Legislative week in review 1-26-2014

Well folks, it has been another busy week.

Black Thursday went of quite well, with a really good turnout from the Confederation of Clubs.  Many good meetings were held, and the overall response was positive.

The biggest positive seen was that the House version of the House version of the Malfunctioning Traffic Signal bill (HB 1238) was pulled to the Second Reading calendar.  Now, just like the Senate version (SB 5141), it needs to get moved to the floor calendar, so start calling your representatives and senators.  I am already working with committee chairs and staff to get either (or both) bills heard as soon as possible.

Now, for the rest of the news.

  1. HB 2495 (to remove the DOT certification sticker requirement) has been scheduled for a hearing in House Transportation on January 29th.  The committee meets at 15:30 in House Hearing Room B in the John L O’brien building.  To refresh your memory, this is legislation brought forward by the Legislative Action Committee, a new organization of motorcycle riders.  The reason for this particular offering is in response to a large number of helmet inspection stops occurring in areas, a de-facto end run on the anti-profiling law.
  2. HB 2494 (which sets up a program to certify motorcyclists as road guards) is also scheduled for a hearing in House Transportation on the 29th.  This would eliminate the need for law enforcement to block cross traffic during large motorcycle events.  Again, this legislation is brought forward by the Legislative Action Committee.
  3. The newest offerings are HB 2689 and SB 6296.  These bills are similar in goal but slightly different in content.  In the 2012 Transportation Revenue bill (EHB 2660) added a $100.00 fee to the registration to all electric vehicles, the thought being to offset the loss of gas tax revenue.  Unfortunately electric motorcycles got included at full rate.  Both bills seek to roll the fees back to either $20.00 (SB 6296) or $40.00 (HB 2689).  The Senate bill is scheduled for a hearing in Senate Transportation on January 29th.  The committee also meets at 15:30, but in Senate Hearing Room 1 in the J. A. Cherberg building.

It is my intention to attend the House hearing while providing written testimony in support of SB 6296 in the event I cannot make it to the Senate hearing in time.  I will inform the Co-Chairs of Senate Transportation that I am providing the written testimony.

Again, you need to be in contact with your representative and senators to support our issues.  Start the conversation with traffic signal bills, which are the most pressing and visible, and follow up with the rest of the issues.

If you don’t know yet who your representatives are, follow this link.

Until next time,

Ride safely and legislate well,

“Texas” Larry

Government Relations and Junior Blogger

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