Saturday, February 28, 2015

Legislative Update, Week 4 - Back to Normal

With Governor Brown sworn in, we won't be following the Hayes-Kitzhaber story very closely. But one new development is interesting as it relates to transportation. The shadow consultant on the CRC had a shadow role in Cover Oregon, it turns out.

Willamette Week's view in 2013
Was this prescient or what!
More on McCaig and Kitz in Willamette Week:
In public, Kitzhaber assured Oregonians he was working diligently with state officials to find a solution for the website’s woeful performance.

In private, however, Kitzhaber handed oversight of the Cover Oregon mess to a secretive campaign consultant who liked to call herself the Princess of Darkness.

By her own admission, Patricia McCaig knew virtually nothing about health care reform or the reasons Cover Oregon had crashed. Her primary mission was not to save a beleaguered state program but to get Kitzhaber re-elected.

Emails that Kitzhaber’s office tried to delete from state computers show McCaig was effectively in charge of all decision making for Cover Oregon beginning in February 2014.
It just looks real messy.

So, the bills and commentary. Milestones and movements are highlighted in green. (See more relevant bills or movement, drop a note in the comments!)

Bike "safety" and licensing:
  • SB 177 Bike licensing and repeal of Bike Bill
  • SB 551 Bike licensing and repeal of Bike Bill 
  • HB 3255 Requiring additional reflective clothing at night
BikePortland on HB3255 and reflective clothing.  Portland BTA on bike licensing bills. Here's a review of the Oregon history again, when we had an ineffective licensing program from 1899 - 1913. (And the numerically consecutive bill, SB 176, prohibiting Sharia law, and introduced at the request of the same constituent, was a winner in the Oregonian's Oddball Bill Bowl.)

Other Bike-relevant and transportation bills:
  • A pod of bills about speed bumps: HB 2281, HB 2282, HB 2283, HB 2293, HB 2730, HB 2736
  • HB 2256 Cleans up language about PIP in auto insurance (not sure if it's a policy change or just housekeeping on language)
  • HB 2274 Changes name of "Connect Oregon Fund"; also HB 2275; and HB 2740
  • HB 2552 fees for studded tires 
  • HB 2553 Creates task force on expanding WES (commuter rail) to Salem
  • HB 2620 would require ODOT to inventory ODOT land and determine if it is really needed transportation
  • HB 2819 to require drivers over the age of 75 to take annual license exams 
  • HB 3153 Prohibits State from funding municipal sidewalks
  • HB 5040 ODOT Biennial Budget 
  • SB 120 expands the definition of ways to meet "mobility standards" and includes "reducing congestion in other modes of travel" - which seems ambiguous, but could as the language is adjusted mean something like "reduce auto congestion by means of improvements in bike lanes and transit (etc)"
  • SB 511 creates a study on DUI and recidivism (many DUI cases are repeat offenders)
On sidewalks Rep. Shemia Fagan notes
So imagine how disappointed I was to see one of my legislative colleagues propose a new law to specifically outlaw my fight for safety investments on Powell Blvd. Republican Julie Parrish (West Linn) today filed HB3153, to “prohibit” the legislature from “allocating or authorizing” money from the state or ODOT to “highway maintenance or sidewalk development” in incorporated cities, i.e. East Portland. This is especially shocking since Rep. Parrish canvassed East Portland for my opponent during the 2014 campaign. How someone can campaign in neglected neighborhoods in East Portland and then turn around and try to make it impossible for the state to invest in making Powell Blvd safe is beyond my understanding.
And a response!
The carbon things:
There was a BlueOregon piece on carbon and transportation (part 2, part 3, part 4). Comment from BikePortland. Hinessight. An Oregonian news piece on why the low-carbon fuel standard is inefficient, even misguided. LoveSalem calls biofuels "faith healing of the climate crisis." BikePortland also on HB3176 for a carbon tax.

With SB324 on the low-carbon fuel standard flying quickly, Republicans are taking a time-out on the preliminary talks for a transportation package. Not sure what the lasting effects of this will be: Short-term it is clearly posturing, but it could shape the final outlines of the transportation package, too.

A few land use things of note:
  • SB 565 - Tax credit for rehab of historic properties (public hearing on Wednesday)
  • HB 2564 on inclusionary zoning (Hearing last week)
  • HB 2633 on improving planning for disasters (more seismic talk! see story below, also public hearing earlier this month)
1000 Friends on Goal 7, "natural hazards," and HB 2633; and on inclusionary zoning, HB 2564. BikePortland also on inclusionary zoning.

For all notes on the 2015 session, see here.


Anonymous said...

It's hard to know exactly what to think of this, but it is interesting on the surface -

"we are offering a centrist alternative to SB324, a plan that encourages clean fuels in Oregon, repurposes an existing fee for state research, through our universities, into CO2 reduction, and allows for ongoing discussions for a comprehensive bipartisan transportation package. Our plan offers immediate environmental protection and doesn't stick Oregonians with hidden taxes."

It written by: Mark Johnson, R-Hood River, and Cliff Bentz, R-Ontario, Betsy Johnson, D-Scappoose.

Anonymous said...

HB 2621 for expanded photo speed enforcement -

Anonymous said...

This is making the rounds, so there are many discussions of it - but in the DOJ report on Ferguson, there's a real link between traffic enforcement (including walking) and bias:

"Take traffic stops. Not only did police stop blacks at a rate greater than their share of the population—from 2012 to 2014, blacks were 67 percent of Ferguson residents but 85 percent of traffic stops—but they were twice as likely to search blacks than they were whites, who were 26 percent more likely to have actual contraband.

You see the same dynamic with small, discretionary infractions. Ninety-five percent of tickets for jaywalking were against black residents, as were 94 percent of all “failure to comply” charges. Either black people were the only Ferguson citizens to jaywalk, or the department was targeting blacks for enforcement. On the rare occasion when police charged whites with these minor offenses, they were 68 percent more likely to have their cases dismissed."

That one was from Slate -

Things like licensing people on bike or requiring certain kinds of apparel become reasons to stop people who don't look like you.

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Here's a couple more bills to watch:

House Bill 3302 on seismic retrofits for bridges

Senate Bill 5502 concerning North State Hospital Campus

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

And thanks for the additional links Anons!

Doesn't seem like there's enough for a separate update this week, so we'll fold these notes all into one next week.

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

The Oregonian pointed out SB 533, which would make it legal for two-wheelers to go on red when you've waited one complete cycle and the light or controller is broken.