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Alabama

2016

State Issues

02/25/2016 - Left Lane Use

2/25/2016 (HB203):

The House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee voted on Wednesday, Feb. 24, to advance a bill to revise the state’s keep right law to apply to all drivers.
Currently, vehicles traveling below the posted speed limit are required to stay to the right. HB203 would change the rule to include a blanket requirement on interstates for all vehicles, regardless of speed, to stay right except to pass.
Certain exceptions would apply.

03/28/2016 - Transportation Revenue

3/28/2016 (SB180): 

The House Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure Committee voted to advance a bill to ensure new revenues are applied to infrastructure. The Senate already approved it.
SB180 specifies that money raised via fuel tax rate increases continue to be routed to roads and bridges.
The bill awaits further consideration on the House floor. If approved there, it would head back to the Senate for approval of changes before it heads to the governor’s desk.

03/28/2016 - Fuel Taxes

3/28/2016 (HB394):

The House Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure Committee voted to advance a bill to raise the state’s fuel tax rates.
The state now charges 19 cents per gallon on diesel purchases and 18 cents on gas.
Sponsored by Rep. Mac McCutcheon, R-Huntsville, HB394 would increase the tax rates based on an average of the existing state rates in Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee. Specifically, the tax rates in Alabama would increase by 6 cents per gallon to 25 cents and 24 cents respectively.
The bill would include adjustments in 2019, 2023 and 2027. The fuel tax rate increases would be based on the average of Alabama’s neighboring states.
Local governments would also be permitted to pursue local fuel tax rate increases of up to 2 cents per gallon, but only after a voter referendum.
Another provision in the bill would add a $100 surcharge for electric and alternative fuel passenger vehicles and $150 for equivalent commercial vehicles.
The bill awaits further consideration on the House floor. If approved there, it would move to the Senate before it could head to the governor’s desk.

2015

State Issues

07/16/2015 - Speed Traps

3/28/2016 (HB394):

The House Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure Committee voted to advance a bill to raise the state’s fuel tax rates.
The state now charges 19 cents per gallon on diesel purchases and 18 cents on gas.
Sponsored by Rep. Mac McCutcheon, R-Huntsville, HB394 would increase the tax rates based on an average of the existing state rates in Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee. Specifically, the tax rates in Alabama would increase by 6 cents per gallon to 25 cents and 24 cents respectively.
The bill would include adjustments in 2019, 2023 and 2027. The fuel tax rate increases would be based on the average of Alabama’s neighboring states.
Local governments would also be permitted to pursue local fuel tax rate increases of up to 2 cents per gallon, but only after a voter referendum.
Another provision in the bill would add a $100 surcharge for electric and alternative fuel passenger vehicles and $150 for equivalent commercial vehicles.
The bill awaits further consideration on the House floor. If approved there, it would move to the Senate before it could head to the governor’s desk.

09/15/2015 - Fuel Taxes

09/15/2015 (HB 28):

The House Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure Committee voted to advance a bill that would increase the state’s tax rates for gas and diesel by 5 cents per gallon to 23 and 24 cents, respectively.
Alabama now charges 19 cents per gallon on diesel purchases and 18 cents on gas.
HB28 also authorizes the fuel tax to be increased by 2 cents per gallon each March.
The bill awaits further consideration on the House floor. If approved there, it would advance to the Senate before heading to the governor’s desk.
The changes would take effect Jan. 1, 2016.

State Watches

11/20/2015 - Fuel Tax

11/20/2015

Talk continues in Alabama about a possible fuel tax increase to improve the state’s transportation infrastructure.
The Yellowhammer State now charges 19 cents per gallon on diesel purchases and 18 cents on gas. The tax rates have remained unchanged for more than 20 years.
A bill failed to gain passage earlier this year that sought to remove the state from the list of about a dozen states with fuel tax rates below 20 cents.
Rep. Mac McCutcheon, R-Huntsville, offered a bill that called for increasing the state’s tax rates by 5 cents per gallon to 24 and 23 cents, respectively. The bill also authorized the fuel tax to be increased by 2 cents per gallon each March.
McCutcheon’s bill was estimated to raise $70 million in the first year and $100 million by the second year.
The effort’s failure was attributed to intense negotiations to patch a $200 million state budget shortfall.
Fresh off his reelection early this month Gov. Robert Bentley said that he believes more lawmakers could give strong consideration to a fuel tax increase during the upcoming regular session.
At a recent speaking event in Gulf Shores, Ala., Bentley said he is in favor of a tax increase and that he believes residents around the state are willing to pay extra as long as they are assured the money will be used for better roads and bridges.
McCutcheon is expected to introduce a similar piece of legislation during the regular session that begins Feb. 2, 2016.

2014

State Issues

04/17/2014 - Daylight Saving Time

04/17/2014 (HB266):

A bill died that sought to nix changes to daylight saving time.
HB266 would have kept the state on standard time year round.

3/7/2014:

A bill in the House State Government Committee would nix changes to daylight saving time.
Sponsored by Rep. Greg Wren, R-Montgomery, HB266 would keep the state on standard time year round.

 


03/11/2014 - Military Truckers

3/11/2014 (SB43):

The Senate Commerce, Transportation and Utilities Committee voted to advance a bill that would allow driver licensing agencies to waive the CDL skills test for qualified military veterans.
Sponsored by Sen. Tom Whatley, R-Auburn, SB43 would waive the skills portion of the test.

 

04/04/2014 - Speed Enforcement

04/04/2014 (SB24): 

A bill died without getting a Senate floor vote that sought to give law enforcement in small towns the authority to ticket speeders on interstates.
Since 1996, Alabama law has prohibited police in cities with fewer than 19,000 residents from enforcing speed laws on interstate highways. The ban, which was attached to a bill boosting speeds to 70 mph, also applies to any land outside of city limits.
SB24 would have allowed police in affected towns to issue speeding tickets on interstate highways. Speed enforcement would have been allowed for all police departments on roads outside of city limits but within their jurisdictions.

2/18/2014:

The Senate Commerce, Transportation and Utilities Committee voted 6-1 to advance a bill that would give law enforcement in small towns the authority to ticket speeders on interstates.
Since 1996, Alabama law has prohibited police in cities with fewer than 19,000 residents from enforcing speed laws on interstate highways. The ban, which was attached to a bill boosting speeds to 70 mph, also applies to any land outside of city limits.
Sponsored by Sen. Gerald Dial, R-Lineville, SB24 would allow police in affected towns to issue speeding tickets on interstate highways. Speed enforcement would be allowed for all police departments on roads outside of city limits but within their jurisdictions.
The bill awaits consideration on the Senate floor. If approved there, it would move to the House.

 

10/29/2013:

Sen. Gerald Dial, R-Lineville, has prefiled a bill for consideration during the 2014 regular session that would give law enforcement in small towns the authority to ticket speeders on interstates.
Since 1996, Alabama law has prohibited police in cities with fewer than 19,000 residents from enforcing speed laws on interstate highways. The ban, which was attached to a bill boosting speeds to 70 mph, also applies to any land outside of city limits.
SB24 would allow police in affected towns to issue speeding tickets on interstate highways. Speed enforcement would be allowed for all police departments on roads outside of city limits but within their jurisdictions.
The bill will be in the Senate Commerce, Transportation and Utilities Committee when the regular session begins in early February.

 

2013

State Issues

06/13/2013 - License Renewals

6/13/2013 (HB25):

A bill died that sought to extend the state’s license renewal period.
State law now allows drivers to renew licenses up to 30 days before and until three years after the expiration date.
HB25 would have allowed Alabama drivers to renew their licenses as early as six months before the expiration date.


2/20/2013:

A bill in the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee would extend the state’s license renewal period.
State law now allows drivers to renew licenses up to 30 days before and until three years after the expiration date.
Sponsored by Rep. Joe Faust, R-Baldwin, HB25 would allow Alabama drivers to renew their licenses as early as six months before the expiration date.
For House bill status, call 334-242-7600. In Alabama, call 800-499-3052.


12/27/2012:

Rep. Joe Faust, R-Baldwin, has filed a bill for consideration during the upcoming session that would extend the state’s license renewal period.
State law now allows drivers to renew licenses up to 30 days before and until three years after the expiration date.
Sponsored by Rep. Joe Faust, R-Baldwin, HB25 would allow Alabama drivers to renew their licenses as early as six months before the expiration date.
The bill can be considered during the session that begins Feb. 5.

 

06/10/2013 - Speed Enforcements

06/10/2013 (SB71):

A bill died that sought to give police in cities with fewer than 19,000 residents the authority to ticket speeders on interstates.
SB71 would also have allowed speed enforcement for all police departments on roads outside of city limits but within their jurisdictions.


2/15/2013:

The Senate Commerce, Transportation and Utilities Committee voted unanimously to advance a bill to give police in cities with fewer than 19,000 residents the authority to ticket speeders on interstates. The bill now awaits consideration on the Senate floor.
SB71 would also allow speed enforcement for all police departments on roads outside of city limits but within their jurisdictions.
For Senate bill status, call 334-242-7800. In Alabama, call 800-499-3051.


2/4/2013:

A bill in the Senate Commerce, Transportation and Utilities Committee would give police in cities with fewer than 19,000 residents the authority to ticket speeders on interstates.
SB71 would also allow speed enforcement for all police departments on roads outside of city limits but within their jurisdictions.
For Senate bill status, call 334-242-7800. In Alabama, call 800-499-3051.

 

05/24/2013 - Unlicensed Drivers

05/24/2013 (SB26):

5/24/2013:

A bill died that sought to boost the punishment for anyone caught driving in the state without a license.
Alabama law now authorizes fines between $100 and $500 for anyone driving with a cancelled, denied, suspended or revoked driver’s license. Offenders also face up to six months in jail.
The same punishment is applied to anyone driving without first obtaining a driver’s license.
SB26 would have doubled the minimum fine amount for all offenders to $200. The license revocation period would have been extended for anyone found in violation for another six months.
In addition, illegal driving that result in a traffic accident would have made the offender negligent. As a result, they could have been responsible for paying restitution.


2/20/2013:

A bill in the Senate Commerce, Transportation and Utilities Committee would boost the punishment for anyone caught driving in the state without a license.
Alabama law now authorizes fines between $100 and $500 for anyone driving with a cancelled, denied, suspended or revoked driver’s license. Offenders also face up to six months in jail.
The same punishment is applied to anyone driving without first obtaining a driver’s license.
Sponsored by Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, SB26 would double the minimum fine amount for all offenders to $200. The license revocation period would be extended for anyone found in violation for another six months.
In addition, illegal driving that result in a traffic accident would make the offender negligent. As a result, they could be responsible for paying restitution.
For Senate bill status, call 3343-242-7800. In Alabama, call 800-499-3051.


12/17/2012:

Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, has filed a bill for consideration early next year to boost the punishment for anyone caught driving in the state without a license.
Alabama law now authorizes fines between $100 and $500 for anyone driving with a cancelled, denied, suspended or revoked driver’s license. Offenders also face up to six months in jail.
The same punishment is applied to anyone driving without first obtaining a driver’s license.
Sponsored by Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, SB26 would double the minimum fine amount for all offenders to $200. The license revocation period would be extended for anyone found in violation for another six months.
In addition, illegal driving that result in a traffic accident would make the offender negligent. As a result, they could be responsible for paying restitution.
The bill can be considered during the session that begins Feb. 5.

 


State Watches

10/29/2013 - Speed Enforcement

10/29/2013:

Sen. Gerald Dial, R-Lineville, has prefiled a bill for consideration during the 2014 regular session that would give law enforcement in small towns the authority to ticket speeders on interstates.
Since 1996, Alabama law has prohibited police in cities with fewer than 19,000 residents from enforcing speed laws on interstate highways. The ban, which was attached to a bill boosting speeds to 70 mph, also applies to any land outside of city limits.
SB23 would allow police in affected towns to issue speeding tickets on interstate highways. Speed enforcement would be allowed for all police departments on roads outside of city limits but within their jurisdictions.
The bill will be in the Senate Commerce, Transportation and Utilities Committee when the regular session begins in early February.

 

2012

State Issues

05/24/2012 - Older Drivers

5/24/2012 (HB193):

A new law makes it easier for older drivers with personal licenses to qualify for a discount on their insurance premiums.
Alabama law already allows drivers at least 55 years old to take an accident prevention course and qualify for a rate reduction.
Previously HB193, the new law lowers from eight hours to six hours the amount of classroom time required. Online instruction will also be permitted.

5/16/2012 (SB250):

SB250 has died. However, the House version – HB193 – has moved to the governor.

3/22/2012 (HB193):

The House voted to advance a bill make it easier for older drivers with personal licenses to qualify for a discount on their insurance premiums. The bill now moves to the Senate.
Alabama law already allows drivers at least 55 years old to take an accident prevention course and qualify for a rate reduction.
HB193 would lower from eight hours to six hours the amount of classroom time required. Online instruction would also be permitted.
The bill is awaiting consideration in the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee.
For bill status, call 334-242-7600. In Alabama, call 800-499-3052.

2/23/2012 (SB250):

A bill awaiting consideration on the Senate floor would make it easier for older drivers with personal licenses to qualify for a discount on their insurance premiums.
Alabama law already allows drivers at least 55 years old to take an accident prevention course and qualify for a rate reduction.
SB250 would lower from eight hours to six hours the amount of classroom time required. Online instruction would also be permitted.
For Senate bill status, call 334-242-7800. In Alabama, call 800-499-3051.
A House version – HB193 – is also up for consideration on the Senate floor.

2/23/2012 (HB193):

A bill awaiting consideration on the House floor would make it easier for older drivers with personal licenses to qualify for a discount on their insurance premiums.
Alabama law already allows drivers at least 55 years old to take an accident prevention course and qualify for a rate reduction.
HB193 would lower from eight hours to six hours the amount of classroom time required. Online instruction would also be permitted.
For bill status, call 334-242-7600. In Alabama, call 800-499-3052.
A Senate version – SB250 – is up for consideration on the Senate floor

 

 

 

 

 

05/16/2012 - Ticket Cameras

5/16/2012 (HB221):

A bill is likely dead for the year that was intended to ward off the implementation of a ticket program in his state. The city of Tuscaloosa is set to install red-light cameras in the months ahead.
HB221 would have prohibited municipalities from approving the use of cameras and would repeal any existing ordinances authorizing their use.


3/5/2012:

A bill in the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee is intended to ward off the implementation of a ticket program in his state. The city of Tuscaloosa is set to install red-light cameras in the months ahead.
Sponsored by Rep. Lynn Greer, R-Lauderdale, HB221 would prohibit municipalities from approving the use of cameras and would repeal any existing ordinances authorizing their use.
For House bill status, call 334-242-7600. In Alabama, call 800-499-3052.


2/13/2012:

A bill in the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee would prohibit communities from adopting use of red-light cameras.
Sponsored by Rep. Lynn Greer, R-Lauderdale, HB221 would also require localities with enforcement programs already in use to take them down.
For House bill status, call 334-242-7600. In Alabama, call 800-499-3052.

 

05/16/2012 - Speed Enforcement

5/16/2012 (HB429):

A bill is likely dead for the year that sought to give law enforcement in small towns the authority to ticket speeders on interstates.
Since 1996, Alabama law has prohibited police in cities with fewer than 19,000 residents from enforcing speed laws on interstate highways. The ban was attached to a bill boosting speeds to 70 mph.
HB429 would have allowed police in affected towns to issue speeding tickets on interstate highways. The bill also would have allowed speed enforcement for all police departments on roads outside of city limits but within their jurisdictions.

5/16/2012 (SB8):

A bill is likely dead for the year that sought to give law enforcement in small towns the authority to ticket speeders on interstates. The House previously approved it.
Since 1996, Alabama law has prohibited police in cities with fewer than 19,000 residents from enforcing speed laws on interstate highways. The ban was attached to a bill boosting speeds to 70 mph.
SB8 allowed police in affected towns to issue speeding tickets on interstate highways. The bill also would have allowed speed enforcement for all police departments on roads outside of city limits but within their jurisdictions.


4/3/2012 (HB429):

A bill in the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee would give law enforcement in small towns the authority to ticket speeders on interstates.
Since 1996, Alabama law has prohibited police in cities with fewer than 19,000 residents from enforcing speed laws on interstate highways. The ban was attached to a bill boosting speeds to 70 mph.
HB429 would allow police in affected towns to issue speeding tickets on interstate highways. The bill also would allow speed enforcement for all police departments on roads outside of city limits but within their jurisdictions.
For House bill status, call 334-242-7600. In Alabama, call 800-499-3052

2/23/2012 (SB8):

The Senate voted 21-1 to advance a bill to the House that would give law enforcement in small towns the authority to ticket speeders on interstates.

Since 1996, Alabama law has prohibited police in cities with fewer than 19,000 residents from enforcing speed laws on interstate highways. The ban was attached to a bill boosting speeds to 70 mph.
SB8 allow police in affected towns to issue speeding tickets on interstate highways. The bill also would allow speed enforcement for all police departments on roads outside of city limits but within their jurisdictions.
The bill is awaiting consideration in the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.
For bill status, call 334-242-7800. In Alabama, call 800-499-3051.

2/8/2012 (SB8):

A bill in the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee would give law enforcement in small towns the authority to ticket speeders on interstates.
Since 1996, Alabama law has prohibited police in cities with fewer than 19,000 residents from enforcing speed laws on interstate highways. The ban was attached to a bill boosting speeds to 70 mph.
Sponsored by Sen. Gerald Dial, R-Lineville, SB8 would authorize affected towns to issue speeding tickets on interstate highways. The bill also would allow speed enforcement for all police departments on roads outside of city limits but within their jurisdictions. For Senate bill status, call 334-242-7800. In Alabama, call 800-499-3051.

9/20/2011 (SB8):

Sen. Gerald Dial, R-Lineville, has prefiled a bill for consideration during the 2012 regular session that would give law enforcement in small towns the authority to ticket speeders on interstates.
Since 1996, Alabama law has prohibited police in cities with fewer than 19,000 residents from enforcing speed laws on interstate highways. The ban was attached to a bill boosting speeds to 70 mph.
SB8 would authorize affected towns to issue speeding tickets on interstate highways. The bill also would allow speed enforcement for all police departments on roads outside of city limits but within their jurisdictions.

05/23/2012 - Red-Light Cameras

5/23/2012 (HB575):

A new law gives the Russell County community of Phenix City the option to install automated cameras at intersections.
HB575 authorizes the city council to adopt an ordinance to use red-light cameras.


5/15/2012 (HB575):

A bill on the governor’s desk would give the Russell County community of Phenix City the option to install automated cameras at intersections.
HB575 would authorize the city council to adopt an ordinance to use red-light cameras.
For bill status, call 334-242-7600. In Alabama, call 800-499-3052.

5/16/2012 (HB548):

A bill is likely dead for the year that sought to give the town of Prichard in Mobile County authorization to post automated cameras to ticket drivers for running red lights.
HB548 would have authorized the city council to adopt an ordinance to use red-light cameras

 

5/15/2012 (SB534 & SB546):

A bill is likely dead for the year that sought to authorize the city of Irondale to post automated cameras to ticket drivers for running red lights.
SB534 would have authorized the city council to adopt an ordinance to use red-light cameras.

 

 

5/15/2012 (SB545):

A bill is likely dead for the year that sought to authorize the towns in Jefferson County to post automated cameras to ticket drivers for running red lights.
SB545 would have authorized city councils to adopt an ordinance to use red-light cameras.

5/1/2012 (HB575):

House lawmakers voted unanimously to advance a bill that would give the Russell County community of Phenix City the option to install automated cameras at intersections.
HB575 would authorize the city council to adopt an ordinance to use red-light cameras.
The bill now awaits Senate floor consideration.
For bill status, call 334-242-7600. In Alabama, call 800-499-3052.

5/1/2012 (SB534 & SB546):

Awaiting consideration on the Senate floor is a bill to authorize the city of Irondale to post automated cameras to ticket drivers for running red lights. If approved, it would advance to the House. SB534 would authorize the city council to adopt an ordinance to use red-light cameras.
For Senate bill status, call 334-242-7800. In Alabama, call 800-499-3051.

5/1/2012 (SB545):

Awaiting consideration on the Senate floor is a bill to authorize the towns in Jefferson County to post automated cameras to ticket drivers for running red lights. If approved, it would advance to the House. SB545 would authorize city councils to adopt an ordinance to use red-light cameras.
For Senate bill status, call 334-242-7800. In Alabama, call 800-499-3051.

5/1/2012 (HB548):

The town of Prichard in Mobile County could soon get authorization to post automated cameras to ticket drivers for running red lights. HB548 would authorize the city council to adopt an ordinance to use red-light cameras.
The bill remains in a House committee with the Legislature’s projected adjournment in mid May.
For House bill status, call 334-242-7600. In Alabama, call 800-499-3052.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

05/16/2012 - Fuel Tax Revenue

5/16/2012 (SB185):

A bill is likely dead for the year that sought to use fuel tax revenue for “vegetation management” along county roads.
Alabama law now routes 4 cents of the state’s fuel tax collected for state and local road and bridge work.
SB185 would have authorized using the 4-cent excise tax to control overgrowth and weeds on the rights-of-way of county roads.


4/16/2012:

The Senate voted unanimously to advance a bill to the House that would use fuel tax revenue for “vegetation management” along county roads.
Alabama law now routes 4 cents of the state’s fuel tax collected for state and local road and bridge work.
SB185 would authorize using the 4-cent excise tax to control overgrowth and weeds on the rights-of-way of county roads.
The bill is in the House Ways and Means General Fund Committee.
For bill status, call 334-242-7800. In Alabama, call 800-499-3051.


3/13/2012:

Awaiting consideration on the Senate floor is a bill that would use fuel tax revenue for “vegetation management” along county roads.
Alabama law now routes 4 cents of the state’s fuel tax collected for state and local road and bridge work.
SB185 would authorize using the 4-cent excise tax to control overgrowth and weeds on the rights-of-way of county roads.
For Senate bill status, call 334-242-7800. In Alabama, call 800-499-3051.

 

05/23/2012 - 'Move Over' Law

5/23/2012 (SB80):

A new law tweaks the state’s “move over” law.
Alabama law already requires travelers to make way for vehicles, typically emergency personnel, during roadside stops. Violators face $25 fines.
SB80 adds utility service vehicles to the protected list.

5/16/2012 (HB76):

HB76 is likely dead. However, the Senate version – SB80 – is now law.


3/27/2012 (HB76):

The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee voted unanimously to advance a bill to tweak the state’s Move Over law.
State law requires travelers to make way for vehicles, typically emergency personnel, during roadside stops.
HB76 would add utility service vehicles to the protected list.
The bill is awaiting consideration on the Senate floor. If approved there, it would move to the governor’s desk. House lawmakers already approved it.
For bill status, call 334-242-7600. In Alabama, call 800-499-3052.


3/1/2012 (HB76):

The House voted to advance a bill that would tweak the state’s Move Over law. It now moves to the Senate.
State law requires travelers to make way for vehicles, typically emergency personnel, during roadside stops.
HB76 would add utility service vehicles to the protected list.
The bill is awaiting consideration in the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.
For bill status, call 334-242-7600. In Alabama, call 800-499-3052.

2/23/2012 (SB80):

A bill awaiting consideration on the House floor would tweak the state’s “move over” law. The Senate already approved it. Alabama law requires travelers to make way for vehicles, typically emergency personnel, during roadside stops. Violators face $25 fines.
SB80 would add utility service vehicles to the protected list.
For bill status, call 334-242-7800. In Alabama, call 800-499-3051.


2/8/2012 (SB80):

A bill in the Senate Commerce, Transportation and Utilities Committee would tweak the state’s Move Over law.
State law requires travelers to make way for vehicles, typically emergency personnel, during roadside stops.
Sponsored by Sen. Dick Brewbaker, R-Montgomery, SB80 would add utility service vehicles to the protected list.
For Senate bill status, call 334-242-7800. In Alabama, call 800-499-3051.


12/27/2011 (SB80):

Sen. Dick Brewbaker, R-Montgomery, has prefiled a bill for consideration during the upcoming session that would tweak the state’s Move Over law.
State law requires travelers to make way for vehicles, typically emergency personnel, during roadside stops.
SB80 would add utility service vehicles to the protected list.
The bill is awaiting assignment to committee for the session that begins Feb. 7.
For Senate bill status, call 334-242-7800. In Alabama, call 800-499-3051.

 

 

 

 

05/08/2012 - Text Messaging

5/8/2012 (HB2):

Gov. Robert Bentley signed into law Tuesday, May 8, a bill to prohibit sending text messages, instant messages and emails while driving. It takes effect Aug. 1.
Previously HB2, the new law also authorizes primary enforcement. Offenders would face $25 fines. Subsequent offenses would result in escalating fines. In addition, two penalty points would be added to offenders’ licenses for each violation.


2/23/2012:

A bill awaiting consideration on the Senate floor would prohibit all drivers from text messaging while behind the wheel. The House already approved it.
Currently, only the state’s youngest drivers are forbidden from engaging in the distracting activity.
HB2 would authorize police to pull drivers over solely for texting. Fines would start at $25 and two points would be added to licenses.
For bill status, call 334-242-7600. In Alabama, call 800-499-3052.


2/7/2012:

A bill in the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee would prohibit all drivers from text messaging while behind the wheel.
Currently, only the state’s youngest drivers are forbidden from engaging in the distracting activity.
Sponsored by Rep. Jim McClendon, R-Springville, HB2 would authorize police to pull drivers over solely for texting. Fines would start at $25.
For House bill status, call 334-242-7600. In Alabama, call 800-499-3052.


9/20/2011:

Rep. Jim McClendon, R-Springville, has prefiled a bill for consideration during the upcoming session that would prohibit all drivers from text messaging while behind the wheel.
Currently, only the state’s youngest drivers are forbidden from engaging in the distracting activity.
HB2 would authorize police to pull drivers over solely for texting. Fines would start at $25.
The bill can be considered during the session that starts Feb. 7.
For House bill status, call 334-242-7600. In Alabama, call 800-499-3052.

 

05/16/2012 - Indemnification Clauses

5/16/2012 (SB219):

SB219 has died. However, the House version – HB339 – now is law.

5/14/2012 (HB339):

Gov. Robert Bentley has signed into law a bill to do away with indemnification clauses in trucking contracts. The clauses are set up to protect shippers or hold them harmless from anything that happens with a shipment. Previously HB339, the new law outlaws the provisions in contracts that provide for shippers to be indemnified for losses caused by their own negligence and make them “void and unenforceable.” It took effect immediately.
Affected contracts in the Alabama bill are defined as “a bill of lading, contract, agreement, or other understanding” between a motor carrier and a shipper covering the transportation of property for hire by the motor carrier, entry on property to load, unload or transport property, including the storage of property.
The protection does not apply to intermodal chassis, containers, or other intermodal equipment.


5/2/2012 (HB339):

The Senate voted unanimously to advance a House-approved bill to Gov. Robert Bentley’s desk to outlaw an unfair provision attached to certain trucking contracts.
HB339 would do away with indemnification clauses in trucking contracts. The clauses are set up to protect shippers or hold them harmless from anything that happens with a shipment.
The bill would prohibit provisions in motor carrier contracts that provide for shippers to be indemnified for losses caused by their own negligence and make them “void and unenforceable.”
Affected contracts are defined as “a contract, agreement, or other understanding” between a motor carrier and a shipper covering the transportation of property for hire by the motor carrier, entry on property to load, unload or incidental services, including the storage of property.
The protection would not apply to intermodal chassis, containers, or other intermodal equipment.


4/16/2012 (HB339):

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 7-3 to advance a bill to outlaw an unfair provision attached to certain trucking contracts.
HB339 now moves to the Senate floor for further consideration. If approved there, it would advance to the governor’s desk. House lawmakers already approved it.
The bill would do away with indemnification clauses in trucking contracts. The clauses are set up to protect shippers or hold them harmless from anything that happens with a shipment.
The bill would prohibit provisions in motor carrier contracts that provide for shippers to be indemnified for losses caused by their own negligence and make them “void and unenforceable.”
Affected contracts are defined as “a contract, agreement, or other understanding” between a motor carrier and a shipper covering the transportation of property for hire by the motor carrier, entry on property to load, unload or incidental services, including the storage of property.
The protection would not apply to intermodal chassis, containers, or other intermodal equipment.
For bill status, call 334-242-7600. In Alabama, call 800-499-3052.


4/10/2012 (HB339):

House lawmakers voted 69-12 to advance a bill to outlaw an unfair provision attached to certain trucking contracts. It now moves to the Senate.
HB339 is intended to improve fairness for truck drivers doing business in the state.
The bill would do away with indemnification clauses in trucking contracts. The clauses are set up to protect shippers or hold them harmless from anything that happens with a shipment.
The bill would prohibit provisions in motor carrier contracts that provide for shippers to be indemnified for losses caused by their own negligence and make them “void and unenforceable.”
Affected contracts are defined as “a contract, agreement, or other understanding” between a motor carrier and a shipper covering the transportation of property for hire by the motor carrier, entry on property to load, unload or incidental services, including the storage of property.
The protection would not apply to intermodal chassis, containers, or other intermodal equipment.
The bill is awaiting consideration in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
For bill status, call 334-242-7600. In Alabama, call 800-499-3052.


3/27/2012 (HB339):

The House Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure Committee voted to advance a bill to outlaw an unfair provision attached to certain trucking contracts.
Sponsored by Rep. Ronald Johnson, R-Sylacauga, HB339 is intended to improve fairness for truck drivers doing business in the state.
The bill would do away with indemnification clauses in trucking contracts. The clauses are set up to protect shippers or hold them harmless from anything that happens with a shipment.
The bill would prohibit provisions in motor carrier contracts that provide for shippers to be indemnified for losses caused by their own negligence and make them “void and unenforceable.”
Affected contracts are defined as “a contract, agreement, or other understanding” between a motor carrier and a shipper covering the transportation of property for hire by the motor carrier, entry on property to load, unload or incidental services, including the storage of property.
The protection would not apply to intermodal chassis, containers, or other intermodal equipment.
The bill is awaiting consideration on the House floor.
For House bill status, call 334-242-7600. In Alabama, call 800-499-3052.


3/13/2012 (HB339):

A bill in the House Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure Committee would outlaw an unfair provision attached to certain trucking contracts.
Sponsored by Rep. Ronald Johnson, R-Sylacauga, HB339 is intended to improve fairness for truck drivers doing business in the state.
The bill would do away with indemnification clauses in trucking contracts. The clauses are set up to protect shippers or hold them harmless from anything that happens with a shipment.
The bill would prohibit provisions in motor carrier contracts that provide for shippers to be indemnified for losses caused by their own negligence and make them “void and unenforceable.”
Affected contracts are defined as “a contract, agreement, or other understanding” between a motor carrier and a shipper covering the transportation of property for hire by the motor carrier, entry on property to load, unload or incidental services, including the storage of property.
The protection would not apply to intermodal chassis, containers, or other intermodal equipment.
For House bill status, call 334-242-7600. In Alabama, call 800-499-3052.
The Senate version – SB219 – is in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

3/13/2012 (SB219):

A bill in the Senate Judiciary Committee would outlaw an unfair provision attached to certain trucking contracts.
Sponsored by Sen. Gerald Dial, R-Lineville, SB219 would do away with indemnification clauses in trucking contracts. The clauses are set up to protect shippers or hold them harmless from anything that happens with a shipment.
The Alabama bill would prohibit provisions in motor carrier contracts that provide for shippers to be indemnified for losses caused by their own negligence and make them “void and unenforceable.”
Affected contracts are defined as “a contract, agreement, or other understanding” between a motor carrier and a shipper covering the transportation of property for hire by the motor carrier, entry on property to load, unload or incidental services, including the storage of property.
The protection would not apply to intermodal chassis, containers, or other intermodal equipment.
For Senate bill status, call 334-242-7800. In Alabama, call 800-499-3051.
The House version – HB339 – is in the House Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure Committee.

 

 

 

 

05/16/2012 - Road Bonds

5/16/2012 (SB339):

A bill is likely dead for the year that sought to authorize the Alabama Highway Authority to borrow up to $650 million in the next year by selling bonds. The money would have been used to repair or replace roads and bridges.
SB339 sought to create a five-member council to sign off on allocation of the money, including the state transportation director.
State law now leaves decisions on construction priorities up to the state transportation department, whose director is appointed by the governor.
The bill would have used a portion of the state’s 19-cent-per-gallon diesel tax – 13 cents – to pay for the bonds. Up to $32.5 million would have been allocated for individual counties. Three-quarters of a county’s portion would have been tied to bridge projects.


4/27/2012:

A bill in the House Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure Committee would authorize the Alabama Highway Authority to borrow up to $650 million in the next year by selling bonds. The money would be used to repair or replace roads and bridges. Sponsored by Sen. Paul Bussman, R-Cullman, SB339 has already passed the Senate.
The bill would create a five-member council to sign off on allocation of the money, including the state transportation director.
State law now leaves decisions on construction priorities up to the state transportation department, whose director is appointed by the governor.
The bill would use a portion of the state’s 19-cent-per-gallon diesel tax – 13 cents – to pay for the bonds. Up to $32.5 million would be allocated for individual counties. Three-quarters of a county’s portion would be tied to bridge projects.
For bill status, call 334-242-7800. In Alabama, call 800-499-3051.


4/17/2012 (SB339):

The Senate voted unanimously to advance to the House a bill that would authorize the Alabama Highway Authority to borrow up to $650 million in the next year by selling bonds. The money would be used to repair or replace roads and bridges.
Sponsored by Sen. Paul Bussman, R-Cullman, SB339 would create a five-member council to sign off on allocation of the money, including the state transportation director.
State law now leaves decisions on construction priorities up to the state transportation department, whose director is appointed by the governor.
The bill would use a portion of the state’s 19-cent-per-gallon diesel tax – 13 cents – to pay for the bonds. Up to $32.5 million would be allocated for individual counties. Three-quarters of a county’s portion would be tied to bridge projects.
The bill is awaiting assignment to committee in the House.
For bill status, call 334-242-7800. In Alabama, call 800-499-3051.

 

State Watches

01/12/2012 - Transportation Funding

1/12/2012:

Gov. Robert Bentley spoke this week on transportation funding for his state. He announced plans to borrow up to $2 billion for road and bridge repairs, if voters approve.
In November 2010, voters rejected a plan to reroute about $1 billion from the Alabama Trust Fund to pay off bonds for road and bridge improvements. The state savings account contains money from natural gas wells drilled in state-owned waters along the coastline.
Bentley also told assembled media in Birmingham that the state Department of Transportation is pursuing plans to build toll roads in south Alabama. He said there are no plans to pursue charging users to use existing roads.
State lawmakers can work on specifics of the governor’s plan, and any other transportation bills, during the session that begins Feb. 7.

 

2011

State Issues

03/17/2011 - Text Messaging

7/7/2011 (HB102):

A bill has died without getting a Senate floor vote that sought to prohibit all drivers from sending text messages while driving. The state’s youngest drivers already are forbidden from engaging in the distracting activity.
The House-approved bill – HB102 – called for making violations a primary offense, which would authorize police to pull over drivers solely for texting. Fines would have started at $25.


4/28/2011:

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted unanimously to advance a bill to the Senate floor that would prohibit all drivers from sending text messages while driving. The state’s youngest drivers already are forbidden from engaging in the distracting activity.
HB102 would make violations a primary offense, which would authorize police to pull over drivers solely for texting. Fines would start at $25.
If approved by the full Senate, it would move to the governor’s desk. The House already approved it.
For bill status, call 334-242-7600. In Alabama, call 800-499-3052.


4/13/2011:

The House voted 86-2 to advance a bill to Senate that would prohibit all drivers from sending text messages while driving. The state’s youngest drivers already are forbidden from engaging in the distracting activity.
HB102 would make violations a primary offense, which would authorize police to pull over drivers solely for texting. Fines would start at $25.
The bill is in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
For bill status, call 334-242-7600. In Alabama, call 800-499-3052.


3/17/2011:

A bill awaiting consideration on the House floor would prohibit all drivers from sending text messages while driving. Currently, only the state’s youngest drivers are forbidden from engaging in the distracting activity.
HB102 would also outlaw inputting data into global positioning or navigation devices.
Violations would be a primary offense, which would authorize police to pull over drivers solely for texting. Fines would start at $25.
For House bill status, call 334-242-7600. In Alabama, call 800-499-3052.

 

07/07/2011 - Speed Enforcement

7/7/2011 (SB19):

A bill died in committee that sought to give law enforcement in small towns the authority to ticket speeders on interstates.
Since 1996, Alabama law has prohibited police in cities with fewer than 19,000 residents from enforcing speed laws on interstate highways. The ban was attached to a bill boosting speeds to 70 mph.
SB19 would have allowed police in affected towns to issue speeding tickets on interstate highways.

 

6/7/2011 (SB33):

A bill has died that sought to give law enforcement in small towns the authority to ticket speeders on interstates.
Since 1996, Alabama law has prohibited police in cities with fewer than 19,000 residents from enforcing speed laws on interstate highways. The ban was attached to a bill boosting speeds to 70 mph.
SB33 would have allowed police in affected towns to issue speeding tickets on interstate highways. Speed enforcement would also have been allowed for all police departments on roads outside of city limits but within their jurisdictions.

3/17/2011 (SB19):

A bill in the Senate Highways, Roads and Bridges Committee would give law enforcement in small towns the authority to ticket speeders on interstates.
Since 1996, Alabama law has prohibited police in cities with fewer than 19,000 residents from enforcing speed laws on interstate highways. The ban was attached to a bill boosting speeds to 70 mph.
Sponsored by Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, SB19 would allow police in affected towns to issue speeding tickets on interstate highways.
For Senate bill status, call 334-242-7800. In Alabama, call 800-499-3051.

 

 

06/07/2011 - Ticket Cameras

6/7/2011 (SB356):

Gov. Robert Bentley signed into law a bill to allow the city of Montgomery to use cameras to enforce speeding in certain areas. The devices can be posted inside marked police vehicles.
Previously SB356, the new law permits the city to use cameras to enforce speeding in construction zones, near schools and in neighborhoods. Fines could be as much as $100.

 

State Watches

09/20/2011 - Road Safety Efforts

9/20/2011:

An Alabama state lawmaker has renewed his effort to give law enforcement in small towns the authority to ticket speeders on interstates. A separate effort is intended to reduce driver distractions.
Since 1996, Alabama law has prohibited police in cities with fewer than 19,000 residents from enforcing speed laws on interstate highways. The ban was attached to a bill boosting speeds to 70 mph.
Sen. Gerald Dial, R-Lineville, has prefiled a bill for consideration during the 2012 regular session that would allow police in affected towns to issue speeding tickets on interstate highways.
The bill – SB8 – also would allow speed enforcement for all police departments on roads outside of city limits but within their jurisdictions.
Dial pursued the authorization during the 2011 regular session, but it did not get a vote on the Senate floor after advancing from committee.
Another bill would prohibit all drivers from text messaging while behind the wheel. Currently, only the state’s youngest drivers are forbidden from engaging in the distracting activity.
HB2 would authorize police to pull drivers over solely for texting. Fines would start at $25.
The bills can be considered during the session that starts in February 2012.

 

2010

State Issues

01/25/2010 - Road Funds

4/28/2010 (SB2):

A bill has died that sought to propose an amendment to the Alabama Constitution to provide for an eight year road and bridge construction program to be funded with appropriations from the Alabama Trust Fund.
Sponsored by Sen. Steve French, R-Birmingham, SB2 remained in the Senate Finance and Taxation-General Fund Committee when the session ended, effectively killing it for the year.
The bill also would have provided funds for Redstone Arsenal and the Coastal Insurance Program Fund, which was created in this amendment.

4/27/2010 (SB121):

The Legislature has given the go-ahead to put before voters a question about spending $1 billion on road and bridge projects throughout the state.
The House voted 86-13 to agree on changes to the bill, which would reroute money from a state savings account for roads and bridges. Senators followed suit on a 25-8 vote. Because it is a proposed amendment to the Alabama Constitution, voters will get the final say on the general election ballot Nov. 2.
SB121 seeks to remove $100 million annually for 10 years from the Alabama Trust Fund. The fund has about $2.6 billion accumulated from natural gas wells drilled in state-owned waters along the Alabama coast..
The state would divide $25 million annually among its 67 counties and their cities for road and bridge work. Another $75 million each year would be routed to the Alabama Department of Transportation.
The current balance of the trust fund is $2.5 billion. A provision in the bill calls for annual withdrawals to end if the balance dipped below $2 billion.

4/7/2010 (SB121):

A bill in the House Government Appropriations Committee would reroute money from a state savings account for roads and bridges. Because it is a proposed amendment to the Alabama Constitution, voters would get the final say as early as this November. The Senate has already approved it.
SB121 would remove $100 million annually for 10 years from the Alabama Trust Fund. The fund has about $2.6 billion accumulated from natural gas wells drilled in state-owned waters along the Alabama coast.
The state would divide $25 million annually among its 67 counties and their cities for road and bridge work. Another $75 million each year would be routed to the Alabama Department of Transportation.
The current balance of the trust fund is $2.5 billion. A provision added to the bill calls for annual withdrawals to end if the balance dipped below $2 billion.
For bill status, call 334-242-7800. In Alabama, call 800-499-3051.


3/12/2010 (SB121):

The Senate voted 25-10 Thursday, March 11, to forward a bill to the House that would reroute money from a state savings account for roads and bridges. Because it is a proposed amendment to the Alabama Constitution, voters would get the final say as early as this November.
SB121 would remove $100 million annually for 10 years from the Alabama Trust Fund. The fund has about $2.6 billion accumulated from natural gas wells drilled in state-owned waters along the Alabama coast.
The state would divide $25 million annually among its 67 counties and their cities for road and bridge work. Another $75 million each year would be routed to the Alabama Department of Transportation.
The current balance of the trust fund is $2.5 billion. A provision added to the bill calls for annual withdrawals to end if the balance dipped below $2 billion.
For bill status, call 334-242-7800. In Alabama, call 800-499-3051.


1/29/2010 (SB2):

A bill in the Senate Finance and Taxation-General Fund Committee would propose an amendment to the Alabama Constitution to provide for an eight year road and bridge construction program to be funded with appropriations from the Alabama Trust Fund and to provide for funds for Redstone Arsenal and the Coastal Insurance Program Fund which is created in this amendment.
SB2 is sponsored by Sen. Steve French, R-Birmingham.
For Senate bill status, call 334-242-7800. In Alabama, call 800-499-3051.


1/25/2010 (SB121):

The Senate Finance and Taxation-General Fund Committee has forwarded a bill to the full Senate that would reroute money from a state savings account for roads and bridges throughout the state.
Sponsored by Sen. Lowell Barron, D-Fyffe, SB121 would remove $100 million annually for 10 years from the Alabama Trust Fund. The fund has about $2.6 billion accumulated from natural gas wells drilled in state-owned waters along the Alabama coast.
The state would divide $25 million annually among its 67 counties and their cities for road and bridge work. Another $75 million each year would be routed to the Alabama Department of Transportation.
To become law, voters would have to sign off on it Nov. 2. If approved, the money would be allocated in 2011.
For Senate bill status, call 334-242-7800. In Alabama, call 800-499-3051.


10/27/2009 (SB2):

Sen. Steve French, R-Birmingham, has prefiled a bill – SB2 – for the 2010 regular session that would propose an amendment to the Alabama Constitution to provide for an eight year road and bridge construction program to be funded with appropriations from the Alabama Trust Fund and to provide for funds for Redstone Arsenal and the Coastal Insurance Program Fund which is created in this amendment.
For Senate bill status, call 334-242-7800. In Alabama, call 800-499-3051.

 

 

 

 

 

 

05/13/2010 - Auxiliary Power Units

5/13/2010 (SB288):

Gov. Bob Riley signed a bill into law on the final day of the legislative session to increase the maximum gross vehicle, axle weight limits for large trucks equipped with idle reduction technology. Trucks equipped with auxiliary power units are now authorized to weigh up to an additional 400 pounds.
Previously SB288, the new law takes effect took effect immediately.

4/28/2010 (HB127):

A bill has died that sought to increase the maximum gross vehicle, axle weight limits for large trucks equipped with idle reduction technology. Trucks equipped with auxiliary power units would still have been authorized to weigh up to an additional 400 pounds.
HB127 didn’t come up for a vote before the full Senate before the session ended, effectively killing it for the year. The House previously approved it.


3/8/2010 (HB127):

The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved a bill that would increase the maximum gross vehicle, axle weight limits for large trucks equipped with idle reduction technology. Trucks equipped with auxiliary power units would be authorized to weigh up to an additional 400 pounds.
HB127 now moves to the full Senate for consideration. If approved there, it would advance to Gov. Bob Riley’s desk. House lawmakers have already endorsed it by unanimous consent.
For bill status, call 334-242-7600. In Alabama, call 800-499-3052.


1/21/2010 (HB127):

The House unanimously approved a bill that would increase the maximum gross vehicle, axle weight limits for large trucks equipped with idle reduction technology. Trucks equipped with auxiliary power units would be authorized to weigh up to an additional 400 pounds.
HB127 has moved to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
For bill status, call 334-242-7600. In Alabama, call 800-499-3052.

 

 

07/01/2010 - Red Light Cameras

7/1/2010 (HB566):

A new law allows the city of Tuscaloosa to install automatic cameras at intersections to photograph the license plates of red-light violators.
Previously HB566, the new law gives the city council authority to adopt rules for installing and operating cameras at intersections controlled by traffic lights. Cameras will photograph the license tags only.

 

04/28/2010 - 'First Responders' Fee

6/18/2010 (HB306):

Gov. Bob Riley has signed a bill into law prohibiting communities from charging a fee when police and fire personnel respond to vehicle accidents.
Previously HB306, the new law forbids the levying of fees for the response of vehicle accidents by law enforcement. It took effect immediately.
Officers or any entity cannot charge a “first responders” fee on drivers, owners of vehicles or insurance providers. The ban does not affect volunteer fire departments or rescue squads.


4/28/2010:

A bill on its way to Gov. Bob Riley’s desk would prohibit communities from charging a fee when police and fire personnel respond to vehicle accidents.
The Senate unanimously approved the bill to outlaw levying fees for the response of vehicle accidents by law enforcement. The vote cleared the way for the bill to move to the governor. House lawmakers have already endorsed the measure by unanimous consent.
HB306 would forbid a law enforcement agency, officer or any entity from charging a “first responders” fee on drivers, owners of vehicles or insurance providers. The ban would not affect volunteer fire departments or rescue squads.
For bill status, call 334-242-7600. In Alabama, call 800-499-3052.

 

State Watches

12/21/2009 - Road Funds

12/21/2009:

Sen. Lowell Barron, D-Fyffe, is leading the charge among members of the Senate Democratic Caucus for a proposed amendment to the Alabama Constitution that would reroute money from a state savings account for roads and bridges.
Barron is pursuing the removal of $100 million annually for 10 years from the Alabama Trust Fund. The fund has about $2.6 billion accumulated from natural gas wells drilled in state-owned waters along the Alabama coast.
The state would divide $25 million annually among its 67 counties and their cities for road and bridge work. Another $75 million each year would be routed to the Alabama Department of Transportation.
To become law, voters would make the final decision on the matter in November 2010. If approved, the money would be allocated in 2011.

 

Contact Info

Session runs from Feb. 5 to May 20.

Contact Numbers:
Senate general info and bill status: 334-242-7800
Senate bill status (in AL): 800-499-3051
House general info and bill status: 334-242-7600
House bill status (in AL): 800-499-3052

Alaska

2016

State Issues

03/01/2016 - Fuel Tax

3/1/2016 (HB249):

The House Transportation Committee voted to advance a bill to double the 8-cent-per-gallon fuel tax rate to 16 cents.
HB249 now moves to the House Finance Committee.
The Senate version, SB132, is in the Senate Finance Committee.

3/1/2016 (SB132):

The Senate Transportation Committee has voted to advance a bill to double the 8-cent-per-gallon fuel tax rate to 16 cents.
A change made to SB132 in committee would make the rate hike contingent on the price of oil remaining below $85 per barrel. Regardless, the rate would revert to the current level on July 1, 2018.
The motor fuel rate hike would raise an estimated $32 million per year. Fuel tax revenue would continue to be routed to the state’s general fund.
The bill now moves to the Senate Finance Committee.
The House version, HB249, is in the House Finance Committee.

2/2/2016 (HB249):

A bill in the House Transportation Committee would raise the state’s fuel tax rate.
HB249 would double the existing 8-cent-per-gallon rate by 16 cents.
The Senate version, SB132, is in the Senate Transportation Committee.

2/2/2016 (SB132):

A bill in the Senate Transportation Committee would raise the state’s fuel tax rate.
SB132 would double the existing 8-cent-per-gallon rate by 16 cents.
The House version, HB249, is in the House Transportation Committee.

 

 

 

 

2015

State Issues

05/01/2015 - Daylight Saving Time

5/1/2015 (HB64):

A bill died that sought to change the state’s observance of daylight saving time. HB64 permitted the state to stay on standard time year-round. It would have taken effect in 2017.

5/1/2015 (SB6):

A bill died that sought to change the state’s observance of daylight saving time. SB6 called for permitting the state to stay on standard time year-round. It would have taken effect in 2017.

5/1/2015 (SB11):

A bill died that sought to change the state’s observance of daylight saving time. SB11 called for permitting the state to stay on standard time year-round. It would have taken effect in 2016.

2/27/2015 (HB64):

A bill in the House State Affairs Committee would change the state’s observance of daylight saving time.
Sponsored by Rep. Mike Hawker, R-Anchorage, HB64 would permit the state to stay on standard time year-round. It would take effect in 2017.

2/27/2015 (SB6):

A bill in the Senate Finance Committee would change the state’s observance of daylight saving time.
Sponsored by Sen. Anna MacKinnon, R-Eagle River, SB6 would permit the state to stay on standard time year-round. It would take effect in 2017.

2/27/2015 (SB11):

A bill in the Senate State Affairs Committee would change the state’s observance of daylight saving time.
Sponsored by Sen. Bill Wielechowski, D-Anchorage, SB11 would permit the state to stay on standard time year-round. It would take effect in 2016.

 

 

 

2012

State Issues

05/24/2012 - Text Messaging

5/24/2012 (HB255):

A new law clarifies the state’s existing text messaging ban. Previously, the state law didn’t specifically mention texting. HB255 adds wording that is intended to nix any potential court challenges.
The change took effect immediately.


4/12/2012:

A bill halfway through the Legislature would make a clarification to the state’s existing ban on texting while driving, which doesn’t specifically mention texting.
HB255 would add wording that is intended to nix any potential court challenges.
For bill status, call 907-465-4648.

 

04/24/2012 - Dedicated Transportation Fund

4/24/2012 (HJR4):

An effort has died that sought to amend the Alaska Constitution to create a dedicated transportation fund.
The effort – House Joint Resolution 4 – would have given voters the final say on the issue during the upcoming November election.


