Monday, February 20, 2017

Legislative Update - Week 4

I don't know there's a whole lot to say yet on the Legislature. Here's a list of bills that have seemed interesting or relevant, along with a few more notes and events.

The design, circa 1936
(State Capitol 75th anniversary site)
  • SB 2 - Sen. Courtney's bill on enhanced penalties for cel phone use and distracted driving.
  • SB 35 - On raising the DMV reporting threshold for crash damage, from $1,500 to $3,000. (Many bikes are worth less than $1,500, and this would make it harder to enter crashes into the system for reporting and insurance purposes. This is an autoist bias.)
  • SB 38 - Looks like a generic funding bill for ODOT. The current project list in it is old and will almost certainly be replaced. Maybe this will be the "transportation package" eventually.
  • SB 426 - Repeals low-carbon fuel standard 
  • SB 493 - Creates new crime, "assault in the fourth degree" on a vulnerable road user.
  • SB 556 - Creates offense of driving with dog in driver's lap. 
  • SB 557 and HB 2135 - New statewide greenhouse gas emissions goals
  • SB 5530 - an ODOT budget
  • HB 2102 - Looks like it relaxes some of the penalties for DUI convictions
  • HB 2288 - Funding for ConnectOregon
  • HB 2355 - On collecting data on traffic stops and racial profiling.
  • HB 2440 - An attempt to remove HOV lanes on I-5
  • HB 2532 - A proposal for a quantitative scoring system for the STIP, including a requirement for "least-cost planning" (this one looks a little interesting)
  • HB 2667 - A proposal for a Vision Zero Task Force. BikePortland covered the first committee hearing on it. Unsurprisingly ODOT is opposed, and prefers their weak "safety" plan.
  • HB 2682 - A proposal to make it easier for cities to set speed zones and remove the need for ODOT approval (Portland is driving this and BikePortland has an extensive discussion)
The paper notes there's an informational hearing and possible work session on carbon today, Monday the 20th (no bills are on the agenda):
Learn about proposals to reduce carbon emissions in Oregon at a joint meeting of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources and the House Committee on Energy and Environment.

The committees will hear invited testimony about the impacts of a cap-and-trade program and a clean air tax or fee. They’ll also get a recap of the latest Oregon Climate Assessment Report, which shows that Oregon is not reducing its greenhouse gas emissions fast enough to meet its goals.

3 p.m. Monday in Hearing Room D. [report link added]
It's never too late or too early to start contacting your Legislators about supporting rational transportation for greenhouse gas reduction, for safety, and for livability. As the session continues, a more specific ask and slate of bills to support may emerge, as well as ways to frame messaging for Rs and Ds.

Both the Vision Zero and Local Speed Zone Setting bills already seem to have some momentum behind them, so they might deserve specific mention.

Also, March 6th is a Lobby Day for Safe Routes to School efforts. More detail on that later - it's a day before the bikeway Open House on March 7th!


Anonymous said...

Here's a few more for you...

HB 2409 on camera speed zone enforcement

HB 2461 on robot/autonomous cars

HB 2597 (with SB 2) on cel phones and distracted driving

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

thanks for the bills and links!

The paper today has news of a "legislative" concept for ride-booking companies - an end-run around cities and local regulation, and an attempt to install a statewide set of standards.

Meanwhile, a blog post about intense sexism at Uber has blown up and the Washington Post notes that it is deemed serious enough that "Uber has hired former U.S. attorney general Eric Holder to help lead an investigation into claims of sexual harassment and discrimination."

Why again are we so eager to see these companies as noble and wonderful?

These are not companies interested in fairness or making our cities better.

Again from Transit Consultant Jarrett Walker, "Sounding the Alarm about Uber’s Impacts on Transit, and on Cities."

Anonymous said...

The SJ has news on a couple of hearings -

"House Bill 2135 and Senate Bill 557 would establish a carbon pollution market. House Bill 2468 requires the Environmental Quality Commission to adopt statewide greenhouse gas emissions limits. House Bill 748 requires the EQC to adopt a carbon pollution permit program. LC 1242 imposes a tax on fuel suppliers and utilities based on the amount of carbon in fuel sold to consumers or used to produce electricity supplied to consumers....

3 p.m. Wednesday in Hearing Room F."

- and -

"Learn how the rules on distracted driving could change as the House Committee on Judiciary discusses House Bill 2597.

The bill would change the law to include all mobile electronic devices, not just communication devices.

1 p.m. Monday in Hearing Room 343."

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...


Here is a discussion of some bills on housing, "Six ways Oregon Lawmakers are proposing to cut housing prices."

The Oregon Environmental Council's legislative priorities, "Transportation for Oregon’s Future." (It would be interesting to see a close compare/contrast with the Oregon Transportation Forum "framework.")

Finally, over at BikePortland, "The Street Trust’s goals for the 2017 transportation funding package."

It's not clear how close/different the transportation agenda all are. Maybe that will be a post in the next couple of weeks.

Anonymous said...

From the Portland Tribune -

"The consulting firm that was paid $1 million by the state for an outside review of Oregon Department of Transportation's management doesn't want to release state-owned documents that would let the public and lawmakers check its work, the Portland Tribune has learned."

Anonymous said...

And again from the SJ on distracted driving and carbon -

"Senate Bill 2 would make driving while using a cell phone or other electronic device a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the frequency. It gets a first hearing in the Senate Committee on Judiciary.

That's at 8 a.m. Tuesday in Hearing Room 343.

Learn about proposals to price carbon emissions in Oregon at the first meeting of a work group that will get together weekly to gather information about five bills between the two legislative chambers that would address greenhouse gas reduction.

The work group is open to all legislators, and the public is welcome to attend.

It runs from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Hearing Room D."

Anonymous said...

More from the Tribune -

An "audit released Monday by Secretary of State Dennis Richardson found that ODOT fails to employ methods to track 'unbalanced' bids, meaning those with unrealistic line-item amounts designed to boost profits.

More than 90 percent of all ODOT-run projects completed from 2011 to 2015 included unbalanced bids, and a quarter of those later featured cost overruns, auditors found.

Significantly, the report echoes the criticisms of a recent $1 million consultant's review of ODOT meant to address concerns by the Legislature. The consultant's study noted ODOT's frequent contract overruns and said that compared to other large agencies that contract out construction work, ODOT's contracting was 'worst in class.'"

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Thanks for the updates!

It might be time for a post over the weekend. BikePortland has news things are stirring:

"Yesterday during a meeting of the Joint Committee on Transportation Preservation and Modernization, State Senator Lee Beyer (D-Springfield) laid out a proposal that would raise an additional $131 million a year for bicycling, walking, transit and street safety projects statewide."

But it's $107 million for transit + scraps! Maybe bigger scraps, but it's still pretty meagre.