BOSTON (WWLP) - Massachusetts faces the puzzling prospect of having two first-in-the-nation car repair laws on its books.
Supporters of a November ballot question concerning auto repair information are now backing away from a similar bill they helped pass over the summer.
Poll numbers show that Massachusetts voters are likely to vote yes to ballot question one, which asks if car dealers should share repair data with independent garages.
The problem is the Legislature already passed a similar bill over the summer, with an understanding that there would be an education campaign to tell voters that answering the ballot question was no longer necessary.
However, the Right to Repair Committee, the key initiators of the ballot question, are reversing course and telling voters to vote yes to the ballot question.
Gov. Deval Patrick told 22News, "I feel a little mystified by what's happened. This was something that was competing for the attention of the Legislature and they acted out of an understanding that there was an agreement that would avoid the ballot question."
There are differences between the law and ballot question, for instance the ballot question issues penalties to dealers whose parent company violates information sharing laws.
Lawmakers say they will likely have to revisit the right to repair issue if voters approve ballot question one in November.