4/5/2012:

The Senate Transportation Committee voted Tuesday, April 3, to advance legislation to amend the Alaska Constitution to create a dedicated transportation fund.
The effort – House Joint Resolution 4 – must clear the Senate Finance Committee before it can go before the full Senate. If approved there by a two-thirds margin, it would head to the governor. House lawmakers already approved the measure on a 27-9 vote.
Voters would get the final say on the issue during the upcoming November election because HJR4 would require the state’s constitution to be changed.
The fund would rely on a one-time $1 billion appropriation that must be approved in separate legislation. Also routed to the fund would be half of the transportation related fees such as Department of Motor Vehicle collections and fuel tax revenue.
For bill status, call 907-746-4648.

 

Contact Info

Legislature runs from Jan. 15 to April 14.

Website: http://akleg.gov/index.php

Contact Numbers:

General Information 907-465-4648

Arizona

2015

State Issues

01/05/2015 - Daylight Saving Time

1/5/2015 (HB2014):

Rep. Phil Lovas, R-Peoria, withdrew a bill from consideration. HB2014 sought to put the state on daylight saving time.
Lovas said although he thinks it is a good idea to sync the state with 48 other states where time changes are a regular occurrence, most of the feedback he received was against the idea.

 

04/28/2015 - Ticket Quotas

4/28/2015 (HB2410):

Gov. Doug Ducey has vetoed a bill that was intended to quash police ticket quotas.
Ducey said in his veto message he was concerned the bill would prevent police chiefs from “objectively gauging performance in their departments.”
He also wrote that “while quotas for traffic complaints don’t currently appear to be happening in Arizona law enforcement entities, none of us want to see such policies implemented. Therefore, I understand the intent of House Bill 2410.”
The governor said he remains open to working to find ways to ensure quotas don’t become a practice in Arizona.
HB2410 called for prohibiting law enforcement agencies at the local, county and state level from requiring officers to issue a certain number of citations within a specific period of time.
Departments would have been prohibited from using the number of citations written by officers to determine rank.
One provision removed from the bill called for prohibiting departments from using the number of traffic tickets issued by officers to determine the officer’s classification.

3/27/2015 (HB2376):

A bill died in committee that sought to prohibit local governments and police departments from requiring officers to issue a certain number of citations within a specific period of time.
HB2376 would also have prohibited departments from using the number of citations written by officers to determine rank or classification.
The changes would not have affected county and state law enforcement agencies.
A similar bill, HB2410, however is moving to the governor’s desk.

3/17/2015 (HB2410):

The Senate Public Safety, Military and Technology Committee voted unanimously to advance a bill that would prohibit law enforcement agencies from requiring officers to issue a certain number of citations within a specific period of time.
House lawmakers already approved the bill on a 54-4 vote. HB2410 now awaits consideration on the Senate floor. If approved there, it would move to the governor’s desk.
Departments would be prohibited from using the number of citations written by officers to determine rank or classification.
An amendment added to the bill would also apply the changes to county and state law enforcement agencies.

2/9/2015 (HB2410):

The House County and Municipal Affairs Committee voted unanimously to advance a bill that would prohibit local governments and police departments from requiring officers to issue a certain number of citations within a specific period of time.
Sponsored by Rep. David Stevens, R-Sierra Vista, HB2410 would also prohibit departments from using the number of citations written by officers to determine rank or classification.
The changes would not affect county and state law enforcement agencies.
The bill awaits further consideration on the House floor. If approved there, it would move to the Senate.

2/9/2015 (HB2376):

A bill in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee would prohibit local governments and police departments from requiring officers to issue a certain number of citations within a specific period of time.
HB2376 would also prohibit departments from using the number of citations written by officers to determine rank or classification.
The changes would not affect county and state law enforcement agencies.

 

 

 

 

 

04/23/2015 - Towing Rules

4/23/2015 (HB2416):

Gov. Doug Ducey has signed into law a bill that covers towing operations. It takes effect in July.
Previously HB2416, the new law requires the Department of Public Safety to conduct rate surveys and create a heavy duty rotator recovery vehicle classification for towing services. A requirement for towers to notify consumers of their right to file a complaint with the DPS if they believe they have been assessed unreasonable charges is included.

4/23/2015 (HB2523):

Gov. Doug Ducey has signed into law a bill that covers towing.
HB2523 permits vehicle owners to choose any towing company or tow operator to move a vehicle from a towing company’s storage premises to a repair facility.
The new rule takes effect July 1.

4/2/2015 (HB2416):

The Senate voted 26-1 on Thursday, April 2, to advance a bill that would require the Department of Public Safety to conduct rate surveys and create a heavy duty rotator recovery vehicle classification for towing services.
HB2416 includes a requirement for towers to notify consumers of their right to file a complaint with the DPS if they believe they have been assessed unreasonable charges.
The bill now heads back to the House for consideration of changes. If approved there, it would move to Gov. Doug Ducey’s desk.

4/2/2015 (HB2523):

A bill headed to Gov. Doug Ducey’s desk covers towing rules.
HB2523 would permit vehicle owners to choose any towing company or tow operator to move a vehicle from a towing company’s storage premises to a repair facility.

 

 

 

 

05/08/2015 - Police Uniform Cameras

5/8/2015 (SB1300):

A new law covers the use of police-worn cameras. SB1300 sets up a study committee to recommend policies and laws on the use of images and recordings captured by the devices.

Contact Info

Session runs from Jan. 14 to late April.

Contact Numbers:
Senate general info and bills status 602-926-3559
House general info and bill status 602-926-4221
General info and bill status (in AZ) 800-352-8404

 

Arkansas

2015

State Issues

06/26/2015 - License Plate Readers

6/26/2015 (HB1744):

A new law authorizes the use of automated license plate readers at weigh stations.
Previously HB1744, the new law authorizes state police to use the readers to verify registration, logs, and other compliance data.
Data can be kept for as long as 150 days.

 

04/13/2015 - Indemnity Protection

4/13/2015 (SB755):

Gov. Asa Hutchinson recently signed a bill into law to do away with indemnification clauses in trucking contracts. The clauses are set up to protect shippers or hold them harmless from anything that happens with a shipment.
Already in effect, the new law forbids provisions in contracts that provide for shippers to be indemnified for losses caused by their own negligence and make them “void and unenforceable.”
Affected contracts in Arkansas are defined as “an express or implied contract, agreement, or understanding” between a motor carrier and a shipper covering the transportation of property for hire by the motor carrier, entry on property to load, unload, or transport property, including the storage of property.
The protection in SB755 does not apply to intermodal chassis, or other intermodal equipment.


3/10/2015:

The Senate voted 24-5 to do away with indemnification clauses in trucking contracts. The clauses are set up to protect shippers or hold them harmless from anything that happens with a shipment.
SB755 would outlaw provisions in contracts that provide for shippers to be indemnified for losses caused by their own negligence and make them “void and unenforceable.”
Affected contracts would be defined as “an express or implied contract, agreement, or understanding” between a motor carrier and a shipper covering the transportation of property for hire by the motor carrier, entry on property to load, unload, or transport property, including the storage of property.
The protection would not apply to intermodal chassis, or other intermodal equipment.
The bill awaits further consideration in the House. If approved there, it would move to the governor’s desk.

 

04/14/2015 - Towing Rules

4/14/2015 (SB562):

Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed a bill into law changes the consumer complaint resolution process for towing.
Previously SB562, the new law requires the Arkansas Towing and Recovery Board to resolve complaints within 45 days. The board is also authorized to order tow companies to make restitution payments under certain conditions.
The changes are set to take effect in late July.

4/14/2015 (SB893):

Gov. Asa Hutchinson has signed a bill into law that requires the Arkansas Towing and Recovery Board to set up a complaint process for the removal or suspension of a towing company from a non-consensual rotation list, and set fines for companies that violate rotation list policies.
Previously SB893, the new law also specifies the severity of potential violations and generally requires law enforcement agencies to establish rotation lists.
The change is set to take effect in late July.

 

 

State Watches

03/13/2015 - Uniform Speeds

3/13/2015:

After nearly two decades of keeping large truck speeds slower than other vehicles, Arkansas highways are days away from having uniform speeds posted for all vehicles.
The Arkansas Highway Commission approved an order on Wednesday, March 11, abandoning truck speed rules adopted in 1996. Since then, truck speeds on rural stretches of interstate have been 65 mph while motorists have been permitted to travel 70 mph. Speeds on urban interstates are posted at 60 mph for all vehicles.
Research has shown that a differential speed limit is not effective for the efficient flow of traffic, according to the order.
Danny Straessle, spokesman with the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, said the agency was noticing a lot of problems with congestion along Interstate 40 in east Arkansas.
“In some instances (the speed differential) actually delays traffic or causes congestion,” Straessle told Land Line. “It was a matter of ‘Are we really accomplishing anything with a differential speed limit?’ ‘Are we hurting the situation more than we are helping?’ So the commission made the decision to just go ahead and do away with the differential.”
Weather permitting, sign crews are scheduled to start removing the truck speed signage starting Monday, March 16. Straessle said it could take one week to make all needed updates. In the meantime, he said patrol officers will use discretion when enforcing the posted speed limit.
Straessle said the commission noted that none of Arkansas’ neighboring states has a speed differential. In fact, as Arkansas makes the switch only seven states continue to observe speed limit differentials. The holdouts are California, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, Montana, Oregon and Washington.
Officials with the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association welcome the long-overdue change in Arkansas. They say that roadways are safer when all vehicles are permitted to travel at the same rate of speed.

 

2013

State Issues

04/10/2013 - Left Lane Use

4/10/2013 (HB1180):

Gov. Mike Beebe signed a bill into law on Monday, April 8, that is intended to keep most drivers out of the fast lane. Currently, state law requires drivers to merge right only when another vehicle is trying to pass.
Effective this summer, HB1180 will make left lane use off limits for anything other than passing.
“Periodic signs” will be posted to alert travelers to the new rule.


4/3/2013:

The House voted to advance a bill that would prohibit hanging out in the left lane of multilane highways. It now moves to the Senate.
State law now requires drivers to merge right only when another vehicle is trying to pass.
HB1180 would make left lane use off limits for anything other than passing. Violators would face $100 fines.
The bill is in the Senate Transportation, Technology and Legislative Affairs Committee. For bill status, call 501-682-7771.


3/18/2013:

The House Public Transportation Committee voted to advance a bill that would prohibit hanging out in the left lane of multilane highways.
State law now requires drivers to merge right only when another vehicle is trying to pass.
HB1180 would make left lane use off limits for anything other than passing. Violators would face $100 fines.
For House bill status, call 501-682-7771.


2/4/2013:

A bill in the House Public Transportation Committee would prohibit hanging out in the left lane of multilane highways.
HB1180 calls for violators to face $100 fines.
For House bill status, call 501-682-7771.

 

04/23/2013 - Independent Contractors

4/23/2013 (SB802):

Gov. Mike Beebe signed into law a bill to clarify independent contractor status.
Previously SB802, the new law requires motor carriers to offer workers’ compensation to independent contractors. If owner-operators choose to accept the insurance coverage it would not terminate the individual’s independent contractor status.
The rule change takes effect in August.


4/10/2013:

The House Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee voted to advance a bill to the chamber floor that seeks to clarify independent contractor status.
Motor carriers would be required to offer workers’ compensation to independent contractors. If owner-operators choose to accept the insurance coverage it would not terminate the individual’s independent contractor status.
If approved by the full House, SB802 would head to the governor’s desk. The Senate already approved it by unanimous consent.
For bill status, call 501-682-6107.


4/4/2013:

The Senate voted to advance a bill that would clarify independent contractor status.
SB802 would require motor carriers to offer workers’ compensation to independent contractors. If owner-operators choose to accept the insurance coverage it would not terminate the individual’s independent contractor status.
The bill is in the House Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee. For bill status, call 501-682-6107.


3/15/2013:

A bill in the Senate Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee would clarify independent contractor status.
SB802 would require motor carriers to offer workers’ compensation to independent contractors. If owner-operators choose to accept the insurance coverage it would not terminate the individual’s independent contractor status.
For Senate bill status, call 501-682-6107.

 

05/24/2013 - Indemnity Protection

5/24/2013 (SB762):

A bill died that sought to prohibit unfair clauses in trucking contracts. SB762 remained in committee when the session ended.
The bill would have done away with indemnification clauses in trucking contracts. The clauses are set up to protect shippers or hold them harmless from anything that happens with a shipment.
Affected contracts typically are defined as a contract, agreement, or understanding between a motor carrier and a shipper covering the transportation of property for hire by the motor carrier, entry on property to load, unload or transport property, including the storage of property.
The protections sought exclude intermodal chassis, containers, or other intermodal equipment.


3/22/2013:

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance bill to prohibit unfair clauses in trucking contracts.
SB762 would do away with indemnification clauses in trucking contracts. The clauses are set up to protect shippers or hold them harmless from anything that happens with a shipment.
Affected contracts typically are defined as a contract, agreement, or understanding between a motor carrier and a shipper covering the transportation of property for hire by the motor carrier, entry on property to load, unload or transport property, including the storage of property.
The protections sought exclude intermodal chassis, containers, or other intermodal equipment.
For Senate bill status, call 501-682-6107.

 

2011

State Issues

03/16/2011 - Transportation Funds

4/22/2011 (HB1891):

A bill has died in the House that sought to divert some tax revenue on auto sales, auto parts and auto service to highways.
Sponsored by Rep. Duncan Baird, R-Lowell, HB1891 would have shifted general revenue from the sale of new and used cars, auto parts and auto service to special revenue dedicated to roads. The shift would have occurred incrementally over 10 years.


3/16/2011:

A bill in the House Public Transportation Committee would divert some tax revenue on auto sales, auto parts and auto service to highways.
Sponsored by Rep. Duncan Baird, R-Lowell, HB1891 would shift general revenue from the sale of new and used cars, auto parts and auto service to special revenue dedicated to roads. The shift would occur incrementally over 10 years.
For House bill status, call 501-682-7771.

 

03/16/2011 - Sales Tax

4/4/2011 (HJR1001):

Gov. Mike Beebe signed a bill to let voters decide on a temporary half-cent sales tax increase to fund bond programs to help address repairs and construction of a statewide four-lane highway system.
HJR1001 lets voters decide whether to increase the sales tax to pay for a $1.8 billion bond program for new highway construction.


3/29/2011:

The House voted 62-25 to advance an effort to the Senate that would let voters decide on a temporary half-cent sales tax increase to fund bond programs to help address repairs and construction of a statewide four-lane highway system.
A constitutional amendment sponsored by House Transportation Chairman Jonathan Barnett, R-Siloam Springs, would sunset after 10 years. HJR1001 would let voters decide whether to increase the sales tax to pay for a $1.8 billion bond program for new highway construction.
For bill status, call 501-682-7771.


3/16/2011:

An effort in the House would let voters decide on a temporary half-cent sales tax increase to fund bond programs to help address repairs and construction of a statewide four-lane highway system.
A constitutional amendment sponsored by House Transportation Chairman Jonathan Barnett, R-Siloam Springs, would sunset after 10 years. HJR1001 would let voters decide whether to increase the sales tax to pay for a $1.8 billion bond program for new highway construction.
For bill status, call 501-682-7771.

 

04/04/2011 - Diesel Tax

4/4/2011 (HB1902):

Gov. Mike Beebe signed a bill to allow voters to decide whether to boost the 22.5-cent diesel tax by five cents per gallon. The increase is one-half of a two-part plan to help fund nearly $3 billion in interstate highway repairs and construction throughout the state.
HB1902 exempts agricultural vehicles from the higher tax rate and limits the ballot measure to one vote.
Voters will get the final say on the tax increases, which would fund bond programs to help address repairs and construction of a statewide four-lane highway system.
The nickel increase in the diesel tax would be tacked on to the four cents of the tax now tied to a $575 million bond program for interstates, which was approved more than a decade ago. The bond program is slated to go before voters for renewal in 2012.
If the existing bond program is combined with the proposed diesel tax hike, about $1 billion would be made available for highway maintenance.

 

02/16/2011 - Cell Phone Restriction

2/16/2011 (SB154):

Gov. Mike Beebe signed a bill into law Wednesday, Feb. 16, that targets hand-held cell phone use in highway work zones and near schools. Violations would be a secondary offense.
Previously SB154, the new law prohibits use of the devices. It takes effect Oct. 1, 2011.

 

State Watches

03/01/2011 - Transportation Funds

3/1/2011:

One of the Arkansas Legislature’s more powerful members has a plan to fund nearly $3 billion in road repairs and construction throughout the state. If approved by voters, truckers would pay more tax at the pump.
House Speaker Robert Moore, D-Arkansas City, is readying a highway plan that relies on boosting the diesel tax by five cents per gallon. The other part of the plan relies on a temporary half-cent sales tax increase.
Voters would get the final say on the tax increases, which would fund bond programs to help address road repairs and construction of a statewide four-lane highway system. Cities and counties would each receive 15 percent of the funds.
The nickel increase in the diesel tax would be tacked on to the four cents of the tax now tied to a $575 million bond program for interstates, which was approved more than a decade ago. The bond program is slated to go before voters for renewal in 2012.
If the existing bond program is combined with the proposed diesel tax hike, about $1 billion would be made available for highway maintenance.
The sales tax increase would sunset after 10 years. It would be used to pay for a $1.8 billion bond program for new highway construction.
Moore’s proposal is based on recommendations of a governor-appointed task force to address a gap in transportation funding that is estimated at nearly $15 billion during the next decade.

 

2010

State Watches

11/30/2010 - Road Funds

11/30/2010:

A governor-appointed panel is recommending a series of funding proposals to pay for road improvements.
Despite being a largely rural and agricultural state with a population that ranks 32nd nationally, Arkansas has the nation’s 12th largest highway system.
In order to address a gap estimated at nearly $15 billion during the next decade, the Arkansas Blue Ribbon Committee on Highway Finance has been working for nearly two years to find ways to meet road needs while coping with fewer fuel tax dollars prompted by more fuel-efficient vehicles and drivers traveling less.
Among the options that the 19-member panel is proposing to lawmakers and Gov. Mike Beebe to eat into that funding gap is indexing the excise tax on gas and diesel with a three-year trailing average of the Construction Cost Index.
Other potential funding sources include imposing a new excise tax on the wholesale price of motor fuels; putting to a public vote a 10-year highway bond program, which would be repaid with proceeds from a one-half cent sales tax increase; and rerouting some sales tax revenue on vehicles from the general revenue fund to roads.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is concerned about the outlook for getting transportation projects completed.
“There’s a lot of frustration everywhere about the lack of federal leadership to produce a long-term authorization bill. Without a clear path forward, Arkansas and other states are forced to pursue various funding methods,” said OOIDA Director of Legislative Affairs Mike Joyce.
Joyce also pointed out that many of the methods pursued may not exactly benefit highway users.
“Unfortunately, efforts like this could become very commonplace,” he said.
All options for generating revenue have their detractors. Gov. Beebe has said he is leery of pursuing tax increases or revenue transfers to pay for road work, without a source to replace the lost revenue.
OOIDA is encouraged to see that there is a proposal to reroute transportation money from the general fund for new roads.
The highway panel acknowledges that it will be difficult for lawmakers to endorse tax increases during the regular session beginning Jan. 10, 2011, but they are calling on the state’s House and Senate members to at least look at their recommendations.

 

Contact Info

Session runs from Jan. 14 to March 14.

Website: http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us

Contact Numbers:

Bill Status 907-465-4648
Senate general info 501-682-2902
Senate bill status 501-682-6107
House general info and bill status 501-682-7771

California

2016

State Issues

03/17/2016 - Trucks Routes and Services

3/17/2016 (AB2432):

A bill in the Assembly Transportation Committee would require the California Department of Transportation to prepare an inventory of all state and locally designated truck routes and services. Inventory would include all truck route information including maps, weight limits, and height restrictions for all routes, as well as trucking services available on the routes.
After collecting the information, the agency would be responsible for publishing a statewide truck route network to be available on the Internet. The site must include an interactive map to detail information for every state and locally designated truck route.
Sponsored by Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown, D-San Bernardino, AB2432 would also make Caltrans responsible for identifying infrastructure inconsistencies in designated truck routes that could result in “unnecessary bottlenecks, hours of delay, system inefficiencies, and non-standardized weight limits and height restrictions across jurisdictions.”
In addition, the department would be required to determine where gaps in services, parking, and rest area locations may result in “significant inefficiencies” for professional drivers.
Possible changes would not come along any time soon. The information, including an estimate of the annual cost and the total cost of carrying out a plan, would need to be submitted to the governor and state Legislature by July 2019.
The bill could get a committee hearing as early as March 22.

 

03/04/2016 - Cargo Theft

3/4/2016 (AB2805):

Assemblymember Kristin Olsen, R-Modesto, has introduced a bill to address concern about the theft of truck, rail and container cargo theft.
California law already appropriates funding to cover the costs for the Highway Patrol to deter commercial vehicle cargo thefts and provide security of carriers and cargoes throughout the state.
AB2805 would “enhance crime prevention efforts” by establishing a pilot program to strengthen law enforcement agencies’ ability to detect and monitor cargo theft crimes, and to authorize a cargo theft prevention program. Specifically, the program would create statewide standards and methods of detecting and tracking cargo theft crime.
The bill awaits assignment to committee in the Assembly.

 

02/04/2016 - Daylight Saving Time

2/4/2016 (AJR28):

An effort underway in the Assembly addresses whether the observance of daylight saving time is worth continuing.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Jay Obernolte, R-Big Bear Lake, AJR28 urges the U.S. Congress to allow states to decide on the observance of daylight saving time.
Currently, Arizona and Hawaii are the lone states not to take part in time changes.

2015

State Issues

06/25/2015 - State Route 43

6/25/2015 (AB1043):

The Senate Transportation and Housing Committee voted unanimously to advance a bill that would add 97 state Route 43 to the list of interregional routes.
The interregional route designation distinguishes routes that are outside urbanized areas that connect “major activity centers” in the state. The designation is necessary to be eligible for additional funding.
AB1043 awaits further consideration in the Senate Appropriations Committee. Assembly lawmakers already approved it on a 60-14 vote.

 

08/03/2015 - Ticket Cameras in San Francisco

8/3/2015 (AB1287):

A bill awaiting consideration on the Senate floor covers the use of ticket cameras in the San Francisco area.
California law allows the city and county of San Francisco to issue citations based on photos snapped of parking violations in transit-only lanes. Municipal Transportation Agency transit vehicles are authorized to be outfitted with cameras to record parking violations occurring in the nearly 15 miles of affected lanes.
Violators found in the Muni lanes face $100 fines.
The San Francisco program, which has been in place since 2008, is slated to sunset at the end of this year.
AB1287 would make the program permanent. In addition, the program would be expanded to cover other moving violations that “impede or interfere with transit performance and public safety.”
Specifically, added violations would cover vehicles driving in transit-only lanes, “block the box” violations in which vehicles obstruct intersections and crosswalks, and illegally parked or stopped vehicles at bus stops.
Fines for getting caught running a red light are $480.
If approved by the full Senate, the bill move need approval of changes by the Assembly before it could advance to the governor’s desk.

 

10/15/2015 - Carpool Lanes

10/15/2015 (AB210):

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that called for freeing up carpool lanes in the Los Angeles area during non-peak hours and weekends. It is the second time in three years the governor used his veto power to kill the bill.
“I vetoed a nearly identical bill last session,” Brown said in his veto message. “I continue to believe that carpool lanes are especially important in Los Angeles County to reduce pollution and maximize the use of freeways. Therefore, we should continue to retain the current 24/7 carpool lane control.”
The bill won widespread approval in the statehouse. Senate lawmakers voted unanimously to advance the bill after Assembly lawmakers voted in favor of the bill with a 77-1 vote.
As approved by state lawmakers, the bill sought to affect traffic on the 134 Freeway from North Hollywood to Pasadena and on the 210 Freeway from Pasadena to Glendora.
AB210 called for setting up a pilot program similar to how Northern California limits carpool usage between 6 and 10 a.m. and again between 4 and 7 p.m. on weekdays.


9/12/2013:

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that authorizes Alameda and Contra Costa counties to put transportation measures on their ballots to boost funding for local infrastructure.
The counties cannot put transportation sales tax measures on the ballot without first getting an exemption from state lawmakers. The restriction is in place because some cities in the counties would be pushed above a local two percent sales tax cap set by the state.
Previously AB210, the new law grants both counties the authority to exceed the local cap if voters approve an increase by Dec. 31, 2020.


8/23/2013:

The Senate voted 25-12 to send a bill to Gov. Jerry Brown that would authorize Alameda and Contra Costa counties to put transportation measures on their ballots to boost funding for local infrastructure. Assembly lawmakers already approved it on a 46-23 vote.
The counties cannot put transportation sales tax measures on the ballot without first getting an exemption from state lawmakers. The restriction is in place because some cities would be pushed above a local two percent sales tax cap set by the state.
AB210 would grant both counties the authority to exceed the local cap if voters approve an increase by Dec. 31, 2020.
For bill status, call 916-319-2856.


6/18/2013:

The Senate Governance and Finance Committee voted 5-2 to advance a bill to the chamber floor that would authorize Alameda and Contra Costa counties to put transportation measures on their ballots to boost funding for local infrastructure.
If approved by the full Senate it would move to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk. The Assembly already approved it on a 46-23 vote.
The counties cannot put transportation sales tax measures on the ballot without first getting an exemption from state lawmakers. The restriction is in place because some cities would be pushed above a local sales tax cap set by the state.
AB210 would grant both counties the authority to exceed the cap if voters approve an increase by Dec. 31, 2020.
For bill status, call 916-319-2856.


6/3/2013:

A bill in the Senate Governance and Finance Committee would authorize Alameda and Contra Costa counties to put transportation measures on their ballots to boost funding for local infrastructure. The Assembly already approved it.
The counties cannot put transportation sales tax measures on the ballot without first getting an exemption from state lawmakers. The restriction is in place because some cities would be pushed above a sales tax cap set by the state.
AB210 would grant both counties the authority to exceed the cap if voters approve an increase by Dec. 31, 2020.
For bill status, call 916-319-2856.


5/23/2013:

The Assembly voted 46-23 to advance to the Senate a bill that would authorize Alameda and Contra Costa counties to put transportation measures on their ballots to boost funding for local infrastructure.
The counties cannot put transportation sales tax measures on the ballot without first getting an exemption from state lawmakers. The restriction is in place because some cities would be pushed above a sales tax cap set by the state.
AB210 would grant both counties the authority to exceed the cap if voters approve an increase by Dec. 31, 2020.
The bill is awaiting assignment to committee in the Senate. For bill status, call 916-319-2856.


4/30/2013:

A bill in the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee would authorize Alameda and Contra Costa counties to put transportation measures on their ballots to boost funding for local infrastructure.
The counties cannot put transportation sales tax measures on the ballot without first getting an exemption from state lawmakers. The restriction is in place because some cities would be pushed above a sales tax cap set by the state.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, AB210 would grant both counties the authority to exceed the cap if voters approve an increase by Dec. 31, 2020.
For Assembly bill status, call 916-319-2856.

 

07/16/2015 - Vehicle Weight Fees

7/16/2015 (AB4):

A bill died that aimed at helping the state address $295 billion in transportation needs during the next decade.
AB4 sought to void a practice in place since 2010 to pay bond debt. Since then, state lawmakers have rerouted from the state’s highway account the vehicle weight fees paid by commercial vehicles. Instead, Linder said the revenue should be applied to its intended purpose.


2/23/2015:

A bill in the Assembly Transportation Committee is aimed at helping the state address $295 billion in transportation needs during the next decade.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Eric Linder, R-Corona, AB4 would void a practice in place since 2010 to pay bond debt. Since then, state lawmakers have rerouted from the state’s highway account the vehicle weight fees paid by commercial vehicles. Instead, Linder said the revenue should be applied to its intended purpose.


12/15/2014:

Assemblyman Eric Linder, R-Corona, has filed a bill for consideration once the regular session begins early next month that is aimed at helping the state address $295 billion in transportation needs during the next decade.
Specifically, AB4 would void a practice in place since 2010 to pay bond debt. Since then, state lawmakers have rerouted from the state’s highway account the vehicle weight fees paid by commercial vehicles. Instead, Linder said the revenue should be applied to its intended purpose.
The bill can be considered during the session that begins Jan. 5.

 

07/16/2015 - Police Uniform Cameras

7/16/2015 (AB66):

A bill died that covered the use of police body-worn cameras.
AB66 sought to set requirements and recommended guidelines for law enforcement agencies that require the use of body-worn cameras.


5/8/2015 (SB175):

The Senate voted unanimously to advance a bill that covers the use of police body-worn cameras. It now moves to the Assembly. SB175 would require law enforcement departments or agencies that require the use of body-worn cameras to develop a policy relating to their use. The bill is awaiting assignment to committee in the Assembly.

5/8/2015 (AB66):

A bill awaiting an Assembly floor vote covers the use of police body-worn cameras. AB66 would set requirements and recommended guidelines for law enforcement agencies that require the use of body-worn cameras.

5/8/2015 (AB69):

A bill awaiting an Assembly floor vote covers the use of police body-worn cameras. AB69 would specify a set of best practices that a law enforcement agency, department or entity establishing policies and procedures for the implementation and operation of body-worn cameras must consider.

7/16/2014 (AB69):

An Assembly bill would delay putting fuels under the state’s cap-and-trade program.
The program has been in place since 2006 through passage of AB32 – the California Global Warming Solutions Act. The program allows the California Air Resources Board to cap greenhouse gas emissions and require companies to buy permits to exceed those caps.
Currently, the cap applies to power plants and other heavy manufacturers. Starting Jan. 1, 2015, the program is set to expand to include oil companies. It is estimated the program could result in at least a 15-cent-per-gallon fuel tax increase.
Assemblyman Henry Perea, D-Fresno, introduced a bill that would delay for three years the rule requiring the energy industry to purchase permits for transportation fuels.
AB69 can be considered once state lawmakers return from summer recess on Aug. 4.

 

10/19/2015 - Hit-and-Runs

10/19/2015 (AB8):

Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill to require the California Highway Patrol to activate a “Yellow Alert” system under certain circumstances to find vehicles suspected in hit-and-run incidents.
The state’s existing network of freeway signs would be used to broadcast information when there is a sufficient description of the vehicle or the identity of the suspect is known.
Previously AB8, the new law limits use of the system to the area where the incident occurred and will only be used when the hit-and-run results in death or serious injury. The CHP could also prioritize activation of the system based on certain factors, if multiple alerts are requested.
The yellow alert system is the fourth freeway alert notice to be activated in the state. The other alerts are AMBER, which gives drivers information on child abductions; Blue, which notifies drivers about a violent attack on law enforcement; and Silver, which alerts drivers to a person at least 65 years of age who is missing under unexplained or suspicious circumstances.
The new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2016.


12/11/2014:

Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, has filed a bill for consideration during the upcoming regular session that would include hit-and-run vehicles in the state’s emergency alert program.
The program posts descriptions of vehicles and license plates on freeway signs in certain situations, including child abductions.
Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed the same bill during the fall. He cited concerns about adding alerts that could “overload the system.”
AB8 calls for a “Yellow Alert” system to alert the public about vehicles suspected in hit-and-run incidents and encourage drivers to report the vehicles. The system would be activated by law enforcement when a hit-and-run results in death or serious bodily injury, and a sufficient description of the vehicle is available.


10/4/2013:

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law extending for eight to nine years the 2016 sunset date on all registration and license fees at current rates.
Multiple vehicle fees were added in 2007 to help fund multiple clean air and clean vehicle incentive programs. One of the programs is intended to raise revenue to develop alternative fuel and clean-air technology in the state.
In an effort to reach that goal, AB8 continues until 2024 an increase in the annual vehicle smog-abatement fee by $8 and the registration fee by $3.
It’s a follow-up to a bill signed by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006 that requires the state to cut the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by 25 percent. The state has until 2020 to match emissions levels from 1990.


9/20/2013:

A bill on its way to the governor’s desk would extend for eight to nine years the 2016 sunset date on all registration and license fees at current rates.
Multiple vehicle fees were added in 2007 to help fund multiple clean air and clean vehicle incentive programs. One of the programs is intended to raise revenue to develop alternative fuel and clean-air technology in the state.
In an effort to reach that goal, AB8 would continue until 2024 an increase in the annual vehicle smog-abatement fee by $8 and the registration fee by $3.
It is a follow-up to a bill signed by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006 that requires the state to cut the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by 25 percent. The state has until 2020 to match emissions levels from 1990.

 

 

10/13/2015 - San Bernardino Area Tolls

10/13/2015 (AB914):

Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill to authorize the California Department of Transportation to construct a toll lane on the area’s Interstate 10 and 15 corridors. The San Bernardino County Transportation Commission will be permitted to operate a value-pricing program on the corridors.
Existing toll-free lanes could not be converted to pay lanes. However, high-occupancy vehicles lanes could be converted to high-occupancy toll lanes.
Previously AB914, the new law also permits the commission to pursue extending the HOT lanes to include I-10 connectors into Los Angeles County and on I-15 into Riverside County.


8/6/2015:

The Senate Transportation Committee voted unanimously to advance a bill to authorize the California Department of Transportation to construct a toll lane on the Interstate 10 and 15 corridors in the San Bernardino area.
Existing toll-free lanes could not be converted to pay lanes. However, high-occupancy vehicles lanes could be converted to high-occupancy toll lanes.
AB914 would permit the San Bernardino County Transportation Commission to operate a value-pricing program on the corridors. The commission would also be permitted to pursue extending the HOT lanes to include I-10 connectors into Los Angeles County and on I-15 into Riverside County.
The bill now moves to the Senate floor for further consideration. If approved there it would head back to the Assembly for approval of changes.


6/12/2015:

The Assembly voted 69-7 to advance a bill to authorize the California Department of Transportation to construct a toll lane on portions of the Interstate 10 and 15 corridors. It now moves to the Senate.
Sponsored by Assemblymember Cheryl Brown, D-San Bernardino, AB914 would permit the San Bernardino County Transportation Commission to operate a value-pricing program on the corridors.
Existing toll-free lanes could not be converted to pay lanes. However, high-occupancy vehicles lanes could be converted to high-occupancy toll lanes.
The commission would also be permitted to pursue extending the HOT lanes to include I-10 connectors into Los Angeles County and on I-15 into Riverside County.
The bill awaits assignment to committee in the Senate.

 

11/10/2015 - Caltrans

11/10/2015 (ABX1 15):

The Legislature continues to meet in special session in their pursuit of plans to address some of the $59 billion in state transportation needs over the next decade.
One bill in the Assembly Republicans nine-point, $6.6 billion plan would eliminate 3,500 “redundant” positions at Caltrans.
The state’s Legislative Analyst Office found that eliminating the positions in ABX1 15 would save the state $500 million each year.

 

11/10/2015 - Truck Fees

11/10/2015 (ABX1 18):

The Legislature continues to meet in special session in their pursuit of plans to address some of the $59 billion in state transportation needs over the next decade.
ABX1 18 calls for rerouting to roads $1 billion in certain truck fees.
Since 2010 state lawmakers have diverted from the state’s highway account to the general fund the vehicle weight fees paid by commercial vehicles.

07/16/2015 - Cap & Trade Delay

7/16/201 (SB1):

A bill that was intended to thwart an expected fuel tax increase after the first of the year through the state’s cap and trade program.
The program has been in place since 2006 through passage of AB32 – the California Global Warming Solutions Act. The program allows the California Air Resources Board to cap greenhouse gas emissions and require companies to buy permits to exceed those caps.
Currently, the cap applies to power plants and other heavy manufacturers. Starting Jan. 1, 2015, the program is set to expand to include oil companies. CARB has estimated the program could eventually result in a fuel tax increase between 15 cents and 76 cents per gallon.
SB1 sought to delay for 10 years the rule requiring the energy industry to purchase permits for affected fuels.

2/23/2015:

A bill in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee is intended to thwart an expected fuel tax increase after the first of the year through the state’s cap and trade program.
The program has been in place since 2006 through passage of AB32 – the California Global Warming Solutions Act. The program allows the California Air Resources Board to cap greenhouse gas emissions and require companies to buy permits to exceed those caps.
Currently, the cap applies to power plants and other heavy manufacturers. Starting Jan. 1, 2015, the program is set to expand to include oil companies. CARB has estimated the program could eventually result in a fuel tax increase between 15 cents and 76 cents per gallon.
Sponsored by Sen. Ted Gaines, R-Roseville, SB1 would delay for 10 years the rule requiring the energy industry to purchase permits for affected fuels.

12/4/2014:

Sen. Ted Gaines, R-Roseville, has introduced a bill that is intended to thwart an expected fuel tax increase after the first of the year through the state’s cap and trade program.
The program has been in place since 2006 through passage of AB32 – the California Global Warming Solutions Act. The program allows the California Air Resources Board to cap greenhouse gas emissions and require companies to buy permits to exceed those caps.
Currently, the cap applies to power plants and other heavy manufacturers. Starting Jan. 1, 2015, the program is set to expand to include oil companies. CARB has estimated the program could eventually result in a fuel tax increase between 15 cents and 76 cents per gallon.
SB1 would delay for 10 years the rule requiring the energy industry to purchase permits for affected fuels.
The bill can be considered once the session convenes Jan. 6.

05/08/2015 - License Plate Readers

9/16/2015 (SB34):

The Legislature has approved a bill to put in place rules on the use of technology used to track drivers’ movements through automated license plate readers, or ALPRs.
The Senate voted 25-11 to sign off on changes made to the bill to regulate use of the technology by the public and private sector. The vote cleared the way for SB34 to head to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk. Assembly lawmakers approved the bill one day earlier on a 71-5 vote.
Entities in California using ALPRs would be required to adopt privacy policies and post the information online. A requirement would also be put in place to set policies on use and for how long data can be kept.
In addition, logs must be kept to keep track of each instance the license data is accessed, and the purpose.
The California Highway Patrol is already prohibited from selling information collected for private use.

9/2/2015:

A bill awaiting consideration on the Assembly floor would put in place rules on the use of technology used to track drivers’ movements through automated license plate readers, or ALPRs.
SB34 would regulate use of the technology by the public and private sector. If approved by the Assembly the bill would head back to the Senate for approval of changes before moving to the governor’s desk.
Entities in California using ALPRs would be required to adopt privacy policies and post the information online. A requirement would also be put in place to set policies on use and for how long data can be kept.
In addition, logs must be kept to keep track of each instance the license data is accessed, and the purpose.
The California Highway Patrol is already prohibited from selling information collected for private use.

8/12/2015:

The Assembly Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee voted unanimously to advance a bill that would regulate use of automated license plate readers by the public and private sector.
SB34 would require entities using ALPRs to adopt privacy policies and post the information online. Entities would also be required to set policies on use and for how long data can be kept.
In addition, logs must be kept to keep track of each instance the license data is accessed, and the purpose.
The California Highway Patrol is already prohibited from selling information collected for private use.
The bill awaits consideration on the Assembly floor. If approved there, it would move back to the Senate for final approval before heading to the governor’s desk.

6/26/2015:

The Senate voted 25-12 to advance a bill to require entities using automated license plate readers to post privacy policies online. It now moves to the Assembly.
SB34 would also require entities to set time limits for how long data can be kept.
In addition, logs must be kept to keep track of each instance the license data is accessed.
The California Highway Patrol is already prohibited from selling information collected for private use.
The bill is in the Assembly Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee.

1/23/2015:

A bill in the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee would regulate use of automated license plate readers by the public and private sector.
Sponsored by Sen. Jerry Hill, D-Mateo, SB34 would require entities using automated license plate readers, or ALPRs, to post privacy policies online. Entities would also be required to set time limits for how long data can be kept.
In addition, logs must be kept to keep track of each instance the license data is accessed.
The California Highway Patrol is already prohibited from selling information collected for private use.

12/17/2014:

Sen. Jerry Hill, D-Mateo, has filed a bill for consideration during the regular session that begins Jan. 6 to regulate use of automated license plate readers by the public and private sector.
SB34 is a reintroduction of a bill considered during the 2014 regular session to require entities using automated license plate readers, or ALPRs, to post privacy policies online. Entities would also be required to set time limits for how long data can be kept.
In addition, logs must be kept to keep track of each instance the license data is accessed.
The California Highway Patrol is already prohibited from selling information collected for private use.

09/11/2015 - Fuel Use Reduction

9/11/2015 (SB350):

Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles; Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, D-San Diego; and Gov. Jerry Brown held a news conference on Wednesday, Sept. 9, to announce they were pulling the plug on a measure that mandated a 50 percent cut in the use of petroleum in large trucks and personal vehicles by 2030.
Also included in SB350 are provisions to mandate a 50 percent increase in sales of renewable electricity, and doubling the energy efficiency of buildings by 2030.
The legislative effort comes on the heels of an executive order this spring from the Democratic governor that calls for a 40 percent cut to the state’s emissions from 1990 levels by 2030.
The leading lawmakers made the decision to drop the petroleum provision in an effort to save the energy policy bill before the session wrapped up on Friday.

9/3/2015:

The full Assembly could soon vote on a bill to enact energy policies that include a requirement for the use of gas and diesel in the state to be trimmed in half in the next 15 years.
SB350 would also mandate a 50 percent increase in sales of renewable electricity, and doubling the energy efficiency of buildings by 2030.
If approved by the Assembly the bill would head back to the Senate for consideration of changes before it could advance to the governor’s desk. However, time is running out. The session is set to end Sept. 11.

10/28/2015 - Los Angeles County Sales Tax

10/28/2015 (SB767):

Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill to authorize the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to impose by ordinance an additional local, countywide, one-half cent sales tax.
California law allows cities and counties to impose sales and use taxes beyond the state sales tax – dubbed transactions and use taxes – up to a combined 2 percent rate with voter approval.
Los Angeles County already collects a 1.5 cent sales tax that is dedicated to transportation purposes.
Specifically, SB767 asks county voters to pass a sales-tax increase to fund public transit improvements and “traffic reduction projects.” Approval would require a two-thirds majority vote.

08/19/2015 - Transportation Funds

8/19/2015 (SBX1 2):

A bill in the Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Development Committee would benefit efforts to raise money for roads and bridges.
Sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Bob Huff, R-San Dimas, SBX1 2 would dedicate $1.9 billion in cap-and-trade funding raised from taxes on motor fuels for transportation infrastructure.
The cap-and-trade program charges fees to polluters in the state. At the first of the year, the program was expanded to include gas and diesel producers.
The bill is part of a special session on transportation.

8/19/2015 (SCAX1 1):

A bill in the Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Development Committee would end the diversion of $3 billion annually in transportation tax dollars.
Sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Bob Huff, R-San Dimas, SCAX1 1 would let voters decide whether to protect $1.1 billion in transportation taxes by requiring the money to be used solely on transportation.
The bill is being considered as part of a special session on transportation.

8/19/2015 (SBX1 3):

A bill in the Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Development Committee would permit voters to decide whether high-speed rail bond proceeds totaling nearly $8 billion will be redirected to highways, roads and bridges.
Sponsored by Sen. Andy Vidak, R-Hanford, SBX1 3 is part of a special session on transportation.


8/19/2015 (SBX1 3):

The Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Development Committee killed a bill to come up with more money for transportation work.
SBX1 3 sought to permit voters to decide whether high-speed rail bond proceeds totaling nearly $8 billion will be redirected to highways, roads and bridges.

 

 

 

09/28/2015 - Towing Rules

9/28/2015 (AB1222):

Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill targeting “bandit tow truck drivers.”
State law already prohibits tow truck drivers from soliciting tows for disabled vehicles. However, officials report the law is difficult, if not impossible, to enforce because tow truck drivers do not need to provide documentation to police that they were solicited to a scene for a tow.
The new law requires all tow operators to maintain documents showing that they are summoned to or flagged down at the scene of an accident or disabled vehicle.
Previously AB1222, the new law also requires tow truck drivers to provide customers with a detailed estimate of charges and services to be performed before attaching the disabled vehicle to the tow truck.
Towing and storage fees are also capped.
Violators would face $2,500 fines and/or up to 90 days in jail.

07/23/2015 - Wrong-Way Driving Study

7/23/2015 (AB162):

Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that instructs the California Department of Transportation to study wrong-way driving wrecks. The agency will also be responsible for looking at safety measures pursued by other states that could prevent such incidents.
Previously AB162, the new law requires Caltrans to submit a preliminary report to the state Legislature by Dec. 1, 2015. A final report is due by July 1, 2016.

05/01/2015 - Cap & Trade Exemption

5/1/2015 (AB23):

The Assembly Natural Resources Committee voted to kill a bill that is intended to thwart an expected fuel tax increase after the first of the year through the state’s cap and trade program. The program has been in place since 2006 through passage of AB32 – the California Global Warming Solutions Act. The program allows the California Air Resources Board to cap greenhouse gas emissions and require companies to buy permits to exceed those caps. Currently, the cap applies to power plants and other heavy manufacturers. Starting Jan. 1, 2015, the program is set to expand to include oil companies. CARB has estimated the program could eventually result in a fuel tax increase between 15 cents and 76 cents per gallon. AB23 called for exempting gas and diesel from the program.

5/1/2015 (SB5):

The Senate Environmental Quality Committee voted to kill a bill that was intended to thwart an expected fuel tax increase after the first of the year through the state’s cap and trade program. The program has been in place since 2006 through passage of AB32 – the California Global Warming Solutions Act. The program allows the California Air Resources Board to cap greenhouse gas emissions and require companies to buy permits to exceed those caps. Currently, the cap applies to power plants and other heavy manufacturers. Starting Jan. 1, 2015, the program is set to expand to include oil companies. CARB has estimated the program could eventually result in a fuel tax increase between 15 cents and 76 cents per gallon. SB5 sought to exempt gas and diesel from the program.

2/23/2015 (AB23):

A bill in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee is intended to thwart an expected fuel tax increase after the first of the year through the state’s cap and trade program.
The program has been in place since 2006 through passage of AB32 – the California Global Warming Solutions Act. The program allows the California Air Resources Board to cap greenhouse gas emissions and require companies to buy permits to exceed those caps.
Currently, the cap applies to power plants and other heavy manufacturers. Starting Jan. 1, 2015, the program is set to expand to include oil companies. CARB has estimated the program could eventually result in a fuel tax increase between 15 cents and 76 cents per gallon.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Jim Patterson, R-Fresno, AB23 would exempt gas and diesel from the program.

2/23/2015 (SB5):

A bill in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee is intended to thwart an expected fuel tax increase after the first of the year through the state’s cap and trade program.
The program has been in place since 2006 through passage of AB32 – the California Global Warming Solutions Act. The program allows the California Air Resources Board to cap greenhouse gas emissions and require companies to buy permits to exceed those caps.
Currently, the cap applies to power plants and other heavy manufacturers. Starting Jan. 1, 2015, the program is set to expand to include oil companies. CARB has estimated the program could eventually result in a fuel tax increase between 15 cents and 76 cents per gallon.
Sponsored by Sen. Andy Vidak, R-Hanford, SB5 would exempt gas and diesel from the program.

1/4/2015 (AB23):

Assemblyman Jim Patterson, R-Fresno, has introduced a bill that is intended to thwart an expected fuel tax increase after the first of the year through the state’s cap and trade program.
The program has been in place since 2006 through passage of AB32 – the California Global Warming Solutions Act. The program allows the California Air Resources Board to cap greenhouse gas emissions and require companies to buy permits to exceed those caps.
Currently, the cap applies to power plants and other heavy manufacturers. Starting Jan. 1, 2015, the program is set to expand to include oil companies. CARB has estimated the program could eventually result in a fuel tax increase between 15 cents and 76 cents per gallon.
AB23 would exempt gas and diesel from the program.
The bill can be considered once the session convenes Jan. 6.

12/4/2014 (SB5):

Sen. Andy Vidak, R-Hanford, has introduced a bill that is intended to thwart an expected fuel tax increase after the first of the year through the state’s cap and trade program.
The program has been in place since 2006 through passage of AB32 – the California Global Warming Solutions Act. The program allows the California Air Resources Board to cap greenhouse gas emissions and require companies to buy permits to exceed those caps.
Currently, the cap applies to power plants and other heavy manufacturers. Starting Jan. 1, 2015, the program is set to expand to include oil companies. CARB has estimated the program could eventually result in a fuel tax increase between 15 cents and 76 cents per gallon.
SB5 would exempt gas and diesel from the program.
The bill can be considered once the session convenes Jan. 6.

 

 

 

 

06/22/2015 - Lane Spliting

6/22/2015 (AB51):

The Assembly voted 58-14 to advance a bill that covers motorcyclists who ride between lanes of freeway traffic to bypass congestion. It now moves to the Senate.
The Golden State is the only place in the country that allows so-called lane splitting with motorcycles. State law does not address the practice.
AB51 would set guidelines for lane splitting.
Motorcycles would be authorized to be driven between rows of stopped or slowed vehicles in the same direction if the speed of traffic is 35 mph or less. However, motorcycles could be driven no more than 15 mph in excess of the speed of traffic.


2/20/2015:

A bill in the Assembly Transportation Committee covers motorcyclists who ride between lanes of freeway traffic to bypass congestion.
The Golden State is the only place in the country that allows so-called lane splitting with motorcycles. State law does not address the practice.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Bill Quirk, D-Hayward, AB51 would set guidelines for lane splitting.
Motorcycles would be authorized to be driven between rows of stopped or slowed vehicles in the same direction if the speed of traffic is 30 mph or less. However, motorcycles could be driven no more than 10 mph in excess of the speed of traffic.


12/11/2014:

Assemblyman Bill Quirk, D-Hayward, has filed a bill for consideration during the upcoming regular session that covers motorcyclists who ride between lanes of freeway traffic to bypass congestion.
The Golden State is the only place in the country that allows so-called lane splitting with motorcycles. State law does not address the practice.
AB51 would set guidelines for lane splitting. Motorcycles would be authorized to be driven between rows of stopped or slowed vehicles in the same direction if the speed of traffic is 35 mph or less. However, motorcycles could be driven no more than 10 mph in excess of the speed of traffic.
The bill can be considered when state lawmakers return to the Capitol on Jan. 5.

 

10/13/2015 - Interstate 10 & 15 Corridor Tolls

10/13/2015 (AB914):

Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill to authorize the California Department of Transportation to construct a toll lane on the area’s Interstate 10 and 15 corridors. The San Bernardino County Transportation Commission will be permitted to operate a value-pricing program on the corridors.
Existing toll-free lanes could not be converted to pay lanes. However, high-occupancy vehicles lanes could be converted to high-occupancy toll lanes.
Previously AB914, the new law also permits the commission to pursue extending the HOT lanes to include I-10 connectors into Los Angeles County and on I-15 into Riverside County.


8/6/2015:

The Senate Transportation Committee voted unanimously to advance a bill to authorize the California Department of Transportation to construct a toll lane on the Interstate 10 and 15 corridors in the San Bernardino area.
Existing toll-free lanes could not be converted to pay lanes. However, high-occupancy vehicles lanes could be converted to high-occupancy toll lanes.
AB914 would permit the San Bernardino County Transportation Commission to operate a value-pricing program on the corridors. The commission would also be permitted to pursue extending the HOT lanes to include I-10 connectors into Los Angeles County and on I-15 into Riverside County.
The bill now moves to the Senate floor for further consideration. If approved there it would head back to the Assembly for approval of changes.


