By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – A state senate committee has given initial approval to legislation that would exempt new vehicles and alternative fuel vehicles from annual emissions test requirements.

The bill, sponsored by Beaver County Republican Senator Elder Vogel, would create a ten-year exemption from emissions inspections for any new vehicle never before registered, while permanently exempting electric, natural gas and hybrid vehicles.

“I believe we have newer-style vehicles here in the state now and everything, and to not exempt hybrids and electric vehicles and stuff, I think is absurd, I guess you would say, in a way.”

Suburban Philadelphia Republican John Rafferty, Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, voted against the bill, but only, he says, out of concern that a ten-year exemption for new vehicles might be too long.

“The emissions have really advanced considerably with today’s technology. I have no problem with extending the period of time with it. I just want to make sure that the ten years is a proper period.”

Rafferty says a vote on the measure by the full Senate is not likely until fall.