Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Legislative Update, Week 13

Is it over yet?
Things are really slowing down for people who bike and more general transportation matters.

See week 12 for longer list of bills that died in committee and other bills that looked certain to die in committee.

There are several other bills left that look likely to die in committee, and we'll follow them for a bit longer.  But things don't look real promising for meaningful legislation in our little corner.


Two hearings, one on Wednesday, May 8th on a mileage tax; the other also on Wednesday the 8th on the celphone exemption for taxicab operators.  See below for links to the hearings agenda.

The different piles after the jump.

Paying for the Roads

  • ConnectOregon V reform - House Bill 2310 to fund "ConnectOregon" has moved out of committee and picked up amendments to include bike/ped projects, but there has been no movement for a month now and it looks like it may be stalled.   
  • Studded tires.  House Bill 2277 is the survivor! In committee, though, it was watered down from genuine action to a call for the proverbial "further study" on the "impact" of studded tire use.  It has to make a detour into the Ways and Means committee, and then presumably will go to the floor with a "do pass" recommendation.  
  • House Bill 2453 - "Requires persons operating certain high-mileage motor vehicles to pay per-mile road usage charge or flat annual road usage charge." It continues to get hearings and at least to give the appearance of movement.  There's another work session on May 8th.
Road Safety (and "Safety")
  • Celphones, texting, and distracted driving - 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."  (The amendments are still baffling.  Hopefully folks will chime in with some clarification.  I have no idea what this bill really means.)  It also looks stalled in committee. Senate Bill 294 would create an exception in existing law for taxi-cab drivers to use a hand-held celphone while driving. It passed the Senate and is in the House. Hearing on the 8th.
  • House Bill 2115 would broaden the definition of intoxicating substances for the purposes of DUI citations.   It has picked up amendments, and went to the floor, but it was re-routed back to committee last month.  Could be death by procedural shuffling!
  • HB 3047 would double the length of a motor vehicle license suspension from 10 to 20 years.  In Senate Judiciary.  A hearing was held on the 6th.
Bills Moribund in Committee, looking doubtful
  • This one looks like a real bummer. House Bill 2500 would have expanded 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..."  
  • 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."
All of this year's legislative updates are tagged 2013 Legislative Session.  If you know of something of interest, please add it in the comments!

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