The Indiana state legislature has voted to table House bill 1254, also known as the “anti-Tesla” bill, and send it to a summer study commission. Senator Jim Buck, who chairs the committee and supported the bill that would stop Tesla from selling cars direct to consumers, tells the Indy Star that he has been treated to a high degree of “incivility” from Tesla supporters and the national press because he favors the legislation. “We are trying to make what we are doing here fair to all,” Buck said.
Todd Maron, the general counsel for Tesla, issued a statement that read, “We look forward to participating in the upcoming summer study process where we will be able to fully air the issues of vehicle sales and consumer choice in an open and public forum.”
General Motors has been a proponent of the legislation. It told the press today, “GM is very pleased that we were able to elevate the issue of disparity impacting our dealer partners in Indiana, that this received as much attention as it did, and that this issue advanced as far as it did. We appreciate the Indiana legislature for taking this on, debating, and helping raise the profile of this important issue, which demonstrates the inequity of different competitors having different rules in the marketplace.”
GM has gotten a public relations black eye for supporting the bill, which some say it helped write. Senator Buck thinks that criticism is unfair. “So far in this discourse, GM has been the whipping boy,” he said. He went on to say that the legislation is not aimed at impeding Tesla. Rather, it seeks to create a common set of rules that all manufacturers must follow. “No one in this state wants to stop innovation,” Buck said. “But we do want and always have tried to make a level playing field.”
The fight in Indiana isn’t over. It has merely been postponed. No doubt the study commission will give the matter its full attention, total up the campaign contributions each side is offering, and make a full report to the legislature in due course.
The proceedings from earlier this week can be seen in this video posted to YouTube.
Photo Credit: YouTube