6/12/2015:

The Assembly voted 69-7 to advance a bill to authorize the California Department of Transportation to construct a toll lane on portions of the Interstate 10 and 15 corridors. It now moves to the Senate.
Sponsored by Assemblymember Cheryl Brown, D-San Bernardino, AB914 would permit the San Bernardino County Transportation Commission to operate a value-pricing program on the corridors.
Existing toll-free lanes could not be converted to pay lanes. However, high-occupancy vehicles lanes could be converted to high-occupancy toll lanes.
The commission would also be permitted to pursue extending the HOT lanes to include I-10 connectors into Los Angeles County and on I-15 into Riverside County.
The bill awaits assignment to committee in the Senate.

 

11/10/2015 - Road and Bridge Funds

11/10/2015 (ABX1 17):

The Legislature continues to meet in special session in their pursuit of plans to address some of the $59 billion in state transportation needs over the next decade.
ABX1 17 calls for tapping the state’s Cap and Trade program. The program collects $1.9 billion annually through higher fuel prices to benefit Gov. Jerry Brown’s high speed rail project.
The bill would use 40 percent of the funds each year to help pay for their road and bridge funding plan.

 

08/19/2015 - Diesel Fuel Sales Tax

8/19/2015 (ABX1 8):

Assemblymen David Chiu, D-San Francisco, and Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, are behind a bill that would triple the diesel fuel sales tax from 1.75 percent to 5.25 percent. The estimated $288 million each year in new revenue would be used to help maintain transit systems throughout the state.
The San Francisco Bay Area would get an estimated $110 million annually.
The bill is ABX1 8. The Senate version is SBX1 7.

8/19/2015 (SBX1 7):

Sen. Ben Allen, D-Santa Monica, is behind a bill that would triple the diesel fuel sales tax from 1.75 percent to 5.25 percent. The estimated $288 million each year in new revenue would be used to help maintain transit systems throughout the state.
The San Francisco Bay Area would get an estimated $110 million annually.
The bill is SBX1 7. The Assembly version is ABX1 8.
The legislation was introduced as part of a special session on transportation.

 

 

04/22/2015 - Fuel Tax

8/26/2015 (SBX1 1):

The Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Development Committee met recently to consider multiple funding options. The meeting was part of a special session on transportation.
The panel voted along party lines to approve a plan to raise about $4.3 billion annually for infrastructure largely through higher fuel taxes.
Sponsored by Sen. Jim Beal, the committee chairman, SBX1 1 would increase the state’s excise tax on gas and diesel by 12 cents.
Other revenue enhancers included in the bill would gradually increase vehicle license fees by 1 percent, raise vehicle registration fees by $35 and subject zero-emission vehicles to an annual $100 fee.
In addition, the bill includes a requirement that all revenue would be used solely for road and bridge work, and $300 million annually would be used for improving freight mobility at ports.
The state would split all new revenue each year with cities and counties.
The bill awaits further consideration in the Senate Appropriations Committee before moving to the Senate floor.


8/19/2015 (SBX1 1):

A bill in the Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Development Committee would raise revenue for infrastructure through higher fuel taxes.
Sponsored by Sen. Jim Beal, D-San Jose, SBX1 1 would raise about $4.3 billion annually. Most of the money would come by increasing the state’s excise tax on gas and diesel by 12 cents.
Other revenue enhancers included in the bill would gradually increase vehicle license fees by 1 percent, raise vehicle registration fees by $35 and subject zero-emission vehicles to an annual $100 fee.
In addition, the bill includes a requirement that all revenue would be used solely for road and bridge work, and $300 million annually would be used for improving freight mobility at ports.
The state would split all new revenue each year with cities and counties.
The bill is part of a special session on transportation.

4/22/2015 (SB16):

The Senate Transportation and Housing Committee voted to advance a proposal to raise revenue for infrastructure.
Sponsored by Sen. Jim Beall, D-San Jose, SB16 would increase the state’s excise tax on fuels by 10 cents for gas and 12 cents for diesel.
California already claims the second highest fuel tax rates in the nation with the gas rate set at 47.5 cents and the diesel rate set at 37.5 cents.
Truck weight fees would also be increased to help pay for road and bridge repairs.
The fees are supposed to be routed to the state’s highway account but for the past five years lawmakers have used the revenue to pay bond debt.
Other revenue enhancers included in the bill would increase vehicle license fees by 0.07 percent annually over five years, raise vehicle registration fees by $35 and subject zero-emission vehicles to an annual $100 fee.
In addition, the bill includes a requirement that all revenue would be used solely for road and bridge work, and improving freight mobility at ports.
The bill awaits further consideration in the Senate. If approved there, it would move to the Assembly.

 

 

10/20/2015 - Warrantless Searches

10/20/2015 (SB178):

Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill to require law enforcement agencies to get warrants before accessing information on cellphones, or other devices, that include emails, text messages and GPS data included on such devices as smartphones, tablets and laptops.
Previously SB178, the new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2016.
Law enforcement is permitted to gain access to a mobile device without a warrant when waiting for permission to search could put people at risk. An exception would also be made for instances when the owner or user gives consent.


9/22/2015:

Senate lawmakers voted 34-4 to sign off on changes to a bill that would require law enforcement agencies to get warrants before accessing information that includes emails, text messages and GPS data included on such devices as smartphones, tablets and laptops.
SB178 now moves to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk. The Assembly already approved it on a 57-13 vote.
The bill would permit law enforcement to gain access to a mobile device without a warrant when waiting for permission to search could put people at risk. An exception would also be made for instances when the owner or user gives consent.


9/1/2015:

The full Assembly could soon take up for consideration a bill that would prohibit police from searching cellphones, or other devices, in certain instances without a warrant.
SB178 would require law enforcement agencies to get warrants before accessing information that includes emails, text messages and GPS data. If approved there, SB178 would move back to the Senate for consideration of changes before heading to the governor’s desk.
Law enforcement would be permitted to gain access to a mobile device without a warrant when waiting for permission to search could put people at risk. An exception would also be made for instances when the owner or user gives consent.

 

07/17/2015 - CDL 'Mills'

7/17/2015 (SB344):

The Senate voted 38-1 to advance a bill to add a requirement for prospective truckers to complete an instruction course from a commercial drivinxg institution certified by the state before being issued a license. CDLs could also be obtained through a program offered by an employer that has been certified by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
State law now requires commercial driver’s license applicants to pass written and driving tests. The law also exempts commercial driving courses that cost less than $2,500 from regulations set by the state.
In an effort to do away with “diploma mills,” SB344 would eliminate the exemption.
The bill is in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. If signed into law, the rule changes would take effect Jan. 1, 2018.


4/16/2015:

The Senate Transportation and Housing Committee voted unanimously on Tuesday, April 14, to advance a bill to add a requirement for prospective truckers to complete an instruction course from a commercial driving institution certified by the state before being issued a license.
State law now requires commercial driver’s license applicants to pass written and driving tests.
Sponsored by Sen. Bill Monning, D-Carmel, SB344 would make the Department of Motor Vehicles responsible for setting criteria and certifying that course training programs meet minimum standards to ensure driver proficiency when operating large trucks.
California law also exempts commercial driving courses that cost less than $2,500 from regulations set by the state.
The bill would eliminate the exemption.
SB344 awaits further consideration in the Senate.

 

2014

State Issues

09/30/2014 - Traffic Synchronization

9/30/2014 (AB1447):

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill into law to make traffic synchronization programs eligible for funding through the Greenhouse Gas Emission Fund. Previously AB1447, the new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2015.
The Greenhouse Gas Emission Fund receives money from power plants and other heavy manufacturers that must buy permits to exceed greenhouse gas emissions that were set in a 2006 law. The program is set to expand to include oil companies after the first of the year.

 

05/30/2014 - Truck Weight Fees

5/30/2014 (AB2728):

A bill met its demise this week that sought to route truck weights fees to fix roads.
Since 2011, revenue from truck weight fees is routed to the state’s general fund. Previously, the fees were used for maintenance and rehabilitation of state highways.
AB2728 failed to advance from committee prior to a deadline, effectively killing it for the year.

 

10/06/2014 - Veterans' Licenses

10/6/2014 (AB935):

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill into law that is intended to benefit military veterans.
AB935 will soon allow veterans to apply for a California driver’s license or identification card with a designation that identifies them as a veteran.
Veterans will be able to apply for the special license or ID starting Veterans Day 2015.

 

09/18/2014 - Cap & Trade Exemption

9/18/2014 (SB1079):

A bill is likely dead that was intended to thwart an expected fuel tax increase after the first of the year through the state’s cap and trade program.
The program has been in place since 2006 through passage of AB32 – the California Global Warming Solutions Act. The program allows the California Air Resources Board to cap greenhouse gas emissions and require companies to buy permits to exceed those caps.
Currently, the cap applies to power plants and other heavy manufacturers. Starting Jan. 1, 2015, the program is set to expand to include oil companies. CARB estimates the program could result in a fuel tax increase between 15 cents and 76 cents per gallon.
SB1079 called for exempting gas and diesel from the program.


8/26/2014:

A bill in the Senate Rules Committee is intended to thwart an expected fuel tax increase after the first of the year through the state’s cap and trade program.
The program has been in place since 2006 through passage of AB32 – the California Global Warming Solutions Act. The program allows the California Air Resources Board to cap greenhouse gas emissions and require companies to buy permits to exceed those caps.
Currently, the cap applies to power plants and other heavy manufacturers. Starting Jan. 1, 2015, the program is set to expand to include oil companies. CARB estimates the program could result in a fuel tax increase between 15 cents and 76 cents per gallon.
Sponsored by Sen. Andy Vidak, R-Hanford, SB1079 would exempt gas and diesel from the program.

 

10/08/2014 - Caltrans

10/6/2014 (SB486):

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill into law that is designed to boost public confidence in the state’s transportation agency.
SB486 requires the California Department of Transportation to set up goals and performance measures. Specifically, Caltrans is required to prepare a strategic plan for modernizing the agency that will include public input.

 

06/03/2014 - License Plate Readers

6/3/2014 (SB893):

A bill died that sought to regulate use of automated license plate readers by the public and private sector.
SB893 failed to get final Senate approval before a deadline, effectively killing it for the year.
The bill would have kept ALPRs off private property. Public agencies would also have been forbidden from sharing their camera data.
The California Highway Patrol is already prohibited from selling information collected for private use.


5/29/2014:

The Senate could soon take up for consideration a bill that would regulate use of automated license plate readers by the public and private sector.
Sponsored by Sen. Jerry Hill, D-Mateo, SB893 would keep ALPRs off private property. Public agencies would also be forbidden from sharing their camera data.
The California Highway Patrol is already prohibited from selling information collected for private use.
If approved by the Senate, the bill would advance to the Assembly for further consideration.


1/30/2014:

A bill in the Senate Judiciary Committee would place guidelines on the use of automated license plate scanners.
Existing law authorizes the California Highway Patrol to keep records of innocent drivers for up to 60 days.
Sponsored by Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, SB893 would require agencies to get a court order to gain access to license plate data of targeted drivers more than five years old. It would also prohibit sharing or selling information of innocent drivers.

 

09/30/2014 - Vehicle Registration Fees

9/30/2014 (SB1183):

A new law authorizes local governments to ask voters whether local fees should be collected to benefit bike paths, bike parking and other upgrades.
SB1183 permits questions to be included on local ballots about whether to add as much as $5 to vehicle registration fees during the next decade for building or improving bicycle infrastructure. Two-thirds majority of voters would need to endorse the surcharge for passage.

9/11/2014 (AB2393):

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that permits counties to increase vehicle registration fees to set up fingerprint identification ID programs.
Since 1997, California law has authorized counties to charge $1 surcharges on car registrations while trucks can be charged $2. The revenue is used for fingerprint identification programs.
Previously AB2393, the new law permits the 45 counties already charging vehicle registration fees for fingerprinting ID programs to increase the amount. Specifically, affected counties can charge $2 on car registration fees – up from $1. Trucks would pay $4 – up from $2.
The 13 counties not already applying a charge on vehicle registrations could implement the fees.
The fees are in addition to the $46 base charge, which includes $1 for programs to encourage the voluntary retirement of vehicles that include high-polluting medium-duty trucks; a $24 surcharge to pay for additional California Highway Patrol officers; and other county fees that may be included.

9/2/2014 (SB1183):

The Senate voted 24-9 to endorse Assembly changes to a bill that would ask voters whether local fees should be collected to benefit bike paths, bike parking and other upgrades. It now moves to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.
SB1183 would authorize local governments to include questions on local ballots about whether to add as much as $5 to vehicle registration fees during the next decade for building or improving bicycle infrastructure. Two-thirds majority of voters would need to endorse the surcharge for passage.

8/18/2014 (AB2393):

The Assembly voted 42-32 to advance a bill to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk that would permit counties to increase vehicle registration fees to set up ID programs. Senate lawmakers previously approved the bill on a 21-13 vote.
Since 1997, California law has authorized counties to charge $1 surcharges on car registrations while trucks can be charged $2. The revenue is used for fingerprint identification programs.
AB2393 would permit the 45 counties already charging vehicle registration fees for fingerprinting ID programs to increase the amount. Specifically, affected counties could charge $2 on car registration fees – up from $1. Trucks would pay $4 – up from $2.
The 13 counties not already applying a charge on vehicle registrations could implement the fees.
The fees are in addition to the $46 base charge, which includes $1 for programs to encourage the voluntary retirement of vehicles that include high-polluting medium-duty trucks; a $24 surcharge to pay for additional California Highway Patrol officers; and other county fees that may be included.


6/24/2014 (AB2393):

The Senate Transportation and Housing Committee voted to advance a bill that would permit counties to increase vehicle registration fees to set up fingerprint ID programs. The Assembly already approved it.
AB2393 would permit the 45 counties already charging vehicle registration fees for fingerprint identification programs to increase the amount. Specifically, affected counties could charge $2 on car registration fees – up from $1. Trucks would pay $4 – up from $2.
The 13 counties not already applying a charge on vehicle registrations could implement the fees.
The bill is in the Senate Appropriations Committee.


5/30/2014 (AB2393):

The Assembly voted 41-27 to advance a bill to the Senate that would permit counties to increase vehicle registration fees to set up fingerprint ID programs.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, AB2393 would permit the 45 counties already charging vehicle registration fees for fingerprint identification programs to increase the amount. Specifically, affected counties could charge $2 on car registration fees – up from $1. Trucks would pay $4 – up from $2.
The 13 counties not already applying a charge on vehicle registrations could implement the fees.

 

 

 

 

05/08/2015 - Cap & Trade Delay

5/8/2015 (AB69):

A bill awaiting an Assembly floor vote covers the use of police body-worn cameras. AB69 would specify a set of best practices that a law enforcement agency, department or entity establishing policies and procedures for the implementation and operation of body-worn cameras must consider.


7/16/2014:

An Assembly bill would delay putting fuels under the state’s cap-and-trade program. The program has been in place since 2006 through passage of AB32 – the California Global Warming Solutions Act. The program allows the California Air Resources Board to cap greenhouse gas emissions and require companies to buy permits to exceed those caps.
Currently, the cap applies to power plants and other heavy manufacturers. Starting Jan. 1, 2015, the program is set to expand to include oil companies. It is estimated the program could result in at least a 15-cent-per-gallon fuel tax increase.
Assemblyman Henry Perea, D-Fresno, introduced a bill that would delay for three years the rule requiring the energy industry to purchase permits for transportation fuels.
AB69 can be considered once state lawmakers return from summer recess on Aug. 4.

 

10/06/2014 - Vehicle Miles Traveled Study

10/6/2014 (SB1077):

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill into law to set up a task force to develop a voluntary program to test a new way to get money from highway users.
Specifically, SB1077 authorizes a pilot program in the state to assess the practicality of taxing truckers and other drivers based on vehicle miles traveled in the state. The VMT tax could replace the state’s fuel tax as people are driving vehicles that get better mileage.


9/10/2014:

State senators voted 23-11 to sign off on changes to a bill that would set up a task force to develop a voluntary program to test a new way to get money from highway users. The bill now awaits Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature. Assembly lawmakers already approved it on a 46-26 vote.
SB1077 would authorize a pilot program in the state to assess the practicality of taxing truckers and other drivers based on vehicle miles traveled in the state. The VMT tax could replace the state’s fuel tax as people are driving vehicles that get better mileage.


6/6/2014:

The Senate voted 32-11 to advance a bill that would set up a voluntary program to test a new way to tax highway users. It now moves to the Assembly.
Sponsored by Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, SB1077 would establish a pilot program in the state to assess the feasibility of taxing truckers and other drivers based on vehicle miles traveled in the state. The VMT would replace the state’s fuel tax as people are driving vehicles that get better mileage.
The bill is scheduled for a hearing on June 23 in the Assembly Transportation Committee.


5/13/2014:

The Senate Appropriations Committee met on Monday, May 12, to briefly consider a bill that would set up a voluntary program to test a new way to tax highway users.
Sponsored by Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, SB1077 would establish a pilot program in the state to assess the feasibility of taxing truckers and other drivers based on vehicle miles traveled in the state. The VMT would replace the state’s fuel tax as people are driving vehicles that get better mileage.
At Monday’s hearing, an official with the state Department of Finance testified that the agency is opposed to the bill because it is “unnecessary.”
Committee members were told the California State Transportation Agency already has authority to implement any information gathering pilot program to explore alternative funding methods.
The committee elected to put the bill on “suspense file.” The designation puts bills with a fiscal cost in excess of $150,000 on hold until after the governor releases his May revisions to the state budget.
The state estimates that SB1077 would cost the state more than $1 million annually to administer.

 

10/24/2014 - Warrantless Searches

10/24/2014 (SB828):

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law prohibiting state agencies, officials and corporations that provide services to the state from supporting or assisting the federal government to collect electronic data or metadata on citizens without a warrant.
Previously SB828, the new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2015.


8/27/2014:

The Assembly voted unanimously to advance a bill that would prohibit state agencies, officials and corporations that provide services to the state from supporting or assisting the federal government to collect electronic data or metadata on citizens without a warrant.
SB828 awaits Senate approval of changes made in the Assembly before it can move to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.


6/24/2014:

A bill in the Assembly Public Safety Committee is intended to thwart wayward federal surveillance programs. The Senate already approved it.
SB828 would prohibit state agencies, officials and corporations that provide services to the state from supporting or assisting the federal government to collect electronic data or metadata on citizens without a warrant.


5/23/2014:

The Senate voted 29-1 to send a bill to the Assembly that is intended to thwart wayward federal surveillance programs.
SB828 would prohibit state agencies, officials and corporations that provide services to the state from supporting or assisting the federal government to collect electronic data or metadata on citizens without a warrant.
The bill awaits assignment to committee in the Assembly.


3/24/2014:

A bill in the Senate Public Safety Committee is intended to thwart wayward federal surveillance programs.
Sponsored by Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, SB828 would prohibit state agencies, officials and corporations that provide services to the state from supporting or assisting the federal government to collect electronic data or metadata on citizens without a warrant.

 

09/08/2014 - Smartphone Kill Switch

9/8/2014 (SB962):

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law to require manufacturers to install a shut-off function, or “kill switch,” in all new smartphones sold in the state by next summer.
The kill switch function allows smartphone owners to remotely disable their device if it is lost or stolen, rendering it useless to thieves. Owners can later reverse the function.
SB962 requires that new smartphones sold in the state starting in July 2015 prompt users to enable a kill switch during set-up.


8/22/2014:

The Senate voted 28-8 to sign off on changes to a bill that would require manufacturers to install a shut-off function, or “kill switch,” in all new smartphones sold in the state by next summer. Assembly lawmakers previously approved it on a 53-20 vote.
The bill now awaits action by Gov. Jerry Brown.
The kill switch function allows smartphone owners to remotely disable their device if it is lost or stolen, rendering it useless to thieves. Owners can later reverse the function.
SB962 would require that new smartphones sold in the state starting in mid-2015 prompt users to enable a kill switch during set-up.


7/22/2014:

The Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee has voted 9-2 to advance a bill that would require manufacturers to install a shut-off function, or “kill switch,” in all new smartphones sold in the state by next summer. Specifically, the bill would require that new smartphones sold in the state prompt users to enable a kill switch during set-up.
The kill switch function allows smartphone owners to remotely disable their device if it is lost or stolen, rendering it useless to thieves. Owners can later reverse the function.
The bill now awaits consideration on the Assembly floor when lawmakers return on Aug. 4 from summer break. If approved there, SB962 would need Senate approval of changes before moving to the governor’s desk.


6/10/2014:

The Senate voted 26-8 to send a bill to the Assembly that would require cellphone manufacturers to install and activate a shut-off function in all smartphones sold in the state by next summer.
SB962 would require a kill switch to be the default setting.
A change made to the bill would exempt tablets.
The bill is in the Assembly Business, Professions and Consumer Protection Committee

 

State Watches

12/04/2014 - Cap & Trade Exemption

12/4/2014:

A group of California state lawmakers are renewing their fight against an impending fuel tax increase. Republicans in the state Assembly and Senate are concerned about a program in place since 2006 through passage of AB32 – the California Global Warming Solutions Act. The program allows the California Air Resources Board to cap greenhouse gas emissions and require companies to buy permits to exceed those caps.
Currently, the cap applies to power plants and other heavy manufacturers. Starting Jan. 1, 2015, the program is set to expand to include oil companies. CARB has estimated the program could eventually result in a fuel tax increase between 15 cents and 76 cents per gallon.
State lawmakers on both sides of the aisle called for action this summer by Democratic leaders and Gov. Jerry Brown to prevent the looming tax increase. Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, however, made it clear that he would not stand in the way of plans to put fuels that include gas and diesel under the state’s cap-and-trade program the first of the year.
Despite the setback, multiple lawmakers are picking up where they left off earlier this year.
Among the bills offered for consideration during the upcoming regular session is a measure that would exempt gas and diesel from the program.
Assemblyman Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, said that drivers do not deserve to be penalized by “un-elected bureaucrats.”
“I am all for clean air and doing what we can for climate change, but not at the expense of our economy and not with a regressive tax,” Wilk said in a news release. “At this point only Gov. Brown can stop CARB from enforcing this tax.”
Sen. Ted Gaines, R-Roseville, has offered an alternative to a complete exemption for transportation fuels. His bill would delay for 10 years the rule requiring the energy industry to purchase permits for affected fuels.
“California already has the highest gas taxes in the nation at about 70 cents per gallon,” Gaines stated. “And now we’re asking the state’s working families and small businesses to dig even deeper into their pockets. When is enough, enough?”
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is on record in support of delaying the mandate. The Association previously sent communication to California state lawmakers conveying their concerns about the increased costs that small-business truckers would be forced to absorb.
OOIDA is also one of nearly 40 groups to call on state lawmakers to action to ensure the expanded regulation does not happen “until the California Air Resources Board fully and transparently assesses and communicates the effects of the expansion to the public.
“This is necessary to ensure that the public fully understands the impacts on individuals and to the state’s economic well-being.”
The bills can be considered once the session convenes Jan. 6.

 

2013

State Issues

10/03/2013 - Hit-and-Run Crashes

10/3/2013 (AB184):

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that concerns fatal hit-and-run crashes.
Previously AB184, the new law doubles the statute of limitations for such crimes from three years to six years.
The new rule changes existing law, which allows motorists who flee the scene of an accident to simply “run out the clock” to avoid all criminal liability for seriously injuring or killing another person in a hit-and-run.


9/16/2013:

A bill on its way to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk addresses concerns about fatal hit-and-run crashes.
Current law allows motorists who flee the scene of an accident to simply “run out the clock” to avoid all criminal liability for seriously injuring or killing another person in a hit-and-run.
AB184 would double the statute of limitations for such crimes from three years to six years.
For bill status, call 916-319-2856.

 

10/03/2013 - Carpool Lanes

10/3/2013 (AB405):

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that called for freeing up carpool lanes in the Los Angeles area during non-peak hours and weekends.
“Carpool lanes are especially important in Los Angeles County to reduce pollution and maximize use of freeways,” Brown wrote in his veto message. “We should retain the current 24/7 carpool lane control.”
The bill sought to affect traffic on the 134 Freeway from Studio City to Pasadena and on the 210 Freeway from Pasadena to Glendora.
AB405 called for setting up a pilot program similar to how Northern California limits carpool usage between 6 and 10 a.m. and again between 4 and 7 p.m. on weekdays.


9/16/2013:

The Assembly voted 69-1 to move a bill to the governor that would free up carpool lanes to all highway users in the Los Angeles area during non-peak hours and weekends. Senate lawmakers already approved the bill that would affect traffic on the 134 Freeway from Studio City to Pasadena and on the 210 Freeway from Pasadena to Glendora.
AB405 would set up a pilot program similar to how Northern California limits carpool usage between 6 and 10 a.m. and again between 4 and 7 p.m. on weekdays.
The Southern California program would run from Jan. 1, 2014, to May 21, 2015.
For bill status, call 916-319-2856.

 

06/25/2013 - Red-Light Cameras

6/25/2013 (AB612):

The Assembly voted 72-1 to advance to the Senate a bill that would lengthen yellow times at intersections posted with red-light cameras.
State law requires the minimum yellow time duration set at three seconds and a maximum duration of six seconds, with the longer intervals reserved for roadways with higher speeds.
AB612 would mandate all cities throughout the state that use the ticket cameras to lengthen yellow lights by one second. Any locales that do not make the change would have citations dismissed.
The bill awaits further consideration in the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee. For bill status, call 916-319-2856.

 

10/19/2015 - Smog-Abatement Fees

10/19/2015 (AB8):

Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill to require the California Highway Patrol to activate a “Yellow Alert” system under certain circumstances to find vehicles suspected in hit-and-run incidents.
The state’s existing network of freeway signs would be used to broadcast information when there is a sufficient description of the vehicle or the identity of the suspect is known.
Previously AB8, the new law limits use of the system to the area where the incident occurred and will only be used when the hit-and-run results in death or serious injury. The CHP could also prioritize activation of the system based on certain factors, if multiple alerts are requested.
The yellow alert system is the fourth freeway alert notice to be activated in the state. The other alerts are AMBER, which gives drivers information on child abductions; Blue, which notifies drivers about a violent attack on law enforcement; and Silver, which alerts drivers to a person at least 65 years of age who is missing under unexplained or suspicious circumstances.
The new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2016.


12/11/2014:

Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, has filed a bill for consideration during the upcoming regular session that would include hit-and-run vehicles in the state’s emergency alert program.
The program posts descriptions of vehicles and license plates on freeway signs in certain situations, including child abductions.
Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed the same bill during the fall. He cited concerns about adding alerts that could “overload the system.”
AB8 calls for a “Yellow Alert” system to alert the public about vehicles suspected in hit-and-run incidents and encourage drivers to report the vehicles. The system would be activated by law enforcement when a hit-and-run results in death or serious bodily injury, and a sufficient description of the vehicle is available.


10/4/2013:

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law extending for eight to nine years the 2016 sunset date on all registration and license fees at current rates.
Multiple vehicle fees were added in 2007 to help fund multiple clean air and clean vehicle incentive programs. One of the programs is intended to raise revenue to develop alternative fuel and clean-air technology in the state.
In an effort to reach that goal, AB8 continues until 2024 an increase in the annual vehicle smog-abatement fee by $8 and the registration fee by $3.
It’s a follow-up to a bill signed by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006 that requires the state to cut the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by 25 percent. The state has until 2020 to match emissions levels from 1990.


9/20/2013:

A bill on its way to the governor’s desk would extend for eight to nine years the 2016 sunset date on all registration and license fees at current rates.
Multiple vehicle fees were added in 2007 to help fund multiple clean air and clean vehicle incentive programs. One of the programs is intended to raise revenue to develop alternative fuel and clean-air technology in the state.
In an effort to reach that goal, AB8 would continue until 2024 an increase in the annual vehicle smog-abatement fee by $8 and the registration fee by $3.
It is a follow-up to a bill signed by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006 that requires the state to cut the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by 25 percent. The state has until 2020 to match emissions levels from 1990.

 

09/05/2013 - Tax Approval Threshold

9/5/2013 (SCA4):

The Senate Transportation and Housing Committee recently advanced an effort to ease the voter-approval threshold for transportation sales taxes.
In place since 1995, California law requires approval of two-thirds of voters in any city, county, or special district to pass transportation tax increases. Affected tax votes include vehicle fees, bonds and sales taxes.
One proposed amendment to the state constitution – SCA4 – would drop the threshold from 66.67 percent to 55 percent.
The proposed amendment awaits further consideration in the Senate. For Senate bill status, call 916-651-4171

9/5/2013 (SCA8):

The Senate Transportation and Housing Committee recently advanced a bill that would lower the voter threshold for approving local transportation-related tax questions.
In place since 1995, California law requires approval of two-thirds of voters in any city, county, or special district to benefit infrastructure improvements. Affected tax votes include property taxes and bonds.
A proposed amendment to the state constitution – SCA8 – would drop the threshold from 66.67 percent to 55 percent.
The measure awaits further consideration in the Senate. For Senate bill status, call 916-651-4171.

6/21/2013 (ACA8):

The Assembly voted 54-25 to advance to the Senate an effort to lower the voter threshold for approving local transportation-related tax questions.
In place since 1995, California law requires approval of two-thirds of voters in any city, county, or special district to benefit infrastructure improvements. Affected tax votes include property taxes and bonds.
A proposed amendment to the state constitution – ACA8 – would drop the voter threshold from 66.67 percent to 55 percent.
It has moved to the Senate Rules Committee. For bill status, call 916-319-2856.

 

5/23/2013 (SCA4):

The Senate Governance and Finance Committee advanced an effort to ease the voter-approval threshold for transportation sales taxes.
In place since 1995, California law requires approval of two-thirds of voters in any city, county, or special district to pass transportation tax increases. Affected tax votes include vehicle fees, bonds and sales taxes.
One proposed amendment to the state constitution – SCA4 – would drop the threshold from 66.67 percent to 55 percent.
The proposed amendment awaits further consideration in the Senate. For Senate bill status, call 916-651-4171.

5/23/2013 (SCA8):

The Senate Governance and Finance Committee advanced a measure that would lower the voter threshold for approving local transportation sales tax questions.
In place since 1995, California law requires approval of two-thirds of voters in any city, county, or special district to pass transportation tax increases. Affected tax votes include vehicle fees, bonds and sales taxes.
One proposed amendment to the state constitution – SCA8 – would drop the threshold from 66.67 percent to 55 percent.
The proposed amendment awaits further consideration in the Senate. For Senate bill status, call 916-651-4171.

4/30/2013 (SCA8):

A measure in the Senate Governance and Finance Committee would lower the voter threshold for approving local transportation sales tax questions.
Sponsored by Sen. Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, the proposed amendment to the state constitution – SCA8 – would drop the threshold from 66.67 percent to 55 percent.
In place since 1995, California law requires approval of two-thirds of voters in any city, county, or special district to pass transportation tax increases. Affected tax votes include vehicle fees, bonds and sales taxes.
The proposal is set for a May 15 hearing. For Senate bill status, call 916-651-4171.

2/21/2013 (SCA4):

A measure in the Senate Governance and Finance and Rules committees would ease the voter-approval threshold for transportation sales taxes.
In place since 1995, state law requires approval of two-thirds of voters in any city, county, or special district to pass transportation tax increases. Affected tax votes would include vehicle fees, bonds and sales taxes.
Sen. Carol Liu, D-Pasadena, offered a proposed constitutional amendment that would lower the passage requirement for propositions to 55 percent of voters.
SCA4 is awaiting consideration in the Senate. If approved by lawmakers, it would go to voters for the 2014 fall election. A simple majority would be necessary for passage.
For Assembly bill status, call 916-319-2856.


1/15/2013 (SCA4):

A Senate proposal would ease the voter-approval threshold for transportation sales taxes.
In place since 1995, state law requires approval of two-thirds of voters in any city, county, or special district to pass transportation tax increases. Affected tax votes would include vehicle fees, bonds and sales taxes.
Sen. Carol Liu, D-Pasadena, offered a proposed constitutional amendment that would lower the passage requirement for propositions to 55 percent of voters.
SCA4 is awaiting consideration in the Senate. If approved by lawmakers, it would go to voters for the 2014 fall election. A simple majority would be necessary for passage.
For Assembly bill status, call 916-319-2856

 

 

 

 

 

 

10/15/2015 - Ballot Questions

10/15/2015 (AB210):

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that called for freeing up carpool lanes in the Los Angeles area during non-peak hours and weekends. It is the second time in three years the governor used his veto power to kill the bill.
“I vetoed a nearly identical bill last session,” Brown said in his veto message. “I continue to believe that carpool lanes are especially important in Los Angeles County to reduce pollution and maximize the use of freeways. Therefore, we should continue to retain the current 24/7 carpool lane control.”
The bill won widespread approval in the statehouse. Senate lawmakers voted unanimously to advance the bill after Assembly lawmakers voted in favor of the bill with a 77-1 vote.
As approved by state lawmakers, the bill sought to affect traffic on the 134 Freeway from North Hollywood to Pasadena and on the 210 Freeway from Pasadena to Glendora.
AB210 called for setting up a pilot program similar to how Northern California limits carpool usage between 6 and 10 a.m. and again between 4 and 7 p.m. on weekdays.


9/12/2013:

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that authorizes Alameda and Contra Costa counties to put transportation measures on their ballots to boost funding for local infrastructure.
The counties cannot put transportation sales tax measures on the ballot without first getting an exemption from state lawmakers. The restriction is in place because some cities in the counties would be pushed above a local two percent sales tax cap set by the state.
Previously AB210, the new law grants both counties the authority to exceed the local cap if voters approve an increase by Dec. 31, 2020.


8/23/2013:

The Senate voted 25-12 to send a bill to Gov. Jerry Brown that would authorize Alameda and Contra Costa counties to put transportation measures on their ballots to boost funding for local infrastructure. Assembly lawmakers already approved it on a 46-23 vote.
The counties cannot put transportation sales tax measures on the ballot without first getting an exemption from state lawmakers. The restriction is in place because some cities would be pushed above a local two percent sales tax cap set by the state.
AB210 would grant both counties the authority to exceed the local cap if voters approve an increase by Dec. 31, 2020.
For bill status, call 916-319-2856.


6/18/2013:

The Senate Governance and Finance Committee voted 5-2 to advance a bill to the chamber floor that would authorize Alameda and Contra Costa counties to put transportation measures on their ballots to boost funding for local infrastructure.
If approved by the full Senate it would move to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk. The Assembly already approved it on a 46-23 vote.
The counties cannot put transportation sales tax measures on the ballot without first getting an exemption from state lawmakers. The restriction is in place because some cities would be pushed above a local sales tax cap set by the state.
AB210 would grant both counties the authority to exceed the cap if voters approve an increase by Dec. 31, 2020.
For bill status, call 916-319-2856.


6/3/2013:

A bill in the Senate Governance and Finance Committee would authorize Alameda and Contra Costa counties to put transportation measures on their ballots to boost funding for local infrastructure. The Assembly already approved it.
The counties cannot put transportation sales tax measures on the ballot without first getting an exemption from state lawmakers. The restriction is in place because some cities would be pushed above a sales tax cap set by the state.
AB210 would grant both counties the authority to exceed the cap if voters approve an increase by Dec. 31, 2020.
For bill status, call 916-319-2856.


5/23/2013:

The Assembly voted 46-23 to advance to the Senate a bill that would authorize Alameda and Contra Costa counties to put transportation measures on their ballots to boost funding for local infrastructure.
The counties cannot put transportation sales tax measures on the ballot without first getting an exemption from state lawmakers. The restriction is in place because some cities would be pushed above a sales tax cap set by the state.
AB210 would grant both counties the authority to exceed the cap if voters approve an increase by Dec. 31, 2020.
The bill is awaiting assignment to committee in the Senate. For bill status, call 916-319-2856.


4/30/2013:

A bill in the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee would authorize Alameda and Contra Costa counties to put transportation measures on their ballots to boost funding for local infrastructure.
The counties cannot put transportation sales tax measures on the ballot without first getting an exemption from state lawmakers. The restriction is in place because some cities would be pushed above a sales tax cap set by the state.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, AB210 would grant both counties the authority to exceed the cap if voters approve an increase by Dec. 31, 2020.
For Assembly bill status, call 916-319-2856.

 

10/03/2013 - Illegal Immgrants

10/3/2013 (AB60):

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that authorizes the state to offer driver’s licenses to immigrants in the country illegally.
AB60 requires a special mark and notation on licenses. The notation will state the document “does not establish eligibility for employment or public benefit.”


9/16/2013:

A bill on the way to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk authorizes the state to offer driver’s licenses to immigrants in the country illegally.
AB60 requires a special mark and notation on licenses. The notation would state the document “does not establish eligibility for employment or public benefit.”
For bill status, call 916-319-2856.

 

09/17/2013 - Local Vehicle Fee

9/17/2013 (AB767):

Gov. Jerry Brown signed one bill into law allowing counties throughout the state to double a local fee on cars and trucks for vehicle-theft prevention.
California law already authorizes Los Angeles, San Bernardino and San Diego counties to charge more to fight vehicle theft.
Previously AB767, the new law authorizes fees throughout the state to increase from $1 to $2 for personal vehicles and from $2 to $4 for commercial vehicles. The revenue pays for county programs to “deter, investigate, and prosecute vehicle theft.”
The increase in local revenue would amount to about $19 million annually.
Counties around the state with populations under 250,000 can also use the revenue to prosecute drunken driving and vehicular manslaughter cases.


8/26/2013:

A bill on its way to the governor’s desk would allow counties throughout the state to double a local fee for vehicle-theft prevention.
California law already authorizes Los Angeles, San Bernardino and San Diego counties to charge more to fight vehicle theft.
The Assembly voted to endorse changes to a bill that would authorize fees throughout the state to increase from $1 to $2 for personal vehicles and from $2 to $4 for commercial vehicles. AB767 now moves to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk. Senate lawmakers already approved the fee that appears on vehicle registrations.
The revenue pays for county programs to “deter, investigate, and prosecute vehicle theft.”
The increase in local revenue would amount to about $19 million annually.
Counties around the state with populations under 250,000 could also use the revenue to prosecute drunken driving and vehicular manslaughter cases.
For bill status, call 916-319-2856.

 

09/17/2013 - 'Move Over' Law

9/17/2013 (AB902):

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that called for boosting the fine for violating the state’s “move over” rule.
State law requires vehicles approaching a stopped emergency vehicle with flashing lights to move into a lane away from the vehicle. If unable to change lanes, the driver is required to reduce speed.
The current fine for failure to make way for emergency personnel is $50. After tacking on court fees and other costs, the total penalty is $238.
AB902 sought to increase the fine to $100 and $490, respectively.
Gov. Brown said that he believes the higher fine is more punitive than deterrent.
“No showing has been made that piling on an additional $252 will protect anybody,” Brown wrote in his veto message.


8/26/2013:

A bill headed to the governor would boost the fine for violating the state’s “move over” rule.
State law requires vehicles approaching a stopped emergency vehicle with flashing lights to move into a lane away from the vehicle. If unable to change lanes, the driver is required to reduce speed.
The current fine for failure to make way for emergency personnel is $50. After tacking on court fees and other costs, the total penalty is $279.
AB902 would increase the fine to $100 and $489, respectively.
For bill status, call 916-319-2856.

 

10/23/2013 - Fuel Price Investigation

10/23/2013 (SB448):

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that sought to create an office of fuel price investigation and manipulation prevention at the California Energy Commission.
SB448 authorized the new office to investigate potential incidents of illegal activity and recommend how to reduce price volatility in the state.
The governor referred to the bill as “unnecessary.”
“The Energy Commission already has the authority to analyze and interpret changes in petroleum supply and market price,” Brown wrote in a letter to Senate lawmakers explaining his veto.
However, he asked the Energy Commission to work with the Attorney General’s office to evaluate market trends and ways to respond to price volatility.
The governor called for setting up a plan and a rapid response team that can respond when “sudden and untoward price fluctuations occur.”
Leno said he’s “deeply disappointed” by Brown’s action but he pledged to continue to work with the governor on the issue.


9/2/2013:

The Senate voted 21-17 to agree to changes to a bill that would create an office of fuel price investigation and manipulation prevention at the California Energy Commission. The vote cleared the way for SB448 to move to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.
The bill would authorize the new office to investigate potential incidents of illegal activity and recommend how to reduce price volatility in the state.

 

2012

State Issues

07/31/2012 - Transit Funding

7/31/2012 (AB1446):

The Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled to consider a bill on Monday, Aug. 6, to help pay for dozens of local road, bus and rail projects more quickly. The Assembly already approved the bill on a 54-17 vote.
If approved by lawmakers, voters in Los Angeles County could decide this November whether to extend the length of the Measure R sales tax authorization indefinitely.
Approved by voters in 2008, Measure R increased the county’s sales tax by one-half cent from 8.25 percent to 8.75 percent with the revenue to be used to fund mass transit and road projects, including carpool lanes.
The tax is expected to raise as much as $40 billion for traffic relief and transportation upgrades in Los Angeles County through 2038.
A1446 would allow the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to bond against future Measure R proceeds and get transit projects done much sooner than initially planned, without relying on federal or state funding. He said it would also put people back to work more quickly.
For bill status, call 916-319-2856.


5/2/2012:

The Assembly Transportation Committee voted to advance a bill to help pay for local transit projects more quickly. If approved by lawmakers, voters in Los Angeles County could soon decide whether to extend the length of the Measure R sales tax authorization.
Approved by voters in 2008, Measure R increased the county’s sales tax by one-half cent from 8.25 percent to 8.75 percent with the revenue to be used to fund mass transit and road projects, including carpool lanes.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Mike Feuer, D-Los Angeles, AB1446 does not specify a sunset date on the tax increase.
The bill has moved to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. For Assembly bill status, call 916-319-2856.


4/20/2012:

The Assembly Local Government Committee voted to advance a bill to help pay for local transit projects more quickly. If approved by lawmakers, voters in Los Angeles County could soon decide whether to extend the length of the Measure R sales tax authorization.
Approved by voters in 2008, Measure R increased the county’s sales tax by one-half cent from 8.25 percent to 8.75 percent with the revenue to be used to fund mass transit and road projects, including carpool lanes.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Mike Feuer, D-Los Angeles, AB1446 does not specify a sunset date on the tax increase.
The bill has moved to the Assembly Transportation Committee. For Assembly bill status, call 916-319-2856.


2/8/2012:

A bill in the Assembly Local Government and Transportation Committee would help pay for local transit projects more quickly. If approved by lawmakers, voters in Los Angeles County could soon decide whether to extend the length of the Measure R sales tax authorization.
Approved by voters in 2008, Measure R increased the county’s sales tax by one-half cent from 8.25 percent to 8.75 percent with the revenue to be used to fund mass transit and road projects, including carpool lanes.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Mike Feuer, D-Los Angeles, AB1446 does not specify a sunset date on the tax increase.
For Assembly bill status, call 916-319-2856.


1/6/2012:

Assemblyman Mike Feuer, D-Los Angeles, introduced a bill Wednesday, Jan. 4, to help pay for local transit projects more quickly. If approved by lawmakers, voters in Los Angeles County could soon decide whether to extend the length of the Measure R sales tax authorization.
Approved by voters in 2008, Measure R increased the county’s sales tax by one-half cent from 8.25 percent to 8.75 percent with the revenue to be used to fund mass transit and road projects, including carpool lanes.
The tax is expected to raise as much as $40 billion for traffic relief and transportation upgrades through 2038.
AB1446 does not specify a sunset date on the tax increase. It is awaiting assignment to committee.
For Assembly bill status, call 916-319-2856.

 

09/27/2012 - Weighmasters

9/27/2012 (AB1518):

Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill to enable a weighmaster weighing construction loads, to use an unattended weighing system. Affected loads include dirt, stone, sand, gravel and ready mixed concrete.
Previously AB1518, the new rule takes effect Jan. 1, 2013.

 

09/19/2012 - Proof of Insurance

9/19/2012 (AB1708):

Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill to simplify providing proof of vehicle insurance. It takes effect Jan. 1, 2013.
Previously AB1708, the new law gives drivers the option to present their proof of vehicle insurance by smartphone, or other mobile device.
The bill also clarifies to law enforcement that the electronic version of this document is equivalent to the paper form and acceptable for presentation during a traffic stop or following a wreck.

 

05/02/2012 - Smoke Testing

5/2/2012 (AB1922):

The Assembly Appropriations Committee voted to advance a bill that covers a mandate that certain trucks based in the state undergo smoke testing.
The state’s Air Resources Board now requires owners or operators of at least two California-based trucks, with gross vehicle weight ratings of at least 14,000 pounds, to undergo annual inspections of their vehicles for excessive emissions of smoke.
The Periodic Smoke Inspection Program also mandates that truck models from 1998 and older, with weight ratings more than 6,000 pounds, must be tested for smoke opacity.
An exception is made for affected trucks until after the fourth model year of the engine. In addition, one-truck operations also are exempt from the testing requirement.
AB1922 was amended in committee to require truck owners to complete smoke opacity inspections and any necessary repairs on or before Dec. 31 each year.
For Assembly bill status, call 916-319-2856.


3/22/2012:

A bill in the Assembly Transportation Committee would do away with a mandate that certain trucks based in the state undergo smoke testing.
The state’s Air Resources Board now requires owners or operators of at least two California-based trucks, with gross vehicle weight ratings of at least 14,000 pounds, to undergo annual inspections of their vehicles for excessive emissions of smoke.
The Periodic Smoke Inspection Program also mandates that truck models from 1998 and older, with weight ratings more than 6,000 pounds, must be tested for smoke opacity.
An exception is made for affected trucks until after the fourth model year of the engine. In addition, one-truck operations also are exempt from the testing requirement.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, AB1922 would mandate that CARB change the testing requirements to exempt trucks with 2007 and newer model-year engines. In 2023, all affected trucks would no longer be required to undergo smoke tests.
Truck operations typically pay between $45 and $100 to have smoke opacity testing done. Failure to abide by the rule can result in fines of at least $500 per vehicle, per year.
For Assembly bill status, call 916-319-2856.


2/28/2012:

Assemblyman Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, has introduced a bill to do away with a mandate that certain trucks based in the state undergo smoke testing.
The state’s Air Resources Board now requires owners or operators of at least two California-based trucks, with gross vehicle weight ratings of at least 14,000 pounds, to undergo annual inspections of their vehicles for excessive emissions of smoke.
The Periodic Smoke Inspection Program also mandates that truck models from 1998 and older, with weight ratings more than 6,000 pounds, must be tested for smoke opacity.
An exception is made for affected trucks until after the fourth model year of the engine. In addition, one-truck operations also are exempt from the testing requirement.
AB1922 would mandate that CARB change the testing requirements to exempt trucks with 2007 and newer model-year engines. In 2023, all affected trucks would no longer be required to undergo smoke tests.
Truck operations typically pay between $45 and $100 to have smoke opacity testing done. Failure to abide by the rule can result in fines of at least $500 per vehicle, per year.
The bill is awaiting assignment to committee.
For Assembly bill status, call 916-319-2856.

 

09/27/2012 - Brokers

9/27/2012 (AB2118):

Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill to prohibit household goods movers from being brokers.
AB2118 also addresses unlicensed operators who use the Internet to lure customers.
A broker will be defined as “a person engaged for others” in setting up household goods hauls on behalf of shippers.
Also, HHG haulers with websites will be required to add a link directing visitors to the Public Utilities Commission website on moving companies, which promotes consumer rights and protection. Failure to abide by the rule could result in $2,500 fines.

9/24/2012 (SB1092):

Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill to require construction trucking brokers to annually disclose a copy of his or her surety bond. It takes effect Jan. 1, 2013.
For nearly two years California law has required a broker of construction trucking services to post a bond to ensure payment to a contracted subhauler whose services were brokered. The broker also receives certification of the subcontracted company’s permit to operate.
Brokers are required to secure a surety bond of at least $15,000 to ensure payment. Failure to secure a bond is a misdemeanor and could result in as much as a $5,000 fine.
Previously SB1092, the new law addresses that problem by adding notification requirements to the existing broker bond.


8/29/2012 (SB1092):

The Senate voted unanimously to sign off on changes to a bill to require construction trucking brokers to disclose a copy of his or her surety bond. Assembly lawmakers approved the bill by unanimous consent. SB1092 now moves to the governor’s desk.
Since January 2011, California law requires a broker of construction trucking services to post a bond to ensure payment to a contracted subhauler whose services were brokered. The broker also receives certification of the subhauler’s permit to operate.
Brokers are required to secure a surety bond of at least $15,000 to ensure payment. Failure to secure a bond is a misdemeanor and could result in as much as a $5,000 fine.
SB1092 would require construction trucking brokers to disclose a copy of his or her surety bond.
If signed into law, it would take effect Jan. 1, 2013.
For bill status, call 916-651-4171.


8/28/2012 (AB2118):

The Legislature advanced a bill to the governor’s desk to prohibit household goods movers from being brokers.
AB2118 addresses unlicensed operators who use the Internet to lure customers. A broker would be defined as “a person engaged for others” in setting up household goods hauls on behalf of shippers.
Also, HHG haulers with websites would be required to add a link directing visitors to the Public Utilities Commission website on moving companies that promotes consumer rights and protection. Failure to abide by the rule could result in $2,500 fines.
For bill status, call 916-319-2856.

8/16/2012 (AB2118):

 

The full Senate could vote any day on a bill to prohibit household goods movers from being brokers. If approved, it would head back to the Assembly for a final vote before it could move to the governor.
AB2118 addresses unlicensed operators who use the Internet to lure customers. Brokers would be defined as “a person engaged for others” in setting up household goods hauls on behalf of shippers.
Also, HHG haulers with websites would be required to add a link directing visitors to the Public Utilities Commission website on moving companies that promotes consumer rights and protection. Failure to abide by the rule could result in fines of up to $2,500.
For bill status, call 916-319-2856.

8/15/2012 (SB1092):

Awaiting consideration on the Assembly floor is a bill that is intended to help subhaulers with brokers. It now moves to the Assembly.
Since January 2011, California law requires a broker of construction trucking services to post a bond to ensure payment to a contracted subhauler whose services were brokered. The broker also receives certification of the subhauler’s permit to operate.
Brokers are required to secure a surety bond of at least $15,000 to ensure payment. Failure to secure a bond is a misdemeanor and could result in as much as a $5,000 fine.
SB1092 would require construction trucking brokers to disclose a copy of his or her surety bond.
If approved on the Assembly floor it would move back to the Senate for consideration of changes before it could advance to the governor’s desk. For bill status, call 916-651-4171.


