legislative and regulatory initiatives in Rhode Island and Connecticut, association CEO Rick Szilagyi told LCT recently.

The association and the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission (PUC) are trying to clarify the designation of Public Motor Vehicles (PMVs), as livery vehicles are known there. After a car reaches a certain mileage in Rhode Island, it can no longer be used as a taxi cab. Problems arise when people take these vehicles and register them as a livery vehicle, which don’t have these limitations.  

Companies “running these horribly beat up vehicles” are a threat to the reputation and safety of transportation in Rhode Island, Szilagyi said. Baring cars previously used as taxi cabs and some sort of age or mileage limit may be some solutions that the PUC reaches. A representative from NELA will testify at the PUC hearing on the issue March 21.

Also in Rhode Island, the state government enacted a sales tax that went into effect last fall and that affects several industries, including the limo industry. “We are looking at ways of to remove that tax,” Szilagyi said. NELA will reach out to other sectors affected by the tax, including the tourism industry, as a starting point.

In Connecticut, NELA’s lobbyist there has begun gathering information on a proposal that would remove the needs test for new entrants. NELA board member Mark DiChiara of Gateway Limousine in Waterbury, Conn. testified against the proposal in the state legislature.

NLA board director Dawson Rutter (R) explains a recent Department of Labor ruling about overtime pay laws on chauffeur tips to NELA members. He was joined by NLA executive director Philip Jagiela (L). Photos by Denis Wilson/LCT.
NLA board director Dawson Rutter (R) explains a recent Department of Labor ruling about overtime pay laws on chauffeur tips to NELA members. He was joined by NLA executive director Philip Jagiela (L). Photos by Denis Wilson/LCT.

Additonal Updates:

  • NELA held a successful quarterly membership meeting on March 12. The event featured guest speakers, such as National Limousine Association (NLA) executive director Philip Jagiela and Dawson Rutter, NLA board member and CEO of Commonwealth Worldwide in Boston, Mass.
  • During his presentation, Jagiela recognized the overwhelming overlap of NELA and NLA membership in the room. Jagiela and Dawson both encouraged NELA members to support the NLA Day on the Hill that will take place May 22 in Washington, D.C., as well as the NLA PAC fund
  • During the last several months the NELA Board of Directors has worked diligently to fill open board seats and board members are now assuming committee responsibilities.
  • NELA is in the midst of a membership survey to help guide future efforts.
  • NELA plans to offer quarterly dues payments to make membership easier for members.

Upcoming Association Events:

  • George Colarullo Memorial Golf Tournament  
    Date: Thursday, May 23, 2013  
    Location: Olde Scotland Links, Bridgewater, Mass., 10 a.m. start
  • Annual Membership Meeting:  
    Date: Tuesday, June 11, 2013
  • NELA Chauffeur Appreciation Day
    Date: Thursday, July 18, 2013  
    Location: Massport Holding Lot

— Denis Wilson, LCT East Coast Editor

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