California Legislation Watch: Weekly Update

Here’s Streetsblog’s compilation of California legislative news for this week.

Money, money, money: The legislature was focused on discussing the budget, which must be passed by Sunday at midnight for legislators to avoid having their pay docked. Bills that passed from one house to the other before last week’s deadline are in the midst of being assigned to committee hearings in the new house.

Streetsblog covered the negotiations on the cap-and-trade revenue portion of the budget, which resulted in a deal yesterday. TransForm has a detailed analysis of what the agreement means for sustainable streets and bicycle and pedestrian planning on its blog.

Regulating online driver services: A.B. 612 from Adrin Nazarian (D-Sherman Oaks) would require Transportation Network Companies (TNC) like Uber and Lyft to follow the same regulations as taxi services, such as background checks and submitting fingerprints. The bill is up for a hearing next week in the Senate Committee on Energy, Utilities, and Communications, along with A.B. 2293 from Susan Bonilla (D-Concord), which clarifies insurance issues for TNCs.

“While I am in full support of new innovative business models, we must ensure that drivers and consumers are protected,” Bonilla said in a statement. “As transportation network companies have grown, gaps in insurance coverage have been identified. This bill addresses the concern and clearly defines when commercial activity begins and ends, and who is responsible for coverage at all times.”

Yellow Alert for Hit-and-Run: Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) introduced A.B. 47, which would create an emergency alert system to help find hit-and-run drivers, system similar to the “Amber Alert” system used to help find kidnapped children. See Streetsblog’s story here.

Triple bike racks on buses: A.B. 2707 from Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park) is chugging along. It passed the Senate Transportation Committee on a 10-0 vote and will now be heard on the Senate floor. This bill would amend the vehicle code to allow longer bike racks on many public transit buses, so they can carry three bikes rather than just two. Legislation is necessary because the length of the racks, plus the length of newer buses, would exceed that allowed by statute.

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