7/23/2012 (AB2118):

A bill in the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee addresses unlicensed operators who use the Internet to lure customers. The Assembly already approved it.
AB2118 would define brokers as “a person engaged for others” in setting up household goods hauls on behalf of shippers.
Also, HHG haulers with websites would be required to add a link directing visitors to the Public Utilities Commission website on moving companies that promotes consumer rights and protection. Failure to abide by the rule could result in fines of up to $2,500.
For bill status, call 916-319-2856.


6/7/2012 (AB2118):

The Assembly voted unanimously to advance a bill to prohibit household goods movers from being brokers. It now moves to the Senate.
AB2118 would define brokers as “a person engaged for others” in setting up household goods hauls on behalf of shippers.
Also, HHG haulers with websites would be required to add a link directing visitors to the Public Utilities Commission website on moving companies that promotes consumer rights and protection. Failure to abide by the rule could result in fines of up to $2,500.
The bill has moved to the Senate Rules Committee. For bill status, call 916-319-2856.


5/23/2012 (SB1092):

The Senate voted unanimously to advance a bill that is intended to help dump truck operators with brokers. It now moves to the Assembly.
Since January 2011, California law requires a broker of construction trucking services to post a bond to ensure payment to a dump truck operator whose services were brokered. The broker also receives certification of the dump truck operator’s permit to operate.
Brokers are required to secure a surety bond of at least $15,000 to ensure payment. Failure to secure a bond is a misdemeanor and could result in as much as a $5,000 fine.
Sponsored by Sen. Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, SB1092 would require construction trucking brokers to disclose a copy of his or her surety bond.
The bill is awaiting consideration in the Assembly Transportation Committee. For bill status, call 916-651-4171.

 

4/30/2012 (AB2118):

 

A bill in the Assembly Appropriations Committee would prohibit household goods movers from being brokers.
Sponsored by Assemblywoman Betsy Butler, D-Los Angeles, AB2118 would define brokers as “a person engaged for others” in setting up household goods hauls on behalf of shippers.
Also, the Public Utilities Commission could order removed online postings by unlicensed household goods movers. Affected haulers could face fines of up to $5,000 each day for false claims.
For Assembly bill status, call 916-319-2856.

4/16/2012 (SB1092):

A bill in the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee revisits a rule that is intended to help dump truck operators with brokers.
Since Jan. 2011, California law requires a broker of construction trucking services to post a bond to ensure payment to a dump truck operator whose services were brokered. The broker also receives certification of the dump truck operator’s permit to operate.
Brokers are required to secure a surety bond of at least $15,000 to ensure payment. Failure to secure a bond is a misdemeanor and could result in as much as a $5,000 fine. However, they are not required to notify others of the bond information.
Sponsored by Sen. Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, SB1092 would require construction trucking brokers to disclose a copy of his or her surety bond.
In addition, if the work has already been completed and the broker has not made payment, the dump truck operator can easily access the bond information to file a claim.
For Senate bill status, call 916-651-4171.

 

 

10/01/2012 - Truck Rules
06/05/2012 - Ticketing Loophole

6/5/2012 (AB2192):

A bill has died that sought to remove a roadblock to collect millions from police officers and other state workers who are able to get around paying traffic and parking tickets, toll violations or red-light camera fines. They are able to elude tickets because the home addresses are not displayed in the Department of Motor Vehicles’ public-access records.
Currently, California law allows police officers and other state workers to obtain confidential license plates that are intended to protect officials from criminals. The list of jobs included has expanded through the years to include everything from county supervisors and park rangers to museum guards.
AB2192 would have required confidential plate holders to submit a current employment address. Tickets would have been mailed to that location.
Vehicle registration renewals would have been prohibited for confidential plate holders who haven’t paid their tickets. It would also have suspended the legal time period to hand out violations until agencies are supplied with the person’s work address.

4/27/2012:

The Assembly Transportation Committee voted unanimously Tuesday, April 24, to advance a bill that would remove a roadblock to collect millions from police officers and other state workers who are able to get around paying traffic and parking tickets, toll violations or red-light camera fines. They are able to elude tickets because the home addresses are not displayed in the Department of Motor Vehicles’ public-access records.
Currently, California law allows police officers and other state workers to obtain confidential license plates that are intended to protect officials from criminals. The list of jobs included has expanded through the years to include everything from county supervisors and park rangers to museum guards.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Jeff Miller, R-Corona, AB2192 would require confidential plate holders to submit a current employment address. Tickets would be mailed to that location.
Vehicle registration renewals would be prohibited for confidential plate holders who haven’t paid their tickets. It would also suspend the legal time period to hand out violations until agencies are supplied with the person’s work address.
The bill could soon come up for consideration on the Assembly floor.

10/01/2012 - Video Event Recorders

10/1/2012 (AB2477):

Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill to conform California law with a federal exemption on the use of video event recorders in large trucks.
State law has prohibited motor carriers operating solely within California from placing objects on windshields that obstruct, or reduce, the driver’s view.
As long as the federal exemption remains in place, AB2477 authorizes use of video cameras on intrastate truck windshields. More specifically, the cameras could be posted in the upper center portion of the windshield.

8/28/2012:

A bill on its way to the governor would conform California law with a federal exemption on the use of video event recorders in large trucks.
State law now prohibits drivers from placing objects on windshields that obstruct, or reduce, the driver’s view.
As long as the federal exemption remains in place, AB2477 would authorize use of video cameras on truck windshields. More specifically, the cameras could be posted in the upper center portion of the windshield.
For bill status, call 916-319-2856.

8/16/2012:

The Senate voted unanimously to approve a bill to conform California law with a federal exemption on the use of video event recorders in large trucks. It now heads back to the Assembly for approval of changes.
State law now prohibits motor carriers operating solely within California from placing objects on windshields that obstruct, or reduce, the driver’s view.
As long as the federal exemption remains in place, AB2477 would authorize use of video cameras on intrastate truck windshields. More specifically, the cameras could be posted in the upper center portion of the windshield.
For bill status, call 916-319-2856.

7/23/2012:

The Senate Transportation and Housing Committee voted to advance a bill to conform California law with a federal exemption on the use of video event recorders in large trucks. Assembly lawmakers already approved the bill by unanimous consent.
State law now prohibits drivers from placing objects on windshields that obstruct, or reduce, the driver’s view.
As long as the federal exemption remains in place, AB2477 would authorize use of video cameras on truck windshields. More specifically, the cameras could be posted in the upper center portion of the windshield.
For bill status, call 916-319-2856.

6/7/2012:

The Assembly voted unanimously to advance a bill to conform California law with a federal exemption on the use of video event recorders in large trucks. It now moves to the Senate.
State law now prohibits drivers from placing objects on windshields that obstruct, or reduce, the driver’s view.
AB2477 would authorize use of video cameras on truck windshields. More specifically, the cameras can be posted in the upper center portion of the windshield.
The bill is in the Senate Rules Committee. For bill status, call 916-319-2856.

4/30/2012:

A bill in the Assembly Appropriations Committee would conform California law with a federal exemption on the use of video event recorders in large trucks.
State law now prohibits drivers from placing objects on windshields that obstruct, or reduce, the driver’s view.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Martin Garrick, R-Carlsbad, AB2477 would authorize use of video cameras on truck windshields. More specifically, the cameras can be posted in the upper center portion of the windshield.
For Assembly bill status, call 916-319-2856.

10/05/2012 - License Plate Alterations

10/5/2012 (AB2489):

Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill to boost the fine for drivers who alter, or cover, their license plates to avoid tickets for red-light camera violations.
Previously AB2489, the new law authorizes fines of as much as $250 – up from $25.

07/19/2012 - High-Speed Rail

7/19/2012 (SB1029):
Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law Wednesday, July 18, to allocate $7.9 billion to start work on the California high-speed rail line.
Approved by California voters in 2008 to help reduce congestion, the project has been stuck in park. Plans call for enabling a 200 mph “bullet train” that could go from San Francisco to Los Angeles in about two and one-half hours.
SB1029 allocates $5.8 billion for initial construction of a 130-mile rail line in the Central Valley. The money will come from state rail bonds approved at the ballot four years ago and federal aid.
Also included is $1.9 billion in state rail bond proceeds to upgrade urban rail systems in the Bay Area and Los Angeles and link them to high-speed rail.
The entire project is estimated at $68 billion.

06/05/2012 - Drunk Drivers

6/5/2012 (SB1203):

A bill has died that sought to reward good Samaritan’s for alerting law enforcement about possible drunk drivers.
SB1203 failed to advance from the Senate Appropriations Committee prior to a deadline, effectively killing it for the year.
California law defines driving under the influence of alcohol for motorists as having at least a 0.08 percent level of alcohol in the blood.
The bill provided $100 rewards for individuals who report seeing people behind the wheel after drinking one too many.
Do-gooders would have stood to receive the monetary reward as long as the driver in question is convicted of the offense.
State funds would not have been used to compensate the person making the report. Instead, convicted offenders would have been responsible for paying the reward.

5/21/2012:

A bill scheduled for consideration in the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday, May 24, would reward good Samaritan’s for alerting law enforcement about possible drunk drivers.
California law defines driving under the influence of alcohol for motorists as having at least a 0.08 percent level of alcohol in the blood.
Sponsored by Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, SB1203 would provide $100 rewards for individuals who report seeing people behind the wheel after drinking one too many.
Do-gooders would stand to receive the monetary reward as long as the driver in question is convicted of the offense.
State funds would not be used to compensate the person making the report. Instead, convicted offenders would be responsible for paying the reward.
For Senate bill status, call 916-651-4171.

10/01/2012 - Ticket Cameras

10/1/2012 (SB1303):

Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that is intended to help ease concerns about ticket cameras being used as revenue generators.
Currently, fines for red-light camera violations can exceed $500 with court costs.
Previously SB1303, the new law establishes statewide standards for installation and operation of ticket cameras by local governments.
Before communities can install cameras the bill specifies that they must show “the system is needed at a specific location for reasons related to safety.” The provision will affect ticket systems installed after Jan. 1, 2013. Existing systems are required to be in compliance the following year.
In addition, SB1303 simplifies efforts to challenge wrongfully issued tickets and outlaw so-called “snitch tickets” that attempt to force vehicle owners to identify another driver to get a ticket cleared.
State law now prohibits hearsay evidence in court cases. The bill specifies that evidence collected from ticket cameras is not hearsay. The change ensures that computer printouts, photos and video associated with the devices are admissible in court.

9/17/2012 (SB1303):

A bill on the governor’s desk is intended to help ease concerns about ticket cameras being used as revenue generators. Fines for red-light camera violations now can exceed $500 with court costs.
If signed into law the rule change would establish statewide standards for installation and operation of ticket cameras by local governments.
Before communities can install cameras the bill specifies that they must show “the system is needed at a specific location for reasons related to safety.” The provision would affect ticket systems installed after Jan. 1, 2013. Existing systems would be required to be in compliance the following year.
In addition, SB1303 would simplify efforts to challenge wrongfully issued tickets and outlaw so-called “snitch tickets” that attempt to force vehicle owners to identify another driver to get a ticket cleared.
State law now prohibits hearsay evidence in court cases. The bill would specify that evidence collected from ticket cameras is not hearsay. The change would ensure that computer printouts, photos and video associated with the devices are admissible in court.
Gov. Jerry Brown has until Sept. 30 to decide whether he will sign or veto the bill. A year ago he vetoed a similar effort citing his desire for local officials to oversee the ticket cameras.

6/5/2012 (AB2128)

A bill has died that was intended to curb the worst abuses of red-light cameras throughout the state.
AB2128 failed to advance from the Assembly Transportation Committee before to a deadline, effectively killing it for the year.
The bill would have reduced the base fine on “rolling right turn” tickets from $100 to $35. Another provision would have added one second to the state-established minimum time for yellow lights outfitted with ticket cameras.
A separate provision addressed a rule change to give California communities leeway in setting speed limits and, as a result, reduce yellow light intervals.
Since Jan. 1, 2012, cities throughout the state have the option to round speed limits down after a traffic study, regardless of 85th percentile travel speeds.
Yellow times at affected intersections would have been required to be rounded up to the nearest 5-mph increment.

5/3/2012 (SB1303):
The Senate Appropriations Committee voted to advance a bill to the chamber floor that would establish statewide standards for installation and operation of ticket cameras by local governments. If approved there, it would move to the Assembly for further consideration.
Sponsored by Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, SB1303 would require communities to show that “the system is needed at a specific location for reasons related to safety.” The provision would affect ticket systems installed after Jan. 1, 2013. Existing systems would be required to be in compliance the following year.
Among the provisions included in the bill is a requirement for local governments to better warn drivers that the cameras are in use. Warning signs would be required within 200 feet of an intersection with cameras.
For Senate bill status, call 916-651-4171.

4/19/2012 (SB1303):

A bill in the Senate Appropriations Committee would establish statewide standards for installation and operation of ticket cameras by local governments.
Sponsored by Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, SB1303 would require communities to show that “the system is needed at a specific location for reasons related to safety.” The provision would affect ticket systems installed after Jan. 1, 2013. Existing systems would be required to be in compliance the following year.
Among the provisions included in the bill is a requirement for local governments to better warn drivers that the cameras are in use. Warning signs would be required within 200 feet of an intersection with cameras.
For Senate bill status, call 916-651-4171.

3/23/2012 (AB2128):
A bill in the Assembly Transportation Committee is intended to curb the worst abuses of red-light cameras throughout the state. It is scheduled to get a hearing on April 9.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Paul Cook, R-Yucca Valley, AB2128 would reduce the base fine on “rolling right turn” tickets from $100 to $35. Another provision would add one second to the state-established minimum time for yellow lights outfitted with ticket cameras.
A separate provision addresses a rule change to give California communities leeway in setting speed limits and, as a result, reduce yellow light intervals.
Since Jan. 1, 2012, cities throughout the state have the option to round speed limits down after a traffic study, regardless of 85th percentile travel speeds.
Yellow times at affected intersections would be required to be rounded up to the nearest 5-mph increment.
For Assembly bill status, call 916-319-2856:
A bill in the Assembly Transportation Committee is intended to curb the worst abuses of red-light cameras throughout the state. It is scheduled to get a hearing on April 9.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Paul Cook, R-Yucca Valley, AB2128 would reduce the base fine on “rolling right turn” tickets from $100 to $35. Another provision would add one second to the state-established minimum time for yellow lights outfitted with ticket cameras.
A separate provision addresses a rule change to give California communities leeway in setting speed limits and, as a result, reduce yellow light intervals.
Since Jan. 1, 2012, cities throughout the state have the option to round speed limits down after a traffic study, regardless of 85th percentile travel speeds.
Yellow times at affected intersections would be required to be rounded up to the nearest 5-mph increment.
For Assembly bill status, call 916-319-2856

06/05/2012 - Fuel Taxes

6/5/2012 (SB1396):

A bill has died that was intended to give truckers and others some help with rising fuel costs.
SB1396 failed to advance from the Senate Government and Finance Committee prior to a deadline, effectively killing it for the year.
The state’s diesel tax rate is 43.5 cents per gallon while the gas tax is set at 35.7 cents. Sales tax is also applied to fuel purchases. The California Board of Equalization is responsible to modify the tax rates on an annual basis.
The bill would have capped the state excise taxes on gas and diesel at their current rates. In addition, sales tax would have been applied only to the first $3.52 per gallon of diesel and $3.88 per gallon of gas.

4/12/2012:

A bill in the Senate Government and Finance Committee is intended to give truckers and others some help with rising fuel costs.
The state’s diesel tax rate is 43.5 cents per gallon while the gas tax is set at 35.7 cents. Sales tax is also applied to fuel purchases. The California Board of Equalization is responsible to modify the tax rates on an annual basis.
Sponsored by Sen. Bob Dutton, R-Rancho Cucamonga, SB1396 would cap the state excise taxes on gas and diesel at their current rates. In addition, sales tax would be applied only to the first $3.52 per gallon of diesel and $3.88 per gallon of gas.
It is estimated that a $1 increase would force the average consumer to pay another 8 cents in taxes per gallon. In all, consumers would pay another $1.4 billion in fuel taxes each year.
For Senate bill status, call 916-651-4171.

03/02/2012 - Load Inspections

3/2/2012 (AB1508):

Provisions were removed from AB1508 to cover the inspection of loads by local law enforcement.

2/4/2012:

A bill in the Assembly Public Safety Committee covers the inspection of loads by local law enforcement.
AB1508 would authorize city police and county sheriff’s officers to stop and inspect haulers of timber, livestock, poultry, farm produce and oil products.
For Assembly bill status, call 916-319-2856.

04/01/2012 - Call Boxes

4/19/2012 (AB1572):

The Assembly Transportation Committee voted unanimously to advance a bill to reform a program in San Diego that is intended to aid stranded motorists.
The San Diego Service Authority for Freeway Emergencies – or SAFE – receives about $2.6 million annually from a vehicle fee collected in the county. The $1 fee is tacked on to registration fees for vehicles in the county to support call boxes along area freeways.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, I-San Diego, an amended version of AB1572 would dissolve the SAFE board and transfer the program to the San Diego Association of Governments – or SANDAG. In addition, the supervising agency would be required to post a detailed budget online that would account for how call box funds are allocated.
Collection of the $1 fee also would be put on hold through 2014. In addition, more than $9 million in reserves would be divvied among 18 local governments for police and fire protection.
The bill next moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. For Assembly bill status, call 916-319-2856.

4/4/2012:

A bill in the Assembly Transportation Committee would suspend the collection of a vehicle fee for call boxes along San Diego freeways.
A $1 fee is tacked on to registration fees for vehicles in San Diego County to help support the program that is intended to aid stranded motorists.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, I-San Diego, AB1572 would suspend funding for the San Diego Service Authority for Freeway Emergencies – or SAFE. Collection of the $1 fee would be put on hold for four years and more than $9 million in reserves would be divvied among 18 local governments for police and fire protection.
The authority could keep as much as $4 million for operations, which is expected to get them to 2016. In the meantime, they would be responsible for developing a long-range plan that would include assessing the number of boxes needed, the location of boxes with the highest and lowest volumes of calls, and the viability of the call boxes.
The bill is scheduled for committee discussion on April 16. For Assembly bill status, call 916-319-2856.

09/19/2012 - Traffic School

9/19/2012 (AB1888):

Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill to allow commercial drivers to attend traffic schools for minor violations occurring in their personal vehicles to help keep their driver status in good standing. It takes effect Jan. 1, 2013.
California law now prohibits professional drivers from attending traffic school to remove routine traffic violations occurring in their personal vehicles, including motorcycles, from their records. The eight-year-old law was adopted to comply with federal rules.
Previously AB1888, the new law will no longer carry a point penalty for affected violations. However, insurance companies would continue to be notified of the violations.

8/23/2012:

The Senate voted unanimously to advance a bill that would allow commercial drivers to attend traffic schools for minor violations occurring in their personal vehicles to help keep their driver status in good standing. It now heads back to the Assembly for approval of changes before it can move to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.
California law now prohibits professional drivers from attending traffic school to remove routine traffic violations occurring in their personal vehicles, including motorcycles, from their records. The eight-year-old law was adopted to comply with federal rules.
AB1888 would not carry a point penalty for affected violations. However, insurance companies would continue to be notified of the violations.
For bill status, call 916-319-2856.

7/18/2012:

The Senate Transportation Committee voted unanimously to advance a bill that would allow commercial drivers to attend traffic schools to help keep their driver status in good standing. Assembly lawmakers already approved it by unanimous consent.
California law now prohibits professional drivers from attending traffic school to remove routine traffic violations occurring in their personal vehicles, including motorcycles, from their records. The eight-year-old law was adopted to comply with federal rules.
AB1888 would not carry a point penalty for affected violations. However, insurance companies would continue to be notified of the violations.
For bill status, call 916-319-2856.

6/8/2012:

The Assembly voted unanimously to advance a bill that would allow commercial drivers to attend traffic schools to help keep their driver status in good standing. It now moves to the Senate.
California law now prohibits professional drivers from attending traffic school to remove routine traffic violations occurring in their personal vehicles, including motorcycles, from their records. The eight-year-old law was adopted to comply with federal rules.
AB1888 would not carry a point penalty for affected violations. However, insurance companies would continue to be notified of the violations.
The bill has moved to the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee. For bill status, call 916-319-2856.

5/17/2012:

The Assembly Appropriations Committee voted unanimously to advance a bill that would allow commercial drivers to attend traffic schools to help keep their driver status in good standing.
California law now prohibits professional drivers from attending traffic school to remove traffic violations occurring in their personal vehicles, including motorcycles, from their records. The eight-year-old law was adopted to comply with federal rules.
In response, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration indicated in a letter submitted by bill supporters that the state may “hold the point count for violations that carry points under California vehicle and traffic law” without running afoul of the “prohibition on masking violations.”
Sponsored by Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, AB1888 would not carry a point penalty for affected violations. However, insurance companies would continue to be notified of the violations.
Already endorsed by the Assembly Transportation Committee, the bill now moves to the chamber floor for further consideration. If approved there, it would head to the Senate.
For Assembly bill status, call 916-319-2856.

4/26/2012:

The Assembly Transportation Committee voted unanimously to advance a bill that would allow commercial drivers to attend traffic schools to help keep their driver status in good standing.
California law now prohibits professional drivers from attending traffic school to remove traffic violations occurring in their personal vehicles from their records. The 8-year-old law was adopted to comply with federal rules.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, AB1888 would not carry a point penalty for affected violations. However, insurance companies would continue to be notified of the violations.
In response, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration indicated in a letter submitted by supporters that the state may “hold the point count for violations that carry points under California vehicle and traffic law” without running afoul of the “prohibition on masking violations.”
The bill awaits further consideration on the Assembly floor. For Assembly bill status, call 916-319-2856.

07/16/2012 - Port Insurance

7/16/2012 (AB2058):

A bill in the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee addresses unlicensed operators who use the Internet to lure customers. The Assembly already approved it.
AB2118 would define brokers as “a person engaged for others” in setting up household goods hauls on behalf of shippers.
Also, HHG haulers with websites would be required to add a link directing visitors to the Public Utilities Commission website on moving companies that promotes consumer rights and protection. Failure to abide by the rule could result in fines of up to $2,500.
For bill status, call 916-319-2856.

4/30/2012:

On its way to the Assembly floor is a bill that is intended to ensure trucks coming onto California ports are properly insured.
California law now sets minimum insurance coverage for truckers at $750,000 for non-hazardous loads and between $1 million and $5 million for hazardous hauls, depending on the classification.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, AB2058 would require ports to post notices if/when insurance minimums increase at the gate and on the terminals website.
For Assembly bill status, call 916-319-2856.

09/26/2012 - Carpool Lanes

9/26/2012 (AB2200):

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill to suspend eastbound carpool lanes on segments of Interstate 80 between San Francisco and Sacramento.
AB2200 would have removed the HOV lane traveling north on I-80 between the Bay Bridge and Carquinez Bridge during the morning rush.
The governor said he did not want to end the program.
“Encouraging carpooling is important to reduce pollution and make more efficient use of our highways,” Brown wrote in his veto message. “This bill goes in a wrong direction.”

05/08/2012 - Privatized Rest Areas

5/8/2012 (AB2485)

A bill still alive in the Assembly Transportation Committee would authorize the California Department of Transportation to sign deals with private business to operate rest areas. The state would keep ownership of all property.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, AB2485 was rejected by the committee but a request for reconsideration was granted, which buys time for advocates to drum up support.
According to the bill analysis, privatizing nearly a third of the state’s 87 rest areas could generate $3 million annually in lease revenue. Another $7.5 million a year would come from new sales tax revenue.
Authority to move forward with privatization plans is a two-step process. It would require approval from state lawmakers and the federal government. Since 1956, federal law has prohibited states from commercializing rest stops along interstate highways.
For Assembly bill status, call 916-319-2856.

09/27/2012 - Military Truckers

9/27/2012 (AB2659):

Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill to simplify the commercial driver’s licensing process for military personnel.
AB2659 authorizes the Department of Motor Vehicles to waive the driving skills test for certain truck drivers with military commercial motor vehicle experience.
To be eligible, applicants must be licensed with the U.S. Armed Forces for at least the prior two years. They must also be within 90 days of their discharge.
The change takes effect Jan. 1, 2013.

8/30/2012:
On its way to the governor is a bill to simplify the commercial driver’s licensing process for military personnel.
AB2659 would authorize the Department of Motor Vehicles to waive the driving skills test for a truck driver with military commercial motor vehicle experience. To be eligible, applicants must be licensed with the U.S. Armed Forces.
The effort is in response to a change in Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations to allow states to waive the skills tests for applicants with a military commercial vehicle license.
For bill status, call 916-319-2856.

8/28/2012:
Awaiting final consideration on the Assembly floor before it can advance to the governor is a bill to simplify the commercial driver’s licensing process for military personnel. The Senate already approved it.
As approved by the Senate, AB2659 would authorize the Department of Motor Vehicles to waive the driving skills test for a truck driver with military commercial motor vehicle experience. To be eligible, applicants must be licensed with the U.S. Armed Forces.
The effort is in response to a change in Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations to allow states to waive the skills tests for applicants with a military commercial vehicle license.
For bill status, call 916-319-2856.

09/26/2012 - Self-Driving Vehicles

9/26/2012 (SB1298):

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law Tuesday, Sept. 25, to allow autonomous, or self-driving, vehicles onto California roadways. Specifically, it sets up safety and performance standards to test and operate the vehicles throughout the state.
Previously SB1298, the new law also calls on the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles to adopt regulations on licensing, testing and operation of the vehicles no later than Jan. 1, 2015.

10/05/2012 - Text Messaging

10/5/2012 (SB1310):

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill to increase the deterrent to engaging in distracted driving practices.
California law already bars drivers from texting or talking on hand-held phones.
SB1310 sought to raise fines from $20 to $30. The amount equated to about $200 after court costs – up from $160.
Repeat offenders would have faced $60 fines – up from $50. With fees added the fine would have topped out at about $370 – up from $280.
“The current fines are not trivial but do in fact get drivers’ attention,” Brown wrote in his veto message. “Upping the fines may satisfy the punitive instincts of some, but I severely doubt that it will further reduce violations.”
The state’s youngest drivers would also have come under increased scrutiny. Drivers under 18 now are forbidden to use any type of cellphone, pager, text messaging device or laptop while at the wheel.
Violations are a secondary offense. However, the bill sought to authorize primary enforcement. In addition, repeat offenses would have been considered moving violations that would result in one point being added to offenders’ licenses.

9/10/2012:
The Senate voted 28-9 to sign off on Assembly changes to a bill to increase the deterrent to engaging in distracted driving practices. It now moves to the governor’s desk.
California law already bars drivers from texting or talking on hand-held phones.
If signed into law, SB1310 would raise fines from $20 to $30. The amount would equate to about $300 after court costs.
Repeat offenders would face $60 fines – up from $50. With fees added the fine would top out at about $500.
The state’s youngest drivers would also come under increased scrutiny. Drivers under 18 now are forbidden to use any type of cellphone, pager, text messaging device or laptop while at the wheel.
Violations are a secondary offense. However, the bill would authorize primary enforcement. In addition, repeat offenses would be considered moving violations that would result in one point being added to offenders’ licenses.
Removed from the bill was a provision to target distracted bicyclists. Assembly lawmakers dropped a $20 fine for texting or talking on a phone while biking.
For bill status, call 916-651-4171.

6/1/2012:
A bill in the Assembly Transportation Committee is intended to increase the deterrent to engaging in distracted driving practices. The state already bars drivers from texting or talking on hand-held phones.
The Senate-approved bill – SB1310 – would raise fines from $20 to $50. The amount would equate to about $310 after court costs.
Repeat offenders would face $100 fines – up from $50. With fees added the fine would top out at about $530. In addition, repeat offenses would be considered moving violations that would result in one point being added to offenders’ licenses.
The state’s youngest drivers would also come under increased scrutiny. Drivers under 18 now are forbidden to use any type of cellphone, pager, text messaging device or laptop while at the wheel.
Violations are a secondary offense. However, the bill would authorize primary enforcement.
Also targeted by the bill are bicyclists. Texting or talking on a phone while biking could result in $20 fines with no fees added.
For bill status, call 916-651-4171.

5/14/2012:
The Senate voted 24-9 to advance a bill that is intended to increase the deterrent to engaging in distracted driving practices. The state already bars drivers from texting or talking on hand-held phones.
Sponsored by Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, SB1310 would raise fines from $20 to $50. The amount would equate to about $310 after court costs.
Repeat offenders would face $100 fines – up from $50. With fees added the fine would top out at about $530. In addition, repeat offenses would be considered moving violations that would result in one point being added to offenders’ licenses.
The state’s youngest drivers would also come under increased scrutiny. Drivers under 18 now are forbidden to use any type of cellphone, pager, text messaging device or laptop while at the wheel.
Violations are a secondary offense. However, the bill would authorize primary enforcement.
Also targeted by the bill are bicyclists. Texting or talking on a phone while biking could result in $20 fines with no fees added.
The bill is awaiting assignment to committee in the Assembly. For bill status, call 916-651-4171.

10/04/2012 - Warrantless Cellphone Searches

10/4/2012 (SB1434):

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill to prohibit police from searching cellphones, or other devices, in certain instances without a warrant.
A year ago Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a similar bill citing a January 2011 state Supreme Court ruling that law enforcement officers, without a warrant, can search the contents of a cellphone confiscated from anyone under arrest.
SB1434 sought to clarify that officers must first obtain a search warrant when there is probable cause to believe a suspect’s phone contains evidence of a crime.
The bill also covered time limits on monitoring vehicles. Specifically, it limited search warrants to up to 30 days.
An exception would have been permitted in cases of emergency, ongoing criminal activity, and when the owner or user gives consent.

9/7/2012:

The Legislature has again forwarded a bill to the governor to prohibit police from searching cellphones, or other devices, in certain instances without a warrant.
A year ago Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a similar bill citing a January 2011 state Supreme Court ruling that law enforcement officers, without a warrant, can search the contents of a cellphone confiscated from anyone under arrest.
SB1434 would clarify that officers must first obtain a search warrant when there is probable cause to believe a suspect’s phone contains evidence of a crime.
The bill also covers time limits on monitoring vehicles. Specifically, it limits search warrants to up to 30 days.
An exception would be permitted in cases of emergency, ongoing criminal activity, and when the owner or user gives consent.
Brown’s administration has not indicated how the governor will act on the matter.
For bill status, call 916-651-4171.

10/05/2012 - Illegal Immigrants

10/5/2012 (AB2189):

Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill to authorize driver’s licenses for young illegal immigrants granted temporary work permits by the federal government.
Previously AB2189, the new law enables an estimated 400,000 illegal immigrants who are under the age of 30 to take advantage of the program. To be eligible, they must have turned 16 after arriving in the country and have a clean record, as well as a high school diploma.

2011

State Issues

03/02/2011 - Ticket Cameras

10/20/2011 (AB1041):

Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill to make sure ticket cameras in the San Francisco area will survive a while longer.
California law allows the city and county of San Francisco to issue citations based on photos snapped of parking violations in transit-only lanes. Municipal Transportation Agency transit vehicles can be outfitted with cameras to record parking violations occurring in the nearly 15 miles of affected lanes.
Violators found in the Muni lanes face $100 fines.
The San Francisco program was slated to sunset at the end of this year. In response, AB1041 extends use of the cameras through 2015.

10/11/2011 (SB29):

Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed a bill that called for establishing statewide standards for installation and operation of ticket cameras by local governments.
In a statement, Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, called the veto “a lost opportunity to help restore public trust in the purpose and operation of red-light cameras by bringing accountability to the process.”
Simitian wrote in SB29 that before communities can install cameras they must show that “the system is needed at a specific location for reasons related to safety.” The provision would affect ticket systems installed after Jan. 1, 2012. Existing systems would be required to be in compliance the following year.
Among the provisions included in the bill is a requirement for local governments to better warn drivers that the cameras are in use. Warning signs would be required within 200 feet of an intersection with cameras.
In addition, local governments throughout the state would be required to clearly explain how to dispute a ticket.
Gov. Brown wrote in a veto statement that “this bill standardizes rules for local governments to follow when installing and maintaining red-light cameras. This is something that can and should be overseen by local elected officials.”

9/15/2011 (AB1041):

A bill headed to Gov. Jerry Brown would address the use of ticket cameras in the San Francisco area.
California law already allows the city and county of San Francisco to issue citations based on photos snapped of parking violations in transit-only lanes. City-owned public transit vehicles can be outfitted with cameras to record parking violations occurring in the nearly 15 miles of affected lanes.
Violators face $100 fines.
The San Francisco program is slated to sunset at the end of this year. In response, AB1041 would extend use of the cameras through 2015.
For bill status, call 916-319-2856.

9/12/2011 (SB29):

The Senate voted unanimously to sign off on changes to a bill that would regulate the use of ticket cameras by establishing statewide standards for installation and operation. The vote clears the way for SB29 to advance to the governor’s desk. Assembly lawmakers previously approved it on a 70-4 vote.
Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, wrote in the bill that before communities can install cameras they must show that “they system is needed at a specific location for reasons related to safety.” The provision would affect ticket systems installed after Jan. 1, 2012. Existing systems would be required to be in compliance the following year.
Among the provisions included in the bill is a requirement for local governments to better warn drivers that the cameras are in use. Warning signs would be required within 200 feet of an intersection with cameras.
In addition, local governments throughout the state would be required to clearly explain how to dispute a ticket.
Gov. Brown can sign the bill, veto it, or let it become law without his signature.
For bill status, call 916-651-4171.

8/8/2011 (AB1041):

Awaiting a vote on the Senate floor is a bill to address the use of ticket cameras in the San Francisco area. The Assembly already approved it.
California law already allows the city and county of San Francisco to issue citations based on photos snapped of parking violations in transit-only lanes. City-owned public transit vehicles can be outfitted with cameras to record parking violations occurring in the nearly 15 miles of affected lanes.
The San Francisco program is slated to sunset at the end of this year. In response, an Assembly-approved bill would extend use of the cameras through 2015.
AB1041 can be considered as soon as lawmakers come back from their summer break on Aug. 15.
For bill status, call 916-319-2856.

6/16/2011 (SB29):

The Senate Transportation Committee voted to advance a bill to regulate use of the ticket cameras by establishing statewide standards for installation and operation.
Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, wrote in the bill that before communities can install cameras they must show that “they system is needed at a specific location for reasons related to safety.” The provision would affect ticket systems installed after Jan. 1, 2012.
SB29 would also require local governments to better warn drivers that the cameras are in use.
The bill is a full Senate vote away from moving to the governor’s desk. For bill status, call 916-651-4171.

6/7/2011 (SB29):

A bill in the Assembly Transportation Committee would set up standards for camera placement and for the tickets based on them. The Senate already approved it.
Sponsored by Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, wrote in the bill that before communities can install cameras they must show that “the system is needed at a specific location for reasons related to safety.” The provision would affect ticket systems installed after Jan. 1, 2012.
SB29 would also require local governments to better warn drivers that the cameras are in use.
For bill status, call 916-651-4171.

6/6/2011 (AB1041):

The Assembly voted 70-2 to advance a bill to protect the use of ticket cameras in San Francisco.
California law already allows the city and county of San Francisco to issue citations based on photos snapped of parking violations in transit-only lanes. City-owned public transit vehicles can be outfitted with cameras to record parking violations occurring in the affected lanes.
The San Francisco program is slated to sunset at the end of this year. In response, AB1041 would make use of the cameras permanent.
For Assembly bill status, call 916-319-2856.

5/19/2011 (SB29):
The Senate unanimously approved a bill that would set up standards for camera placement and for the tickets based on them. SB29 now awaits further consideration in the Assembly.
Sponsored by Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, wrote in the bill that before communities can install cameras they must show that “the system is needed at a specific location for reasons related to safety.” The provision would affect ticket systems installed after Jan. 1, 2012.
It would also require local governments to better warn drivers that the cameras are in use.
For bill status, call 916-651-4171.

5/16/2011 (AB1008):

A bill appears dead that sought to prohibit the installation of red light cameras in communities throughout the state starting next year. Cities with cameras already posted would have been required to do studies to justify their use.
AB1008 mandated that if a study shows a camera has not resulted in fewer traffic accidents at the intersection, the camera would be required to come down by Jan. 1, 2015.

3/22/2011 (AB1008):

A bill in the Assembly Local Government Committee would prohibit the installation of red light cameras in communities throughout the state starting next year. Cities with cameras already posted would be required to do studies to justify their use.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Paul Cook, R-Yucca City, AB1008 would mandate that if a study shows a camera has not resulted in fewer traffic accidents at the intersection, the camera would be required to come down by Jan. 1, 2015.
For Assembly bill status, call 916-319-2856.

3/22/2011 (AB1041):

A bill in the Assembly Transportation Committee would protect the use of ticket cameras in San Francisco.
California law already allows the city and county of San Francisco to issue citations based on photos snapped of parking violations in transit-only lanes. City-owned public transit vehicles can be outfitted with cameras to record parking violations occurring in the affected lanes.
Sponsored by Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, D-San Francisco, AB1041 would make use of the cameras permanent.
For Assembly bill status, call 916-319-2856.

3/7/2011 (SB29):

A bill in the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee would set up standards for camera placement and for the tickets based on them.
Sponsored by Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, SB29 includes requirements for posting signs alerting drivers to the use of cameras, and other provisions to address concerns about the devices being used to generate revenue.
For Senate bill status, call 916-651-4171.

3/2/2011 (AB1008):

Assemblyman Paul Cook, R-Yucca City, has introduced a bill that would prohibit the installation of red light cameras in communities throughout the state starting next year. Cities with cameras already posted would be required to do studies to justify their use.
AB1008 would mandate that if a study shows a camera has not resulted in fewer traffic accidents at the intersection, the camera would be required to come down by Jan. 1, 2015.
The bill is awaiting assignment to committee. For Assembly bill status, call 916-319-2856.

3/2/2011 (AB1041):

Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, D-San Francisco, has introduced a bill that would protect the use of ticket cameras in San Francisco.
California law already allows the city and county of San Francisco to issue citations based on photos snapped of parking violations in transit-only lanes. City-owned public transit vehicles can be outfitted with cameras to record parking violations occurring in the affected lanes.
AB1041 would make use of the cameras permanent.
The bill is awaiting assignment to committee. For Assembly bill status, call 916-319-2856.

09/29/2011 - Alameda County

9/29/2011 (AB1086):

Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill to authorize a vote in Alameda County on transportation funding.
Previously AB1086, the new law allows the county Transportation Commission to place a tax hike question on the November 2012 ballot.
The law was needed to provide a one-time exemption from the existing 2 percent cap on local sales taxes. Recent measures approved in San Leandro and Union City prevented a countywide measure because it would exceed the 2 percent cap.
Commissioners now can choose to ask voters to consider whether to increase the county’s sales tax by a half penny.

03/02/2011 - CARB

4/26/2011 (AB1332):

A bill has died that sought to abolish the state’s Air Resources Board.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, AB1332 was killed by the Assembly Natural Resources Committee.
The bill sought to “transfer its authority, duties, powers, purposes, responsibilities, and jurisdiction to the California Environmental Protection Agency.”

3/22/2011:

A bill in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee would abolish the state’s Air Resources Board.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, AB1332 would “transfer its authority, duties, powers, purposes, responsibilities, and jurisdiction to the California Environmental Protection Agency.”
For Assembly bill status, call 916-319-2856.

3/2/2011:

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, has introduced a bill that would abolish the state’s Air Resources Board.
AB1332 would “transfer its authority, duties, powers, purposes, responsibilities, and jurisdiction to the California Environmental Protection Agency.”
The bill is awaiting assignment to committee. For Assembly bill status, call 916-319-2856.

09/07/2011 - Impounds

10/13/2011 (AB353):
A new law restricts cities’ from impounding vehicles driven by people caught at sobriety checkpoints without driver’s licenses. It takes effect Jan. 1, 2012.
Currently, state law permits cities to hold vehicles taken from unlicensed drivers for 30 days, with impound fees accumulating each day. If unclaimed, law enforcement can auction the vehicles.
AB353 requires officers who catch unlicensed sober drivers at checkpoints to release the vehicle to a qualified driver representing the registered owner.
If a qualified driver is not immediately available, the vehicle could also be released later at the impound yard.

9/7/2011:
A bill on its way to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk would restrict cities’ from impounding vehicles driven by people caught at sobriety checkpoints without driver’s licenses.
State law now permits cities to hold vehicles taken from unlicensed drivers for 30 days, with impound fees accumulating each day. If unclaimed, law enforcement can auction the vehicles.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, AB353 would require officers who catch unlicensed sober drivers at checkpoints to release the vehicle to a qualified driver representing the registered owner.
If signed into law, sober drivers caught at a checkpoint without a valid license would be allowed to have a qualified driver representing the registered owner take possession of the vehicle. The vehicle could also be released at the impound yard.
For bill status, call 916-319-2856.

09/29/2011 - Public Transit

9/29/2011 (AB650):

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a transportation bill that was intended to benefit public transit.
AB650 called for establishing a blue ribbon task force to develop the first statewide public transportation development and financing plan. Financing for the group would have come from existing revenue devoted to transit planning through the state’s fuel tax.
The governor vetoed the bill citing the $750,000 price tag for the task force to carry out their duties. Instead, he said the state already has a process in place to address the issue.
“This is a matter well within the jurisdiction and competence of the Assembly and Senate transportation committees,” Brown wrote in a veto message. “Moreover, Caltrans and the California Transportation Commission are also equipped to probe into these matters.”

04/28/2011 - Text Messaging

9/2011 (SB28):

Violators of California’s ban on using hand-held phones and texting while driving no longer have to worry about paying harsher penalties. First-time offenders will continue to pay about $160 after court costs.
Gov. Jerry Brown this week vetoed a bill – SB28 – to increase fines from $20 to $50. Fine amounts would have topped out at about $310 after court costs.
Repeat offenders would have faced $100 fines – up from $50. With fees added the fine would have topped out at nearly $530. In addition, repeat offenses would have been considered moving violations, which would have resulted in one point being added to offenders’ licenses.
The state’s youngest drivers would also have come under increased scrutiny. Drivers under 18 are forbidden to use any type of cell phone, pager, text messaging device or laptop while at the wheel.
Violations are a secondary offense, meaning a person would have to be pulled over for another violation before they could be ticketed. The bill would have authorized primary enforcement.

8/18/2011:
The Senate voted 23-13 to advance an Assembly-approved bill to Gov. Jerry Brown to increase fines for texting or talking on a hand-held phone while driving from $20 to $50. The amount would be raised to about $310 after court costs.
SB28 calls for repeat offenders to face $100 fines – up from $50. With fees added the fine would top out at about $530. In addition, repeat offenses would be considered moving violations that would result in one point being added to offenders’ licenses.
The state’s youngest drivers would also come under increased scrutiny. Drivers under 18 are forbidden to use any type of cell phone, pager, text messaging device or laptop while at the wheel.
Violations are a secondary offense – meaning a person would have to be pulled over for another violation before they could be ticketed. The bill would authorize primary enforcement.
Also targeted by the bill are bicyclists. Texting or talking on a phone while biking could result in $20 fines with no fees added.
For bill status, call 916-651-4171.

7/7/2011:

The Senate Transportation Committee voted to advance a bill to the full Senate that would increase fines for texting or talking on a hand-held phone while driving from $20 to $50. The amount would be raised to about $300 after court costs.
SB28 calls for repeat offenders to face $100 fines – up from $50. With fees added the fine would top out at about $500. In addition, violators would have one point added to their license.
Also targeted by the bill are bicyclists. Biking while texting could result in $20 fines with no additional fees.
If approved by the Senate the bill would advance to the governor. The Assembly already passed it.
For bill status, call 916-651-4171.

6/7/2011:

A bill in the Assembly Transportation Committee would increase fines for texting or talking on a hand-held phone while driving from $20 to $50. The amount would be raised to about $300 after court costs.
SB28 calls for repeat offenders to face $100 fines – up from $50. With fees added the fine would top out at about $500. In addition, violators would have one point added to their license.
Also targeted by the bill are bicyclists. Biking while texting could result in $20 fines with no additional fees.
For bill status, call 916-651-4171.

4/28/2011:

The Senate voted to advance a bill to the Assembly that would increase fines for texting or talking on a hand-held phone while driving from $20 to $50. The amount would be raised to about $300 after court costs.
SB28 calls for repeat offenders to face $100 fines – up from $50. With fees added the fine would top out at about $500. In addition, violators would have one point added to their license.
Also targeted by the bill are bicyclists. Biking while texting could result in $20 fines with no additional fees.
For bill status, call 916-651-4171.

09/06/2011 - Backup Alarm

10/18/2011 (SB3421):
Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill to require a construction vehicle in excess of 14,000 pounds that operates at, or transports construction or industrial materials to and from, a mine or construction site to be equipped with an automatic backup audible alarm.
Previously SB341, the new law also includes the new requirement are tractor-trailer combos used to pull bottom dump, end dump or side dump trailers.

9/6/2011:
A bill on its way to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk would require a construction vehicle in excess of 14,000 pounds that operates at, or transports construction or industrial materials to and from, a mine or construction site to be equipped with an automatic backup audible alarm.
SB341 would also require dump trucks to be equipped with back-up alarms on construction and mine sites.
Included in the new requirement are tractor-trailer combos used to pull bottom dump, end dump or side dump trailers.

09/02/2011 - Fuel Surcharges

9/12/2011 (SB791):
The provision in SB791 to allow local transportation agencies the ability to seek fuel surcharges with fewer votes required for passage was removed from the bill, effectively killing the issue for the year.

9/2/2011:
Awaiting a final vote on the Assembly floor is a bill that would allow local transportation agencies the ability to seek fuel surcharges with fewer votes required for passage. If approved, SB791 would head back to the Senate to consider changes before it can advance to the governor’s desk.
In an effort to keep more people off roadways, money raised through a surcharge on gas and diesel would be applied to transit, bike and pedestrian projects. Revenue could also be applied to build toll lanes or to make safety and maintenances upgrades to roads and bridges.
Electric car owners would also be required to chip in. Corresponding fees would be applied to the vehicle registrations.
Fees charged by local planning and transportation organizations could be in place for up to 30 years.
A simple majority vote of the people would be necessary for passage, rather than the two-thirds majority now required.
For bill status, call 916-651-4171.

06/16/2011 - Local Speed Limits

10/19/2011 (AB529):

A new law gives California communities leeway in setting speed limits and, as a result, reduces yellow light intervals.
Since 2004, California law has required cities to round up their speed limits starting at the 85th percentile of travel speeds. The posted speed must be rounded to the nearest 5 mph increment.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill to give local governments the option to round speed limits down after a traffic study. AB529 takes effect Jan. 1, 2012.

9/14/2011:

Assembly lawmakers voted to sign off on Senate changes to a bill that would give communities wiggle room on speed limits, and yellow light intervals. The bill now moves to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.
Since 2004, California law has required cities to round up their speed limits starting at the 85th percentile of travel speeds. The posted speed must be rounded to the nearest 5 mph increment.
AB529 would give local governments the option to round speed limits down after a traffic study.
For bill status, call 916-319-2856.

9/1/2011:

The Senate voted unanimously to advance a bill to give communities wiggle room on speed limits, and yellow light intervals.
AB529 now awaits approval of changes in the Assembly before it can advance to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.
Since 2004, California law has required cities to round up their speed limits starting at the 85th percentile of travel speeds. The posted speed must be rounded to the nearest 5 mph increment.
The bill would give local governments the option to round speed limits down after a traffic study.
For bill status, call 916-319-2856.

7/6/2011:

Awaiting consideration on the Senate floor is a bill to give communities wiggle room on speed limits, and yellow light intervals. The Assembly already approved it.
Since 2004, California law has required cities to round up their speed limits starting at the 85th percentile of travel speeds. The posted speed must be rounded to the nearest 5 mph increment.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, AB529 would give local governments the option to round speed limits down after a traffic study.
For bill status, call 916-319-2856.

6/16/2011:

The Assembly voted unanimously to advance a bill to the Senate that would give communities wiggle room on speed limits, and yellow light intervals.
Since 2004, California law has required cities to round up their speed limits starting at the 85th percentile of travel speeds. The posted speed must be rounded to the nearest 5 mph increment.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, AB529 would give local governments the option to round speed limits down after a traffic study. Gatto said the current setup allows speeders to dictate the limits set.
The bill is awaiting assignment to committee in the Senate. For bill status, call 916-319-2856.

03/02/2011 - Port Truckers

6/7/2011 (AB950):

A bill has died that sought to deem drayage truck operators, as well as any owner-operator going onto a port, to be employees of the companies that arrange for their services. Effectively, it would ban owner-operators from the ports.
Facing a deadline to advance AB950 from the Assembly, Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles – the bill sponsor – placed it on the inactive file. The move effectively killed it for the year. However, the issue is not over.
Because California has two-year sessions, the bill can be brought back for consideration next year. The full Assembly would get first crack at it. The Assembly Labor and Employment Committee approved the bill this spring.

5/10/2011:

The Assembly Labor and Employment Committee voted 5-1 to advance a bill to the full Assembly that would deem drayage truck operators, as well as any owner-operator going onto a port, to be employees of the companies that arrange for their services. Effectively, it would ban owner-operators from the ports.
Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles, wrote in AB950 that classifying affected drivers as employees would ease concerns about retaliation for reporting safety concerns and help ensure that operators have workers’ compensation insurance.
The bill could be considered on the Assembly floor as soon as Thursday, May 12. If approved there, it would advance to the Senate for further consideration.
For Assembly bill status, call 916-319-2856.

3/14/2011:

A bill in the Assembly Labor and Enforcement Committee would affect port truckers, including owner operators.
Sponsored by Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles, AB950 would deem drayage truck operators to be employees of the companies that arrange for their services.
Perez wrote in the bill that classifying affected drivers as employees would ease concerns about retaliation for reporting safety concerns and help ensure that operators have workers’ compensation insurance.
For Assembly bill status, call 916-319-2856.

3/2/2011:

Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles, is the sponsor of a bill that would affect port truckers, including owner operators.
AB950 would deem drayage truck operators to be employees of the companies that arrange for their services.
Perez wrote in the bill that classifying affected drivers as employees would ease concerns about retaliation for reporting safety concerns and help ensure that operators have workers’ compensation insurance.
The bill is awaiting assignment to committee. For Assembly bill status, call 916-319-2856

02/22/2011 - 'Crash Tax'

5/16/2011 (SB49):

A bill is likely dead that sought to prohibit local governments in the future from charging a fee or tax to any person, regardless of whether or not they live in the community, for the cost related to emergency responders.
More than 50 cities throughout California have “crash taxes” in place that range from hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on the incident.
SB49 would not have affected communities with crash taxes already in place.

2/22/2011:

A bill in the Senate Public Safety Committee would prohibit local governments in the future from charging a fee or tax to any person, regardless of whether or not they live in the community, for the cost related to emergency responders.
More than 50 cities throughout California have “crash taxes” in place that range from hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on the incident.
Sponsored by Sen. Tony Strickland, R-Moorpark, SB49 would not affect communities with crash taxes already in place.
For Senate bill status, call 916-651-4171.

