Monday, March 18, 2013

Legislative Update, Week 6 - Roll the Dice!

Does he ever weep or laugh?
Not much to report this past week.  Bridge mania crested and has passed. Bills on helmets, voluntary check-box funding, and sortof voluntary lottery funding will get hearings.


Outside of strictly bike stuff, in related issues, today, the 18th, the House Committee On Transportation and Economic Development will hold a public hearing on HB 2338 on extending Westside Express Rail from Wilsonville to Salem.  It will be at 3:00 PM in hearing room E.  On Thursday, March 21st, the House Committee On Judiciary will hold a public hearing on HB 2115 on intoxicants that warrant a DUI.  It will be at 1:00 PM in hearing room 343.  The House Committee on Transportation and Economic Development will hold a public hearing on Friday, March 22nd at 3:00 PM in hearing room E, to look at HB 2310 and ConnectOregon, funded by lottery dollars.  See below for more. 

Monday, March 25th, the Senate Committee On Business and Transportation will hold a public hearing on SB 756, which would permit specific donations to state Parks and Recreation for bike/ped trails. It will be at 3:00 PM in hearing room B.

Also on Monday, March 25th, the Senate Committee On Business and Transportation will hold a public hearing on SB 741, which requires helmet use during organized events, and SB 742, which raises the upper age for mandatory helmet use from 16 to 18. It will be at 3:00 PM in hearing room B

More updates after the jump.

Bridge Mania 

Here are the relevant bills.  There's increasing talk that the State of Washington may gum up the works, although it was just a couple of years ago that the CRC in Oregon also seemed stalled.
  • House Bill 2800 - Law!  The Governor signed it last week.
  • House Bill 2690, which would stop spending on the CRC, is also dead.
  • HB 3152 "Requires Department of Transportation to collect toll from bicyclists for use of Interstate 5 bridges if department collects toll from motor vehicle operators."  No action.  Probably, hopefully, dead.
Paying for the Roads

  • ConnectOregon V reform - Is benefiting from gambling gaming for entertainment purposes only really, really our best hope for funding?  House Bill 2310 to fund "ConnectOregon" as-is. As introduced, the language lacks bike/ped language.  Public Hearing on Friday, the 22nd.   The Portland BTA has a note about the hearing and efforts to expand the program. SB 247 and HB 2248 (see below), which do include language to expand the program, do not have hearings scheduled. 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."   No action.  House Bill 3348 would expand ConnectOregon. "Requires that 18 percent of net proceeds from Oregon State Lottery be deposited in Multimodal Transportation Fund. Expands use of fund. Directs Department of Transportation, after consultation with Oregon Department of Aviation, to administer aeronautic and airport transportation projects selected from projects to be funded with moneys in Multimodal Transportation Fund."  It also includes language for passenger rail, transit, biking, and walking projects.  No action.
  • Studded tires.  House Bills 2277, 2278, and 2397 would add fees to offset the damage studded tires cause. Hearing held, but no amendments or further action yet.  The Statesman came out with an editorial in favor of a modest fee - a phased approach, I think they characterized it. 
  • Tax on Carbon: House Bill 2792  "Imposes tax on each fuel supplier and utility based on amount of carbon in carbon-based fuel that is sold by fuel supplier to consumers in state or that is used to produce carbon-generated electricity supplied by utility to consumers in state."  "Sustainable" City of Salem opposes this billNo action.  Also:  SB 537, HB 2874, HB 2497.  No action on these.
  •  House Joint Resolution 9 -"Proposes amendment to Oregon Constitution to allow revenue from taxes on motor vehicle fuel and ownership, operation or use of motor vehicles to be used for transportation projects that will prevent or reduce pollution and congestion created by use of motor vehicles."  No action.
  • House Bill 2276 would increase the gas tax.  No action.  
  • House Bill 2453 - "Requires persons operating certain high-mileage motor vehicles to pay per-mile road usage charge or flat annual road usage charge." No action
  • 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..." Public hearing last week.  No amendments yet. You can read testimony from the out-going chair of Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, ODOT Bike/Ped Manager Sheila Lyons, and others here.
  • Senate Bill 756 would allow "Department of Transportation to accept donations to State Parks and Recreation Department Fund for purpose of improving bicycle and pedestrian facilities. Permits registered owner of vehicle to make donation to fund when registration is renewed."  Public hearing for the 25th.
  • Senate Bill 769 "Requires registration of bicycles. Imposes $10 registration fee. Creates offense of failure to register bicycle. Punishes by presumptive fine of $25. Provides exemptions. Creates offense of failure to ensure bicycle registration. Punishes by presumptive fine of $25. Provides exemptions. Creates offense of failure to report change of ownership or change of address to Department of Transportation. Punishes by presumptive fine of $25. Establishes Bicycle Transportation Improvement Fund. Continuously appropriates moneys in fund to Department of Transportation for bicycle related transportation improvement projects."  No action. 
Road Safety (and "Safety")
  • Senate Bill 9 filed by Senator Courtney would "increase the penalty [for using a cel phone while driving] from a Class D violation to a Class B violation, which means the maximum fine would increase from $250 to $1,000. The minimum fine would increase from $60 to $130." Oof!  It's watered down quite a bit - and I'm not sure I understand it.  The amended bill says the "violation of offense of operating motor vehicle while using mobile communication device is Class B traffic violation instead of Class D traffic violation when person texts without using hands-free accessory."  What does it mean to text using a hands-free accessory?  Now you invoke voice-recognition software?  This looks impossible to enforce and essentially meaningless.
  • House Bill 2732 is a ban on headphone while on bike and allows mopeds on multi-use paths.  No action.
  • 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.  No action.  
  • Senate Bill 741 would require persons "of any age to wear helmet when using bicycle, skateboard, scooter, in-line skates or roller skates when participating in organized exhibition, competition or contest." Senate Bill 742 would require kids "under 18 years of age to wear protective headgear while operating or riding on bicycle, riding on skateboard or scooter or using in-line skates or roller skates, on public or private land." Hearings scheduled.
  • House Bill 3320 would create a new residential speed limit of 20 mph.  No action.
  • House Bill 2115 would broaden the definition of intoxicating substances for the purposes of DUI citations.   Public hearing on Thursday the 21st.
  • HB 3047 would double the length of a motor vehicle license suspension from 10 to 20 years.  Hearing held, but no action or amendments yet. 
Other Stuff
All of this year's legislative updates are tagged 2013 Legislative Session.


Anonymous said...

From the Oregonian today:

"Senate Bill 294 adds cab drivers to the list of professionals allowed to talk on cell phones while they drive. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Larry George, R-Sherwood, who said he wanted to give cabbies the ability to chase down more fares."

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

The Portland BTA and affiliates released a letter on expanding ConnectOregon.

It closes:

"several potential legislative vehicles are now in motion this session to take steps toward resolving this gap in funding for transportation networks that are critical to our future: HB3348, HB 2310 (with an amendment to make bike and pedestrian projects eligible), and SB247 (with administrative amendments). Please take action to fund walking, biking and public transit for the sake of our health and our economy."

Other than Allan Pollock, Cherriots GM, no other Salem-area official signed on.

Signers include:

Mayor Charlie Hales, City of Portland
Mayor Kitty Piercy, City of Eugene
Mayor Jim Clinton, City of Bend
Mayor Chrstine Lundberg, City of Springfield
Mayor Darin Fowler, City of Grants Pass
Mayor Pro Tem Jodie Barram, City of Bend

and several city/county councilors and commissioners from around the state.