California Legislation Watch: Weekly Update

Screen Shot 2014-03-28 at 2.09.21 PM

For social media coverage focused on statewide issues, follow Melanie @currymel on Twitter or like our Facebook page here.

Here’s Streetsblog’s weekly highlight of legislation and events related to sustainable transportation at the California capitol.

The big news out of Sacramento is that Caltrans endorsed the NACTO Urban Street Design Guidelines.

S.B. 1183, Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord): this is the so-called “bike tax bill”–oops, sorry, the “Local Bike Infrastructure Enhancement Act of 2014.” It was set to be discussed on Wednesday in the Senate Governance and Finance Committee, but the hearing was postponed after committee staff released its analysis. The bill, which would allow park districts to impose a tax on bicycles, is supposed to be a user tax that provides a small but regular flow of funds for the maintenance of trails, including paved bike trails, in the parks. Staff identified several problems with it, including potential difficulties for the Board of Equalization in administering the tax, and the lack of a direct connection between the buyer of a bicycle and the user of a bike path. “The Committee may wish to consider whether S.B. 1183 represents wise tax policy,” says its report.

A.B. 2398, Marc Levine (D-San Rafael): the “vulnerable road user law” was amended in the Assembly’s Transportation Committee this week. The bill would raise fines for drivers convicted of causing bodily injury to a vulnerable road user, including pedestrians and bicyclists. The amendment raises the lowest level fine to $220, which becomes $1,031 after the court adds its fees. In addition, the amendment requires a 6-month license suspension for anyone who has a repeat violation within 3 years. This bill will be heard again on April 21, when the legislature returns from spring recess.

A.B. 2197 from Kevin Mullin (D-South San Francisco): It takes a while for the DMV to issue license plates to newly purchased cars, and, in the meantime, those cars can be driven as long as they display a DMV-issued, numbered form. This bill would require the DMV to come up with a system for issuing temporary license plates that can be attached on the front and back of a car at the time of purchase. The bill cites a lack of license plates “on hundreds of thousands of vehicles across the state” as a problem for law enforcement and toll collectors. Meanwhile a petition in support of the bill has been started by the family of a hit-and-run victim killed by a driver in a car without plates. Administrative amendments were made to the bill in the Assembly Transportation Committee, and it is scheduled to be heard again on April 21.

 

  • gneiss

    When we consider that the state is considering subsidizing the electric car industry to the tune of $200 million dollars from cap-and-trade funds, the user fee tax on bicycles becomes even more ludicrous. Even a fraction of that subsidy money would easily cover any shortfalls in funding relating to trail maintenance on state parks.

    This implication that somehow people who ride bikes don’t pay their ‘fair share’ falls flat on the reality of the myriad of ways we are subsidizing car drivers, particularly drivers of electric cars.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

SB 1183 Is No Longer a Bike Tax

|
Senate Bill 1183, the bill from Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) which was originally proposed as a “bike tax,” is no longer a bike tax. This time the change is not just in the bill’s title — the bill, which originally proposed a sales tax on bicycles to create a stable source of funding to maintain bicycle facilities in regional parks, now […]

California Legislation Watch: Weekly Update

|
Here’s Streetsblog’s weekly highlight of legislation and events related to sustainable transportation moving through the legislative process in Sacramento. Bike Racks on Buses: A.B. 2707, Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park), would allow transit agencies to install racks that can carry three bikes on the front of buses. Why does this require legislation? Current law limits the […]

California Legislation Watch: Weekly Update

|
Here is Streetsblog’s weekly highlight of California legislation related to sustainable transportation. Today was the last day to amend bills for this legislative session. Any bill that doesn’t get passed by midnight next Sunday, August 31, will be officially dead. Among the flurry of votes, the following bills passed out of both the Assembly and […]

California Legislation Watch: Weekly Update

|
California’s legislative season is heating up, and both the Assembly and the Senate are beginning to read and discuss the bills wending their way though the session. Here’s Streetsblog’s weekly highlight of events and legislation related to transportation at the capitol. A.B. 1532, Mike Gatto’s (D-Los Angeles) hit-and-run legislation, passed its second approval at the […]

California Legislation Watch: Weekly Update

|
The California Legislature saw a lot of action in the last two weeks on bills related to sustainable transportation. The deadline to pass bills out of committee was on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend, and today is the deadline for all bills to be voted on by their houses of origin. If they couldn’t pass […]

California Legislation Watch: Weekly Update

|
For social media coverage focused on statewide issues, follow Melanie Curry @currymel on Twitter or like our Facebook page.  Here is Streetsblog’s weekly highlight of legislation and events related to sustainable transportation at the California capitol. This week, the legislature was out for Spring Recess, giving legislative staff time to prepare for the onslaught of […]