State Watches

07/12/2011 - Warrantless Cellphone Searches

10/10/2011 (SB914):

Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed a bill that sought to clarify that officers must first obtain a search warrant when there is probable cause to believe a suspect’s phone contains evidence of a crime.
In January, the state Supreme Court ruled that law enforcement officers, without a warrant, can search the contents of a cellphone confiscated from anyone under arrest.
SB914 included a provision to continue to allow officers to search cellphones without a warrant when there is an immediate threat to public safety or the arresting officer.
Nevertheless, Brown said in a veto statement issued Sunday, Oct. 9, the decision should be left to the courts.
“The courts are better suited to resolve the complex and case-specific issues relating to constitutional search-and-seizure protections,” Brown wrote.

9/8/2011:

The Senate voted 31-4 to sign off on Assembly changes to a bill to clarify that officers must first obtain a search warrant when there is probable cause to believe a suspect’s phone contains evidence of a crime. SB914 now moves to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.
In January, the state Supreme Court ruled that law enforcement officers, without a warrant, can search the contents of a cellphone confiscated from anyone under arrest.
Sponsored by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, SB914 includes a provision that would continue to allow officers to search cellphones without a warrant when there is an immediate threat to public safety or the arresting officer.
For bill status, call 916-651-4171.

8/24/2011:

The Assembly voted unanimously to advance a bill to overturn a ruling from the California Supreme Court on warrantless cellphone searches. The bill now awaits Senate approval of changes before it moves to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.
In January, the state Supreme Court ruled that law enforcement officers, without a warrant, can search the contents of a cellphone confiscated from anyone under arrest.
Sponsored by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, SB914 clarifies that officers must first obtain a search warrant when there is probable cause to believe a suspect’s phone contains evidence of a crime.
A provision included in the bill would continue to allow officers to search cellphones without a warrant when there is an immediate threat to public safety or the arresting officer.
For bill status, call 916-651-4171.

7/12/2011:

The full Assembly could soon vote on a bill to overturn a ruling from the California Supreme Court on warrantless cellphone searches. If approved, the Senate would need to sign off on changes before SB914 advances to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.
In January, the state Supreme Court ruled that law enforcement officers, without a warrant, can search the contents of a cellphone confiscated from anyone under arrest.
Sponsored by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, the bill clarifies that officers must first obtain a search warrant when there is probable cause to believe a suspect’s phone contains evidence of a crime.
A provision included in the bill would continue to allow officers to search cellphones without a warrant when there is an immediate threat to public safety or the arresting officer.
For bill status, call 916-651-4171.

2010

State Issues

01/12/2010 - Emissions

1/12/2010 (AB118):

The Assembly Natural Resources Committee voted 6-3 Monday, Jan. 11, to reject a bill that sought to put on hold the nearly four-year-old law that is intended to cap greenhouse gas emissions at 1990 levels by 2020.
Approved in 2006 as AB32, the law allows the California Air Resources Board to create many new regulations. Specific to trucking, the law gave CARB the authority to formulate several trucking regulations aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions, including the state’s drayage rule, and truck retrofit rule.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Dan Logue, R-Linda, AB118 called for tying implementation of AB32 to California’s unemployment rate. It sought to suspend the emissions requirement until the unemployment rate is 5.5 percent for a full year.

10/14/2010 - Drunken Driving

10/14/2010 (AB1601):

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed into law a bill that authorizes judges to revoke a driver’s license for 10 years if they have at least three convictions for driving under the influence within the past decade. The three strike rule in AB1601 takes effect in 15 months.
Existing law limits courts to revoking repeat offenders’ licenses for three years.
Previously AB1601, the new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2012.

05/05/2010 - Ticketing Loophole

7/6/2010 (AB2097):

The Senate Transportation and Housing Committee has unanimously approved a bill that is intended to collect millions from police officers and other state workers, as well as their families, who are able to get around paying parking tickets, toll violations or red-light camera fines. The home addresses are not displayed in the Department of Motor Vehicles’ public-access records.
Currently, California law allows police officers and other state workers to obtain confidential license plates. Intended to protect officials from criminals, the list of jobs included has expanded through the years to include everything from county supervisors and park rangers to museum guards.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Jeff Miller, R-Corona, AB2097 would require confidential plate holders to submit a current employment address. Tickets would be mailed to that location.
The bill would prohibit vehicle registration renewals for confidential plate holders who haven’t paid their tickets. It would also suspend the legal time period to hand out violations until agencies are supplied with the person’s home address.
The bill is awaiting consideration in the Senate Appropriations Committee. The Assembly has already approved it.
For bill status, call 916-319-2856.

6/21/2010:

The Assembly voted unanimously to advance a bill that is intended to collect millions from police officers and other state workers, as well as their families, who are able to get around paying parking tickets, toll violations or red-light camera fines. The home addresses are not displayed in the Department of Motor Vehicles’ public-access records.
Currently, California law allows police officers and other state workers to obtain confidential license plates. Intended to protect officials from criminals, the list of jobs included has expanded through the years to include everything from county supervisors and park rangers to museum guards.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Jeff Miller, R-Corona, AB2097 would require confidential plate holders to submit a current employment address. Tickets would be mailed to that location.
The bill would prohibit vehicle registration renewals for confidential plate holders who haven’t paid their tickets. It would also suspend the legal time period to hand out violations until agencies are supplied with the person’s home address.
The bill is awaiting consideration in the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee. For bill status, call 916-319-2856.

5/5/2010:

A bill in the Assembly Appropriations Committee is intended to collect millions from police officers and other state workers who are able to get around paying parking tickets, toll violations or red-light camera fines. The home addresses are not displayed in the Department of Motor Vehicles’ public-access records.
Currently, California law allows police officers and other state workers to obtain confidential license plates. Intended to protect officials from criminals, the list of jobs included has expanded through the years to include everything from county supervisors and park rangers to museum guards.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Jeff Miller, R-Corona, AB2097 would require confidential plate holders to submit a current employment address. Tickets would be mailed to that location.
The bill would also suspend the legal time period to hand out violations until agencies are supplied with the person’s home address.
For Assembly bill status, call 916-319-2856.

06/17/2010 - Out-of-Service Penalities

9/3/2010 (AB2144):

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill into law Monday, Aug. 30, to bring California’s commercial driver’s licensing rules in compliance with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
Among the changes in AB2144 are beefed up out-of-service violations. Fines for first offenders will soon be more straightforward. Instead of violators facing a fine ranging from $1,100 to $2,750, they will be responsible for paying at least $2,500 fines. Anyone caught more than once must pay $5,000.
Motor carriers also face greater punishment. Employers convicted of knowingly allowing, requiring, permitting or authorizing a driver in OOS status to get behind the wheel face up to $25,000 fines. The maximum fine has been $11,000.
Repeat offenses within 10 years would result in loss of driving privileges for two years – up from six months. Subsequent offenses within 10 years would double from one year to two years.

8/12/2010:

A bill headed to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger would bring California’s commercial driver’s licensing rules in compliance with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
The Senate voted unanimously to approve the bill. Assembly lawmakers then signed off on changes to the bill clearing the way for it to move to the governor’s desk.
AB2144 includes changes that are sought to beef up out-of-service violations. Fines for first offenders would be more straightforward. Instead of violators facing a fine ranging from $1,100 to $2,750, they would be responsible for paying at least $2,500 fines. Anyone caught more than once would be responsible for paying $5,000.
Motor carriers would also face greater punishment. Employers convicted of knowingly allowing, requiring, permitting or authorizing a driver in OOS status to get behind the wheel would face up to $25,000 fines. Currently, the maximum fine is $11,000.
The length of a driver’s suspension for violating an OOS order would also be ratcheted up. Getting behind the wheel of a truck subject to an OOS order would result in the driver’s license being suspended for six months. State law now authorizes 90-day suspensions.
Repeat offenses within 10 years would result in loss of driving privileges for two years – up from six months. Subsequent offenses within 10 years would double from one year to two years.
For bill status, call 916-319-2856.

7/27/2010:

The Senate Transportation Committee has unanimously approved a bill that would bring California’s commercial driver’s licensing rules in compliance with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
Among the changes sought in AB2144 are beefing up out-of-service violations. Fines for first offenders would be more straightforward. Instead of violators facing a fine ranging from $1,100 to $2,750, they would be responsible for paying $2,500 fines. Anyone caught more than once would be responsible for paying $5,000.
Motor carriers would also face greater punishment. Employers convicted of knowingly allowing, requiring, permitting or authorizing a driver in OOS status to get behind the wheel would face up to $25,000 fines. Currently, the maximum fine is $11,000.
The length of a driver’s suspension for violating an OOS order would also be ratcheted up. Getting behind the wheel of a truck subject to an OOS order would result in the driver’s license being suspended for six months. State law now authorizes 90-day suspensions.
Repeat offenses within 10 years would result in loss of driving privileges for two years – up from six months. Subsequent offenses within 10 years would double from one year to two years.
The bill is awaiting clearance to the Senate floor. If approved there, it would head back to the Assembly for approval of changes before moving to the governor’s desk.
For bill status, call 916-319-2856.

6/17/2010:

The Assembly voted unanimously to approve a bill that would bring California’s commercial driver’s licensing rules in compliance with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. It has moved to the Senate for further consideration.
AB2144 would beef up out-of-service violations. Fines for first offenders would be more straightforward. Instead of violators facing a fine ranging from $1,100 to $2,750, they would be responsible for paying $2,500 fines. Anyone caught more than once would be responsible for paying $5,000.
Motor carriers would also face greater punishment. Employers convicted of knowingly allowing, requiring, permitting or authorizing a driver in OOS status to get behind the wheel would face up to $25,000 fines. Currently, the maximum fine is $11,000.
The length of a driver’s suspension for violating an OOS order would also be ratcheted up. Getting behind the wheel of a truck subject to an OOS order would result in the driver’s license being suspended for six months. State law now authorizes 90-day suspensions.
Repeat offenses within 10 years would result in loss of driving privileges for two years – up from six months. Subsequent offenses within 10 years would double from one year to two years.
The bill is in the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee. For bill status, call 916-319-2856.

09/07/2010 - Red Light Violations

10/13/2010 (AB909):

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed a bill that would have taken less of a bite out of offenders’ pocketbooks. The fine for rolling through a red light while turning right would have been reduced to $35 – about one-third of the existing $100 fine.
But that’s not all. If signed into law, AB909 would have lowered the total ticket amount, which includes additional fines and penalties, from about $450 to about $220.
Schwarzenegger said in his veto statement that “a driver running a red-light, whether they are traveling straight, or turning right, makes a very dangerous traffic movement that endangers the nearby motoring public, bicyclists, and pedestrians.”
He also said that lowering the fine amount would send the wrong message.

9/7/2010:

A bill sent to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger would take less of a bite out of offenders’ pocketbooks. The fine for rolling through a red light while turning right would be reduced to $35 – about one-third of the existing $100 fine.
The Assembly voted 63-11 to sign off on Senate changes to the bill clearing the way for it to move to the governor’s desk.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, AB909 would lower the total ticket amount, which includes additional fines and penalties, from about $450 to about $220.
For bill status, call 916-319-2856.

07/09/2010 - Drayage Trucks

8/13/2010 (SB1156):

The full Senate could soon vote on a bill that would make available $20 million for drayage trucks that have yet to comply with the California Air Resources Board’s drayage truck regulation. If approved by the Senate, the bill would advance to the Assembly.
A change made to SB1156 in recent days would route funds from the enhanced fleet modernization subaccount to the Air Resources Board for distribution. Previously, funds were to come from the state’s Air Quality Improvement Fund.
Until Jan. 1, 2013, funding would be available for fleets with three or fewer trucks that service the state’s ports and rail yards. Funding could only be used for the purchase of equipment that meets the 2007 model-year or newer engine standards.
For bill status, call 916-651-4171.

7/9/2010:

The Senate Transportation and Housing Committee unanimously approved a bill that would make available $20 million for drayage trucks that have yet to comply with the California Air Resources Board’s drayage truck regulation.
Sponsored by Sen. Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, SB1156 would route funds from the state’s Air Quality Improvement Fund to the Air Resources Board for distribution.
Until Jan. 1, 2013, funding would be available for fleets with three or fewer trucks that service the state’s ports and rail yards. Funding could only be used for the purchase of equipment that meets the 2007 model-year or newer engine standards.
The bill has been routed to the Senate Appropriations Committee on its way to the Senate floor for further consideration.
For Senate bill status, call 916-651-4171.

07/14/2010 - Red-Light Cameras

7/14/2010 (SB1362):

The Assembly Transportation Committee voted 11-1 to advance a bill that would put in place statewide standards for the installation and operation of red-light cameras. The bill’s next stop is the Assembly floor. Senate lawmakers previously approved it.
Sponsored by Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, SB1362 is intended to help ensure that communities use the enforcement tool to improve safety, not to fill coffers. It would affect automated traffic enforcement systems installed after Jan. 1, 2011.
Also included in the bill is a provision that would require signs to be posted where cameras are installed.
For Senate bill status, call 916-651-4171.

07/20/2010 - Distracted Driving

7/20/2010 (SB1475):

The Assembly Transportation Committee recently voted to advance a bill that would boost the penalty for calling or texting on a handheld cell phone.
Sponsored by Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, SB1475 calls for offenders to pay $50 for breaking the rule – up from $20. Repeat offenders would face $100 fines – double the existing $50 fine. Local county fees included can result in penalties that are more than triple the amount.
Law enforcement officers could also stop teen motorists for any suspected use of wireless devices, handheld or hands-free. Officers wouldn’t have to see the device in use to make a stop.
Awaiting clearance to the Assembly floor for a final vote, if SB1475 passes that test it would move back to the Senate for approval of changes before heading to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The Senate attached a provision to add one point to offenders driving records’ on their second offense.
Also, the Department of Motor Vehicles would be required to add more questions on cell phone use or texting on the driver exam. Currently, there are only two questions in the rotation of 360.
For Senate bill status, call 916-651-4171.

06/17/2010 - Brokers

10/4/2010 (AB145):

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law a bill that requires a broker of construction trucking services to post a bond to ensure payment to a dump truck operator whose services were brokered. The broker also receives certification of the dump truck operator’s permit to operate.
Previously AB145, the new law requires brokers to secure a surety bond of at least $15,000 to ensure payment. Failure to secure a bond would be a misdemeanor and result in as much as a $5,000 fine. It takes effect Jan. 1, 2011.
In addition, a rebuttable presumption would be created in favor of the dump truck operator if there is a civil action filed due to lack of payment. A rebuttable presumption is an assumption of fact unless the broker, in this instance, comes forward in court to contest it and prove otherwise.
Motor carriers are also responsible for immediately notifying the broker if the Department of Motor Vehicles suspends or revokes their motor carrier permit.

8/13/2010:

The Assembly has signed off on Senate changes to a bill that would require a broker of construction trucking services to post a bond to ensure payment to a dump truck operator whose services were brokered. The broker would also receive certification of the dump truck operator’s permit to operate.
AB145 now moves ahead to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s desk.
Brokers would be required to secure a surety bond of at least $15,000 to ensure payment. Failure to secure a bond would be a misdemeanor and result in as much as a $5,000 fine.
In addition, a rebuttable presumption would be created in favor of the dump truck operator if there is a civil action filed due to lack of payment. A rebuttable presumption is an assumption of fact unless the broker, in this instance, comes forward in court to contest it and prove otherwise.
Motor carriers would also be responsible for immediately notifying the broker if the Department of Motor Vehicles suspends or revokes their motor carrier permit.
For bill status, call 916-319-2856.

8/11/2010:

The Senate voted unanimously Monday, Aug. 9, to approve a bill that would require a broker of construction trucking services to post a bond to ensure payment to a dump truck operator whose services were brokered. The broker would also receive certification of the dump truck operator’s permit to operate.
AB145 awaits Assembly approval of changes before heading to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s desk.
Brokers would be required to secure a surety bond of at least $15,000 to ensure payment. Failure to secure a bond would be a misdemeanor and result in as much as a $5,000 fine.
In addition, a rebuttable presumption would be created in favor of the dump truck operator if there is a civil action filed due to lack of payment. A rebuttable presumption is an assumption of fact unless the broker, in this instance, comes forward in court to contest it and prove otherwise.
Motor carriers would also be responsible for immediately notifying the broker if the Department of Motor Vehicles suspends or revokes their motor carrier permit.
For bill status, call 916-319-2856.

6/17/2010:

The Assembly has advanced a bill to the Senate that would require a broker of construction trucking services to post a bond to ensure payment to a dump truck operator whose services were brokered. The broker would also receive certification of the dump truck operator’s permit to operate.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, AB145 would require brokers to secure a surety bond of at least $15,000 to ensure payment. If brokers fail to pay the dump truck operator by the 25th day of the month after services were rendered they would face a possible $15,000 fine.
A rebuttable presumption would also be created in favor of the dump truck operator if there is a civil action filed due to lack of payment. A rebuttable presumption is an assumption of fact unless the broker, in this instance, comes forward in court to contest it and prove otherwise.
In addition, motor carriers would be responsible for immediately notifying the broker if the Department of Motor Vehicles suspends or revokes their motor carrier permit.
The bill is in the Senate Appropriations Committee. For bill status, call 916-319-2856

07/01/2010 - Auxiliary Power Units

7/1/2010 (AB1772):

The Senate Transportation and Housing Committee has unanimously approved a bill that would increase the maximum gross vehicle weight limit for large trucks equipped with idle reduction technology. Trucks equipped with auxiliary power units would be authorized to weigh up to an additional 400 pounds.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Tony Mendoza, D-Norwalk, AB1772 has advanced to the Senate Appropriations Committee for further consideration. The Assembly has already approved it.
According to an analysis of the bill, the added per axle weight limit would have a significant effect on pavement deterioration. It is estimated to eventually raise state road maintenance costs by more than $1 million annually.
For bill status, call 916-319-2856.

6/22/2010:

The Assembly has voted in favor of a bill that would increase the maximum gross vehicle weight limit for large trucks equipped with idle reduction technology. Trucks equipped with auxiliary power units would be authorized to weigh up to an additional 400 pounds.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Tony Mendoza, D-Norwalk, AB1772 has advanced to the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee for further consideration.
According to an analysis of the bill, the added per axle weight limit would have a significant effect on pavement deterioration. It is estimated to eventually raise state road maintenance costs by more than $1 million annually.
For bill status, call 916-319-2856.

07/16/2010 - Freeway Tolls

10/18/2010 (AB2098):

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law a bill that is intended to clear any legal hurdles for Riverside County’s project to build toll lanes on California’s 91 Freeway.
Previously AB2098, the new law allows the Riverside County Transportation Commission to use a new way to complete major expansion on state Route 91.
The project to convert the car pool lanes into express toll lanes and a general use lane in each direction from the Orange County line to Interstate 15 was approved for a process called “design-build” by the California Transportation Commission in the spring.
The design-build process allows contractors to submit plans to design and construct each project. Typically, one firm designs a highway and another builds it, with the two tasks bid separately.

9/2/2010:

The Senate unanimously approved the bill Monday, Aug. 30, that is intended to clear any legal hurdles for Riverside County’s project to build toll lanes on California’s 91 Freeway. The bill now moves to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s desk. Assembly lawmakers already approved it.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Jeff Miller, R-Corona, AB2098 would allow the Riverside County Transportation Commission to use a new way to complete major expansion on state Route 91.
The project to convert the car pool lanes into express toll lanes and a general use lane in each direction from the Orange County line to Interstate 15 was approved for a process called “design-build” by the California Transportation Commission in the spring. Numerous on- and off-ramps will also be expanded.
The design-build process allows contractors to submit plans to design and construct each project. Typically, one firm designs a highway and another builds it, with the two tasks bid separately.
For Assembly bill status, call 916-319-2856.

7/16/2010:

The Assembly Transportation Committee unanimously approved a bill that is intended to clear any legal hurdles for Riverside County’s project to build toll lanes on state Route 91.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Jeff Miller, R-Corona, AB2098 would allow the Riverside County Transportation Commission to use the design-build process to complete major expansion on the 91 Freeway.
The project to add toll lanes and a general use lane in each direction from the Orange County line to Interstate 15 was approved for design-build by the California Transportation Commission in the spring. Numerous on- and off-ramps will also be expanded.
With a price tag of $1.5 billion, the project is slated to be open to traffic in 2016. The cost to complete the project is expected to be paid for by selling bonds. Investors would get their money back through tolls.
The bill is awaiting transfer to the Assembly floor. For Assembly bill status, call 916-319-2856.

09/09/2010 - Street Sweeper Cameras

10/25/2010 (AB2567):

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law a bill that authorizes the installation of automated ticketing machines on street sweepers.
AB2567 allows local governments to contract with private companies for the installation and maintenance of the ticket cameras. The cameras will be used to identify vehicles that remain on streets “during designated street-sweeping hours.”
Photos will record the date and time of the violation. Citations will be mailed to the owners of vehicles.
California law already allows the city and county of San Francisco to issue citations based on photos snapped of parking violations in transit-only lanes. Automated enforcement can also be used at rail or rail transit signals and crossing gates. In addition, red-light cameras are allowed at intersections.
Violators will be allowed to request an administrative hearing with the processing agency within 21 days.

9/9/2010:

A bill on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s desk would authorize the installation of automated ticketing machines on street sweepers.
Assembly lawmakers signed off on Senate changes to a bill that would allow local governments to contract with private companies for the installation and maintenance of the ticket cameras placed on street sweepers. Cameras would be used to identify vehicles that remain on streets “during designated street-sweeping hours.”
Sponsored by Assemblyman Steven Bradford, D-Gardena, AB2567 would
Photos would record the date and time of the violation. Tickets would be mailed to drivers.
California law already allows the city and county of San Francisco to issue citations based on photos snapped of parking violations in transit-only lanes. Automated enforcement can also be used at rail or rail transit signals and crossing gates. In addition, red-light cameras are allowed at intersections.
The bill would allow violators to request an administrative hearing with the processing agency within 21 days.
For bill status, call 916-319-2856.

03/11/2010 - Fuel Taxes

3/30/2010 (ABx8 6):

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a budget bill that swaps certain fuel taxes.
Intended to help the state eat into a $20 billion budget deficit, the tax swap changes how much truckers and others will pay at the fuel pump.
ABx8 6 puts an end to collection of a 6 percent sales tax on gasoline. It will be replaced with an additional 17.3 cent per gallon applied on the excise tax. For diesel, the sales tax will increase 1.75 percent while the excise tax will be reduced by 4.4 cents per gallon.
The changes sought in Sacramento would allow some accounting maneuvers to put more money into the state’s general fund. California law now limits sales tax revenue from fuel purchases to be used solely for transportation improvements – 20 percent of which is dedicated to public transit. Excise tax revenue can be applied to the general fund.

3/11/2010:

California lawmakers have forwarded a budget bill to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger that would swap certain fuel taxes.
Intended to help the state eat into a $20 billion budget deficit, the tax swap approved by the Democratic-led Legislature is modeled after Schwarzenegger’s proposal to change how much truckers and others pay at the fuel pump.
The fuel tax proposal forwarded to the Republican governor’s desk would put an end to collection of a 6 percent sales tax on gasoline. It would be replaced with an additional 17.3 cent per gallon applied on the excise tax. For diesel, the sales tax would increase 1.75 percent while the excise tax would be reduced by 4.4 cents per gallon.
Schwarzenegger has called for completely doing away with the sales tax on fuel purchases. However, his plan would increase the excise tax by 10.8 cents per gallon to 28.8 cents. There also would be annual increases in the excise tax during the next decade.
The changes sought in Sacramento would allow some accounting maneuvers to put more money into the state’s general fund. California law now limits sales tax revenue from fuel purchases to be used solely for transportation improvements – 20 percent of which is dedicated to public transit. Excise tax revenue can be applied to the general fund.
Because public transit operations would lose out on sales tax revenue from gas purchases, a provision included in the budget bill – ABx8 6 – calls for cushioning the blow with $400 million in the next fiscal year for transit systems statewide.
For bill status, call 916-319-2856.

08/27/2010 - Personal Data Sharing

10/11/2010 (SB1268):

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law a bill that is touted as protecting “a person’s right not to be tracked while driving.” It takes effect Jan. 1, 2011.
Previously SB1268, the new law prohibits transportation agencies, such as Caltrans, from selling or sharing personal data. It also requires agencies to purge the data when it is no longer needed. In addition, it ensures that FasTrak subscribers are given notice of the privacy practices affecting them.
The requirements also apply to other toll collection systems.
Currently, the system creates a travel and billing record for drivers who pass a FasTrak-equipped toll booth. For truckers, the system is used to pluck $11.25 from their accounts each time they cross one of seven state-owned Bay Area bridges.
Anyone who has their personal information sold or improperly released would be able to sue to recover a minimum of $2,500 in damages.

8/27/2010:

The Assembly voted 57-13 to approve the bill that is touted as protecting “a person’s right not to be tracked while driving.” Senators signed off on changes, which cleared the way for the bill to move to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s desk.
Sponsored by Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, SB1268 would prohibit transportation agencies, such as Caltrans, from selling or sharing personal data. It also requires agencies to purge the data when it is no longer needed. In addition, it ensures that FasTrak subscribers are given notice of the privacy practices affecting them.
The requirements also apply to other toll collection systems.
Currently, the system creates a travel and billing record for drivers who pass a FasTrak-equipped toll booth. For truckers, the system is used to pluck $11.25 from their accounts each time they cross one of seven state-owned Bay Area bridges.
Anyone who has their personal information sold or improperly released would be able to sue to recover a minimum of $2,500 in damages.
For bill status, call 916-651-4171.

10/01/2010 - CARB

10/1/2010 (SB1402):

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill into law Tuesday, Sept. 28, requiring a much-maligned California regulatory agency more effectively communicate with the businesses it regulates. It took effect immediately.
Previously SB1402, the new law demands the California Air Resources Board to explain how it determined a penalty levied against a business, including trucking operations, the reason for the violation and the specific code section violated.

9/27/2010:

A bill atop Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s desk would demand that a much-maligned California regulatory agency more effectively communicate with the businesses it regulates.
Sponsored by Sen. Bob Dutton, Rancho Cucamonga, SB1402 would require the California Air Resources Board to explain how it determined a penalty levied against a business, including trucking operations, the reason for the violation and the specific code section violated.
For bill status, call 916-651-4171.

09/08/2010 - State Revenues

10/7/2010 (SB949):

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill into law that is intent on making sure local governments don’t cut out a source of revenue for the state government.
Intended to end a “patchwork of laws” for drivers cited for moving violations, the new law prohibits local law enforcement in cities that include Long Beach, Oakland and Alameda County from issuing their own tickets for certain traffic violations already covered under state law. SB949 takes effect next summer.
Local authorities, who already get a share of ticket fines, will be prohibited from enacting or enforcing an ordinance involving violations covered by the state vehicle code, such as speeding and running red lights. Cities and counties could continue to issue administrative tickets for violating posted signs, such as stop signs.
Administrative tickets are much cheaper than tickets issued under the vehicle code. In certain instances, the fine can be less than half the amount of a state-issued ticket.

9/8/2010:

A bill on its way to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s desk is intent on making sure local governments don’t cut out a source of revenue for the state government.
The Senate voted unanimously to sign off on Assembly changes to a bill that would prohibit local law enforcement in cities that include Long Beach, Oakland and Alameda County from issuing their own tickets for certain traffic violations already covered under state law.
Sponsored by Sen. Jenny Oropeza, D-Long Beach, SB949 would prohibit local authorities, who already get a share of ticket fines, from enacting or enforcing an ordinance involving violations covered by the state vehicle code, such as reckless driving and running red lights. Cities and counties could continue to issue administrative tickets for violating posted signs, such as speed limits and stop signs.
Administrative tickets are much cheaper than tickets issued under the vehicle code. In certain instances, the fine can be less than half the amount of a state-issued ticket.
For bill status, call 916-651-4171.

State Watches

01/04/2010 - Druken Driving

1/4/2010:

Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, wants to keep the worst of the worst offenders of the state’s drunken driving law off the road for good.
Existing law takes into account DUI convictions from the past decade when determining license suspensions. Licenses are only revoked for injuring or killing someone.
According to figures from Hill’s office, more than 34,000 people statewide have at least three DUI convictions.
Hill wants to implement a three strikes rule. It would give judges the discretion to revoke someone’s license permanently after a third DUI conviction. He also wants to remove a provision from California law that allows convictions to be erased from offenders driving records after 10 years.
Hill cites two individuals with nine DUIs each. Because their convictions were spread out more than 10 years they were allowed to regain their licenses. For one of the men who got his eighth DUI, it was treated as his third. That driver got his license back and was arrested shortly thereafter for driving drunk.
“Lawmakers need to protect innocent bystanders from individuals with multiple DUI convictions who are likely to re-offend,” Hill said in a statement.
Critics of the bill say it would result in more unlicensed drivers and uninsured wrecks.
Hill’s effort can be considered during the regular session that opened Monday, Jan. 4.

2/12/2010 - Speed Cameras

2/12/2010:

A controversial proposal by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to retool the state’s red-light cameras has stalled.
As part of the governor’s plan to terminate a $20 billion deficit in California’s two-year state budget, he included a proposal to generate more money through modifying the state’s traffic cameras. That idea took a hit in the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee.
The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office spoke in favor of the proposal.
“Overall we think the proposal is a good one. It would create an opportunity for the locals to generate some revenue and the state to generate some revenue,” LAO analyst Drew Soderborg told committee members.
Despite the endorsement of the LAO, lawmakers were not convinced speed cameras are the way to go.
Schwarzenegger’s plan calls for authorizing local governments to dole out pricey tickets for speeding through intersections with red-light cameras posted. Violators would face as much as $325 fines.
The administration estimates the speeding tickets from 500 cameras statewide would generate about $338 million a year for such purposes as courthouse security. Revenue would be split between local governments (15 percent) and the state (85 percent).
Opponents, including OOIDA, question the claims that cameras are solely intended to keep people safe.
“The fact that this effort is included in the governor’s budget proposal, as opposed to a safety bill, speaks volumes as to the real motivation for the cameras,” said OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer.
Similar sentiment was provided by Senate Transportation Chairman Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach. He called the proposal a “terrible idea” driven by the pursuit of money, instead of enhancing safety.
“This is a cynical attempt to generate revenue without dealing with the policy,” Lowenthal told lawmakers.

01/20/2010 - State Budget - Fuel Tax & Speed Cameras

1/20/2010:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s plan to terminate a $20 billion deficit in California’s state budget includes a change in how much truckers and others pay at the fuel pump. His proposed two-year budget also includes generating more money through retooling red-light cameras.
The governor’s $118.8 billion state spending plan avoids general tax increases but some services would suffer cuts. In an effort to close a $20 billion deficit until June 2011, Schwarzenegger is proposing changes that include altering the taxes that consumers pay when fueling.
One notable change would remove California from the list of nine states to apply a sales tax to fuel purchases. In exchange, the excise tax on fuel would be increased.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association was opposed to California’s decision to implement the sales tax on fuel purchases. OOIDA believes taxes on fuel should be on the pump and dedicated specifically to highways.
The tax swap would save consumers about 16 cents per gallon with the elimination of the 6 percent sales tax. However, the excise tax would increase by 10.8 cents per gallon to 28.8 cents. There also would be annual increases in the excise tax during the next decade.
The Schwarzenegger administration says the switch would help close the budget gap by doing away with rules that reserve most of the sales tax for transit. That would help boost revenue for the general fund, which they say has suffered because of the current setup.
Administration officials say the tax change makes sense because fuel price increases have forced consumers to spend more money at the pump, which leaves less for spending on other goods whose sales taxes are routed to the general fund.
The administration also touts the benefit of reducing the hit consumers take on taxes paid by $976 million.
Initially, state finance officials estimate the switch would save consumers about 5 cents per gallon. But that margin would slowly slip away. By 2020, the plan calls for the existing 18-cent-per-gallon tax to increase to 34 cents.
Critics say the change would result in fewer dollars available for already cash-strapped schools and transit systems.
Others say it is highly likely that fuel prices will continue to increase and the state will lose even more money without a sales tax, which is based on the cost of fuel. They say the excise tax cannot make up for the lost sales tax revenue.
Also on Schwarzenegger’s agenda is authorizing local governments to dole out pricey tickets for speeding through intersections with red-light cameras posted. Violators would face $325 fines.
The administration estimates the speeding tickets from 500 cameras statewide would generate about $338 million a year for such purposes as courthouse security. Revenue would be split between local governments (15 percent) and the state (85 percent).
Opponents, including OOIDA, question the claims that cameras are solely intended to keep people safe.
“The fact that this effort is included in the governor’s budget proposal, as opposed to a safety bill, speaks volumes as to the real motivation for the cameras,” said OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer.

Contact Info

Legislature runs from Dec. 3 to Sept. 13.

Website: http://www.legislature.ca.gov

Contact Numbers:
Senate general info and bill status 916-651-4171
Assembly general info and bill status 916-319-2856

Colorado

2016

State Issues

03/30/2016 - Transportation Funds

3/30/2016 (SB11):

A bill is likely dead in the House that sought to eliminate annual transfers of $15 million for transit projects from fee revenue collected from truckers and other drivers. The Senate previously approved it.
The Colorado Department of Transportation receives about $200 million each year from fee revenue. State transit related projects receive $10 million of that amount and local transit projects get $5 million.
SB11 called for redirecting the money allotted for transit to roads. Specifically, the amount available for road safety projects each year would be raised by $10 million. Allocations to counties would increase by $2.75 million and the allotment to municipalities would increase by $2.25 million.

2/25/2016:

The House Transportation and Energy Committee voted to kill a bill to eliminate annual transfers of $15 million for transit projects from fee revenue collected from truckers and other drivers. The Senate previously approved it.
The Colorado Department of Transportation receives about $200 million each year from fee revenue. State transit related projects receive $10 million of that amount and local transit projects get $5 million.
SB11 would redirect the money allotted for transit to roads. Specifically, the amount available for road safety projects each year would be raised by $10 million. Allocations to counties would increase by $2.75 million and the allotment to municipalities would increase by $2.25 million.

2/11/2016:

The Senate voted 18-16 to advance a bill that would eliminate annual transfers of $15 million for transit projects from fee revenue collected from truckers and other drivers. The bill now moves to the House.
The Colorado Department of Transportation receives about $200 million each year from fee revenue. State transit related projects receive $10 million of that amount and local transit projects get $5 million.
Sponsored by Sen. Tim Neville, R-Littleton, SB11 would redirect the money allotted for transit to roads. Specifically, the amount available for road safety projects each year would be raised by $10 million. Allocations to counties would increase by $2.75 million and the allotment to municipalities would increase by $2.25 million.
The bill awaits consideration in the House Transportation and Energy Committee.

2015

State Issues

06/17/2015 - Ticket Cameras

6/17/2015 (HB1098):

Gov. John Hickenlooper vetoed a bill that received bipartisan support at the statehouse aimed at restricting the use of red-light and speed cameras.
The governor did say, however, that he supports changes being made to photo enforcement procedures.
“While not always popular, when used correctly they make roads safer,” the governor wrote in his veto messages on the bills.
Colorado has 10 communities that employ red-light and/or speed cameras to issue citations.
HB1098 called for forbidding the use of red-light and speed cameras unless voters authorize their use.

6/17/2015 (SB276):

Gov. John Hickenlooper vetoed a bill that sought to ban the use of ticket cameras in the state.
The governor said SB276 went “too far.”
Instead, he told state lawmakers he would support efforts to limit the use of cameras to school zones, highway work zones, and areas with high accident rates. He also called for fine revenue to be earmarked solely for traffic safety improvements and enforcement.

05/04/2015 - Chain Rules, Personal Vehicles

6/23/2015 (HB1175):

Gov. John Hickenlooper signed into law a bill to have a special panel of state lawmakers study whether to require personal vehicles to have snow tires or tire chains during certain times of the year while traveling along a stretch of Interstate 70 in the state’s high country. Specifically, the roadway affected stretches 130 miles from Morrison in the Denver area to Dotsero near Glenwood Springs.
The state’s chain law now applies to every state and federal highway, including interstates, under certain weather conditions. For noncommercial vehicles, there are two levels of chain law: “chains or adequate snow tires required” or “chains only.”
As introduced, the House-approved bill called for setting up a pilot program to require noncommercial vehicles to carry chains, have four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, or tires with 1/8-inch tread depth while driving on the stretch of road from Nov. 1 to May 15.
Violators would face the same fine as truck drivers.
The Senate later amended HB1173 to study a possible requirement for motorists to use chains or snow tires.
The Transportation Legislation Review Committee must submit their findings to state lawmakers by Feb. 1, 2016.

5/4/2015:

An amended bill headed to the governor’s desk would study a possible requirement for motorists to use chains or snow tires.
The state’s chain law now applies to every state and federal highway, including interstates, under certain weather conditions. For noncommercial vehicles, there are two levels of chain law: “chains or adequate snow tires required” or “chains only.”
As introduced, HB1173 called for setting up a pilot program to require noncommercial vehicles to carry chains, have four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, or tires with 1/8-inch tread depth while driving on I-70 between Morrison and Dotsero from Nov. 1 to May 15.
Violators would face the same fine as truck drivers. Motorists could face $100 fines when they are pulled over for traffic infractions along the 126-mile stretch. Incidents that result in lane closures on the affected portion of interstate could result in $500 fines.

4/17/2015:

The Senate voted 23-12 on Tuesday, April 14, to approve an amended bill to study a possible requirement for motorists to use chains or snow tires.
The state’s chain law now applies to every state and federal highway, including interstates, under certain weather conditions. For noncommercial vehicles, there are two levels of chain law: “chains or adequate snow tires required” or “chains only.”
As introduced, the House-approved bill called for setting up a pilot program to require noncommercial vehicles to carry chains, have four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, or tires with 1/8-inch tread depth while driving on I-70 between Morrison and Dotsero from Nov. 1 to May 15.
Violators would face the same fine as truck drivers. Motorists could face $100 fines when they are pulled over for traffic infractions along the 126-mile stretch. Incidents that result in lane closures on the affected portion of interstate could result in $500 fines.
HB1173 now heads back to the House for consideration of changes. If the two chambers cannot agree on wording in the bill it could head to a conference committee made up of select House and Senate members.

3/6/2015:

The House voted 43-21 on Friday, March 6, to advance a bill that would set up a pilot program to require noncommercial vehicles to carry chains, have four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, or tires with 4/32-inch tread depth while driving on I-70 between Morrison and Dotsero from Nov. 1 to May 15.
Sponsored by Rep. Bob Rankin, R-Carbondale, and Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush, D-Steamboat Springs, HB1173 now moves to the Senate for further consideration.
The state’s chain law now applies to every state and federal highway, including interstates, under certain weather conditions. For noncommercial vehicles, there are two levels of chain law: “chains or adequate snow tires required” or “chains only.”
If the bill is signed into law, violators would face the same fine as truck drivers. Motorists could face $100 fines when they are pulled over for traffic infractions along the 126-mile stretch. Incidents that result in lane closures on the affected portion of interstate could result in $500 fines.
The Colorado Department of Transportation would be responsible for notifying the public of the new requirements via signage, as well as “other appropriate means.”
The bill states if the pilot program is determined to be a success, “the general assembly intends to expand the program with future legislation to cover other problematic highways.”

07/16/2015 - Transportation Funds

7/16/2015 (SB272):

The House State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee killed a bill that called for renewing a bond sale for transportation work that is set to be paid off next year. The Senate previously approved it.
First sold in 1999, the bonds have been used to fund more than two dozen other major projects.
SB272 would have continued to rely on the bonds to get needed road and bridge work done over the next 20 years.
The bill included a list of more than 50 priority projects that would benefit from the bond extension.
Voters would have been given the final say on the bond sale during the November 2015 election.

4/23/2015:

A bill in the Senate Transportation Committee would renew a bond sale for transportation work that is set to be paid off next year.
First sold in 1999, the bonds have been used to fund more than two dozen other major projects.
Sponsored by Sen. Randy Baumgardner, R-Hot Sulphur Springs, SB272 would continue to rely on the bonds to get needed road and bridge work done over the next 20 years.
The bill includes a list of more than 50 priority projects that would benefit from the bond extension.
If the bill makes it through the statehouse and gets the governor’s signature it would be placed on the state’s November 2015 ballot.

03/06/2015 - Truck Emissions Testing

3/6/2015 (HB1134):

The House approved a bill to revise the state’s rule on heavy-duty vehicle emissions testing. It now moves to the Senate.
Colorado law now exempts trucks with gross vehicle weight in excess of 26,000 pounds from emissions testing until the fourth model year.
HB1134 would extend the exemption to six years for 2014 and newer model years.
A fiscal note attached to the bill estimates the change would result in the loss of $3,730 yearly for the state.
The bill is in the Senate Transportation Committee.

07/31/2015 - Police Uniform Cameras

7/31/2015 (HB1285):

A new law addresses the use of body-worn devices by law enforcement.
Previously HB1285, the new law offers grants for departments to purchase cameras and set up a study group to recommend policies for their use.

5/8/2015:

The General Assembly has sent a bill to the governor that covers the use of police body-worn cameras. HB1285 would offer grants to for departments to purchase cameras and set up a study group to recommend policies for their use.

6/17/2010:

Gov. Bill Ritter has signed a bill into law that makes available tax incentives for local trucking operations.
Previously HB1285, the new law allows the trucking industry to qualify for enterprise-zones and sales-tax credits. However, the incentives won’t go into effect until July 1, 2011.
The incentives provide a prorated sales tax refund for companies that are based on the number of vehicle-miles driven in Colorado. Also, it offers a 1.5 percent investment tax credit for new truck purchases in an enterprise zone.
To pay for the tax incentives, fines for “egregiously overweight trucks” will be increased to a comparable level with surrounding states.
The new law clarifies that vehicles registered in Colorado, then later registered in another state before returning to Colorado for a subsequent registration are not on the hook for taxes and fees due while it was registered outside the state.

2014

State Issues

06/10/2014 - Independence Pass

6/10/2014 (HB1021):

A new law boosts the deterrent for drivers of large vehicles who illegally attempt to cross Independence Pass. It takes effect Aug. 6.
Colorado law prohibits oversize and overweight vehicles – including vehicles or combination vehicles longer than 35 feet, regardless of size – from using the pass that connects Twin Lakes and Aspen. There are signs on each side of the pass, which is typically open for six months each year from Memorial Day through mid-November, indicating the restriction.
Violators face fines of $500.
Previously HB1021, the new law boosts the punishment for prohibited trucks and RVs found on state Highway 82 between U.S. 24 and the city of Aspen. Fines would increase from $500 to $2,000. Violations that result in closures would increase the fine to $2,500.

3/10/2014:

The Senate voted 22-12 to send a bill to Gov. John Hickenlooper that would boost the deterrent for drivers of large vehicles who illegally attempt to cross Independence Pass. House lawmakers already approved the bill on a 41-23 vote.
Colorado law prohibits oversize and overweight vehicles – including vehicles or combination vehicles longer than 35 feet, regardless of size – from using the pass that connects Twin Lakes and Aspen. There are signs on each side of the pass, which is typically open for six months each year from Memorial Day through mid-November, indicating the restriction.
Violators face fines of $500.
HB1021 would boost the punishment for prohibited trucks and RVs found on state Highway 82 between U.S. 24 and the city of Aspen. Fines would increase from $500 to $1,000. Violations that result in closures would increase the fine to $1,500.

3/3/2014:

A bill awaiting a final Senate floor vote would boost the deterrent for drivers of large vehicles who illegally attempt to cross Independence Pass.
Colorado law prohibits oversize and overweight vehicles – including vehicles or combination vehicles longer than 35 feet, regardless of size – from using the pass that connects Twin Lakes and Aspen. There are signs on each side of the pass, which is typically open for six months each year from Memorial Day through mid-November, indicating the restriction.
Violators face fines of $500.
HB1021 would boost the punishment for prohibited trucks and RVs found on state Highway 82 between U.S. 24 and the city of Aspen. Fines would increase from $500 to $1,000. Violations that result in closures would increase the fine to $1,500.
A provision to add two license suspension points was removed in the House.
If approved on the Senate floor, the bill would move to the governor’s desk. House lawmakers already approved it on a 41-23 vote.

2/18/2014:

A bill in the Senate Transportation Committee would boost the deterrent for certain large vehicles on Independence Pass. House lawmakers already approved it.
Colorado law prohibits oversize and overweight vehicles – including vehicles or combination vehicles longer than 35 feet, regardless of size – from using the pass that connects Twin Lakes and Aspen. There are signs on each side of the pass, which is typically open for six months each year from Memorial Day through mid-November, indicating the restriction.
HB1021 would boost the punishment for prohibited trucks and RVs found on state Highway 82 between U.S. 24 and the city of Aspen. Fines would increase from $500 to $2,000. Violations that result in closures would increase the fine to $2,500 and two license suspension points.

2/11/2014:

The House voted Monday, Feb. 10, to approve a bill that would boost the deterrent for certain large vehicles on Independence Pass. It now moves to the Senate.
Colorado law prohibits oversize and overweight vehicles – including vehicles or combination vehicles longer than 35 feet, regardless of size – from using the pass that connects Twin Lakes and Aspen. There are signs on each side of the pass, which is typically open for six months each year from Memorial Day through mid-November, indicating the restriction.
HB1021 would boost the punishment for prohibited trucks and RVs found on state Highway 82 between U.S. 24 and the city of Aspen. Fines would increase from $500 to $2,500.
The bill awaits assignment to committee in the Senate.

2/10/2014:

A bill awaiting consideration on the House floor would boost the deterrent for certain large vehicles on Independence Pass.
Colorado law prohibits oversize and overweight vehicles – including vehicles or combination vehicles longer than 35 feet, regardless of size – from using the pass that connects Twin Lakes and Aspen. There are signs on each side of the pass, which is typically open for six months each year from Memorial Day through mid-November, indicating the restriction.
HB1021 would boost the punishment for prohibited trucks and RVs found on state Highway 82 between U.S. 24 and the city of Aspen. Fines would increase from $500 to $2,500.

03/31/2014 - Indemnity Protection

3/31/2014 (HB1065):

Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a bill into law to forbid indemnification clauses in trucking contracts. The clauses are set up to protect shippers or hold them harmless from anything that happens with a shipment.
Previously HB1065, the new rule outlaws provisions in contracts that provide for shippers to be indemnified for losses caused by their own negligence and would invalidate them.
Affected contracts in Colorado are defined as “a contract, agreement, or understanding, whether written or oral, express or implied,” between a motor carrier and a shipper covering the transportation of property for hire by the motor carrier, entry on property to load, unload, or transport property.
The protection would not apply to intermodal chassis, or other intermodal equipment.

3/7/2014:

Senate lawmakers voted 33-2 on Wednesday, March 5, to send a bill to the governor’s desk that would forbid indemnification clauses in trucking contracts. The clauses are set up to protect shippers or hold them harmless from anything that happens with a shipment.
The House previously endorsed the bill on a 41-23 vote.
If signed into law, HB1065 would outlaw provisions in contracts that provide for shippers to be indemnified for losses caused by their own negligence and would invalidate them.
Affected contracts in Colorado would be defined as “a contract, agreement, or understanding, whether written or oral, express or implied,” between a motor carrier and a shipper covering the transportation of property for hire by the motor carrier, entry on property to load, unload, or transport property.
The protection would not apply to intermodal chassis, or other intermodal equipment.

2/18/2014:

A bill in the Senate Transportation Committee would forbid indemnification clauses in trucking contracts. The clauses are set up to protect shippers or hold them harmless from anything that happens with a shipment. House lawmakers already approved the bill on a 41-23 vote.
HB1065 would outlaw provisions in contracts that provide for shippers to be indemnified for losses caused by their own negligence and would invalidate them.
Affected contracts in Colorado would be defined as “a contract, agreement, or understanding, whether written or oral, express or implied,” between a motor carrier and a shipper covering the transportation of property for hire by the motor carrier, entry on property to load, unload, or transport property.
The protection would not apply to intermodal chassis, or other intermodal equipment.

2/12/2014:

The House voted to advance a bill to the Senate that would forbid indemnification clauses in trucking contracts. The clauses are set up to protect shippers or hold them harmless from anything that happens with a shipment.
HB1065 would outlaw provisions in contracts that provide for shippers to be indemnified for losses caused by their own negligence and would invalidate them.
The bill would define affected contracts in Colorado as “a contract, agreement, or understanding” between a motor carrier and a shipper covering the transportation of property for hire by the motor carrier, entry on property to load, unload, or transport property.
The protection would not apply to intermodal chassis, or other intermodal equipment.
The bill awaits assignment to committee in the Senate.

2/10/2014:

The House Transportation and Energy Committee voted to advance the bill that would forbid indemnification clauses in trucking contracts. The clauses are set up to protect shippers or hold them harmless from anything that happens with a shipment.
HB1065 would outlaw provisions in contracts that provide for shippers to be indemnified for losses caused by their own negligence and would invalidate them.
The bill would define affected contracts in Colorado as “a contract, agreement, or understanding” between a motor carrier and a shipper covering the transportation of property for hire by the motor carrier, entry on property to load, unload, or transport property.
The protection would not apply to intermodal chassis, or other intermodal equipment.
The bill awaits further consideration on the House floor. If approved there, it would move to the Senate.

07/15/2014 - Trafficking

7/15/2014 (HB1273):

A new law provides a comprehensive legal definition of trafficking.
Previously HB1273, the new law establishes Rape Shield Act protections for victims of trafficking; makes sex trafficking of minors a sex offense against a child; repeals defense options for offenders such as minor consented to involvement; and establishes mandatory restitution in some trafficking cases.
The new law makes it easier to prosecute offenders and also establishes an ongoing council to study the problem.

05/28/2014 - Public-Private Partnerships

6/5/2014 (SB197):

Gov. John Hickenlooper vetoed a bill on Wednesday, June 4, that would put in place new rules on public-private partnership deals for highway projects. Specifically, SB197 would increase disclosures, oversight and public input.
The governor said he supports transparency and accountability in government. However, he wrote in a veto letter that the bill “is not just a transparency bill – it also inappropriately constrains the business terms of future P3 agreements.”
Instead, he urged supporters to pursue more input from “the private sector and local government stakeholders before trying to rush legislation through the statehouse.
To help guard against similar actions in the future, one provision in the bill would require public and legislative “check-ins,” including town hall meetings.
It would also limit P3 deals to 35 years. Any effort for a longer lease term would need legislative approval.
Hickenlooper said the constraints on business terms sought in the bill “would create a chilling component on future transactions, making investors unlikely or unwilling to bid on Colorado projects due to the increased risks this process would generate.”
In Colorado, state lawmakers can either choose to revise the bill and send it back to the governor or attempt to override the veto with a two-thirds vote.
The Senate initially approved the bill on a 25-10 vote – which is one more than the 24 votes needed for an override. House lawmakers approved the bill on a 35-29 vote – which is eight votes short of the margin necessary.

