Sunday, April 5, 2009

Legislative Update - Week 12

Last week BTA Executive Director Scott Bricker sent this call for action:
It is critical that key legislators hear from you about the need for the "Connect Oregon for Trails" fund to support investment in non-motorized transportation. On Monday at 1pm, the House Transportation Committee will hear these bills.

The Oregon Legislature is considering two identical bills, House Bill 2902 and Senate Bill 635, which would create "Connect Oregon for Trails", a new Nonmotorized Transportation Fund to support the construction of multi-use trails, paths, bike highways, greenways, and similar facilities throughout the state.

HB 2902 and SB 635 would provide funding for bicycle and pedestrian facilities that cannot be supported by highway fund dollars because they are OUTSIDE the road right-of-way. This is the one piece of the multimodal transportation system currently neglected by state transportation investments.

Please send an email letter or place a phone call to your Legislator AND the chairs of the House and Senate Transportation Committees to support HB 2902 and SB 635.
For a more detailed discussing, including a fact sheet, talking points, and a sample letter, see the post on the BTA blog.

On Monday, the House Transportation Committee will hold a hearing on HB 2902. Here's the information:
Date: Monday-April 6
Time: 1:00 P.M.
Room: HR D

Public Hearing
HB 2902 FIRST PUBLIC HEARING - Authorizes issuance of lottery bonds for transportation projects for nonmotorized vehicles and pedestrians.

Staff respectfully requests that you submit 25 collated copies of written materials at the time of your testimony. Persons making presentations including the use of video, DVD, PowerPoint or overhead projection equipment are asked to contact committee staff 24 hours prior to the meeting.
No new business.

Old Business:
Senate Bill 267 - no change
Senate Bill 276 - no change
Senate Bill 291 - no change
Senate Bill 292 - no change
Senate Bill 635 - no change

House Bill 2106 - no change
House Bill 2120 - no change (1000 Friends of Oregon reports that it is "stalled in the House Transportation Committee as leaders in both chambers continue behind-closed-doors negotiations about what to include in a revised bill.")
House Bill 2681 - no change
House Bill 2690 - no change
House Bill 2902 - Hearing on Monday, April 6
House Bill 2946 - no change
House Bill 2971 - Work session held on March 31st
House Bill 3008 - no change
House Bill 3137 - no change
House Bill 3164 - no change
House Bill 3399 - Hearing held on April 3rd

During the hearing on the proposed Vehicular Homicide law, HB 3399, several speakers indicated some technical and procedural details that might require redrafting language in the bill. A work session has not yet been scheduled.

Lastly, the BTA has changed its approach and personnel on lobbying at the Capitol. Bikeportland, the Oregonian, and the Portland Mercury each have articles.

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