Legislation Update 7.14.15
Remember: you can always get up-to-the-minute updates at calbike.org/legislation.
As you may have heard, our proposed $25 million increase in the Active Transportation Program, California’s primary funding source for biking and walking, was shelved for now, while lawmakers debate infrastructure spending in an “Extraordinary Session.” This means that we will have to defend our tentative victory over the summer, but is also means that we have a chance for an even more significant investment because $3 to 6 billion is at stake. We need you to pledge your support to help us win. Sign our coalition’s petition.
Other potential new sources of funding that we’re supporting are Senator de León’s Senate Bill 350, which establishes new targets for fuel reduction, renewable energy and energy efficiency, and Senator Pavley’s Senate Bill 32, which establishes a target for greenhouse gas reductions of 80% by 2050, and authorizes the Air Resources Board to set greenhouse gas emission reduction targets for 2030 and 2040. Both bills, although somewhat controversial, are progressing smoothly.
On June 29 we sent out an action alert urging you to ask your legislators to support Assemblymember Mike Gatto’s Assembly Bill 8. AB 8 will create a statewide alert system following a hit-and-run incident that involves a fatality or serious injury. Our action alert worked. The skeptical committee chair who had urged a “no” vote decided to “take a walk” during the debate, and his committee passed the bill unanimously, although the bill did suffer some weakening amendments:
1) The CHP now has discretion on whether or not to issue a Yellow Alert.
2) The program is now a 3-year statewide pilot.
3) The bill applies only to fatalities and serious injuries, narrowly defined.
4) It applies only to the state highway system.
We strongly support this important reform and hope that these amendments will compel Governor Jerry Brown to sign the bill into law this year instead of vetoing it like he did last year.
Other Important Bills:
Assemblymember Chu’s AB 28, to allow bicycles operated at night to be equipped with a red reflector, a solid red light, or a flashing red light on the rear (rather than only a reflector, as is currently the case) is in Senate Appropriations Committee, and will afterwards need to make its final stop before the Governor’s desk and pass the senate floor.
Assemblymembers Phil Ting and Marc Levine’s AB 40, to prohibit tolls for people walking and biking on state-owned bridges or privately-owned bridges under franchise agreement with the state (such as the Golden Gate Bridge), has unanimously passed Senate Appropriations Committee.
We are sponsoring Assemblymember Richard Bloom and David Chiu’s AB 902, which allows adults who are cited for an infraction while on a bicycle to participate in a free bicycle education class to reduce the citation fee, which is also known as a “diversion program.” The bill was recently amended to have some law enforcement oversight.
We are also sponsoring Assemblymember Chiu’s AB 1096, which redefines electric bicycles and creates three classes of electric bicycles that have varying access to bicycle facilities, instead of access being fully up to local control. The bill was recently amended and passed the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee.
Finally, we have recently decided to support Assemblymember Chau’s AB 744, which reduces minimum automobile parking requirements in transit priority areas for developments, among other changes in development code that encourage more density. These changes would make it easier for people to choose to ride a bicycle in urban areas.