5/28/2014:

House lawmakers voted 35-29 to approve a bill that would place new rules on public-private partnership deals for highway projects. Specifically, it would increase disclosures, oversight and public input.
SB197 has been sent to Gov. John Hickenlooper’s desk. Senate lawmakers already approved it on a 20-15 vote.
The bill would require public and legislative “check-ins,” including town hall meetings. It would also limit P3 deals to 35 years. Any effort for a longer lease term would need legislative approval.
The governor can sign the bill, veto it or allow the bill to become law without his signature. The deadline to act is June 6.

5/2/2014:

The Senate voted 20-15 on Wednesday, April 30, to send a bill to the House that covers public-private partnerships.
Sponsored by Sen. Matt Jones, D-Louisville, SB197 would require public and legislative “check-ins,” including town hall meetings.
The bill would also limit P3 deals to 35 years. Any effort for a longer lease term would need legislative approval.
Local governments would also be involved in the process.
The bill is scheduled for consideration in the House Transportation and Energy Committee on Friday afternoon. However, time is running out to get the bill through the statehouse. The General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn for the year on Wednesday, May 7.

03/03/2014 - Nonconsensual Tows

3/3/2014 (HB1031):

A new law is intended to benefit truckers after nonconsensual tows.
Currently, the state’s Public Utilities Commission regulates the rates that can be charged for a nonconsensual tow of vehicles weighing less than 10,000 pounds. Nonconsensual towing rates for vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds are determined by a negotiated agreement between the tower and law enforcement.
Gov. John Hickenlooper signed into law a bill to repeal the 10,000-pound weight restriction to apply the PUC’s towing rate regulation to all vehicles. Previously HB1031, the new law takes effect Aug. 6.
The new law also creates a nine-person committee to advise the PUC on rates and investigations of overcharges. One member would represent truck drivers.

2/12/2014:

The Senate Transportation Committee voted to advance a bill to the full Senate that covers nonconsensual tows. House lawmakers already approved it.
Currently, the Public Utilities Commission regulates the rates that can be charged for a nonconsensual tow of vehicles weighing less than 10,000 pounds. Nonconsensual towing rates for vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds are determined by a negotiated agreement between the tower and law enforcement.
HB1031 would repeal the 10,000-pound weight restriction to apply the PUC’s towing rate regulation to all vehicles.
A nine-person committee would also be created to advise the PUC on rates and investigations of overcharges. One member would represent truck drivers.

2/10/2014:

The House voted to approve a bill that covers nonconsensual tows. It now moves to the Senate.
Currently, the Public Utilities Commission regulates the rates that can be charged for a nonconsensual tow of vehicles weighing less than 10,000 pounds. Nonconsensual towing rates for vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds are determined by a negotiated agreement between the tower and law enforcement.
HB1031 would repeal the 10,000-pound weight restriction to apply the PUC’s towing rate regulation to all vehicles.
The bill can be considered by the Senate Transportation Committee.

04/23/2014 - License Plate Readers

4/23/2014 (HB1152):

A new law requires data from automated license plate readers to be destroyed after three years.
Previously, state law permitted surveillance data to be kept indefinitely.
HB1152 requires the state government to destroy any data from traffic and government cameras after three years. The rule makes an exception for data related to pending criminal investigations.

05/13/2014 - Ticket Cameras

5/13/2014 (SB181):

The House Appropriations Committee voted to kill a bill that sought to bar local governments from using red-light and speed cameras. The Senate previously approved the bill.
SB181 would have prohibited cities and towns from using automated enforcement to distribute tickets.

4/10/2014:

A bill in the Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee would bar local governments from using red-light and speed cameras.
Sponsored by Sen. Scott Renfroe, R-Greeley, SB181 would prohibit cities and towns from using automated enforcement to distribute tickets.

03/19/2014 - Local Road Funding

3/19/2014 (SB7):

Gov. John Hickenlooper signed into law a bill that provides counties impacted by last fall’s floods more wiggle room in their budgeting to repair roads and bridges.
Previously SB7, the new law allows county commissioners to use general funds for road and bridge work following declared disaster emergencies. It took effect immediately.

2011

State Issues

05/24/2012 - Ports of Entry

5/24/2012 (HB1019):

Gov. John Hickenlooper signed into law a bill to shift responsibility for Ports of Entry staff and facilities from the Colorado Department of Revenue to state troopers. As a result, the department’s motor carrier services division will be eliminated.
Starting July 1, the motor carrier services division’s responsibility for commercial driver’s licensing and the International Registration Plan will be shifted to the DOR.
Previously HB1019, the rule change is a follow-up to a 2010 law that handed over all truck safety activities to the State Patrol. At the time, advocates said the change would help ensure greater uniformity and consistency in truck inspections, interpretations of laws and enforcement procedures.

4/25/2012:

House and Senate lawmakers reached agreement on a bill to shift responsibility for Ports of Entry staff and facilities from the Colorado Department of Revenue to state troopers. As a result, the department’s motor carrier services division would be eliminated.
HB1019 now moves to Gov. John Hickenlooper’s desk. If signed into law, the motor carrier services division’s responsibility for commercial driver’s licensing and the International Registration Plan would be shifted to the Revenue Department.
The switch would take effect July 1.
For bill status, call 303-866-3055.

3/28/2012:

The Senate Transportation Committee voted unanimously to advance a bill that would shift responsibility for Ports of Entry staff and facilities from the Colorado Department of Revenue to the State Patrol. As a result, the DOR’s motor carrier services division would be eliminated.
The motor carrier services division’s responsibility for commercial driver’s licensing and the International Registration Plan would be shifted to the Revenue Department.
HB1019 would take another step toward increasing efficiencies. Roxy Huber of the Colorado State Patrol told lawmakers during recent discussion on the bill that savings will be realized through more efficient communications, timely training, and better equipment.
The bill is awaiting clearance for a Senate floor vote. If approved there, the bill would move to the governor’s desk. House lawmakers already approved it.
If signed into law the switch would take effect July 1, 2012.
For bill status, call 303-866-3055.

2/4/2012:

The House Transportation Committee voted to advance a bill to transfer the Motor Carrier Services Division, and with it responsibility for Ports of Entry, from the Department of Revenue to the Department of Public Safety.
The Department of Revenue would retain CDL licensing and the International Registration Plan.
HB1019 has moved to the House Appropriations Committee. For bill status, call 303-866-3055.

03/05/2012 - Ticket Cameras

3/5/2012 (SB50):

The Senate Transportation Committee voted to kill a bill to prohibit cities and towns from using red-light and speed cameras.
SB50 would not have affected cameras employed on toll roads and HOV lanes.

1/19/2012:

A bill in the Senate Transportation Committee would prohibit cities and towns from using red-light and speed cameras.
Sponsored by Sen. Scott Renfroe, R-Greeley, SB50 would not affect cameras employed on toll roads and HOV lanes.
For bill status, call 303-866-3055.

06/20/2012 - Class A Trailers & Semitrailers

6/20/2012 (HB1038):

Gov. John Hickenlooper signed into law a bill to create a permanent registration for Class A trailers and semitrailers. It takes effect Aug. 1.
Previously HB1038, the new law puts in place an alternate registration for interstate, commercial trucks and semitrailers if the owner is based in a jurisdiction other than Colorado or, if the owner is based in the state, the semitrailer is at least 10 years old.
The new registration is permanent; however, it would expire if the trailer or semitrailer transfers ownership.

5/24/2012:

A bill on Gov. John Hickenlooper’s desk would create a permanent registration for Class A trailers and semitrailers.
HB1038 would put in place an alternate registration for interstate, commercial trucks and semitrailers if the owner is based in a jurisdiction other than Colorado or, if the owner is based in the state, the semitrailer is at least 10 years old.
The new registration would be permanent; however, it would expire if the trailer or semitrailer transfers ownership.
For bill status, call 303-866-3055.

2/21/2012:

The House Transportation Committee voted to advance a bill to create a permanent registration for Class A trailers and semitrailers.
HB1038 would put in place an alternate registration for interstate, commercial trucks and semitrailers if the owner is based in a jurisdiction other than Colorado or, if the owner is based in the state, the semitrailer is at least 10 years old.
The bill now moves to the House Appropriations Committee. For bill status, call 303-866-3055.

2/4/2012:

A bill in the House Transportation Committee would create a permanent registration for Class A trailers and semitrailers.
HB1038 would put in place an alternate registration for interstate, commercial trucks and semitrailers if the owner is based in a jurisdiction other than Colorado or, if the owner is based in the state, the semitrailer is at least 10 years old.
For bill status, call 303-866-3055.

2010

State Issues

02/22/2011 - 'Crash Tax'

3/24/2011 (HB1059):

The Senate Local Government Committee voted to kill a bill that sought to offer some protection from fees applied by police and fire personnel responding to vehicle accidents. The House previously approved it.
Sponsored by Rep. Spencer Swalm, R-Centennial, HB1059 would have prohibited cities along the Front Range from imposing “crash taxes” on nonresidents to recoup costs.
The affected area stretches from Pueblo to Fort Collins. Communities could still charge their own residents for costs incurred by emergency personnel.
Rural communities in the state were not affected by the bill.

3/14/2011:

The House has approved an amended bill that would offer some protection from fees applied by police and fire personnel responding to vehicle accidents. It now moves to the Senate.
Sponsored by Rep. Spencer Swalm, R-Centennial, HB1059 would prohibit cities along the Front Range from imposing “crash taxes” on nonresidents to recoup costs.
The affected area stretches from Pueblo to Fort Collins. Communities could still charge their own residents for costs incurred by emergency personnel.
Rural communities in the state are not affected by the bill.
The bill is in the Senate Local Government Committee.
For bill status, call 303-866-3055. In Colorado, call 800-811-7647.

2/22/2011:

A bill in the House Local Government Committee would put a stop to local governments charging accident response fees.
Sponsored by Rep. Spencer Swalm, R-Centennial, HB1059 would prohibit municipalities from charging fees.
For bill status, call 303-866-3055. In Colorado, call 800-811-7647.

04/28/2011 - Idling Restriction

6/13/2011 (HB1275):

A new law sets a statewide idling standard for commercial vehicles weighing in excess of 14,000 pounds.
The city and county of Denver now limit idling to 10 minutes each hour.
As of July 1, 2011, the statewide standard will limit affected vehicles to idling for no more than five minutes per hour. Violators would face fines of up to $150. Repeat offenses could result in up to $500 fines.
Communities are authorized to adopt the idling standard. However, local authorities are not required to enforce the state standard.
The list of circumstances that exempt truckers in Colorado from the restriction is lengthy. Valid reasons to idle include situations when vehicles are stuck in traffic or when idling is necessary to heat or cool a sleeper berth during a rest or sleep period at a rest area, truck terminal, truck stop, or “state-designated location designed to be a driver’s rest area.”
Truckers getting rest are also be exempt from the restriction while parked at a location where the vehicle is legally permitted to park, as long as it is located at least 1,000 feet from housing, a school, a daycare or a hospital.
An exception for cold temperatures kicks in when the thermostat dips below 10 degrees. Under such circumstances, idling will be allowed for up to 20 minutes per hour.
Revenue from fines will be distributed between the state’s highway fund (65 percent), counties (26 percent) and cities (9 percent).

6/1/2011:

A bill on its way to Gov. John Hickenlooper’s desk would set a statewide idling standard for commercial vehicles weighing in excess of 14,000 pounds.
The city and county of Denver now limit idling to 10 minutes each hour.
HB1275 would limit affected vehicles to idling for no more than five minutes per hour. Violators would face fines of up to $150. Repeat offenses could result in up to $500 fines.
Communities could adopt the idling standard. However, local authorities would not be required to enforce the state standard.
The list of circumstances that would exempt truckers in Colorado from the restriction is lengthy. Valid reasons to idle would include situations when vehicles are stuck in traffic; when idling is necessary to heat or cool a sleeper berth during a rest or sleep period at a rest area, truck terminal, truck stop, or “state-designated location designed to be a driver’s rest area.”
Truckers getting rest would also be exempt from the restriction while parked at a location where the vehicle is legally permitted to park, as long as it is located at least 1,000 feet from housing, a school, a daycare or a hospital.
An exception for cold temperatures would kick in when the thermostat dips below 10 degrees. Under such circumstances, idling would be allowed for up to 20 minutes per hour.
Fine revenue would be distributed between the state’s highway fund (65 percent), counties (26 percent) and cities (9 percent).
For bill status, call 303-866-3055. In Colorado, call 800-811-7647.

4/28/2011:

The Senate Transportation Committee voted to advance a bill to the full Senate that would set a statewide idling standard for commercial vehicles weighing in excess of 14,000 pounds.
The city and county of Denver now limit idling to 10 minutes each hour.
HB1275 would limit affected vehicles to idling for no more than five minutes per hour.
Local authorities would also be permitted to adopt an idling standard if it is not more stringent.
Violators would face fines of up to $150. Repeat offenses could result in up to $500 fines.
The list of circumstances that would exempt truckers in Colorado from the restriction is lengthy. Valid reasons to idle would include situations when vehicles are stuck in traffic, when idling is necessary to heat or cool a sleeper berth during a rest or sleep period, and at a rest area, truck terminal, truck stop, or “state-designated location designed to be a driver’s rest area.”
Truckers would also be exempt from the restriction while parked at a location where the vehicle is legally permitted to park, as long as it is located at least 1,000 feet from housing, a school, a daycare or a hospital.
Exceptions for cold temperatures would kick in when the thermostat dips below 10 degrees or if the temperature has been below 20 degrees for the past 24 hours.
Fine revenue would be distributed between the state’s highway fund (65 percent), counties (26 percent) and cities (9 percent).
If approved there, the bill would head back to the House for approval of changes before moving to the governor’s desk.
For bill status, call 303-866-3055. In Colorado, call 800-811-7647.

04/01/2011 - I-70 Recommendations

4/1/2011 (HB1210):

Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a bill into law Wednesday, March 30, that requires the Colorado Department of Transportation to make a list of recommendations for state lawmakers to address the growing gridlock along the Interstate 70 corridor. Possible funding options also are sought.
In addition, public hearings to discuss options under consideration are required.
Officials are looking for viable ways to address congestion concerns on the only east-west interstate through Colorado and impacts commerce, tourism and the ski industry.
Among the options expected to be discussed are tolls, “zipper lanes,” which are moveable concrete lane barriers, and opening of hard shoulders to traffic at peak congestion times.
CDOT will be required to report its recommendations to the House and Senate transportation committees early next year.

04/28/2011 - Excess Size & Weight

6/13/2011 (HB1279):

Gov. John Hickenlooper signed into law a bill that addresses permits for excess size and weight vehicles.
Currently, an overweight vehicle permit in Colorado may be issued for a vehicle with a trailer or semitrailer with a tandem or triple axle grouping as long as the combined vehicle weight does not exceed 97,000 pounds.
HB1279 changes the rule to specify that the trailer may have two or three axles, rather than a tandem or triple axle grouping.

5/16/2011:

The Senate voted to advance a bill to the governor that addresses permits for excess size and weight vehicles. The House already approved it.
Currently, an overweight vehicle permit in Colorado may be issued for a vehicle with a trailer or semitrailer with a tandem or triple axle grouping as long as the combined vehicle weight does not exceed 97,000 pounds.
HB1279 would change the rule to specify that the trailer may have two or three axles, rather than a tandem or triple axle grouping.
For bill status, call 303-866-3055. In Colorado, call 800-811-7647.

4/28/2011:

The Senate Transportation Committee voted to advance a bill that addresses permits for excess size and weight vehicles.
Currently, an overweight vehicle permit in Colorado may be issued for a vehicle with a trailer or semitrailer with a tandem or triple axle grouping as long as the combined vehicle weight does not exceed 97,000 pounds.
HB1279 would change the rule to specify that the trailer may have two or three axles, rather than a tandem or triple axle grouping.
If approved by the full Senate, the bill would move to the governor’s desk. House lawmakers already approved it.
For bill status, call 303-866-3055. In Colorado, call 800-811-7647.

Contact Info

General Assembly runs from Jan. 9 to May 8.

Website: http://www.leg.state.co.us/clics/cslFrontPages.nsf/HomeSplash?OpenForm

 

Contact Numbers:

Senate general information 303-866-2316
House general information 303-866-2904
General information (in CO) 888-473-8136
Bill status 303-866-3055

Connecticut

2016

State Issues

02/11/2016 - Rest Areas

2/11/2016 (HB5044):

A bill in the Joint Committee on Appropriations is part of Gov. Dannel Malloy’s state budget proposal. Specifically, it includes a provision that calls for a shutdown of multiple rest areas on Interstate 84.
The closures of the Southington and eastbound Willington rest areas along I-84 and the welcome center in Westbrook along the Connecticut Turnpike are included in Gov. Dannel Malloy’s $19.8 billion state budget proposal.
Also included in HB5044 is a provision to cut back operations at 28 other state-operated rest areas. Specifically, operations would be trimmed from three shifts to two shifts.
The committee is scheduled to hold additional hearings on the governor’s state budget proposal.

03/21/2016 - Traffic Citations, Surcharge

3/21/2016 (HB5489):

A bill in the Joint Committee on Planning and Economic Development would provide additional resources for local law enforcement issuing traffic citations.
State law now adds a $15 surcharge to citations such as speeding to support town or city agencies.
HB5489 would increase the fee amount collected by local departments to $25, or an amount equal to 25 percent of the fine, whichever is greater.
The change sought in the bill would take effect on July 1, 2016.

3/21/2016 (HB5239):

A bill in the Joint Committee on Planning and Economic Development would provide additional resources for local law enforcement issuing traffic citations.
State law now adds a $15 surcharge to citations such as speeding to support town or city agencies.
HB5239 would increase the fee amount collected by local departments to $25, or an amount equal to 25 percent of the fine, whichever is greater.

03/21/2016 - Littering

3/21/2016 (HB5189):

A bill in the Joint Committee on Environment covers littering fines.
HB5189 would increase fine amounts to as much as $1,000 – up from $199.

03/21/2016 - Idling Rules

3/21/2016 (HB5318):

A bill in the Joint Committee on Environment would put idling rules into state statute.
Connecticut state regulations already prohibit vehicle idling for more than three minutes.
Exceptions are made for situations that include when it is necessary to defrost, heat or cool equipment, and when the temperature is below 20 degrees.
HB5318 would also add a specific exception for large trucks. Specifically, an exception to the idling rule would be made for instances when a truck is in a queue waiting for weighing, loading or unloading of freight.
Another change would specify that violators face fines between $35 and $90.

2015

State Issues

07/16/2015 - Towing Rules

7/16/2015 (HB6817):

A bill died that sought to give law enforcement authority to request that a vehicle blocking a busy roadway be removed by a wrecker service.
HB6817 would have exempted any police or traffic authority personnel from liability for damage to a vehicle or its load as long as “reasonable care” was used in the removal process. Wrecker services would also have been indemnified from any liability.

4/21/2015 (HB6817):

The Joint Committee on Transportation recently voted to advance a bill that would give law enforcement authority to request that a vehicle blocking a busy roadway be removed by a wrecker service.
HB6817 would exempt any police or traffic authority personnel from liability for damage to a vehicle or its load as long as “reasonable care” was used in the removal process. Wrecker services would also be indemnified from any liability.
The bill awaits further consideration in the House.

4/16/2015 (SB505):

A bill is likely dead that covers road cleanup by tow truck operators at wreck scenes.
SB505 would require tow operators to clean up debris left behind after a vehicle accident.

3/9/2015 (HB6817):

The Joint Committee on Transportation discussed a bill during a recent hearing that would give law enforcement authority to request that a vehicle blocking a roadway be removed by a wrecker service.
Any police or traffic authority personnel would be exempt from liability for damage to a vehicle or its load as long as “reasonable care” was used in the removal process. Wrecker services would also be indemnified from any liability.
HB6817 awaits further consideration in the committee.

3/9/2015 (SB505):

A bill in the Joint Committee on Transportation covers road cleanup by tow truck operators at wreck scenes.
Sponsored by Sen. Michael McLachlan, R-Danbury, SB505 would require tow operators to clean up debris left behind after a vehicle accident.

07/16/2015 - Cellphone Kill Switches

7/16/2015 (SB629):

A bill died that sought to require smartphone manufacturers to add the capability of downloading a shut-off function, or “kill switch,” to all new devices sold.
The kill switch function allows smartphone owners to remotely disable their device if it is lost or stolen, rendering it useless to thieves. Owners can later reverse the function.
SB629 would have applied to all new devices sold in the state starting in July 2016.

3/27/2015:

The Joint Committee on General Law voted to advance a bill to require smartphone manufacturers to add the capability of downloading a shut-off function, or “kill switch,” to all new devices sold.
The kill switch function allows smartphone owners to remotely disable their device if it is lost or stolen, rendering it useless to thieves. Owners can later reverse the function.
Sponsored by Sen. Martin Looney, D-New Haven, SB629 would apply to all new devices sold in the state starting in July 2016.

07/16/2015 - Border Tolls

7/16/2015 (HB6818):

A bill died that sought to bring back tolls for the first time since the mid-‘80s.
HB6818 called for authorizing charging toll taxes to highway users at the state’s eight limited-access border crossings.

3/18/2015:

The Joint Committee on Transportation met recently to discuss whether to bring back tolls for the first time since the mid-‘80s.
HB6818 would authorize charging toll taxes to highway users at the state’s eight limited-access border crossings. About 500 people submitted written testimony on the issue with a large majority in opposition.

07/16/2015 - Smartphone Kill Switch

7/16/2015 (SB629):

A bill died that sought to require smartphone manufacturers to add the capability of downloading a shut-off function, or “kill switch,” to all new devices sold.
The kill switch function allows smartphone owners to remotely disable their device if it is lost or stolen, rendering it useless to thieves. Owners can later reverse the function.
SB629 would have applied to all new devices sold in the state starting in July 2016.

3/27/2015:

The Joint Committee on General Law voted to advance a bill to require smartphone manufacturers to add the capability of downloading a shut-off function, or “kill switch,” to all new devices sold.
The kill switch function allows smartphone owners to remotely disable their device if it is lost or stolen, rendering it useless to thieves. Owners can later reverse the function.
Sponsored by Sen. Martin Looney, D-New Haven, SB629 would apply to all new devices sold in the state starting in July 2016.

07/18/2015 - Police Uniform Cameras

7/16/2015 (SB770):

A bill died that covers the use of police body-worn cameras.
SB770 called for setting up a pilot program for use of the devices in three municipalities – one small, one medium, and one large. The programs would have been used to recommend statewide protocols for administration and usage throughout the state.

5/8/2015:

A bill awaiting a Senate floor vote covers the use of police body-worn cameras. SB770 would set up a pilot program for use of the devices in three municipalities – one small, one medium, and one large. The programs would be used to recommend statewide protocols for administration and usage throughout the state.

State Watches

01/13/2015 - Transportation Funding

1/13/2015:

Gov. Dannel Malloy said he wants to get more road work done and make sure that Connecticut’s transportation money is used for its intended purpose.
During his State of the State speech last week, the governor spent most of his speech talking about how transportation would be a priority during the 2015 regular session.
Malloy emphasized his desire to create “a state where we attract new businesses because our highways and rail networks can deliver goods efficiently, without delay” and “a state with three vibrant, deep-water ports exporting more and more goods.”
He proposed widening Interstate 95 from Branford to the Rhode Island line and fixing ramps along the roadway.
The governor also said he would advocate for a “lockbox” to prohibit raids on the state’s transportation fund.
Raids of the state’s Special Transportation Fund are not uncommon. Through the years legislatures and governors have tapped road money for other purposes.
“I am proposing that Connecticut create a secure transportation lockbox that will ensure every single dollar raised for transportation is spent on transportation, now and into the future,” Malloy told lawmakers.
The Democratic governor said he would veto any legislation to raise new revenue for transportation unless the General Assembly first sends him a bill creating a lockbox.
“No gimmicks. No diversions.”
Some Republican lawmakers raised questions about the governor’s lockbox model. They point out that a new law set to take effect in July makes Special Transportation Fund money off limits for non-transportation related purposes.
“In theory this legislation should be sufficient. … I agree with the governor that we need to do more, but only because I’ve witnessed past legislatures use gimmicks and diversions to manage transportation funds,” Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano, R-North Haven, said in prepared remarks.
The governor said he would outline the first steps for his plan, including how he wants to pay for needed work, when he presents the state budget in February.
During his re-election campaign last year, Malloy said that he is not interested in tax increases. Instead, he has indicated a willingness to discuss tolls if certain conditions are met.
Tolls have been off limits in the state since the mid-80s when state officials removed tolls from the Connecticut Turnpike.

12/10/2015 - Transportation 'Lock Box'

12/10/2015:

Voters in Connecticut will not get their say anytime soon on an effort billed to ensure that the state’s transportation money is used for its intended purpose.
During a special session addressing state budget issues, the Senate voted unanimously to endorse adding a proposed constitutional amendment to the November 2016 ballot to protect the state’s transportation revenue from raids via a “lock box.”
House lawmakers also approved the resolution by a 100-40 margin, but 114 votes were necessary to get the question on the presidential ballot. As a result, the Democrat-led General Assembly must bring back the issue for consideration during the upcoming regular session.
A simple majority will be necessary to add the question to the November 2018 ballot. However, if lawmakers meet the three-fourths majority requirement during the 2016 regular session the question could be placed on the upcoming fall ballot.
Gov. Dannel Malloy has advocated for safeguards to budget revenues earmarked for transportation.
Raids of the state’s Special Transportation Fund are not uncommon. Through the years legislatures and governors in the Nutmeg State have tapped road money for other purposes.
The Democratic governor has proposed a 30-year, $100 billion transportation overhaul. Among the funding methods being studied by a special legislative panel are tolls and fuel tax increases.
Malloy has said that voters would support new revenue for infrastructure if they are assured the money would be used for its intended purpose.
Among the concerns about the proposal voiced by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle was the decision to include the issue in a special session when the public could not be a part of the discussion and comment at the statehouse.
Rep. Bill Simanski, R-Granby, added that the resolution does the same thing as a statutory lock box that lawmakers approved during the 2015 regular session.
He wrote in a letter posted on his web site the new law “is ineffective, has no way of being enforced and is constantly raided to help balance our budget.”
“It is evident that the lock box is just a political gimmick and effectively nothing more than a sieve.”

04/20/2015 - Commercial Vehicle Sales Tax Exemption

4/30/2015:

The Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee could soon take up for consideration an effort to repeal an existing sales tax exemption for commercial trucks and trailers purchased in the state. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association says that repealing the provision would be bad for professional drivers, manufacturers, and many other trucking-related businesses. Mike Matousek, OOIDA director of state legislative affairs, said small-business truck drivers are already subject to a number of taxes; the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax, International Fuel Tax Agreement, Unified Carrier Registration, International Registration Plan, the 12 percent federal excise tax on the purchase of new tractors and trailers, and a federal excise tax on the purchase of new tires, just to name a few. He said it is also worth pointing out that the majority of taxes that commercial trucks pay – including the taxes mentioned – do not apply to personal vehicles. “The Connecticut sales tax exemption on the purchase of a new tractor and/or trailer is perhaps the largest – and only – economic incentive for owner-operators to purchase new equipment,” Matousek said. “Repealing the exemption is bad for truckers, truck and part manufacturers, truck retailers, and many other trucking-related businesses. “It is also likely that overall tax revenue in Connecticut might actually decrease as new truck sales will also likely decrease.” OOIDA has communicated the concerns of professional drivers to committee members.

2014

State Issues

04/17/2014 - Magnesium Chloride

4/17/2014 (HB5288):

A bill died that sought to develop a plan to reduce the use of magnesium chloride as a deicer to help clear the state’s roadways during winter road treatment.
HB5288 missed a deadline to advance from committee.
The bill made the Connecticut Department of Transportation responsible for examining the treatment’s effect on vehicles, roads and the environment. The agency would have been required to evaluate alternative products and treatments and report their findings to the committee in one year.

3/24/2014:

The Joint Committee on Transportation heard testimony on a bill to develop a plan to reduce the use of magnesium chloride as a deicer to help clear the state’s roadways during winter road treatment.
Specifically, the Connecticut Department of Transportation would be responsible for examining the treatment’s effect on vehicles, roads and the environment.
Sponsored by Sen. Jason Welch, R-Bristol, HB5288 calls for the state DOT to evaluate alternative products and treatments and report their findings to the committee in one year.

05/29/2014 - License Plate Readers

5/29/2014 (HB5389):

A provision was removed from HB5389 that sought to regulate the use of license plate scanners. The provision limited use of scanners to law enforcement. In addition, data collected could be stored for up to five years.

3/25/2014:

The Joint Committee on Public Safety and Security advanced a bill to regulate the use of license plate scanners.
The scanners are used in about 60 percent of the state’s local police departments. The plate readers are also used for the collection of taxes.
HB5389 would limit use of scanners to law enforcement. In addition, data collected could be stored for up to five years.

04/17/2014 - 'Red Zones'

4/17/2014 (HB5291):

A bill died that was intended to improve safety on state highways by establishing “red zones.” It missed a deadline to advance from committee.
HB5291 required the state to establish red zones any place where two lanes merge into one lane.
Vehicles traveling in a red zone would have been required to merge out of the affected area as soon as possible. Drivers would also have been prohibited from passing another vehicle in the designated area.

3/24/2014:

A bill in the Joint Committee on Transportation is intended to improve safety on state highways by establishing “red zones.”
HB5291 would require the state to establish red zones any place where two lanes merge into one lane.
Vehicles traveling in a red zone would be required to merge out of the affected area as soon as possible. Drivers would also be prohibited from passing another vehicle in the designated area.

05/28/2014 - Household Good Movers

5/28/2014 (SB34):

A new law tweaks the criteria in granting certification of household goods carriers. It takes effect July 1.
Connecticut law now gives the state DOT authority to grant start-ups approval to do business in the state based on a “public need for the service.” Owners of existing household goods companies are given a say in the process.
Previously SB34, the new law removes the provision that gives potential competitors a say in whether a business is approved.

4/21/2014:

The Joint Committee on Public Safety and Security voted to advance a bill for further consideration that would tweak the criteria in granting certification of household goods carriers.
Connecticut law now gives the state DOT authority to grant start-ups approval to do business in the state based on a “public need for the service.” Owners of existing household goods companies are given a say in the process.
SB34 would remove the provision that gives potential competitors a say in whether a business is approved.

3/24/2014:

The Joint Committee on Transportation voted unanimously to advance a bill for further consideration that would tweak the criteria in granting certification of household goods carriers.
Connecticut law now gives the state DOT authority to grant start-ups approval to do business in the state based on a “public need for the service.” Owners of existing household goods companies are given a say in the process.
SB34 would remove the provision that gives potential competitors a say in whether a business is approved.

2013

State Issues

06/10/2013 - Tolls

6/10/2013 (HB6052):

A bill died that sought to permit tolling on the extension of state Route 11 from Salem to Interstate 95.
A provision in HB6052 prohibited tolls from being collected once all bonds for the project are paid.

4/15/2013:

The Joint Committee on Finance, Revenue and Bonding voted on Friday, April 12, to send a bill to the full House that would permit tolling.
HB6052 would authorize tolls on the extension of state Route 11 from Salem to Interstate 95.
The project has a price tag of as much as $1.5 billion. The state would pay 20 percent of the cost through bonding. The federal government would cover the rest of the cost.
A provision in the bill prohibits tolls from being collected once all bonds for the project are paid.
For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

4/4/2013 (SB699):

A bill died that sought to authorize tolling with a congestion pricing system. SB699 would have also reduced the gas tax.

4/4/2013 (HB6050):

A bill died that sought to authorize tolls. HB6050 would have set up tolls at the state’s borders.

4/4/2013 (HB5125):

A bill died that sought to authorize tolling. HB5125 would have established tolls on the state’s highways.

3/21/2013 (HB6052):

The Joint Committee on Transportation voted to advance a bill that would permit tolling. It awaits further consideration.
HB6052 would authorize tolls on the extension of state Route 11 from Salem to Interstate 95.
For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

3/8/2013 (HB6052):

A bill in the Joint Committee on Transportation would permit tolling.
HB6052 would authorize tolls on the extension of state Route 11 from Salem to Interstate 95.
For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

3/8/2013 (SB699):

The Joint Committee on Transportation recently heard testimony on a bill to authorize tolling with a congestion pricing system.
SB699 would also reduce the gas tax.
For bill status, call 860-240-0555

3/8/2013 (HB6050):

A bill in the Joint Committee on Transportation would authorize tolls.
HB6050 would set up tolls at the state’s borders.
For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

3/8/2013 (HB5125):

A bill in the Joint Committee on Transportation would authorize tolling.
HB5125 would establish tolls on the state’s highways.
For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

04/04/2013 - Speed Limits

4/4/2013 (HB553):

A bill died that sought to increase posted speeds on multi-lane, limited access highways to 75 mph – up from 65 mph. HB5553 would have increased speeding fines by 15 percent.

4/4/2013 (HB5451):

A bill died that sought to increase posted speeds on multi-lane, limited access highways to 75 mph – up from 65 mph.
HB5451 would have increased speeding fines by 15 percent. Speeders higher than 90 mph would also constitute reckless driving.

1/31/2013 (HB553):

A proposed bill before the Joint Committee on Transportation would increase posted speeds on multi-lane, limited access highways to 75 mph – up from 65 mph. HB5553 would increase speeding fines by 15 percent.
For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

1/31/2013 (HB5451):

A proposed bill before the Joint Committee on Transportation would increase posted speeds on multi-lane, limited access highways to 75 mph – up from 65 mph.
HB5451 would increase speeding fines by 15 percent. Speeders higher than 90 mph would also constitute reckless driving.
For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

06/10/2013 - Special Transportation Funds

6/10/2013 (HB6039:

A bill died that sought to protect transportation revenue.
HB6039 would have specified that any money routed to transportation would be used solely for related purposes.

6/10/2013 (HJ63):

A bill died that sought to protect transportation revenue.
HB6039 would have specified that any money routed to transportation would be used solely for related purposes.

4/10/2013 (HB6039):

Awaiting full House consideration is a bill that is intended to protect transportation revenue.
HB6039 would specify that any money routed to transportation would be used solely for related purposes.
For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

3/21/2013 (HB6039):

The Joint Committee on Transportation voted to advance a bill that is intended to protect transportation revenue. It awaits further consideration.
HB6039 would specify that any money routed to the Special Transportation Fund would be used solely for related purposes.
For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

3/21/2013 (HJ63):

The Joint Committee on Transportation voted to advance a resolution that is intended to protect transportation revenue.
HJ63 would amend the state’s Constitution to limit the use of revenue in the Special Transportation Fund.
The measure awaits further consideration. For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

3/8/2013 (HB6039):

A bill in the Joint Committee on Transportation is intended to protect transportation revenue.
HB6039 would specify that any money routed to the Special Transportation Fund would be used solely for related purposes.
For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

3/8/2013 (HJ63):

An effort in the Joint Committee on Transportation is intended to protect transportation revenue.
HJ63 would amend the state’s Constitution to limit the use of revenue in the Special Transportation Fund.
For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

3/8/2013 (HB6164):

A bill in the Joint Committee on Transportation is intended to protect transportation revenue.
HB6164 would create a “lock box” for the Special Transportation Fund to ensure that all revenue deposited into the fund is used only for transportation projects.
For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

06/14/2013 - Independent Contractors

6/14/2013 (HB6151):

Gov. Dan Malloy signed a bill into law that covers the employment status of independent contractors, including owner-operators. It takes effect Oct. 1.
State law now regards truck drivers who work for one motor carrier to be employees. The state’s “ABC test” presumes that workers are employees unless they meet three requirements. The test for independent contractors states that workers “must be free from the employer’s control and direction; perform a service outside the employer’s usual course of business or outside of all the employer’s places of businesses; and be customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession, or business or the same nature as the service being performed for the employer.”
Currently, a worker can fail the test if he or she provides services for only one employer.
The new law exempts independent contractors from the one motor carrier requirement.

6/10/2013 (HB6560):

HB6560 has died. However a related bill – HB6151 – is on its way to the governor’s desk.

5/17/2013 (HB6151):

The House voted unanimously on Thursday, May 16, to advance a bill that covers the employment status of independent contractors, including owner-operators.
State law now regards truck drivers who work for one motor carrier to be employees. The state’s “ABC test” presumes that workers are employees unless they meet three requirements. Currently, a worker can fail part C of the test if he or she provides services for only one employer.
HB6151 would exempt independent contractors from the requirement.
The bill awaits a Senate floor vote before it can move to the governor’s desk. For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

4/4/2013 (SB690):

A bill died that addressed truck drivers who work for one motor carrier.
SB690 was intended to ensure that independent contractors leased exclusively to one motor carrier aren’t lumped into the state’s definition of an employee.
However, a similar bill – HB6560 – is in the Joint Committee on Finance, Revenue and Bonding.

4/4/2013 (HB6560):

A bill in the Joint Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee addresses truck drivers who work for one motor carrier. The Joint Committee on Transportation already approved it.
HB6560 is intended to ensure that independent contractors leased exclusively to one motor carrier aren’t lumped into the state’s definition of an employee.
“It lays out the circumstances that an owner-operator could be an independent contractor in Connecticut when working for only one motor carrier,” Riley said. “It’s our highest priority bill of the year.”
For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

3/21/2013 (HB6560):

The Joint Committee on Transportation voted to advance a bill that addresses truck drivers who work for one motor carrier.
HB6560 is intended to ensure that independent contractors leased exclusively to one motor carrier aren’t lumped into the state’s definition of an employee.
“It lays out the circumstances that an owner-operator could be an independent contractor in Connecticut when working for only one motor carrier,” Riley said. “It’s our highest priority bill of the year.”
The bill awaits further consideration. For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

3/11/2013 (SB690):

A bill in the Joint Committee on Labor and Public Employees addresses truck drivers who work for one motor carrier.
SB690 is intended to ensure that independent contractors leased exclusively to one motor carrier aren’t lumped into the state’s definition of an employee.
“It lays out the circumstances that an owner-operator could be an independent contractor in Connecticut when working for only one motor carrier,” Riley said. “It’s our highest priority bill of the year.”
For bill status, call 860-240-0555.
A similar bill – HB6560 – is in the Joint Committee on Transportation.

3/11/2013 (HB6560):

A bill in the Joint Committee on Transportation addresses truck drivers who work for one motor carrier.
HB6560 is intended to ensure that independent contractors leased exclusively to one motor carrier aren’t lumped into the state’s definition of an employee.
“It lays out the circumstances that an owner-operator could be an independent contractor in Connecticut when working for only one motor carrier,” Riley said. “It’s our highest priority bill of the year.”
For bill status, call 860-240-0555.
A similar bill – SB690 – is in the Joint Committee on Labor and Public Employees.

06/10/2013 - Towing Fees

6/10/2013 (HB6558):

A bill died that could’ve resulted in higher fees that towing companies can charge for non-consensual tows. It would also have protected them from responsibility for damage caused during a tow.
State law put the Department of Motor Vehicles in charge of setting maximum rates for non-consensual tows.
HB6558 would have overhauled tow rates by setting the minimum rate to be “no less than the expense incurred.”

3/21/2013:

The Joint Committee on Transportation voted to advance a bill that could result in higher fees that towing companies can charge for non-consensual tows. It would also protect them from responsibility for damage caused during a tow.
State law put the Department of Motor Vehicles in charge of setting maximum rates for non-consensual tows.
HB6558 would overhaul tow rates by setting the minimum rate to be “no less than the expense incurred.”
The bill awaits further consideration. For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

3/11/2013:

A bill in the Joint Committee on Transportation could result in higher fees that towing companies can charge for non-consensual tows. It would also protect them from responsibility for damage caused during a tow.
State law put the Department of Motor Vehicles in charge of setting maximum rates for non-consensual tows.
HB6558 would overhaul tow rates by setting the minimum rate to be “no less than the expense incurred.”
For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

04/04/2013 - Merritt Parkway, Height Barriers

4/4/2013 (SB470):

A bill died that sought to require height barriers at entrances on the Merritt Parkway.
SB470 would have used the height barriers to help enforce a large truck ban.

2/4/2013:

A proposed bill before the Joint Committee on Transportation would require height barriers at entrances on the Merritt Parkway.
SB470 would use the height barriers to help enforce a large truck ban.
For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

04/04/2013 - Highway Lights, Notification

4/4/2013 (SB65 & SB66):

A bill died that sought to require state and municipal police officers who discover inoperative lights along state highway to notify the Department of Transportation.
SB65 specified that such lights must be located along a state highway.

2/4/2013:
A proposed bill before the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Security would require state and municipal police officers who discover inoperative lights along state highway to notify the Department of Transportation.
SB65 specifies that such lights must be located along a state highway.
For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

04/04/2013 - Low Clearance Signs

4/4/2013 (SB698):

A bill died that called for using bonds to pay for posting signs and signals to warn truck drivers of low bridges and improvements.
SB698 sought to authorize $425,000 in bonds.

2/4/2013:

A proposed bill before the Joint Committee on Transportation would use bonds to pay for posting signs and signals to warn truck drivers of low bridges and improvements.
SB698 would authorize $425,000 in bonds.
For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

04/04/2013 - Street Light Outages

4/4/2013 (HB5385):

A bill died that was intended to allow local traffic authorities to report street light outages.
HB5385 sought to require notification when outages are caused by wrecks, or create an unsafe condition.

2/4/2013:

A proposed bill before the Joint Committee on Transportation is intended to allow local traffic authorities to report street light outages.
HB5385 would require notification when outages are caused by wrecks, or create an unsafe condition.
For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

04/04/2013 - Idling Enforcement

4/4/2013 (HB6049):

A bill died that was intended to reduce truck idling. HB6049 sought to authorize any state police, local police or traffic enforcement official to enforce the state’s idling limits.

2/4/2013:

A proposed bill before the Joint Committee on Transportation is intended to reduce truck idling.
HB6049 would authorize any state police, local police or traffic enforcement official to enforce the state’s idling limits.
For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

06/10/2013 - Tolls & Fuel Tax

6/10/2013 (HB6051):

A bill died that sought to authorize a study on adding tolls.
HB6051 would have required the commissioner of transportation to also analyze the DOT’s ability to limit toll revenue for transportation purposes only.
In addition, the possibility of reducing the state’s fuel tax rates would have been studied.

4/15/2013:

Awaiting consideration on the House floor is a bill to authorize a study on adding tolls. HB6051 would require the commissioner of transportation to also analyze the DOT’s ability to limit toll revenue for transportation purposes only.
In addition, the possibility of reducing the state’s fuel tax rates would be studied.
For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

3/21/2013:

The Joint Committee on Transportation advanced a bill that would authorize a study on adding tolls.
HB6051 would require the commissioner of transportation to also analyze the DOT’s ability to limit toll revenue for transportation purposes only.
In addition, the possibility of reducing the state’s fuel tax rates would be studied.
The legislation awaits further consideration at the statehouse. For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

3/8/2013:

A bill in the Joint Committee on Transportation would authorize tolls at the state’s borders.
HB6051would also cut in half the 45-cent-per-gallon gas tax over four years. The 52-cent diesel tax rate would remain unchanged.
For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

04/03/2013 - Agriculture Haulers

4/3/2013 (SB1078):

The Joint Committee on Transportation voted to advance a bill that would authorize 100,000-pound loads of agriculture products.
SB1078 would permit affected loads to increase by 20,000 pounds – up from 80,000 pounds.
For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

04/04/2013 - 'No Thru Truck' Laws

4/4/2013 (HB6139):

A bill died that was intended to strengthen local enforcement of “No Thru Truck” laws.
HB6139 allowed police to search a trucker’s paperwork to determine whether the driver is in violation.

2/4/2013:

A proposed bill before the Joint Committee on Judiciary is intended to strengthen local enforcement of “No Thru Truck” laws.
HB6139 would allow police to search a trucker’s paperwork to determine whether the driver is in violation.
For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

2012

State Issues

05/23/2012 - 'Move Over' Law

5/23/2012 (HB5094):

A new law clarifies existing rules that require travelers to make way for emergency personnel on the side of roadways with at least three lanes in each direction. Starting Oct. 1, two lane roadways will be included in the protection.

3/6/2012:

The Joint Committee on Public Safety and Security unanimously approved a bill to require travelers on roadways with at least two lanes each direction to make way for emergency personnel.
HB5094 awaits further consideration.
For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

06/05/2012 - Route 11 Tolls

6/5/2012 (SB289):

A bill died that sought to fund Route 11 with toll taxes.
SB289 called for authorizing temporary tolls to pay the state’s portion of the estimated $1 billion to complete an 8.5-mile extension of state Route 11 in southeastern Connecticut. The project would link Salem with a planned three-way interchange in Waterford connecting with Interstates 95 and 395.

5/1/2012:

The Senate voted 22-14 to advance to the House a bill to fund Route 11 with toll taxes.
SB289 would authorize temporary tolls to pay the state’s portion of the estimated $1 billion to complete an 8.5-mile extension of state Route 11 in southeastern Connecticut. The project would link Salem with a planned three-way interchange in Waterford connecting with Interstates 95 and 395.
The bill is awaiting consideration in the House. For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

06/05/2012 - Ticket Cameras

6/5/2012 (HB5458):

HB5458 has died. The bill sought to allow cities with 48,000 or more people to use red-light cameras.
Violators would face fines of $50. A $15 administrative fee would have been tacked on.

4/19/2012:

The legislature’s Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee voted 31-19 to advance a bill that would allow cities with 48,000 or more people to use red-light cameras.
Violators would face fines of $50. A $15 administrative fee would be tacked on.
HB5458 is awaiting further consideration. For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

3/30/2012:

The legislature’s Joint Committee on Transportation voted 26-11 to advance a bill to the House that would allow cities with 48,000 or more people to use red-light cameras.
Violators would face fines of $50. A $15 administrative fee would be tacked on.
HB5458 awaits further consideration in the House Planning and Development Committee.
For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

05/10/2010 - Snow & Ice Removal

6/16/2010 (HB5387):

Gov. M. Jodi Rell signed into law a bill that is intended to get tough with drivers who fail to clear snow and ice off their vehicles. The rule applies to commercial and non-commercial vehicles.
Previously HB5387, the new law permits police to pull over drivers whose vehicles were not cleared of snow or ice. It will take effect in Dec. 2013.
Once the rule is implemented violators would face $75 fines for failure to clear the wintry precipitation from their vehicles. The fine would increase to as much as $1,000 for motorists if snow and ice breaks free and results in injury or damage to another vehicle. The same circumstances would result in truck drivers facing up to $1,250 fines.
Drivers will not be liable for snow or ice that accumulates on a vehicle while out on the road.
Revenue from snow and ice fines will be routed to the state’s general fund.

5/10/2010:

Connecticut lawmakers have forwarded a bill to Gov. M. Jodi Rell that is intended to get tough with drivers who fail to clear snow and ice off their vehicles. The rule would apply to commercial and non-commercial vehicles.
State law already allows police to pull over drivers for failure to secure a load. HB5387 bill calls for specifically targeting snow and ice. It would take effect Dec. 31, 2013.
Violators would face $75 fines for failure to clear the wintry precipitation from their vehicles. The fine would increase to as much as $1,000 for motorists if snow and ice breaks free and results in injury or damage to another vehicle. The same circumstances would result in truck drivers facing up to $1,250 fines.
Drivers would not be liable for snow or ice that accumulates on a vehicle while out on the road.
A fiscal analysis on the bill estimates the snow and ice provision would generate roughly the same amount of revenue as the state’s unsecured loads law. In fiscal year 2008, the $177 fine for unsecured loads brought in nearly $63,000 for the state.
Revenue from snow and ice fines would be routed to the state’s general fund.
For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

State Watches

01/19/2012 - Ticket Cameras

1/19/2012:

Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney, D-New Haven, is expected to offer a bill to allow cities with 60,000 or more people to use ticket cameras.
Fines would run as high as $124. The state would get 30 percent of the revenue while the community would keep the rest.
“Knowing that if you run a red light you will receive a ticket in the mail will be a huge incentive for drivers to slow down and think twice about breaking the law,” Looney said in a statement. “It will free up police resources and save lives.”
Gov. Dannel Malloy also supports use of the technology. He has called it “highway appropriate.”
Opponents, including OOIDA, question the claim that cameras are intended solely to keep people safe.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association says the focus on traffic cameras ignores the more logical and reasoned approach to roads and traffic.
“The goal should be to keep traffic moving in as safe a manner as possible,” said OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer. He said that communities would be better served to pursue “intelligent traffic lights that actually monitor traffic and are triggered by traffic flow.”

2011

State Issues

2/28/2013 - Tolls

2/28/2013 (HB6200):

A bill in the Legislature’s Transportation Committee would authorize tolls.
Sponsored by Rep. Ed Jutila, D-Niantic, HB6200 calls for tolls to be charged on new highways or highway extensions to help pay for construction.
For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

2/28/2013 (SB31):

A bill in the Legislature’s Transportation Committee would authorize border tolls.
Sponsored by Sen. Edith Prague, D-Columbia, SB31 would authorize tolls to be charged on the state’s “major highways.”
For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

2/28/2013 (HB6136):

A bill in the Legislature’s Transportation Committee would charge tolls on certain major roadways to bolster revenues for roads.
Sponsored by Transportation Chairman Tony Guerrera, D-Rocky Hill, HB6136 would authorize all-electronic tolls to be charged at eight key entry points to the state: Interstates 84, 91, 95 and 395, as well as the Merritt Parkway and two each on Interstates 84 and 95, and one each on I-91, I-395, the Merritt Parkway and U.S. Route 6.
For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

6/9/2011 (HB6200):

A bill has died that sought to authorize tolls.
The Senate allowed a bill to die that would have authorized temporary tolls to pay for the completion of state Route 11 in southeastern Connecticut. Existing roadways were unaffected by the bill and will continue to be toll free.
Tolls were to be removed when enough toll revenue was generated to cover construction bonds.
HB6200 was a full Senate vote shy of advancing to Gov. Dannel Malloy’s desk for his expected signature, but the chamber failed to take a vote on it in the hours before they adjourned for the year. House lawmakers previously approved it on a 76-60 vote.
The effort can be reintroduced during the regular session that begins in January 2012.

6/7/2011 (SB31):

A bill is likely dead that sought to authorize border tolls.
SB31 would have authorized tolls to be charged on the state’s “major highways.”

6/7/2011 (HB6136):

A bill is likely dead that sought to charge tolls on certain major roadways to bolster revenues for roads.
Sponsored by Transportation Chairman Tony Guerrera, D-Rocky Hill, HB6136 would have authorized all-electronic tolls to be charged at eight key entry points to the state: Interstates 84, 91, 95 and 395, as well as the Merritt Parkway and two each on Interstates 84 and 95, and one each on I-91, I-395, the Merritt Parkway and U.S. Route 6.

