Connecticut and Pennsylvania
Lemon laws are being considered in two states. Bills have been introduced in Connecticut (HB 546) and Pennsylvania (SB 95) to expand lemon laws to include boats. Both states previously considered and failed to pass such legislation. Lemon laws cannot accommodate the unique nature of boats, given the multiple warranties and options that are associated with many boats, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) said.
Mississippi is also considering life jacket legislation. Everyone under the age of 18 and aboard a boat less than 26 feet would be required to wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket under HB 934. It is unclear whether the bill will get a committee vote prior to a Tuesday deadline. The bill will not be eligible for further hearings or votes if it does not.
Mandatory boater safety education is before the Nebraska legislature. Under LB 105, all boaters born after Jan. 1, 1985 would have less than a year to complete a boating safety course. The short time allotted for compliance is a concern and the NMMA will lobby the legislature to lengthen the time period and ensure that online learning is allowed.
A ban on cell phone use was introduced in New Jersey. Boaters would be banned from texting or using cell phones while operating a boat if the legislature enacts AB 3312. Although the bill has not been heard by a committee, the NMMA and the New Jersey Marine Trades Association are watching it closely.