The presession filings are finally posted to the website of the Legislature, and here's the first group of bike-related bills:
- The first CRC bill, House Bill 2260 would declare "that it is in state’s interest to undertake Interstate 5 bridge replacement program. Enacts provisions relating to tolls for program. Specifies borrowing authority of Department of Transportation for program." This isn't specifically about bikes, of course, but the CRC has tremendous implications for the Salem River Crossing and all state transportation projects, as its budget would have cascading effects on the budget for other projects.
- House Bill 2500 looks to expand the "types of costs that qualify as approved transportation costs for purposes of State School Fund distributions." These would include "Expenditures made to improve safety for students traveling to school by means that are not provided by the school district and that:
(i) Include walking or using a bicycle, scooter, skateboard or similar device..." This looks good!
- Senate Bill 247 would use lottery funds and creates an "Alternative Mode Transportation Fund. Requires that nine percent of net proceeds from Oregon State Lottery be deposited in Multimodal Transportation Fund, and that nine percent of net proceeds be deposited in Alternative Mode Transportation Fund. Continuously appropriates moneys in Alternative Mode Transportation Fund to Department of Transportation. Provides that moneys may only be used for capital improvements and operational costs of mass transit, passenger rail, bicycle and pedestrian projects."
- Senate Bill 332 would establish a "Task Force on Bicycle Safety." Senator Jackie Winters proposed this, and the bill as introduced is mostly procedural and otherwise content-free at the moment. It could be good or it could be bad. You may recall the attempt to ban babies on bikes from the last session. It's not clear whether this means making bicycling more difficult under the guise of "safety" or whether this is offered as a sincere investigation into bicycle safety.
Depending on how the session goes, I'll look to have one update a week each Monday or so. In past sessions BikePortland has generally had more specific analysis of the legislation driven by Portland, and so it has not been necessary to duplicate Jonathan's terrific coverage. At the same time, sometimes there's stuff that is easier to cover from Salem, or has a less Portland-centric focus, and I'll try to fill in the gaps there.
Though there's preliminary activity this week, the session really kicks off on February 4th.