Legislative Update

Well, campers, we have cleared a major legislative hurdle.  Any bill that did not make it out of the house of origin last week is at a dead stop, at least as a stand-alone issue.  Portions of bills can be amended onto other related bills, and any budget issues will stay in play until some sort of determination can be made.

There are a lot of people who have hung it up and gone home.

We, however, have hearings on four bills this coming week in Senate Transportation.

March 14th at 15:30 we have three hearings.

HB 1833: Setting the meeting schedule for the Washington State Motorcycle Safety Advisory Board as quarterly.  There is a proposal to modify the specifications concerning the WSP member of the board.  It would broaden out the search for a motorcycling experienced officer without degrading the quality of the candidate.  This is an all around win.

HB 1543: Limiting the issuance of motorcycle learner’s permits.  The house version has been amended to make the limit no more than 3 in five years.  There is a proposal to restore the original language to make it three in a lifetime, but I am going to advise the committee to move the house language out unaltered.

HB 1328:  Suspending the helmet requirement for any legally permitted parade or demonstration.  This measure has overwhelming popular support, and should move forward.  Interestingly enough, there is a proposal to add the language of SB 5063 onto this one.  To refresh your memory, SB 5063 allows motorcycles to obtain many of the same specialty plates that cars and trucks can get.

March 16th at 15:30 we have one hearing.

HB 1382: Concerning the use of express toll lanes in the eastside corridor.  What this does is set up HOT lanes on I-405, using the HOV lane and one of the general purpose lanes.  The problematic portion of this bill is how motorcycles will fit into this plan.  In accordance with the federal statute that help fund the construction of many HOV lanes requires that motorcycles are to be considered to be a HOV, but the language of the bill only exempts transit busses and vanpools.  If the underlying intent of this bill is to ease congestion we need to include the motorcycling public, not exclude it.  I honestly do not know how much steam this bill has, because there is an impressive array of people who are in opposition, but I do intend to ensure that if it moves forward motorcycles will be in the mix and at the table.

And now for the truly scary news:

I have decided to make that leap into the great sea of blogging.  (OK, it’s more like I have one toe in the pool testing the water.)  Too many times I have found my hands hovering above the keyboard with this overwhelming urge express my opinion on subjects that may not be in alignment with the corporate mission of the WRRA or even be related to motorcycle rights.  There will be some shameless begs for support on some of the charity events that I support with my psychotic running penchant.

If you are feeling brave, pop on over to “Texas Larry’s Brain” on WordPress.com and give things a look.

Until next time,

Ride safely and legislate well.

“Texas” Larry

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