4/29/2011 (HB6200):

The Legislature’s Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee voted 37-15 to advance a bill to the full House and Senate that would authorize tolls.
HB6200 would authorize temporary tolls to pay for such projects as the completion of state Route 11 in southeastern Connecticut. Existing roadways would continue to be toll free.
If approved by lawmakers, the bill would move to Gov. Dannel Malloy’s desk. The governor has said he wants the last eight miles of the road connecting Hartford with the southeastern part of the state to get done, and tolls are an option. Currently, the route ends in Salem, where traffic must detour.
Tolls would be removed when enough toll revenue is generated to cover construction bonds and “an amount estimated to be required for maintenance and repair” is collected.
For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

4/11/2011 (HB6200):

The Legislature’s Transportation Committee voted 23-12 to advance a bill that would authorize tolls.
HB6200 would authorize temporary tolls to pay for such projects as the completion of state Route 11 in southeastern Connecticut. Existing roadways would continue to be toll free.
If approved by lawmakers, the bill would move to Gov. Dannel Malloy’s desk. The governor has said he wants the last eight miles of the road connecting Hartford with the southeastern part of the state to get done, and tolls are an option.
Tolls would be removed when enough toll revenue is generated to cover construction bonds and “an amount estimated to be required for maintenance and repair” is collected.
For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

6/7/2011 - Truck Tolls

6/7/2011 (HB5949):

A bill is likely dead that sought to charge tolls to truckers.
Sponsored by Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, D-Westport, HB5949 would have required the installation of E-ZPass stations on interstates to collect fees from trucks passing through the state.

2/28/11

A bill in the Legislature’s Transportation Committee would charge tolls to truckers.
Sponsored by Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, D-Westport, HB5949 would require the installation of E-ZPass stations on interstates to collect fees from trucks passing through the state.
For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

4/27/2011 - Road Bonds

4/27/2011 (SB1194):

Gov. Dannel Malloy signed into law a bill to allow the state to move forward with paving and fixing 200 miles of roads damaged during the winter.
SB1194 allows the state to allocate as much as $69 million in bonds to foot the bill for resurfacing state roads and highways.

3/23/2011:

A bill on its way to Gov. Dannel Malloy’s desk would help pay for road repairs.
The Senate unanimously approved SB1194 while House lawmakers signed off on it with a 121-22 margin. The bill would authorize up to $68.9 million in state bonding to foot the bill for paving and fixing 200 miles of roads damaged during the winter.
For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

04/14/2011 - Red-Light Cameras

4/21/2011 (SB706):

A bill has died that sought to authorize cities to post red-light cameras.
SB706 did not get a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill would have allowed municipalities with at least 60,000 residents to post ticket cameras at intersections to catch red-light runners.
Local ordinances would have been required to limit fine amounts to $124. Distribution of fines would have been divvied up between the local government and the state. Municipalities could have kept 70 percent of fines for the local general fund. The state would have received 30 percent, which would have been split between the general fund and the Special Transportation Fund.
Communities that would have been authorized to pursue ticket camera programs are Bridgeport, Bristol, Danbury, Greenwich, Hamden, Hartford, Meriden, New Britain, New Haven, Norwalk, Stamford, Waterbury and West Hartford.

4/14/2011:

A bill in the Senate would authorize cities to post red-light cameras.
SB706 would allow municipalities with at least 60,000 residents to post ticket cameras at intersections to catch red-light runners.
Local ordinances would be required to limit fine amounts to $124. Distribution of fines would be divvied up between the local government and the state. Municipalities could keep 70 percent of fines for the local general fund. The state would receive 30 percent, which would be split between the general fund and the Special Transportation Fund.
Communities that would be authorized to pursue ticket camera programs are Bridgeport, Bristol, Danbury, Greenwich, Hamden, Hartford, Meriden, New Britain, New Haven, Norwalk, Stamford, Waterbury and West Hartford.
The bill already received committee approval in the Senate. It awaits further consideration.
For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

04/14/2011 - Weigh Stations

4/14/2011 (SB1018):

A bill in the Senate would give the Department of Motor Vehicles primary responsibility for staffing, coverage and hours of operation at the state’s weigh stations.
Currently, the department of Motor Vehicles and Public Safety share responsibility for staffing the six weigh stations. The six fixed locations are in Danbury, Greenwich, Middletown, and Union and two in Waterford.
Also, the departments now staff three work shifts in each seven-day period at the Danbury weigh station. SB1018 would require the DMV to staff all six shifts at the Danbury facility, rather than split the six shifts with state troopers. The DMV would also coordinate Danbury’s coverage with the Greenwich weigh station “to assure concurrent coverage.”
In addition, the DPS commissioner would be responsible for assigning one state trooper to each weigh station work shift, and eliminate the requirement that these troopers patrol. In exchange, troopers trained in truck enforcement would be assigned to patrol state roads, and portable scales.
Another change would make the DMV’s commercial vehicle safety division responsible for temporarily closing any weigh station where a backlog of traffic is causing a traffic hazard. Currently, that responsibility lies with the state police.
Also included in the bill is a provision to require the DMV to create an electronic process to notify motorists, as well as truck drivers, when their licenses expire. Notifications must be sent out at least 15 days before their current license expires – the same as current law.
For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

State Watches

01/21/2011 - Tolls

1/21/2011:

A leading Connecticut lawmaker wants to end what he believes is a free ride through the state for over-the-road truckers and other drivers. Also, Gov. Dannel Malloy said he is open to charging tolls to get state Route 11 complete.
With a $3.5 billion budget deficit looming over the heads of state officials, Transportation Chairman Tony Guerrera, D-Rocky Hill, said he has a plan to help eat into that gap.
Rep. Guerrera is pushing to charge tolls on certain major roadways to bolster revenues for roads. More specifically, all-electronic tolls would be charged at eight key entry points to the state: Interstates 84, 91, 95 and 395, as well as the Merritt Parkway and two each on Interstates 84 and 95, and one each on I-91, I-395, the Merritt Parkway and U.S. Route 6.
“You put up border tolls for $5 a trip, you’re talking $600 million a year in revenue. That’s $18 billion over 30 years. You can’t argue with that,” Guerrera said in a statement.
Guerrera also said that truckers and others passing through the state typically don’t buy fuel in the state because Connecticut has one of the highest fuel tax rates. He said they are using Connecticut roads for free.
Mike Joyce, director of legislative affairs for the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, said that truck drivers already foot quite a bill to travel through states, including Connecticut.
“Truckers may not buy fuel in Connecticut, but every time they drive their roads they have to pay whatever Connecticut’s fuel tax is for every mile they run in the state,” Joyce said.
State officials removed tolls from the Connecticut Turnpike in the mid 80s. Concerns about safety and congestion spurred the state to remove toll booths that were scattered across roadways.
Guerrera said times have changed since the state last charged people to travel the turnpike. He touts technology advances and a crunch on road dollars for reinstating tolls.
Other toll advocates point out that Connecticut is the only state on the eastern seaboard that doesn’t charge tolls.
Another toll issue that is likely to be brought up during the session focuses on an unfinished stretch of Route 11. The governor has said he wants the road connecting Hartford with southeastern Connecticut to get done, and tolls are an option.
Rep. Ed Jutila, D-East Lyme, said he plans to introduce a bill that would authorize tolls on the roadway to pay for completing the route, which once was envisioned as a connector to the interstates 95-395 interchange in Waterford.
Malloy said the only way he would sign off on a plan to charge tolls on state roads is if all revenue stays with transportation.

2010

State Issues

06/11/2010 - Distracted Driving

6/11/2010 (SB427):

A new law strengthens existing state law banning hand-held devices while driving and adds a texting ban. It takes effect Oct. 1.
Currently, first-time offenders of the cell phone restriction get off with a warning. SB427 puts drivers on the hook for $100. Repeat offenders will pay $150 with subsequent offenses costing $200. It will no longer be an option for first offenders a waiver if they buy a hands-free device.
To encourage police to ticket offenders, the law sends 25 percent of fines to the municipality where the summons is issued. State government claims the rest.

03/09/2010 - Automated Enforcement

6/15/2010 (SB346):

A bill has died that was intended to deter speeding on highways.
SB346 sought to authorize the installation and use of automated speed enforcement devices.

3/9/2010:

A bill in the Joint Committee on Transportation is intended to deter speeding on highways.
SB346 would authorize the installation and use of automated speed enforcement devices.
For bill status, call 860-240-0555.

Contact Info

General Assembly runs from Jan. 9 to June 5.

Website: https://www.cga.ct.gov/

 

Contact Numbers:
Senate general info 860-240-0500
House general info 860-240-0400
Bill status 860-240-0555

Delaware

2016

State Watches

03/01/2016 - Fuel Tax

3/1/2016:

An effort underway at the statehouse would raise the state fuel tax rate’s by a dime.
The diesel tax rate is 22 cents per gallon and the gas tax rate is 23 cents per gallon.
The 10-cent increase would sunset in one year. The expiration date is intended to help the bill’s prospects for passage two years after a plan from Gov. Jack Markell to implement a permanent dime tax increase fell flat at the statehouse.
The tax increase is estimated to raise about $50 million. Revenue would be earmarked for critical infrastructure projects.
Critics of the proposal say spending reforms are necessary before additional taxes are approved.

2/6/2014:

Gov. Jack Markell is pushing a plan that would raise $500 million for roads and bridges during the next five years.
The main part of the plan would increase by a dime his state’s fuel tax rates, which haven’t changed in nearly 20 years.
The diesel tax rate is 22 cents per gallon and the gas tax rate is 23 cents per gallon.
A 10-cent increase to 32 and 33 cents, respectively, is expected to raise $50 million annually to pay for transportation work.
Another $50 million would be borrowed each year to pay for needed work.
The Democratic governor stated the state has many unmet transportation needs, yet the Department of Transportation is asked to make due with a funding process that is broken.
“The costs of not fixing it are real ... Now is the time to repair the situation and spur our state’s economy forward.”
House Republicans are suggesting an alternative to hiking fuel taxes. Instead, they want to move the state Department of Transportation’s $230 million operating budget from the transportation trust fund back to the general fund over seven years.
House Minority Leader Danny Short, R-Seaford, said the change would make more money available for roads and bridges without increasing the burden on taxpayers.
He said the alternative plan would provide twice as much capital as the governor’s proposal.
“(In annual installments of) $35 million the first year and $70 million the next year, incrementally that gets us to about $1 billion over seven years, which is twice as much as what the governor is proposing in five years.” Short said in prepared remarks.
Similar back and forth on transportation funding is underway in statehouses across the country.

2015

State Issues

7/31/2015 - Police Uniform Cameras

7/31/2015 (HCR46):

A new law addresses the use of body-worn devices by law enforcement.
HCR46 encourages, but does not mandate, written policies on the use of police-worn cameras.

2014

State Issues

01/10/2014 - Hidden Compartments

1/10/2014 (HB192):

A bill awaiting consideration on the House floor targets hidden compartments in vehicles, including large trucks and trailers.
Sponsored by Rep. Steve Smyk, R-Milton, HB192 covers “a false or secret compartment with the intent to store, conceal, camouflage, hide, smuggle, transport, or prevent discovery of a person, controlled substance, firearm, weapon, or other contraband within the false compartment.”
Only compartments added after a vehicle leaves the factory would be affected.
Severe consequences could result for the person behind the wheel, and the owner, of vehicles found to include hidden compartments, with or without drugs.
The bill would exempt false compartments in the sleeper area of a large truck, as long as drugs or drug residue isn’t present.
Violators would face up to two years in prison and loss of vehicle.

State Watches

02/06/2014 - Fuel Tax

3/1/2016:

An effort underway at the statehouse would raise the state fuel tax rate’s by a dime.
The diesel tax rate is 22 cents per gallon and the gas tax rate is 23 cents per gallon.
The 10-cent increase would sunset in one year. The expiration date is intended to help the bill’s prospects for passage two years after a plan from Gov. Jack Markell to implement a permanent dime tax increase fell flat at the statehouse.
The tax increase is estimated to raise about $50 million. Revenue would be earmarked for critical infrastructure projects.
Critics of the proposal say spending reforms are necessary before additional taxes are approved.

2/6/2014:

Gov. Jack Markell is pushing a plan that would raise $500 million for roads and bridges during the next five years.
The main part of the plan would increase by a dime his state’s fuel tax rates, which haven’t changed in nearly 20 years.
The diesel tax rate is 22 cents per gallon and the gas tax rate is 23 cents per gallon.
A 10-cent increase to 32 and 33 cents, respectively, is expected to raise $50 million annually to pay for transportation work.
Another $50 million would be borrowed each year to pay for needed work.
The Democratic governor stated the state has many unmet transportation needs, yet the Department of Transportation is asked to make due with a funding process that is broken.
“The costs of not fixing it are real ... Now is the time to repair the situation and spur our state’s economy forward.”
House Republicans are suggesting an alternative to hiking fuel taxes. Instead, they want to move the state Department of Transportation’s $230 million operating budget from the transportation trust fund back to the general fund over seven years.
House Minority Leader Danny Short, R-Seaford, said the change would make more money available for roads and bridges without increasing the burden on taxpayers.
He said the alternative plan would provide twice as much capital as the governor’s proposal.
“(In annual installments of) $35 million the first year and $70 million the next year, incrementally that gets us to about $1 billion over seven years, which is twice as much as what the governor is proposing in five years.” Short said in prepared remarks.
Similar back and forth on transportation funding is underway in statehouses across the country.

2013

State Issues

08/30/2013 - Audible Reverse Warning Signal

8/30/2013 (HB180):

Gov. Jack Markell signed a bill into law on Friday, Aug. 30, that is intended to help prevent property damage, injuries or deaths that can result when backing up a large truck.
Previously HB180, the new law requires commercial vehicles in excess of 26,000 pounds to be equipped with an audible reverse warning signal, backup camera or other warning device. Farm vehicles are exempted from the requirement.
As of Jan. 1, 2014, anyone who fails to equip their truck with the required equipment would face $75 fines. Repeat offenders would face $175 fines.

7/2/2013:

A bill on the governor’s desk would require all commercial vehicles in excess of 26,000 pounds to be equipped with an audible reverse warning signal, backup camera or other warning device.
HB180 is intended to provide people nearby notice that the truck is either preparing to or in the process of backing up.

02/07/2013 - Public-Private Partnerships

2/7/2013 (SB3):

A new law gives the General Assembly the final say on any deals to transfer, sell or privatize the Port of Wilmington.
SB3 also allows lawmakers to stop any deal by sitting on the proposal for 30 days

06/20/2013 - Fuel Tax

6/20/2013 (SB132):

A bill in the Senate Finance Committee would increase the state’s fuel tax rates by 10 cents.
Currently, Delaware charges 23 cents a gallon for gas and 22 cents for diesel.
Sponsored by Sen. Robert Marshall, D-Wilmington West, SB132 would increase the tax rates to 33 cents and 32 cents, respectively.
The bill would earmark revenue for the Delaware Works Trust Fund. The new fund would distribute revenue equally four ways.
The state Department of Transportation would claim 25 percent of the revenue generated from the dime increase to the fuel tax rates. The rest of the revenue would be directed to tourism, education and local public work projects.
For bill status, call 302-577-8744.

State Watches

06/20/2013 - Transportation Funding

6/20/2013:

Delaware state lawmakers continue to consider possible funding mechanisms to pay for needed road and bridge work. Options getting attention as the regular session winds down include fuel tax and vehicle fee increases.
Gov. Jack Markell has proposed a 5-cent increase in the state’s fuel taxes. Currently, Delaware charges 23 cents a gallon for gas and 22 cents for diesel.
The nickel increase is estimated to raise $25 million annually in new revenue for transportation work.
Another revenue-boosting option would double the amount sought by the governor. Sen. Robert Marshall, D-Wilmington West, introduced a bill that would increase the tax rates by 10 cents per gallon.
Marshall’s plan would earmark revenue for the Delaware Works Trust Fund. The new fund would distribute revenue equally four ways.
The state Department of Transportation would claim 25 percent of the revenue generated from the dime increase to the fuel tax rates. The rest of the revenue would be directed to tourism, education and local public work projects.
Marshall’s bill – SB132 – is in the Senate Finance Committee.
Other revenue-generating ideas offered by the governor include increasing motor vehicle documentation, titling and registration fees. He also proposed a 50-cent increase in weekend tolls on state Route 1 at the Dover and Biddles toll plazas. Increasing rates from $2 to $2.50 is estimated to raise nearly $4 million a year.
A plan to raise vehicle document fees is estimated to raise $27 million annually.
All funding mechanisms proposed have an uphill climb to win legislative support before the session is scheduled to wrap up on June 30. Lawmakers from both legislative chambers have expressed concerns about pursuing tax or fee increases.
Concerns mentioned include whether it is appropriate now to dip into taxpayers pockets for more money. Instead, some lawmakers say they would prefer to see the state better manage revenue already available to the state.

2012

State Issues

08/22/2012 - Left-Lane Restriction

8/22/2012 (HB140):

Gov. Jack Markell signed into law a bill that is intended to keep most drivers out of the fast lane.
Delaware law already requires drivers to stay right on multilane roadways when traveling slower than the normal speed of traffic.
To combat aggressive driving on the state’s multilane highways, HB140 revamps the rule to crackdown on drivers lingering in the far left-hand lane. An exception is included for vehicles traveling the posted speed in the left lane.
Law enforcement could issue citations for slow travel in the left lane. Offenders would face fines of up to $230 for driving “in the left lane of a multilane roadway when it impedes the flow of other traffic,” Rep. William Carson, D-Smyrna, wrote.
Repeat offenders would face fines of up to $575.

7/13/2012:

A bill on Gov. Jack Markell’s desk is intended to keep most drivers out of the fast lane.
Delaware law already requires drivers to stay right on multilane roadways when traveling slower than the normal speed of traffic.
To combat aggressive driving on the state’s multilane highways, HB140 would revamp the rule to crackdown on drivers lingering in the far left-hand lane. An exception is included for vehicles traveling the posted speed in the left lane.
Law enforcement could issue citations for slow travel in the left lane. Offenders would face fines of up to $230 for driving “in the left lane of a multilane roadway when it impedes the flow of other traffic,” Rep. William Carson, D-Smyrna, wrote.
Repeat offenders would face fines of up to $575.
For bill status, call 302-577-8723 or 302-577-8476.

6/13/2012:

Awaiting consideration on the Senate floor is a bill to keep most drivers out of the fast lane. House lawmakers already approved it by unanimous consent.
Delaware law already requires drivers to stay right on multilane roadways when traveling slower than the normal speed of traffic.
Intended to combat aggressive driving on the state’s multilane highways, HB140 would revamp the rule to crackdown on drivers lingering in the far left-hand lane.
Law enforcement could issue citations for using the left lane for anything other than passing. Offenders would face fines of up to $230 for driving “in the left lane of a multilane roadway when it impedes the flow of other traffic,” Rep. William Carson, D-Smyrna, wrote.
For bill status, call 302-577-8723 or 302-577-8476.

5/18/2012:

The House voted unanimously to advance a bill that is intended to combat aggressive driving on the state’s multilane highways. It now moves to the Senate.
Delaware law already requires drivers to stay right on multilane roadways when traveling slower than the normal speed of traffic.
HB140 would revamp the rule to cover drivers impeding traffic in the far left-hand lane. A change made to the bill clarifies that drivers traveling at the posted speed limit in the left lane would not be in violation.
Law enforcement could issue citations for using the left lane for anything other than passing, or turning left. Offenders could face fines up to $115 for “driving in the left lane of a multilane roadway when it impedes the flow of other traffic,” Rep. William Carson, D-Smyrna, wrote.
The bill is awaiting consideration in the Senate Highways & Transportation Committee. For bill status, call 302-577-8476 or 302-577-8723.

4/23/2012:

A bill that could soon come up for consideration on the House floor is intended to combat aggressive driving on the state’s multilane highways.
Delaware law already requires drivers to stay right on multilane roadways when traveling slower than the normal speed of traffic.
HB140 would revamp the rule to crackdown on drivers lingering in the far left-hand lane.
Law enforcement could issue citations for using the left lane for anything other than passing. Offenders would face fines of up to $230 for “driving continuously in the left lane of a multilane roadway when it impedes the flow of other traffic,” Rep. William Carson, D-Smyrna, wrote.
For bill status, call 302-577-8476 or 302-577-8723.

6/27/2012 - County Sheriffs

6/27/2012 (HB325):

A new law affirms that county sheriffs in the state cannot make arrests, or issue traffic citations.
Gov. Jack Markell signed into law a bill – HB325 – that is intended to settle a dispute about police powers for sheriffs and deputies in the state’s three counties. Typically, sheriff duties consist of running tax and foreclosure sales and serving court papers.

2011

State Issues

08/04/2011 - Law Enforcement Funding

8/4/2011 (HB143):

Gov. Jack Markell signed a bill into law Tuesday, Aug. 2, to provide additional resources for State Police and local law enforcement from an additional $15 penalty that will be charged to people convicted of crimes or offenses – such as speeding.
The governor said HB143 puts responsibility on lawbreakers to help fund efforts to reduce violent crime in the state.
The state’s Department of Safety and Homeland Security will split up to $4.25 million in revenue with local law enforcement to address violent crime. Any additional funds would be directed to the state’s general fund.

08/04/2011 - Drunken Driving

8/4/2011 (HB168):

Gov. Jack Markell signed a bill into law to help improve safety on roadways by cracking down on drunken drivers who do not learn their lesson after the first conviction.
HB168 enhances prison sentences for multiple offenders of the state’s DUI law. It also provides for mandatory treatment for repeat offenders.

2010

State Issues

07/08/2010 - Red-Light Cameras

7/8/2010 (HB189):

Gov. Jack Markell signed into law a bill that increases red-light camera fines.
Until now, the fine has been $75, plus a surcharge of $37.50. Previously HB189, the new law increases the base fine to $110.

7/8/2010 - Vehicle Registration

7/8/2010 (HB388):

Gov. Jack Markell has signed a bill into law that boosts fines for failure to register vehicles.
Previously HB388, the new law increases the fine for residents who fail to tag their vehicles in Delaware within 60 days of establishing residency a whopping 1,500 percent.
Effective immediately, the penalty for not getting Delaware tags soon after moving into the state will increase from $25 to a range of $400 to $600. Repeat offenders would face fines between $800 and $1,200 and/or jail time ranging from 10 to 30 days.
Truck trailers registered under the International Registration Plan are exempt. Members of the military and their families with vehicles registered in another state are also exempt.
Law enforcement could ticket drivers for the offense only after stopping them for another violation, such as speeding.

07/16/2010 - Snowfall Driving Restriction

8/20/2010 (SB306):

Gov. Jack Markell has signed into law a bill that creates a three-tier system that is intended to curb drivers when heavy snow falls in the state. Previously SB306, the new law takes effect Oct. 30.
Pursuit of the law during this year’s legislative session was prompted after a significant snowfall in February. Despite a driving ban issued by the governor many people took to the roads. Hundreds of vehicles were scattered along roadsides throughout the state after defying the travel ban. Until now, Delaware law limited punishment options to jail time.
The first tier of the new law simply discourages driving, but there won’t be a ban on heading down the road. No fines could be doled out for traveling through the wintry precipitation.
The next level puts in place a “driving restriction.” Driving would be prohibited except for essential personnel – snowplow operators, those necessary to maintain the core functions of government, health care workers and “those providing food and fuel.”
Policy will be established by the Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security to determine other businesses to obtain waivers.
The final tier would be an all-out driving ban. Only essential personnel, such as first responders and snowplow operators, would be allowed to brave roadways.
Offenders of the second and third tiers would face up to $115 fines. Repeat offenders would need to pay up to $200 with the possibility of spending between 10 and 30 days in the clink.
Employers are forbidden from “any adverse employment action against an employee” refusing to violate the law and that hasn’t been given a waiver.

7/16/2010:

House lawmakers unanimously approved a bill that would create a three-tier system that is intended to curb drivers when heavy snow falls in the state. The bill now moves to Gov. Jack Markell. The Senate already voted 21-0 in favor of it.
Sponsored by Sen. Anthony DeLuca, D-Varlano, SB306 was prompted after a significant snowfall in February. Despite a driving ban issued by the governor many people took to the roads. Hundreds of vehicles were scattered along roadsides throughout the state after defying the travel ban. Currently, Delaware law limits punishment options to jail time.
The first tier of the bill would simply discourage driving, but there would be no ban on heading down the road. No fines would be doled out for traveling through the wintry precipitation.
The next level puts in place a “driving restriction.” Driving would be prohibited except for essential personnel – snowplow operators, those necessary to maintain the core functions of government, health care workers and “those providing food and fuel.”
Policy would be established by the Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security to determine other businesses to obtain waivers.
The final tier would be an all-out driving ban. Only essential personnel, such as first responders and snowplow operators, would be allowed to brave roadways.
Offenders of the second and third tiers would face up to $115 fines. Repeat offenders would need to pay up to $200 with the possibility of spending between 10 and 30 days in the clink.
Employers would be forbidden from “any adverse employment action against an employee” refusing to violate the law and that hasn’t been given a waiver.
For bill status, call 302-577-8714.

07/12/2010 - Distracted Driving

7/12/2010 (HB229):

A new law prohibits texting while driving and restricts cell phone use.
Previously HB229, the new law forbids drivers of all ages from sending or reading text messages. CB radios are exempt from the ban.
Violators face $50 fines. Talking on a hand-held cell phone will also result in a $50 fine.
Effective Jan. 1, the new rule overrides bans in Wilmington and Elsmere.

08/25/2010 - 'Move Over' Law

8/25/2010 (SB205):

A new law enhances the state’s “Move Over” law.
SB205 stiffens penalties for striking an emergency worker after not moving over. It took effect immediately.
Delaware law already requires drivers to merge into a lane farther away from law enforcement, firefighters, ambulances, tow trucks and transportation workers, if practical. If unable to switch lanes, drivers are required to slow down and proceed with caution.
With the new law, violators who strike an emergency worker would face a Class F Felony.

Contact Info

General Assembly runs from Jan. 8 to June 30.

Website: http://legis.delaware.gov

 

Contact Numbers:
Senate Democrats general info and bill status 302-577-8744
Senate Republicans general info and bill status 302-577-8714
House Democrats general info and bill status 302-577-8476
House Rebulicans general info and bill status 302-577-8723

Florida

2016

State Issues

03/30/2016 - Daylight Saving Time

3/30/2016 (HB893):

A bill died in committee that covers the observance of daylight saving time.
HB893 called for keeping the state on daylight saving time year-round.

3/30/2016 (SB1098):

A bill died in committee that covers the observance of daylight saving time.
SB1098 sought to keep the state on daylight saving time year-round.

2/4/2016 (SB1098):

A Senate bill covers the observance of daylight saving time.
Sponsored by Sen. Darren Soto, D-Orlando, SB1098 would keep the state on daylight saving time year-round.
The bill awaits assignment in committees.

2/4/2016 (HB893):

A House bill covers the observance of daylight saving time.
Sponsored by Rep. Kristin Diane Jacobs, D-Coconut Creek, HB893 would keep the state on daylight saving time year-round.
The bill awaits assignment in committees.

03/30/2016 - Police Uniform Cameras

3/30/2016 (SB418):

SB418 was substituted by HB93, which was signed into law.

3/30/2016 (HB93):

A new law covers the issue of police uniform cameras.
State law now provides a public records exemption for police-worn cameras.
Previously HB93, the new law requires law enforcement agencies to provide policies and procedures as well as training to all personnel who use, maintain and store all camera data.

1/4/2016 (SB418):

Sen. Chris Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale, has introduced a bill that covers the issue of police uniform cameras.
State law provides a public records exemption for police-worn cameras.
SB418 would require law enforcement agencies to provide policies and procedures as well as training to all personnel who use, maintain and store all camera data.
The bill awaits consideration in three Senate committees.

1/4/2016 (HB93):

Rep. Shevrin Jones, D-West Park, has introduced a bill that covers the issue of police uniform cameras.
State law provides a public records exemption for police-worn cameras.
HB93 would require law enforcement agencies to provide policies and procedures as well as training to all personnel who use, maintain and store all camera data.
The bill awaits consideration in three House committees.

03/30/2016 - Ticket Cameras

3/30/2016 (SB168):

A bill died in committee, SB168, to repeal the rule that authorizes the use of automated cameras to ticket drivers.
Since 2010, localities around the state have been authorized to post red-light cameras at intersections. Violators face $158 fines.

10/9/2015:

Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, has filed a bill for the 2016 regular session to repeal the rule that authorizes the use of automated cameras to ticket drivers.
Since 2010, localities around the state have been authorized to post red-light cameras at intersections. Violators face $158 fines.
SB168 can be considered during the session that begins in March 2016.

2015

State Issues

07/16/2015 - Ticket Quotas

7/16/2015 (HB421):

HB421 has died. However, the Senate version – SB264 – is now law.

6/16/2015 (SB264):

Gov. Rick Scott signed into law a bill to prohibit departments from forcing police to issue a certain number of tickets to meet a mandate.
Previously SB264, the new law swept through both chambers in the statehouse with only one vote in opposition.
The new law clarifies that state, county and municipal traffic enforcement agencies are prohibited from establishing citation quotas.
The amount of traffic fine revenue that municipalities can keep is also limited. Specifically, counties or municipalities could keep up to 33 percent of the total expenses incurred in one year to run the agency.

4/21/2015 (HB421):

A bill awaiting a House floor vote would prohibit counties and municipalities from forcing police to issue a certain number of tickets to meet a mandate.
HB421 clarifies that state, county and municipal traffic enforcement agencies are prohibited from establishing citation quotas.
The bill also limits the amount of traffic fine revenue that municipalities can keep. Specifically, counties or municipalities could keep up to 33 percent of the total expenses incurred in one year to run the agency.
The Senate-approved version, SB264, awaits assignment to committee in the House.

4/21/2015 (SB264):

The Senate voted unanimously to advance a bill to prohibit counties and municipalities from forcing police to issue a certain number of tickets to meet a mandate. The bill now moves to the House for further consideration.
Sponsored by Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, SB264 clarifies that state, county and municipal traffic enforcement agencies are prohibited from establishing citation quotas.
The bill also limits the amount of traffic fine revenue that municipalities can keep. Specifically, counties or municipalities could keep up to 33 percent of the total expenses incurred in one year to run the agency.
The House version, HB421, awaits a House floor vote.

3/12/2015 (SB264):

The Senate Fiscal Policy Committee voted unanimously to advance a bill to the Senate floor that would prohibit counties and municipalities from forcing police to issue a certain number of tickets to meet a mandate.
Sponsored by Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, SB264 would clarify that state, county and municipal traffic enforcement agencies are prohibited from establishing citation quotas.
The bill also limits the amount of traffic fine revenue that municipalities can keep. Specifically, counties or municipalities could keep up to 33 percent of the total expenses incurred in one year to run the agency.
The percent threshold was reduced from 50 percent in committee.
The House version, HB421, was approved by the House Highway and Waterway Safety Subcommittee.

3/12/2015 (HB421):

The House Highway and Waterway Safety Subcommittee voted to advance a bill that would prohibit counties and municipalities from forcing police to issue a certain number of tickets to meet a mandate.
Sponsored by Rep. Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero, HB421 would clarify that state, county and municipal traffic enforcement agencies are prohibited from establishing citation quotas.
The bill also limits the amount of traffic fine revenue that municipalities can keep. Specifically, counties or municipalities could keep up to 33 percent of the total expenses incurred in one year to run the agency.
The percent threshold was reduced from 50 percent in committee.
The Senate version, SB264, awaits consideration on the Senate floor.

2/23/2015 (HB421):

A bill in multiples committees would limit the amount of traffic fine revenue that municipalities can keep.
Sponsored by Rep. Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero, HB421 would permit counties or municipalities to keep up to 50 percent of the total expenses incurred in one year for traffic citations to run the agency.

1/23/2015 (HB421):

Rep. Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero, filed a bill for consideration during the regular session that begins March 3 to limit the amount of traffic fine revenue that municipalities can keep.
HB421 would permit counties or municipalities to keep up to 50 percent of the total expenses incurred in one year for traffic citations to run the agency.
The bill awaits assignment to committee.

1/14/2015 (SB264):

Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, filed a bill for consideration during the regular session that begins March 3 to limit the amount of traffic fine revenue that municipalities can keep.
SB264 would permit counties or municipalities to keep up to 50 percent of the total expenses incurred in one year for traffic citations to run the agency.
The bill awaits assignment to committee.

07/16/2015 - Police Uniform Cameras

7/16/2015 (HB57):

A bill died in the Senate Criminal Justice Committee that covers the use of police body-worn cameras. The House previously approved it.
HB57 called for setting rules, procedures, policies and training for the use of the equipment.

5/8/2015:

House lawmakers voted unanimously to advance a bill that covers the use of police body-worn cameras. It now moves to the Senate. HB57 would set rules, procedures, policies and training for the use of the equipment.
2/23/2015:
A bill in multiple committees would outfit law enforcement officials with body video cameras.
HB57 is sponsored by Rep. Shevrin Jones, D-West Park.

12/5/2014:

Rep. Shevrin Jones, D-West Park, filed a bill for the upcoming regular session that would outfit law enforcement officials with body video cameras.
HB57 awaits assignment to committee for the session that begins March 3.

04/16/2015 - Daylight Saving Time

4/16/2015 (SB432):

A bill is likely dead that covers the state’s observance of daylight saving time.
SB432 would keep the state on DST year-round.

2/27/2015:

Sen. Darren Soto, D-Orlando, has introduced a bill that covers the state’s observance of daylight saving time.
SB432 would keep the state on DST year-round.
The bill is in multiple Senate committees.

State Watches

11/30/2015 - Transportation Funds

11/30/2015:

Gov. Rick Scott has announced a nearly $10 billion plan to fund transportation projects for the next year.
The state Department of Transportation would receive $9.9 billion to help get needed infrastructure work done via the governor’s overall $79.3 billion, 2016-2017 state budget proposal, dubbed “Florida First.”
The amount is about $80 million less than one year ago when the governor’s “It’s Your Money Tax Cut Budget” secured more than $10 billion for road work.
Roads and bridges would receive the bulk of funding for projects throughout the state. One-third of the funds would be applied for new highway construction.
The governor said his administration is making critical infrastructure investments in state highways, bridges, seaports, airports, transit and trails.
“Having a strong infrastructure system is vital to our continued economic growth and making Florida first for job growth,” Scott said in prepared remarks. “We consistently have a top-rated infrastructure system, and we will continue to make strategic investments to make Florida first for transportation.”
Allotments for projects via the transportation budget include:

• $3.3 billion for construction of highway projects;
• $963.4 million for infrastructure maintenance and operation;
• $731.9 million to repair or replace 69 bridges;
• $159 million for road safety initiatives;
• $153.9 million in seaport infrastructure improvements; and
• $46.6 million for bike and pedestrian trails.

Among the projects that would receive funding in northeast Florida is $43.8 million to add lanes and reconstruct the existing state Route 200 from Interstate 95 to west of Still Quarters Road in Nassau County.
The main project to benefit northwest Florida is $496.5 million to replace the Pensacola Bay Bridge in Escambia County. In the southeast portion of the state, $247 million would be allotted to improve and expand the I-395 corridor in Miami-Dade County.
In east central Florida, $246 million would be applied to a project to extend the Wekiva Parkway five miles from Lake County into Seminole County.
The Legislature must approve the governor’s state budget proposal. The issue will be addressed during the regular session that begins Jan. 12, 2016.

2014

State Issues

05/05/2014 - 'Yellow Dot' Program

5/5/2014 (HB17):

A bill died without getting a House floor vote that sought to provide emergency responders with access to critical medical information in the moments following vehicle wrecks.
HB17 would have authorized counties to set up a yellow dot decal program to help ensure proper medical treatment in situations where wreck victims may not be able to speak or are otherwise unresponsive.
The program would have provided emergency responders with critical health information for drivers who sign up for the program.
Program materials would have included a yellow decal for the side window, a health information card, a yellow envelope, and program instructions.

5/5/2014 (SB262):

A Senate-approved bill died in the House that sought to provide emergency responders with access to critical medical information in the moments following vehicle wrecks. Participation in the program would be voluntary and free.
SB262 would have setup a program to provide emergency responders with critical health information for drivers who sign up for the program.
Program materials would have included a yellow decal for the window, a health information card, a yellow envelope, and program instructions.

4/21/2014 (HB17):

A bill to advance from two committees and one subcommittee would provide emergency responders with access to critical medical information in the moments following vehicle wrecks.
Sponsored by Rep. Irv Slosberg, D-Boca Raton, HB17 would authorize counties to set up a yellow dot decal program to help ensure proper medical treatment in situations where wreck victims may not be able to speak or are otherwise unresponsive.
The program would provide emergency responders with critical health information for drivers who sign up for the program.
Program materials would include a yellow decal for the side window, a health information card, a yellow envelope, and program instructions.
The bill awaits further consideration on the House floor.

4/2/2014 (SB262):

The Senate Economic Affairs Committee approved a bill that would provide emergency responders with access to critical medical information in the moments following vehicle wrecks. Participation in the program would be voluntary and free.
The program would provide emergency responders with critical health information for drivers who sign up for the program.
Program materials would include a yellow decal for the window, a health information card, a yellow envelope, and program instructions.
SB262 awaits further consideration in the Senate.

2/12/2014 (HB17):

The House Transportation and Highway Safety Subcommittee voted to advance a bill that would provide emergency responders with access to critical medical information in the moments following vehicle wrecks.
Sponsored by Rep. Irv Slosberg, D-Boca Raton, HB17 would authorize counties to set up a yellow dot decal program to help ensure proper medical treatment in situations where wreck victims may not be able to speak or are otherwise unresponsive.
The program would provide emergency responders with critical health information for drivers who sign up for the program.
Program materials would include a yellow decal for the side window, a health information card, a yellow envelope, and program instructions.
The bill awaits further consideration in the House Local and Federal Affairs Committee

2/12/2014 (SB262):

The Senate Community Affairs Committee voted unanimously to advance a bill that would provide emergency responders with access to critical medical information in the moments following vehicle wrecks. The Senate Transportation Committee already approved it.
Sponsored by Sen. Joseph Abruzzo, D-Palm Beach, SB262 would make participation in the program voluntary and free.
The program would provide emergency responders with critical health information for drivers who sign up for the program. Program materials would include a yellow decal for the window, a health information card, a yellow envelope, and program instructions.
The bill awaits further consideration on the Senate floor when the session begins March 4.

1/22/2014 (SB262):

The Senate Transportation Committee voted to advance a bill that would provide emergency responders with access to critical medical information in the moments following vehicle wrecks.
Sponsored by Sen. Joseph Abruzzo, D-Palm Beach, SB262 would make participation in the program voluntary and free.
The program would provide emergency responders with critical health information for drivers who sign up for the program. Program materials would include a yellow decal for the window, a health information card, a yellow envelope, and program instructions.
The bill awaits further consideration in the Senate Community Affairs Committee.

12/5/2013 (SB262):

A bill offered for consideration in the upcoming regular session would provide emergency responders with access to critical medical information in the moments following vehicle wrecks.
Sen. Joseph Abruzzo, D-Palm Beach, filed a bill that would authorize counties to seek funding and grants to set up a yellow dot decal program to help ensure proper medical treatment in situations where wreck victims may not be able to speak or are otherwise unresponsive.
Participation in the program would be voluntary and free.
The program would provide emergency responders with critical health information for drivers who sign up for the program.
Program materials would include a yellow decal for the window, a health information card, a yellow envelope, and program instructions.
SB262 and the House version – H17 – can be considered during the session that begins in March.

9/13/2013 (HB17):

A bill filed for consideration during the 2014 regular session would provide emergency responders with access to critical medical information in the moments following vehicle wrecks.
Sponsored by Rep. Irv Slosberg, D-Boca Raton, HB17 would authorize counties to set up a yellow dot decal program to help ensure proper medical treatment in situations where wreck victims may not be able to speak or are otherwise unresponsive.
The program would provide emergency responders with critical health information for drivers who sign up for the program.
Program materials would include a yellow decal for the side window, a health information card, a yellow envelope, and program instructions.

04/17/2014 - Distracted Driving

4/17/2014 (HB5):

A bill is likely dead that was intended to cut down on distracted driving on Florida’s roadways.
HB5 sought to prohibit drivers under the age of 18 from talking on the phone while driving. Text messaging while behind the wheel would also have been off limits for affected drivers.
The rule would have made the distracting activity a secondary offense, meaning drivers of all ages could only be cited if they were pulled over for another reason, such as speeding.

2/28/2014:

A bill in multiple House committees is intended to cut down on distracted driving on Florida’s roadways.
Sponsored by Rep. Irv Slosberg, D-Boca Raton, HB5 would prohibit drivers under the age of 18 from talking on the phone while driving. Text messaging while behind the wheel would also be off limits for affected drivers.
The new rule makes the distracting activity a secondary offense, meaning drivers of all ages could only be cited if they were pulled over for another reason, such as speeding.
The bill can be considered during the session that begins March 4.

9/13/2013:

A bill filed for consideration during the 2014 regular session is intended to cut down on distracted driving on Florida’s roadways.
Sponsored by Rep. Irv Slosberg, D-Boca Raton, HB5 would prohibit drivers under the age of 18 from talking on the phone while driving. Text messaging while behind the wheel would also be off limits for affected drivers.
The new rule makes the distracting activity a secondary offense, meaning drivers of all ages could only be cited if they were pulled over for another reason, such as speeding.

05/05/2014 - Towing Rules

5/5/2014 (HB617):

A bill died in the Senate Transportation Committee that sought to make changes to the state’s towing rules. House lawmakers previously approved it.
Florida law now requires posted notice of a tow-away zone on property before a vehicle can be towed without the vehicle owner’s consent.
HB617 permitted a vehicle to be towed after 10 days without a posted tow-away zone sign. The 10-day period wouldn’t start until a notice is attached to the vehicle.

4/21/2014:

The House Economic Affairs Committee voted unanimously to advance a bill that would make changes to the state’s towing rules.
Florida law now requires posted notice of a tow-away zone on property before a vehicle can be towed without the vehicle owner’s consent.
HB617 would permit a vehicle to be towed after five days without a posted tow-away zone sign. The five-day period wouldn’t start until a notice is attached to the vehicle.
The bill awaits further House consideration.

4/2/2014:

A bill moving through the House would make changes to the state’s towing rules.
Florida law now requires posted notice of a tow-away zone on property before a vehicle can be towed without the vehicle owner’s consent.
HB617 would permit a vehicle to be towed after 10 days without a posted tow-away zone sign. The 10-day period wouldn’t start until a notice is attached to the vehicle.
The bill advanced from two House subcommittees and now awaits consideration in the House Economic Affairs Committee.

04/17/2014 - Daylight Saving Time

4/17/2014 (HB701):

A bill is likely dead that sought to make daylight-saving time permanent in the state.
HB701 would have taken effect in July 2014.

4/17/2014 (SB74):

A bill is likely dead that sought to make daylight-saving time permanent in the state.
SB74 would have taken effect in July 2014.

3/7/2014 (HB701):

A bill awaiting consideration in multiple House committees would make daylight-saving time permanent in the state.
HB701 would take effect in July 2014.

2/28/2014 (SB74):

A bill in multiple Senate committees would make daylight-saving time permanent in the state.
Sponsored by Sen. Darren Soto, D-Orlando, SB74 would take effect in July 2014.
The bill can be considered during the session that begins March 4.

9/13/2013 (SB74):

A bill filed for the 2014 regular session would make daylight-saving time permanent in the state.
Sponsored by Sen. Darren Soto, D-Orlando, SB74 would take effect in July 2014.

06/24/2014 - Auxiliary Power Units

6/24/2014 (HB7175):

Gov. Rick Scott signed a 128-page transportation funding bill.
Effective July 1, one provision in HB7175 authorizes tolls on new highway capacity. Specifically, tolls could be collected on new highways, express lanes and managed lanes. Highway users would be charged via a cashless or toll-by-plate system.
A separate provision forbids the state from entering into any new lease-purchase agreements with any expressway authority or regional transportation authority. Agreements in place by July 1, 2013, are not affected.
Another provision raises new revenue for roads via cellphone towers on state property. The Florida Department of Transportation is authorized to partner with wireless companies that want towers near state roads.
Permission is also included to make available “commercial sponsorship displays” on state trails.
Currently, fuel taxes, vehicle fees and tolls are used to pay for upkeep of trails and related facilities.
The new law authorizes the use of revenue raised through sponsorships for upkeep.
Another provision authorizes APU exemptions on large trucks up to 550 pounds.

5/16/2014:

A bill on Gov. Rick Scott’s desk would authorize more tolls, raise more money for roads and boost the incentive for truckers to avoid idling.
The 128-page transportation funding bill swept through the Legislature by unanimous consent.
If signed into law, one provision in HB7175 would authorize tolls on new highway capacity. Specifically, tolls could be collected on new highways, express lanes and managed lanes. Highway users would be charged via a cashless or toll-by-plate system.
A separate provision would forbid the state from entering into any new lease-purchase agreements with any expressway authority or regional transportation authority. Agreements in place by July 1, 2013, would not be affected.
Another provision would raise new revenue for roads via cellphone towers on state property. The Florida Department of Transportation would be authorized to partner with wireless companies that want towers near state roads.
Permission is also included in the bill to make available “commercial sponsorship displays” on state trails.
Currently, fuel taxes, vehicle fees and tolls are used to pay for upkeep of trails and related facilities.
The bill would use revenue raised through sponsorships for upkeep.
Another provision in the bill would authorize APU exemptions on large trucks up to 550 pounds.

5/2/2014:

The Senate unanimously approved a bill that includes a provision intended to boost the incentive for truckers to avoid idling.
States were given the ability in 2005 to allow heavy-duty trucks to exceed the 80,000-pound maximum weight limit by 400 pounds to encourage the use of idling-reduction equipment.
The 2012 federal transportation law included a provision to allow states to increase their APU weight exemption another 150 pounds to 550 pounds. The change was sought to accommodate newer technologies available for truckers that consume less fuel, but weigh more.
HB7175 would increase the state’s 400-pound exemption to 550 pounds.
The bill now moves to the governor’s desk. House lawmakers already approved it.

07/15/2014 - Trafficking

7/15/2014 (HB989):

A new law increases protections to victims of human trafficking.
Previously HB989, the new law removes the statute of limitations to allow prosecution for certain human trafficking offenses at any time. Minors are also prohibited from working in adult theaters, removes time limitations to allow a prosecution for certain human trafficking offenses to be commenced at any time, creates and increases criminal penalties relating to human trafficking.

7/15/2014 (HB714):

A new law takes steps to curb human trafficking.
Previously HB714, the new law provides definitions and makes changes to rules and guidelines to the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Juvenile Justice, and community based care lead agencies in administering safe houses and safe foster homes for children who have been sexually exploited.

06/24/2014 - Hit-and-Runs

6/24/2014 (SB102):

A new law creates tougher penalties for drivers who leave the scene of a fatal accident.
SB102 authorizes a minimum four-year prison term for leaving the scene of a crash with fatalities. The mandatory minimum sentence for incidents of driving under the influence that result in death is also set at four years – up from two years.
Drivers who leave the scene of any accident would also have their driver’s license revoked for at least three years.

5/15/2014:

The House voted unanimously to approve a bill that would create tougher penalties for drivers who leave the scene of a fatal accident.
SB102 now moves to the governor’s desk. Senate lawmakers already approved it.
If signed into law, the bill would authorize a minimum four-year prison term for leaving the scene of a crash with fatalities. The mandatory minimum sentence for incidents of driving under the influence that result in death would also be set at four years – up from two years.
Drivers who leave the scene of any accident would also have their driver’s license revoked for at least three years.

4/2/2014:

The Senate voted unanimously to advance a bill that would create tougher penalties for drivers who leave the scene of a fatal accident.
Sponsored by Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, R-Miami, SB102 would authorize a minimum four-year prison term for leaving the scene of a crash with fatalities. The mandatory minimum sentence for incidents of driving under the influence that result in death would also be set at four years – up from two years.
Drivers who leave the scene of any accident would also have their driver’s license revoked for at least three years.
The bill now heads to the House for further consideration. If approved there, it would move to the governor’s desk.

2/12/2014:

The Senate Criminal Justice Committee voted unanimously to advance a bill that would create tougher penalties for drivers who leave the scene after striking people alongside roadsides or while crossing roadways.
Florida law authorizes a mandatory minimum sentence of two years for incidents of driving under the influence that result in death.
Sponsored by Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, R-Miami, SB102 would double the amount of prison time to four years for leaving the scene of a crash with fatalities.
The bill awaits further consideration in the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism and Economic Development.

1/22/2014:

The Senate Transportation and Highway Safety Subcommittee voted unanimously to approve a bill that would create tougher penalties for drivers who leave the scene after striking people alongside roadsides or while crossing roadways.
Florida law authorizes a mandatory minimum sentence of two years for incidents of driving under the influence that result in death.
Sponsored by Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, R-Miami, SB102 would double the amount of prison time to four years for leaving the scene of a crash with fatalities.
The bill awaits further consideration in the Senate Criminal Justice Committee.

04/17/2014 - Ticket Cameras

4/17/2014 (SB144):

SB144 is likely dead. It sought to put limits on the use of ticket cameras.

3/27/2014:

A bill in the Senate Transportation Committee initially sought to do away with ticket cameras throughout the state. The enforcement method is used in nearly 80 counties and cities across the state. Violators face $158 fines.
Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, is attempting to revise his bill to gain support. Changes sought in SB144 would allow new cameras at intersections as long as cities can justify their use through engineering studies.
Also, revenue raised through the cameras would be applied to traffic safety improvements. An estimated $74 million now routed to the general revenue fund would be earmarked for the state transportation trust fund.

2/28/2014:

A bill in multiple committees would put an end to the state’s use of automated enforcement cameras.
Since 2010, localities around the state have been authorized to post red-light cameras at intersections.
Sponsored by Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, SB144 would repeal the rule. Instead, local governments in about 70 cities and counties throughout Florida would be forced to take down cameras at intersections to catch red-light runners.
In Florida, violators face $158 fines. Revenue from fines is divvied up between the state and the cities and counties where the roads are located. Whatever local jurisdictions pay to companies to supply, maintain and operate the equipment come out of their $75 cut.
The bill can be considered during the session that begins March 4.

9/9/2013:

A bill prefiled for the 2014 regular session would put an end to the state’s use of automated enforcement cameras.
Since 2010, localities around the state have been authorized to post red-light cameras at intersections.
Sponsored by Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, SB144 would repeal the rule. Instead, local governments in about 70 cities and counties throughout Florida would be forced to take down cameras at intersections to catch red-light runners.
In Florida, violators face $158 fines. Revenue from fines is divvied up between the state and the cities and counties where the roads are located. Whatever local jurisdictions pay to companies to supply, maintain and operate the equipment come out of their $75 cut.

06/24/2014 - License Plate Readers

6/24/2014 (SB226):

A new law places guidelines on the use of the automated license plate readers.
SB226 implements a statewide policy to prohibit making information available to open records. A vehicle owner could also gain access to his or her own information.

