Legislative Report – Busy Two Weeks at the Capitol
An imminent legislative deadline sparked a flurry of activity in the Capitol last week — good timing for California Bicycle Advocacy Day! In addition to the bills reported above, legislators took action on a number of bills important to bicycling in California. Your California Bicycle Coalition is working to support, oppose and amend bills touching on hit-and-run prosecution, bicycle light and reflector requirements, climate change, and more. Here’s a quick update:
AB 902 (Bloom, Chiu) – One of three bills sponsored by the California Bicycle Coalition, AB 902 expands eligibility for bicycle “traffic school” after a person bicycling is ticketed for a moving violation. AB 902 passed easily off the Assembly Floor and advances to the Senate.
AB 40 (Ting, Levine) – Assembly Bill 40 will ensure that the state’s bridges remain toll-free for people bicycling and walking. Your California Bicycle Coalition sponsors AB 40 because tolling bicyclists and pedestrians would deter people from taking trips that involve bridge crossings, and discourage them from enjoying landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge on foot or by pedal power. Let your elected officials know that you want to keep crossings free!
AB 8 (Gatto) – The ‘Yellow Alert’ hit-and-run warning system bill passed Assembly Public Safety Committee by unanimous vote and advanced to Assembly Appropriations.
AB 1096 (Chiu) – Sponsored by the California Bicycle Coalition, this bill would allow low-speed electric bicycles on bike paths by updating regulations that currently define them as mopeds. Modern, low-speed e-bikes are designed to behave almost exactly like a regular bicycle — except easier to pedal. The boost electricity provides enables people to ride who otherwise couldn’t or wouldn’t: senior citizens, parents with young children, people with disabilities, those pulling heavy loads. It passed easily in Assembly Transportation Committee to advance to Assembly Appropriations.
AB 28 (Chu) – Gives bicycle riders the option to use a red flashing or solid red light in place of or in addition to the already required red reflector when riding at night. CalBike’s advocacy helped make this bill an improvement for cycling after its initial version posed a barrier by mandating lights and reflective clothing. AB 28 passed Assembly Transportation Committee unanimously and will be heard in Assembly Appropriations this week.
SB 32 (Pavley) and SB 350 (De León, Leno) – CalBike is strongly supporting two major climate bills this year that will establish statewide targets to help advance our goal to triple bicycling. SB 32 would mandate that the State reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050. SB 350 establishes three important 50 percent targets for 2030, most importantly from the perspective of transportation that California will reduce fuel consumption by 50 percent. Both of these bills provide direct opportunities to push for funding for connected bike networks, and both bills passed Senate Environmental Quality Committee and advanced to Senate Appropriations last week.