TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A controversial legislation that would take away consumer protections when buying a car could see significant changes before becoming law, according to a new co-sponsor of the bill.
Better Call Behnken has been asking to speak with State Sen. Tom Wright (R-Port Orange) and State Rep. David Smith (R-Winter Springs) about the bills for weeks, even driving up to Tallahassee to speak with them in person.
The bill would take away the regulator’s ability to strip a car dealer’s license if they don’t turn over a vehicle title to the car’s new owner within 30 days of its purchase.
Now, State Rep. Andrew Learned (D-Hillsborough) sat down with Better Call Behnken to explain why he has co-sponsored the legislation, saying it will be changed before final approval.
As it’s written, the legislation would replace the word “must” with “should” when it comes to transferring car titles to a new buyer, but Learned says that language will change.
“All that language is gone,” Learned said in an interview, adding, “That’s been gone since I agreed to co-sponsor the bill over a week ago.”
Learned says he wants to give car dealers extra time, but only until Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order on COVID-19 expires.
“We extended the 30 days to 45, so we’re simply giving dealers an extra two weeks to make that transaction complete and whole.”
After our interview, Better Call Behnken spoke with the Hillsborough County Tax Collectors Office, and they say they still would not support the legislation until they see the actual language that Learned is proposing.