5/29/2014 (SB226):

A bill on Gov. Rick Scott’s desk would place guidelines on the use of the automated license plate readers.
SB226 would implement a statewide policy to prohibit making information available to open records. A vehicle owner could also gain access to his or her own information.

5/5/2014 (SB1272):

The license plate scanner provision in SB1272 was added to HB7005.

4/23/2014 (SB226):

The Senate voted 38-1 to approve a bill that would also place guidelines on the use of license plate scanners. It now moves to the House.
SB226 would implement a statewide policy to prohibit making information available to open records.
A vehicle owner could also gain access to his or her own information.
The bill awaits assignment to committee in the House.

4/23/2014 (SB1272):

A bill awaiting consideration on the Senate floor would also guidelines on the use of license plate scanners.
SB1272 calls for a retention schedule to be set for records kept by law enforcement.

3/25/2014 (SB1272):

The Senate Transportation Committee voted unanimously to advance a bill for further consideration that would place guidelines on the use of license plate scanners.
SB1272 calls for a retention schedule to be set for records kept by law enforcement.
The bill awaits further consideration in the Senate.

1/30/2014 (SB226):

The Senate Transportation Committee unanimously approved a bill that would place guidelines on the use of automated license plate scanners.
SB226 would put in place a statewide policy on the use of LPRs. It would prohibit making information available to open records.
The bill awaits further consideration in the Senate.

05/08/2014 - 'Move Over' Law

5/8/2014 (HB469):

A bill died on the House floor that sought to expand the types of vehicles covered under the state’s existing “Move Over” law.
Since 2002, drivers in the state are required to slow down and shift lanes if possible to make room for police, ambulance and fire personnel alongside roadsides.
HB469 would have included utility service vehicles and sanitation vehicles in the protected list.

5/5/2014:

A bill died that sought to expand the types of vehicles covered under the state’s existing “Move Over” law.
Since 2002, drivers in the state are required to slow down and shift lanes if possible to make room for police, ambulance and fire personnel alongside roadsides.
HB469 included utility service vehicles and sanitation vehicles in the protected list.

4/18/2014:

The House Economic Affairs Committee voted to advance a bill that would expand the types of vehicles covered under the state’s existing “Move Over” law.
Since 2002, drivers in the state are required to slow down and shift lanes if possible to make room for police, ambulance and fire personnel alongside roadsides.
HB469 would include utility service vehicles and sanitation vehicles in the protected list.
The bill awaits further consideration in the House.

4/2/2014:

A bill moving through the House would expand the types of vehicles covered under the state’s existing “Move Over” law.
Since 2002, drivers in the state are required to slow down and shift lanes if possible to make room for police, ambulance and fire personnel alongside roadsides.
HB469 would include utility service vehicles and sanitation vehicles in the protected list.

1/22/2014:

A bill in two House subcommittees and one House committee would expand the types of vehicles covered under the state’s existing “Move Over” law.
Drivers in the state already are required to slow down and shift lanes if possible to make room for police, ambulance and fire personnel alongside roadsides.
HB469 would include utility service vehicles in the protected list.

04/17/2014 - Registration Fees

4/17/2014 (HB61):

A bill is likely dead that sought to roll back driver’s license and vehicle registration fees to 2009 levels.
HB61 would have reduced registration fees by about $12 a vehicle per year.

2/28/2014:

A bill in multiple committees would roll back driver’s license and vehicle registration fees to 2009 levels.
Sponsored by Rep. Mike Hill, R-Pensacola, HB61 would reduce registration fees by about $12 a vehicle per year.
The bill can be considered during the session that begins March 4.

9/24/2013:

A bill filed for the 2014 regular session would roll back driver’s license and vehicle registration fees to 2009 levels.
Sponsored by Rep. Mike Hill, R-Pensacola, HB61 would reduce registration fees by about $12 a vehicle per year.

06/26/2014 - Transportation Bill

6/26/2014 (HB7005):

Gov. Rick Scott signed HB7005 into law. One change included in the lengthy transportation bill allows police to ticket people driving slow in the far left lanes on interstates and highways.
Florida law requires drivers traveling more than 10 mph below the posted speed to move to right when they are about to be overtaken.
Starting July 1, drivers on multi-lane roadways are required to move to the right if they are being overtaken by another vehicle. Drivers traveling the speed limit will also be required to yield to vehicles exceeding the posted speed limit.
A separate rule change expands the types of vehicles covered under the state’s existing “Move Over” law. Since 2002, drivers in the state are required to slow down and shift lanes if possible to make room for police, ambulance and fire personnel alongside roadsides.
Utility service vehicles and sanitation vehicles are being added to the protected list.
Another change places guidelines on the use of automated license plate readers. The technology is used to capture the date, time and location that scanned vehicles passed.
Specifically, a statewide policy must set the length of time that the records of innocent people could be kept.
One more change is intended to provide emergency responders with access to critical medical information in the moments following vehicle wrecks.
Counties will be authorized to seek funding and grants to set up a yellow dot decal program to help ensure proper medical treatment in situations where wreck victims may not be able to speak or are otherwise unresponsive.
Participation in the program would be voluntary and free.
The program will provide emergency responders with critical health information for drivers who sign up for the program.
Program materials include a yellow decal for the window, a health information card, a yellow envelope, and program instructions.

6/9/2014:

The House voted 106-3 to sign off on changes to a 79-page bill that would implement new rules on left lane use, license plate readers, and set up a vehicle decal program. HB7005 now awaits Gov. Rick Scott’s signature. Senate lawmakers already approved it by unanimous consent.
One provision would allow police to ticket people driving slow in the far left lanes on interstates and highways.
Florida law now requires drivers traveling more than 10 mph below the posted speed to move to right when they are about to be overtaken.
The bill would require any driver on multi-lane roadways to move to the right if they are being overtaken by another vehicle. Drivers traveling the speed limit would also be required to yield to vehicles exceeding the posted speed limit.
A separate provision would expand the types of vehicles covered under the state’s existing “Move Over” law. Since 2002, drivers in the state are required to slow down and shift lanes if possible to make room for police, ambulance and fire personnel alongside roadsides.
If signed into law, the bill would include utility service vehicles and sanitation vehicles in the protected list.
Another provision would place guidelines on the use of automated license plate readers. The technology is used to capture the date, time and location that scanned vehicles passed.
Specifically, the bill calls for a statewide policy to set the length of time that the records of innocent people could be kept.
Also included in the bill is a provision that would provide emergency responders with access to critical medical information in the moments following vehicle wrecks.
Counties would be authorized to seek funding and grants to set up a yellow dot decal program to help ensure proper medical treatment in situations where wreck victims may not be able to speak or are otherwise unresponsive.
Participation in the program would be voluntary and free.
The program would provide emergency responders with critical health information for drivers who sign up for the program.
Program materials would include a yellow decal for the window, a health information card, a yellow envelope, and program instructions.

06/03/2014 - Speed Limits

6/3/2014 (SB392):

Gov. Rick Scott vetoed a bill on Monday, June 2, that could have resulted in the posted speed limit on highways for all vehicles to be set to as much as 75 mph.
“Although the bill does not mandate higher speed limits, allowing for the possibility of faster driving on Florida’s roads and highways could ultimately and unacceptably increase the risk of serious accidents,” Scott wrote in his veto message.
Since 1996, Florida law has authorized cars and trucks to travel 70 mph on interstates. Travelers can drive 65 mph on highways with a divided median and 60 mph on other roadways.
SB392 called for authorizing the Florida Department of Transportation to decide whether it would be “safe and advisable” to increase the speed limit on the highways by 5 mph to 75, 70 and 65 mph, respectively.
House lawmakers approved the bill on a 58-56 vote on the next-to-last day of the regular session. The Senate previously approved it on a 27-11 vote.
Scott said he issued the veto after hearing from law enforcement officers who voiced concern about faster travel speeds increasing the severity of injuries resulting from wrecks.

5/9/2014 (SB392):

House lawmakers voted 58-56 on the next-to-last day of the regular session to approve a bill that could increase the posted speed limit on highways for all vehicles to as much as 75 mph. The Senate previously approved the bill on a 27-11 vote.
Since 1996, Florida law has authorized cars and trucks to travel 70 mph on interstates. Travelers can drive 65 mph on highways with a divided median and 60 mph on other roadways.
SB392 could result in an increase of allowable speeds on the types of highway by 5 mph to 75, 70 and 65 mph, respectively.
The Florida Department of Transportation would have the final say on any speed changes. The agency would be required to decide where it would be “safe and advisable” to increase the speed limit.

5/5/2014 (HB761):
HB761 has died. However, the Senate version – SB392 – has moved to the governor’s desk.

4/18/2014 (HB761):
The House Economic Affairs Committee voted 14-3 to send a bill to the chamber floor that could increase the posted speed limit on highways for all vehicles to as much as 75 mph.
Since 1996, Florida law has authorized cars and trucks to travel 70 mph on interstates. Travelers can drive 65 mph on highways with a divided median and 60 mph on other roadways.
HB761 could result in an increase of allowable speeds on the types of highway by 5 mph to 75, 70 and 65 mph, respectively.
The Florida Department of Transportation would have the final say on any speed changes. The agency would be required to decide where it would be “safe and advisable” to increase the speed limit.

4/18/2014 (SB392):

A bill awaiting consideration on the Senate floor could increase the posted speed limit on highways for all vehicles to as much as 75 mph.
Since 1996, Florida law has authorized cars and trucks to travel 70 mph on interstates. Travelers can drive 65 mph on highways with a divided median and 60 mph on other roadways.
SB392 could result in an increase of allowable speeds on the types of highway by 5 mph to 75, 70 and 65 mph, respectively.
The Florida Department of Transportation would have the final say on any speed changes. The agency would be required to decide where it would be “safe and advisable” to increase the speed limit.

3/17/2014 (HB761):

The House Transportation and Highway Safety Subcommittee voted 13-1 to advance a bill that could increase the posted speed limit on highways for all vehicles to as much as 75 mph.
Florida law authorizes cars and trucks to travel 70 mph on interstates. Drivers can travel 65 mph on highways with a divided median and 60 mph on other roadways.
HB761 could result in an increase of allowable speeds on the types of highway by 5 mph to 75, 70 and 65 mph, respectively.
The Florida Department of Transportation would have the final say on any speed changes. The agency would be required to decide where it would be “safe and advisable” to increase the speed limit.
The bill awaits further consideration in the House Economic Affairs Committee. If approved there, it would move to the House floor.

3/17/2014 (SB392):

The Senate Community Affairs Committee voted 7-2 to advance a bill that could increase the posted speed limit on highways for all vehicles to as much as 75 mph.
Florida law authorizes cars and trucks to travel 70 mph on interstates. Drivers can travel 65 mph on highways with a divided median and 60 mph on other roadways.
Sponsored by Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, and Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, SB392 could result in an increase of allowable speeds on the types of highway by 5 mph to 75, 70 and 65 mph, respectively.
The Florida Department of Transportation would have the final say on any speed changes. The agency would be required to decide where it would be “safe and advisable” to increase the speed limit.
The bill awaits further consideration in the Senate Appropriations Committee. The Senate Transportation Committee already approved it.

2/3/2014 (SB392):

The Senate Transportation Committee voted 6-1 to advance a bill that could increase the posted speed limit on highways for all vehicles to as much as 75 mph.
Florida law authorizes cars and trucks to travel 70 mph on interstates. Drivers can travel 65 mph on highways with a divided median and 60 mph on other roadways.
Sponsored by Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, and Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, SB392 could result in an increase of allowable speeds on the types of highway by 5 mph to 75, 70 and 65 mph, respectively.
The Florida Department of Transportation would have the final say on any speed changes. The agency would be required to decide where it would be “safe and advisable” to increase the speed limit.
The bill could be considered by the full Legislature once the regular session officially starts in March. If approved, new speeds could take effect as early as July 1.

1/9/2014 (SB392):

The Senate Transportation Committee is scheduled to consider a bill Jan. 16 that could increase the posted speed on various highways for all vehicles.
Florida law authorizes cars and trucks to travel 70 mph on interstates. Drivers can travel 65 mph on highways with a divided median and 60 mph on other roadways.
SB392 would increase allowable speeds on the types of highway by 5 mph to 75, 70 and 65 mph, respectively.
The Florida Department of Transportation would have the final say on any speed changes.

11/13/2013 (SB392):

A bill offered for consideration in the 2014 regular session could increase the posted speed limit on highways for all vehicles to as much as 75 mph.
Florida law authorizes cars and trucks to travel 70 mph on interstates. Drivers can travel 65 mph on highways with a divided median and 60 mph on other roadways.
Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, and Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, filed a bill on Tuesday, Nov. 12, that would increase allowable speeds on the types of highway by 5 mph to 75, 70 and 65 mph, respectively.
The Florida Department of Transportation would have the final say on any speed changes. SB392 would require the agency to decide where it would be “safe and advisable” to increase the speed limit.
The bill awaits assignment to a Senate committee.

05/15/2014 - Vulnerable Highway Drivers

6/24/2014 (SB102):

A new law creates tougher penalties for drivers who leave the scene of a fatal accident.
SB102 authorizes a minimum four-year prison term for leaving the scene of a crash with fatalities. The mandatory minimum sentence for incidents of driving under the influence that result in death is also set at four years – up from two years.
Drivers who leave the scene of any accident would also have their driver’s license revoked for at least three years.

5/15/2014:

The House voted unanimously to approve a bill that would create tougher penalties for drivers who leave the scene of a fatal accident.
SB102 now moves to the governor’s desk. Senate lawmakers already approved it.
If signed into law, the bill would authorize a minimum four-year prison term for leaving the scene of a crash with fatalities. The mandatory minimum sentence for incidents of driving under the influence that result in death would also be set at four years – up from two years.
Drivers who leave the scene of any accident would also have their driver’s license revoked for at least three years.

4/2/2014:

The Senate voted unanimously to advance a bill that would create tougher penalties for drivers who leave the scene of a fatal accident.
Sponsored by Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, R-Miami, SB102 would authorize a minimum four-year prison term for leaving the scene of a crash with fatalities. The mandatory minimum sentence for incidents of driving under the influence that result in death would also be set at four years – up from two years.
Drivers who leave the scene of any accident would also have their driver’s license revoked for at least three years.
The bill now heads to the House for further consideration. If approved there, it would move to the governor’s desk.

2/12/2014:

The Senate Criminal Justice Committee voted unanimously to advance a bill that would create tougher penalties for drivers who leave the scene after striking people alongside roadsides or while crossing roadways.
Florida law authorizes a mandatory minimum sentence of two years for incidents of driving under the influence that result in death.
Sponsored by Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, R-Miami, SB102 would double the amount of prison time to four years for leaving the scene of a crash with fatalities.
The bill awaits further consideration in the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism and Economic Development.

1/22/2014:

The Senate Transportation and Highway Safety Subcommittee voted unanimously to approve a bill that would create tougher penalties for drivers who leave the scene after striking people alongside roadsides or while crossing roadways.
Florida law authorizes a mandatory minimum sentence of two years for incidents of driving under the influence that result in death.
Sponsored by Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, R-Miami, SB102 would double the amount of prison time to four years for leaving the scene of a crash with fatalities.
The bill awaits further consideration in the Senate Criminal Justice Committee.

04/10/2014 - Transportation Funding

4/10/2014 (SB156):

Gov. Rick Scott signed into law a bill that will eventually trim about $400 million from the fees and surcharges applied to license plate purchases, replacement or transfers and vehicle registration. The reductions are slated to take effect Sept. 1, 2014.
The fee increases were implemented in 2009 by then-Gov. Charlie Crist. He enacted the increase to help close a state budget shortfall.
Previously SB156, the new law will reduce the fee for issuance of original, duplicate or transfer license plates, or transfer or duplicate registration certificates from $5 to $2.50. The service charge that is applied when using an automated vending facility or printer dispenser machine to issue a license plate sticker will be trimmed from $3 to $1. Also, motor vehicle registrations or registration renewal license plates and validation stickers for retroflection material will be reduced from $1.50 to 50 cents.
The surcharge on the license tax will be reduced from $4 to $2. The juvenile programs surcharge on the license tax will also be reduced from $5.50 to $1.

3/26/2014:

A bill on its way to Gov. Rick Scott’s desk would lower vehicle fees to 2009 levels. The Senate voted unanimously to endorse the bill. House lawmakers followed suit on a 116-0 vote.
SB156 would save the state’s heaviest vehicles about $25 on registrations.
The bill would eventually trim about $400 million from the fees and surcharges applied to license plate purchases, replacement or transfers and vehicle registration. The reductions are slated to take effect Sept. 1, 2014.
The fee increases were implemented in 2009 to help close a state budget shortfall.
Specifically, the bill would benefit truckers and motorists by reducing the fee for issuance of original, duplicate or transfer license plates, or transfer or duplicate registration certificates from $5 to $2.50. The service charge that is applied when using an automated vending facility or printer dispenser machine to issue a license plate sticker would be trimmed from $3 to $1. Also, motor vehicle registrations or registration renewal license plates and validation stickers for retroflection material would be reduced from $1.50 to 50 cents.
The surcharge on the license tax would be reduced from $4 to $2. The juvenile programs surcharge on the license tax would also be reduced from $5.50 to $1.

2/12/2014:

A bill moving through the Senate would save truckers and other drivers a few bucks as early as this fall when paying vehicle license fees.
Sponsored by Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, SB156 would eventually trim about $240 million from the fees and surcharges applied to license plate purchases, replacement or transfers and vehicle registration.
The fee increases were implemented in 2009 to help close a state budget shortfall.
The bill targets the five-year-old vehicle fees. The cuts would save most people $12 on vehicle registrations.
Specifically, the bill would benefit truckers and motorists by reducing the fee for issuance of original, duplicate or transfer license plates, or transfer or duplicate registration certificates from $5 to $2.50. The service charge that is applied when using an automated vending facility or printer dispenser machine to issue a license plate sticker would be trimmed from $3 to $1. Also, motor vehicle registrations or registration renewal license plates and validation stickers for retroflection material would be reduced from $1.50 to 50 cents.
The surcharge on the license tax would be reduced from $4 to $2. The juvenile programs surcharge on the license tax would also be reduced from $5.50 to $1.
The bill’s next stop is the Senate Appropriations Committee. SB156 can be voted on by the full Senate once the regular session begins March 4. If approved, it would move to the House before going to the governor.

10/11/2013:

The Senate Transportation Committee voted on Wednesday, Oct. 9, to get the ball rolling on a bill that would trim about $240 million from the fees and surcharges applied to license plate purchases, replacement or transfers and vehicle registration.
The fee increases were implemented in 2009 to help close a state budget shortfall.
As the state government anticipates more than $800 million in surplus revenues in the next year, Gov. Rick Scott is advocating for $500 million in tax and fee cuts one year before his re-election bid. He hasn’t identified which tax or fee cuts he will pursue.
The bill introduced by Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, targets the four-year-old vehicle fees. The cuts would save most people $12 on vehicle registrations.
Specifically, the bill would benefit truckers and motorists by reducing the fee for issuance of original, duplicate or transfer license plates, or transfer or duplicate registration certificates from $5 to $2.50. The service charge that is applied when using an automated vending facility or printer dispenser machine to issue a license plate sticker would be trimmed from $3 to $1. Also, motor vehicle registrations or registration renewal license plates and validation stickers for retroflection material would be reduced from $1.50 to 50 cents.
The surcharge on the license tax would be reduced from $4 to $2. The juvenile programs surcharge on the license tax would also be reduced from $5.50 to $1.
SB156 can be voted on by the full Senate once the 2014 regular session begins in March.

9/24/2013:

A bill filed for consideration during the 2014 regular session would roll back driver’s license and vehicle registration fees to 2009 levels.
Registration fees were increased four years ago to help plug budget holes during the economic recession. SB156 would return some of the money to many taxpayers. Specifically, it would reduce registration fees by about $12 a vehicle per year.

07/28/2014 - Toll Road Agencies

7/28/2014 (SB230):

Gov. Rick Scott recently signed a bill into law combining the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority with existing authorities in Lake, Seminole and Osceola counties.
Osceola County is set to join the group in 2018. However, the new law allows the county to keep its toll revenue.
Previously SB230, the new law also covers ethics and disclosure rules for CFX board members. They are forbidden from having any business with agencies that might do business with the new authority.
In addition, members cannot lobby the authority for two years after leaving their position.
The CFX board is made up of nine members. The governor appointed three members. The heads of the counties appointed four more and the mayors of Orange County and the city of Orlando selected the final two members.

5/21/2014:

Gov. Rick Scott is expected to sign a bill into law that would merge multiple toll road agencies into one regional authority.
The Senate voted unanimously to sign off on House changes to a bill that would merge the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority with existing authorities in Lake, Seminole and Osceola counties. House lawmakers also gave unanimous consent on the bill to create a new Central Florida Expressway Authority.
Osceola County would join the group in 2018. However, a provision in SB230 would allow the county to keep its toll revenue.
Another provision in the bill covers ethics and disclosure rules for CFX board members. They would be forbidden from having any business with agencies that might do business with the new authority.
In addition, members couldn’t lobby the authority for two years after leaving their position.
The CFX board would be made up of nine members. The governor would get to appoint three members. The heads of the counties will appoint four more and the mayors of Orange County and the city of Orlando will select the final two members.

State Watches

08/21/2014 - Transportation Funding

8/21/2014:

Gov. Rick Scott has announced his support for speeding up work on six major highway projects around the state.
The governor said the state will accelerate the work schedule of nearly $807 million in projects covering all corners of the state. The projects will begin next year.
“These projects will enhance our infrastructure to support commerce, decrease commute times and make our roads safer for families,” Scott said in a news release.
Scott advocates spending $255 million to add lanes on Interstate 95 in Volusia County in east central Florida. He said the improvements would increase safety and efficiency for merging, exiting and through-traffic in Daytona Beach.
The project will be moved from 2020 to 2015.
In Hernando County, located north of Tampa, $89.5 million is designated to add lanes and reconstruct a portion of I-75. The project is slated to begin next year.
Another $179.5 million is set to be used to pay to add lanes on I-295 in Jacksonville. The reconstruction is planned from Butler Boulevard to state Route 9B.
The project’s start date was bumped up two years to 2015.
A separate project slated to begin next year would add lanes along state Route 821 in Miami-Dade County. About $155 million will be used to add express lanes and make interchange improvements.
In Panama City, $95 million will be used to add lanes on state Route 30. In the Sarasota area, another $32.7 million will be used to add lanes on U.S. 41 from Enterprise Drive to the Sarasota County line.
Both projects are slated to begin in 2015.
State transportation officials credit the governor’s “It’s Your Money Tax Cut Budget” signed in June for allowing them to secure more than $10 billion for road work.

2013

State Issues

06/17/2013 - Left Lane Use & Truck Rules

6/17/2013 (HB7125):

Gov. Rick Scott signed a 226-page transportation bill into law that includes a provision to combat aggressive driving on the state’s multilane highways by reducing the number of drivers in the far left-hand lane. It takes effect July 1.
Defining road rage, HB7125 gives law enforcement more authority to ticket drivers who block traffic in the left lane by traveling slower than 10 mph below the posted speed. A failure to stay to the right would be included as one of the offenses that make up “aggressive careless driving.”
Travelers are prohibited from driving too slow in the left lane of a multilane highway if they “reasonably should know” that they are being overtaken by another vehicle. Violators would face $60 fines.
Also included in the lengthy transportation bill are provisions to bring some of the state’s truck rules in line with federal truck rules.
The provisions comply with federal rules on learning permits for commercial driver’s licenses and outlaw texting and the use of hand-held cellphones by truckers while driving.
The use of automated cameras to ticket drivers for running red lights is included in the new law. The rule change authorizes cities, not judges, to hear challenges from drivers who dispute their camera tickets.
Fines for red-light running violations captured on camera are also increased. The average ticket now runs about $158 but the new rule could result in $408 fines.
The new law also changes the rule on turning right on red. No longer could drivers be ticketed when the vehicle comes to a complete stop – even after crossing the stop line – before making legal rights turns on red.

5/30/2013 (HB7125):

The Senate voted unanimously to advance a lengthy transportation bill that includes a provision to combat aggressive driving on the state’s multilane highways by reducing the number of drivers in the far left-hand lane. House lawmakers then signed off on changes to clear the way for the bill to move to Gov. Rick Scott’s desk.
Defining road rage, HB7125 would give law enforcement more authority to ticket drivers who block traffic in the left lane by traveling slower than 10 mph below the posted speed. A failure to stay to the right would be included as one of the offenses that make up “aggressive careless driving.”
Travelers would be prohibited from driving too slow in the left lane of a multilane highway if they “reasonably should know” that they are being overtaken by another vehicle. In the past, the effort allowed law enforcement to issue citations to drivers who used the left lane for anything other than passing.
Violators would face $60 fines.
Also included in the 226-page transportation bill are provisions to bring some of the state’s truck rules in line with federal truck rules.
The provisions would comply with federal rules on learning permits for commercial driver’s licenses and outlaw texting and the use of hand-held cellphones by truckers while driving.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

3/8/2013 (S408):

A bill was withdrawn from consideration that sought to prohibit travelers from driving in the left lane of a multilane highway when they are about to be overtaken by another vehicle, even if they are driving the speed limit.
S408 included failure to stay to the right as one of the offenses that make up “aggressive careless driving.”

2/4/2013 (S408):

A bill in multiple Senate committees would prohibit travelers from driving in the left lane of a multilane highway when they are about to be overtaken by another vehicle, even if they are driving the speed limit.
S408 includes failure to stay to the right as one of the offenses that make up “aggressive careless driving.”
For bill status, call 850-488-4371.

06/13/2013 - Text Messaging

6/13/2013 (SB52):

A new law makes texting while driving a secondary offense, meaning drivers could only be cited if they were pulled over for another reason, such as speeding.
SB52 includes $30 fines for violators.

5/21/2013:

Gov. Rick Scott is expected to sign into law a bill to make texting while driving a secondary offense, meaning drivers could only be cited if they were pulled over for another reason, such as speeding.
SB52 would include $30 fines for violators.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

State Watches

09/24/2013 - 2014 Prefiles

9/24/2013:

Six months out from the start of the regular session and Florida lawmakers already are busy filing bills for consideration once lawmakers get back to work.
Rep. Mike Hill, R-Pensacola, is among the lawmakers to get an early start to the 2014 session. His first bill since winning a special election this summer would roll back driver’s license and vehicle registration fees to 2009 levels.
Registration fees were increased four years ago to help plug budget holes during the economic recession. HB61 would return some of the money to many taxpayers. Specifically, it would reduce registration fees by about $12 a vehicle per year.
Supporters say that because drivers were tapped to help bail the state out of a funding crunch it’s time to offer them a break. It’s estimated that trimming fees would save vehicle owners about $230 million.
Trimming license and vehicle fees was also mentioned as a possibility from Gov. Rick Scott. The governor is working on a $500 million plan to reduce taxes and fees from next year’s state budget.
Scott went around the state in the past week touting his administration’s “It’s Your Money” tax-cut tour. He said the economic turnaround has given the state the ability to give some of the projected surplus back.

9/13/2013:

If a Florida state lawmaker gets his way, daylight-saving time would become permanent in the state. Another lawmaker has multiple bills that are intended to improve safety on roadways.
Sen. Darren Soto, D-Orlando, has prefiled the “Sunshine Protection Act” for consideration during the 2014 regular session that would make the time change permanent in July 2014.
Another lawmaker wants to cut down on distracted driving on Florida’s roadways.
Rep. Irv Slosberg, D-Boca Raton, filed a bill for consideration next year that would prohibit the state’s youngest drivers from talking on the phone while driving. Text messaging while behind the wheel would also be off limits for affected drivers.
The push follows approval of a texting while driving ban in the state that takes effect in October. The new rule makes the distracting activity a secondary offense, meaning drivers of all ages could only be cited if they were pulled over for another reason, such as speeding.
Slosberg’s bill is focused on drivers under the age of 18.
One more bill from Slosberg would provide emergency responders with access to critical medical information in the moments following vehicle wrecks.
Counties would be authorized to set up a yellow dot decal program to help ensure proper medical treatment in situations where wreck victims may not be able to speak or are otherwise unresponsive.
The Florida program would provide emergency responders with critical health information for drivers who sign up for the program.
Program materials would include a yellow decal for the side window, a health information card, a yellow envelope, and program instructions.
Supporters say that the first moments following a serious wreck are crucial, especially when someone has unique medical needs.
The bills can be considered during the session that begins in March 2014.

11/13/2013 - Speed Limits

11/13/2013:

Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, and Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, filed a bill on Tuesday, Nov. 12, that could increase the posted speed limit on highways for all vehicles to as much as 75 mph.
Florida law authorizes cars and trucks to travel 70 mph on interstates. Drivers can travel 65 mph on highways with a divided median and 60 mph on other roadways.
The bill offered for consideration in the 2014 regular session would increase allowable speeds on the types of highway by 5 mph to 75, 70 and 65 mph, respectively.
The Florida Department of Transportation would have the final say on any speed changes. The bill – SB392 – would require the agency to decide where it would be “safe and advisable” to increase the speed limit.
The bill awaits assignment to a Senate committee.

10/09/2013 - Registration Fees

10/9/2013:

The Senate Transportation Committee voted on Wednesday, Oct. 9, to get the ball rolling on a bill that would trim about $240 million from the fees and surcharges applied to license plate purchases, replacement or transfers and vehicle registration.
The fee increases were implemented in 2009 to help close a state budget shortfall.
As the state government anticipates more than $800 million in surplus revenues in the next year, Gov. Rick Scott is advocating for $500 million in tax and fee cuts one year before his re-election bid. He hasn’t identified which tax or fee cuts he will pursue.
The bill introduced by Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, targets the four-year-old vehicle fees. The cuts would save most people $12 on vehicle registrations.
“I’m confident that 2014 will be the year we can finally make this tax relief a reality,” Negron said in a news release.
Specifically, the bill would benefit truckers and motorists by reducing the fee for issuance of original, duplicate or transfer license plates, or transfer or duplicate registration certificates from $5 to $2.50. The service charge that is applied when using an automated vending facility or printer dispenser machine to issue a license plate sticker would be trimmed from $3 to $1. Also, motor vehicle registrations or registration renewal license plates and validation stickers for retroflection material would be reduced from $1.50 to 50 cents.
The surcharge on the license tax would be reduced from $4 to $2. The juvenile programs surcharge on the license tax would also be reduced from $5.50 to $1.
SB156 can be voted on by the full Senate once the 2014 regular session begins in March.

2012

State Issues

09/09/2013 - Text Messaging

3/22/2012 (HB299):

A bill has died that sought to prohibit anyone behind the wheel from texting while driving in the state.
HB299 would have authorized $30 fines for violations. Repeat offenses within five years would have resulted in $60 fines and three points added to offender’s licenses. Six points would have been added if a crash results from use.
Violations would have been a secondary offense. The distinction prevents police from pulling over drivers who are solely suspected of texting while driving.
An identical Senate bill – S416 – met the same fate.

3/22/2012 (S416):

A bill has died that would have prohibited anyone behind the wheel from texting while driving in the state.
S416 called for authorizing $30 fines for violations. Repeat offenses within five years would have resulted in $60 fines and three points added to offender’s licenses. Six points would have been added if a crash results from use.
Violations would have been a secondary offense. The distinction prevents police from pulling over drivers who are solely suspected of texting while driving.

12/2/2011 (HB299):

Rep. Ray Pilon, R-Sarasota, filed a bill for consideration during the upcoming session that would prohibit anyone behind the wheel from texting while driving in the state.
HB299 would authorize $30 fines for violations. Repeat offenses within five years would result in $60 fines and three points added to offender’s licenses. Six points would be added if a crash results from use.
Violations would be a secondary offense. The distinction prevents police from pulling over drivers who are solely suspected of texting while driving.
The bill is awaiting consideration.
An identical Senate bill – S416 – is in committee.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

12/13/2011 (S416):

The Senate Transportation Committee unanimously voted to advance a bill that would prohibit anyone behind the wheel from texting while driving in the state.
Sponsored by Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, S416 would authorize $30 fines for violations. Repeat offenses within five years would result in $60 fines and three points added to offender’s licenses. Six points would be added if a crash results from use.
Violations would be a secondary offense. The distinction prevents police from pulling over drivers who are solely suspected of texting while driving.
The bill must advance through three committees before it can be considered on the Senate floor. If approved there, the process would need to be repeated in the House before advancing to the governor’s desk.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

03/22/2012 - Ticket Cameras

3/22/2012 (HB4177):

A bill has died that sought to repeal the authority of communities to pursue automated enforcement cameras. Since July 2010, localities have been authorized to post the cameras at intersections.
Violators face $158 fines. Revenue from fines is divvied up between the state and the cities and counties where the roads are located. Whatever local jurisdictions pay to companies to supply, maintain and operate the equipment come out of their $75 cut.
HB4177 would have forced local governments in more than 50 cities and counties throughout Florida to take down cameras at intersections to catch red-light runners.

3/22/2012 (HB33):

HB33 has died. It called for lengthening yellow light durations based on traffic speed. The standard would have been three seconds at 25 mph, increasing by about one-half second for each additional 5 mph.
In addition, intersections with a posted speed more than 55 mph, on approach, would have been required to alert drivers.
The standards sought would have been required for all traffic lights by Dec. 31, 2012.

1/5/2012 (HB4177):

Rep. Scott Plakon, R-Longwood, has filed a bill to repeal the authority of communities to pursue automated enforcement cameras. Since July 2010, localities have been authorized to post the cameras at intersections.
Violators face $158 fines. Revenue from fines is divvied up between the state and the cities and counties where the roads are located. Whatever local jurisdictions pay to companies to supply, maintain and operate the equipment come out of their $75 cut.
HB4177 would force local governments in more than 50 cities and counties throughout Florida to take down cameras at intersections to catch red-light runners.
The bill is awaiting consideration.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

12/21/2011 (HB33):

The House Transportation and Highway Safety Subcommittee voted 12-1 to advance a bill that stops short of an outright ban on the cameras, but it could reduce the number of tickets issued.
Sponsored by Rep. Larry Ahern, R-St. Petersburg, HB33 calls for lengthening yellow light durations based on traffic speed. The standard would be three seconds at 25 mph, increasing by about one-half second for each additional 5 mph.
In addition, intersections with a posted speed more than 55 mph, on approach, would be required to alert drivers.
The standards sought would be required for all traffic lights by Dec. 31, 2012. The cost for state and local governments to meet the requirement is estimated at about $1.1 million.
The bill’s next stop is the House Appropriations Committee.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

9/19/2011 (HB33):

Rep. Larry Ahern, R-St. Petersburg, has filed a bill for consideration during the upcoming session that addresses the use of red-light cameras in the state.
HB33 stops short of an outright ban on the cameras, but it could reduce the number of tickets issued.
The bill calls for lengthening yellow light durations based on traffic speed. In addition, intersections with a posted speed more than 55 mph, on approach, would be required to alert drivers.
The bill can be considered during the session that begins Jan. 10.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

03/22/2012 - Tolls

3/22/2012 (S1866):

A bill has died that included a provision to enhance the Florida Department of Transportation’s authority to charge tolls on certain limited access facilities on state highways.
S1866 would also have added citrus harvesting equipment and citrus fruit loaders to the list of vehicles authorized for highway travel between farms while still being entitled to a refund of the state fuel tax.

12/5/2011:

Sen. Greg Evers, R-Baker, has filed a bill for consideration during the upcoming session that would provide parents with the option to get an electronic notification when certain events are added to their teenager’s driving record.
S854 would apply to violations that include tickets, traffic violation convictions, accidents and driver’s license suspensions.
The bill can be considered during the session that begins Jan. 10.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

03/22/2012 - Young Drivers

3/22/2012 (HB571):

A bill has died that sought to give parents a heads-up when their teen driver does something wrong and try to curb a driver distraction.
HB571 would have provided parents with the option to get an electronic notification when certain events are added to their teenager’s driving record.
The rule would have applied to violations that include tickets, traffic violation convictions, accidents and driver’s license suspensions.
A similar Senate bill – S854 – met the same fate.

3/22/2012 (SB54):

A bill has died that sought to provide parents with the option to get an electronic notification when certain events are added to their teenager’s driving record.
S854 would have applied to violations that include tickets, traffic violation convictions, accidents and driver’s license suspensions.

12/5/2011 (HB571):

Rep. Richard Steinberg, D-Miami Beach, has filed a bill for consideration during the upcoming session that would give parents a heads-up when their teen driver does something wrong and try to curb a driver distraction.
HB571 would provide parents with the option to get an electronic notification when certain events are added to their teenager’s driving record.
The rule would apply to violations that include tickets, traffic violation convictions, accidents and driver’s license suspensions.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.
A similar Senate bill – S854 – has also been offered.

12/5/2011 (S854):

Sen. Greg Evers, R-Baker, has filed a bill for consideration during the upcoming session that would provide parents with the option to get an electronic notification when certain events are added to their teenager’s driving record.
S854 would apply to violations that include tickets, traffic violation convictions, accidents and driver’s license suspensions.
The bill can be considered during the session that begins Jan. 10.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

03/22/2012 - Left-Lane Use

3/22/2012 (S244):

A bill has died in committee that called for combating aggressive driving on the state’s multilane highways by reducing the number of drivers in the far left-hand lane.
Dubbed the “Highway Safety Act,” it would have given law enforcement more authority to ticket drivers who block traffic, even if they are driving the speed limit in the left lane. A failure to stay to the right would have been included as one of the offenses that make up “aggressive careless driving.”
Travelers would have been prohibited from driving in the left lane of a multilane highway when they are about to be overtaken by another vehicle.
S244 also targeted those drivers who get upset by slower moving vehicles. Tailgating and other risky maneuvers in response to slower drivers could have resulted in $100 fines. Repeat offenders would have faced as much as a $500 fine and a mandatory court appearance for “aggressive careless driving.” Offenders also would have received points for each offense committed.

12/21/2011:

The Senate Transportation Committee advanced one bill that is intended to keep most drivers out of the fast lane on Florida highways and reduce road rage in the process. The bill’s next stop is a Senate budget subcommittee.
Sponsored by Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, the bill – S244 – would combat aggressive driving on the state’s multilane highways by reducing the number of drivers in the far left-hand lane. The issue has turned into an annual pursuit for supporters at the Florida statehouse.
Dubbed the “Highway Safety Act,” it would give law enforcement more authority to ticket drivers who block traffic, even if they are driving the speed limit in the left lane. A failure to stay to the right would be included as one of the offenses that make up “aggressive careless driving.”
Travelers would be prohibited from driving in the left lane of a multilane highway when they are about to be overtaken by another vehicle.
The bill also targets those drivers who get upset by slower moving vehicles. Tailgating and other risky maneuvers in response to slower drivers could result in $100 fines. Repeat offenders would face as much as a $500 fine and a mandatory court appearance for “aggressive careless driving.” Offenders also would receive points for each offense committed.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

9/19/2011:

Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, has prefiled a bill for the 2012 regular session that is intended to combat aggressive driving on the state’s multilane highways by reducing the number of drivers in the far left-hand lane.
Dubbed the “Highway Safety Act,” S244 would give law enforcement more authority to ticket drivers who block traffic, even if they are driving the speed limit in the left lane. A failure to stay to the right would be included as one of the offenses that make up “aggressive careless driving.”
Travelers would be prohibited from driving in the left lane of a multilane highway when they are about to be overtaken by another vehicle. Originally, the legislation allowed law enforcement to issue citations to drivers who used the left lane for anything other than passing.
The bill also targets those drivers who get upset by slower moving vehicles. Tailgating and other risky maneuvers in response to slower drivers could result in $100 fines. Repeat offenders would face as much as a $500 fine and a mandatory court appearance for “aggressive careless driving.” Offenders also would receive points for each offense committed.
The bill can be considered during the session that begins Jan. 10.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

5/16/2011:

A bill has died in the House that sought to give law enforcement more authority to ticket drivers who block traffic, even if they are driving the speed limit in the left lane. A failure to stay to the right would have been included as one of the offenses that make up “aggressive careless driving.”
Previously approved by the Senate, S244 would have given law enforcement more authority to ticket drivers who block traffic, even if they are driving the speed limit in the left lane. A failure to stay to the right would have been included as one of the offenses that make up “aggressive careless driving.”
Travelers would have been prohibited from driving in the left lane of a multilane highway if they “reasonably should know” that they are being overtaken by another vehicle. In the past, the effort allowed law enforcement to issue citations to drivers who used the left lane for anything other than passing.
The bill also targeted those drivers who get upset by slower moving vehicles. Tailgating and other risky maneuvers in response to slower drivers could have resulted in $100 fines. Repeat offenders would have faced as much as a $500 fine and a mandatory court appearance for “aggressive careless driving.” Offenders also would have received points for each offense committed.

4/13/2011:

The Senate voted 37-1 to advance a bill to the House that would give law enforcement more authority to ticket drivers who block traffic, even if they are driving the speed limit in the left lane. A failure to stay to the right would be included as one of the offenses that make up “aggressive careless driving.”
Dubbed the “Highway Safety Act,” S244 would give law enforcement more authority to ticket drivers who block traffic, even if they are driving the speed limit in the left lane. A failure to stay to the right would be included as one of the offenses that make up “aggressive careless driving.”
Travelers would be prohibited from driving in the left lane of a multilane highway if they “reasonably should know” that they are being overtaken by another vehicle. In the past, the effort allowed law enforcement to issue citations to drivers who used the left lane for anything other than passing.
The bill also targets those drivers who get upset by slower moving vehicles. Tailgating and other risky maneuvers in response to slower drivers could result in $100 fines. Repeat offenders would face as much as a $500 fine and a mandatory court appearance for “aggressive careless driving.” Offenders also would receive points for each offense committed.
The bill is awaiting assignment to committee in the House.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

3/29/2011:

A bill awaiting consideration in the Senate would give law enforcement more authority to ticket drivers who block traffic, even if they are driving the speed limit in the left lane. A failure to stay to the right would be included as one of the offenses that make up “aggressive careless driving.”
Dubbed the “Highway Safety Act,” S244 would prohibit travelers from driving in the left lane of a multilane highway if they “reasonably should know” that they are being overtaken by another vehicle. Originally, the effort allowed law enforcement to issue citations to drivers who used the left lane for anything other than passing.
The bill also targets those drivers who get upset by slower moving vehicles. Tailgating and other risky maneuvers in response to slower drivers could result in $100 fines. Repeat offenders would face as much as a $500 fine and a mandatory court appearance for “aggressive careless driving.” Offenders also would receive points for each offense committed.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.
A similar House bill – HB177 – is also awaiting consideration.

12/28/2010:

Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, has prefiled a bill that would give law enforcement more authority to ticket drivers who block traffic, even if they are driving the speed limit in the left lane. A failure to stay to the right would be included as one of the offenses that make up “aggressive careless driving.”
Dubbed the “Highway Safety Act,” S244 would prohibit travelers from driving in the left lane of a multilane highway when they are about to be overtaken by another vehicle. Originally, the effort allowed law enforcement to issue citations to drivers who used the left lane for anything other than passing.
The bill also changes, from two to three, the number of driving offenses that must be committed at one time to constitute “aggressive careless driving.”
Violators would face a $100 fine in addition to any other fines. Repeat offenders would face as much as a $500 fine and a mandatory court appearance. Drivers also would receive points for each offense committed.
The bill is awaiting assignment to committee for the session that begins in March.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

4/28/2010:

With only a couple of days remaining in the session S244 appears dead. However, a similar bill – S448 – remains active.

12/10/2009:

Sen. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami Gardens, has prefiled a bill for consideration during the 2010 regular session that would prohibit cell phone use on hand-held devices.
S244 would also outlaw text messaging. Violations would be a secondary offense.
The bill has been referred to multiple committees where it can be considered during the session that begins in March.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

2011

State Issues

05/16/2011 - 'Move Over' Law

5/16/2011 (HB1135):

A bill has died in committee that sought to modify the state’s “Move Over” law.
HB1135 would have boosted the fine for failure to make way for emergency vehicles or wreckers from $30 to $200.

5/16/2011 (S1554):

A bill has died that sought to modify the state’s “Move Over” law.
S1554 would have boosted the fine for failure to make way for emergency vehicles or wreckers from $30 to $100.

4/21/2011 (HB1135):

A bill awaiting consideration in two House committees would modify the state’s “Move Over” law.
HB1135 would boost the fine for failure to make way for emergency vehicles or wreckers from $30 to $200.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

4/21/2011 (S1554):

Two Senate committees have voted in favor of a bill to modify the state’s “Move Over” law.
S1554 would boost the fine for failure to make way for emergency vehicles or wreckers from $30 to $100.
The bill awaits further consideration in the Senate Military Affairs, Space and Domestic Security Committee.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

05/16/2011 - Left-Lane Use

5/16/2011 (HB177):

A bill has died in committee that sought to give law enforcement more authority to ticket drivers who block traffic, even if they are driving the speed limit in the left lane. A failure to stay to the right would have been included as one of the offenses that make up “aggressive careless driving.”
Dubbed the “Highway Safety Act,” HB177 would have prohibited travelers from driving in the left lane of a multilane highway if they “reasonably should know” that they are being overtaken by another vehicle. Originally, the effort allowed law enforcement to issue citations to drivers who used the left lane for anything other than passing.
The bill also targeted those drivers who get upset by slower moving vehicles. Tailgating and other risky maneuvers in response to slower drivers could have resulted in $100 fines. Repeat offenders would have faced as much as a $500 fine and a mandatory court appearance for “aggressive careless driving.” Offenders also would have received points for each offense committed.
A similar Senate bill – S244 – died in the House.

3/29/2011 (HB177):

A bill awaiting consideration in the House would give law enforcement more authority to ticket drivers who block traffic, even if they are driving the speed limit in the left lane. A failure to stay to the right would be included as one of the offenses that make up “aggressive careless driving.”
Dubbed the “Highway Safety Act,” HB177 would prohibit travelers from driving in the left lane of a multilane highway if they “reasonably should know” that they are being overtaken by another vehicle. Originally, the effort allowed law enforcement to issue citations to drivers who used the left lane for anything other than passing.
The bill also targets those drivers who get upset by slower moving vehicles. Tailgating and other risky maneuvers in response to slower drivers could result in $100 fines. Repeat offenders would face as much as a $500 fine and a mandatory court appearance for “aggressive careless driving.” Offenders also would receive points for each offense committed.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.
A similar Senate bill – S244 – is also awaiting consideration.

3/22/2012 (S244):

A bill has died in committee that called for combating aggressive driving on the state’s multilane highways by reducing the number of drivers in the far left-hand lane.
Dubbed the “Highway Safety Act,” it would have given law enforcement more authority to ticket drivers who block traffic, even if they are driving the speed limit in the left lane. A failure to stay to the right would have been included as one of the offenses that make up “aggressive careless driving.”
Travelers would have been prohibited from driving in the left lane of a multilane highway when they are about to be overtaken by another vehicle.
S244 also targeted those drivers who get upset by slower moving vehicles. Tailgating and other risky maneuvers in response to slower drivers could have resulted in $100 fines. Repeat offenders would have faced as much as a $500 fine and a mandatory court appearance for “aggressive careless driving.” Offenders also would have received points for each offense committed.

12/21/2011 (S244):

The Senate Transportation Committee advanced one bill that is intended to keep most drivers out of the fast lane on Florida highways and reduce road rage in the process. The bill’s next stop is a Senate budget subcommittee.
Sponsored by Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, the bill – S244 – would combat aggressive driving on the state’s multilane highways by reducing the number of drivers in the far left-hand lane. The issue has turned into an annual pursuit for supporters at the Florida statehouse.
Dubbed the “Highway Safety Act,” it would give law enforcement more authority to ticket drivers who block traffic, even if they are driving the speed limit in the left lane. A failure to stay to the right would be included as one of the offenses that make up “aggressive careless driving.”
Travelers would be prohibited from driving in the left lane of a multilane highway when they are about to be overtaken by another vehicle.
The bill also targets those drivers who get upset by slower moving vehicles. Tailgating and other risky maneuvers in response to slower drivers could result in $100 fines. Repeat offenders would face as much as a $500 fine and a mandatory court appearance for “aggressive careless driving.” Offenders also would receive points for each offense committed.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

9/19/2011 (S244):

Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, has prefiled a bill for the 2012 regular session that is intended to combat aggressive driving on the state’s multilane highways by reducing the number of drivers in the far left-hand lane.
Dubbed the “Highway Safety Act,” S244 would give law enforcement more authority to ticket drivers who block traffic, even if they are driving the speed limit in the left lane. A failure to stay to the right would be included as one of the offenses that make up “aggressive careless driving.”
Travelers would be prohibited from driving in the left lane of a multilane highway when they are about to be overtaken by another vehicle. Originally, the legislation allowed law enforcement to issue citations to drivers who used the left lane for anything other than passing.
The bill also targets those drivers who get upset by slower moving vehicles. Tailgating and other risky maneuvers in response to slower drivers could result in $100 fines. Repeat offenders would face as much as a $500 fine and a mandatory court appearance for “aggressive careless driving.” Offenders also would receive points for each offense committed.
The bill can be considered during the session that begins Jan. 10.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

5/16/2011 (S244):

A bill has died in the House that sought to give law enforcement more authority to ticket drivers who block traffic, even if they are driving the speed limit in the left lane. A failure to stay to the right would have been included as one of the offenses that make up “aggressive careless driving.”
Previously approved by the Senate, S244 would have given law enforcement more authority to ticket drivers who block traffic, even if they are driving the speed limit in the left lane. A failure to stay to the right would have been included as one of the offenses that make up “aggressive careless driving.”
Travelers would have been prohibited from driving in the left lane of a multilane highway if they “reasonably should know” that they are being overtaken by another vehicle. In the past, the effort allowed law enforcement to issue citations to drivers who used the left lane for anything other than passing.
The bill also targeted those drivers who get upset by slower moving vehicles. Tailgating and other risky maneuvers in response to slower drivers could have resulted in $100 fines. Repeat offenders would have faced as much as a $500 fine and a mandatory court appearance for “aggressive careless driving.” Offenders also would have received points for each offense committed.

4/13/2011 (S244):

The Senate voted 37-1 to advance a bill to the House that would give law enforcement more authority to ticket drivers who block traffic, even if they are driving the speed limit in the left lane. A failure to stay to the right would be included as one of the offenses that make up “aggressive careless driving.”
Dubbed the “Highway Safety Act,” S244 would give law enforcement more authority to ticket drivers who block traffic, even if they are driving the speed limit in the left lane. A failure to stay to the right would be included as one of the offenses that make up “aggressive careless driving.”
Travelers would be prohibited from driving in the left lane of a multilane highway if they “reasonably should know” that they are being overtaken by another vehicle. In the past, the effort allowed law enforcement to issue citations to drivers who used the left lane for anything other than passing.
The bill also targets those drivers who get upset by slower moving vehicles. Tailgating and other risky maneuvers in response to slower drivers could result in $100 fines. Repeat offenders would face as much as a $500 fine and a mandatory court appearance for “aggressive careless driving.” Offenders also would receive points for each offense committed.
The bill is awaiting assignment to committee in the House.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

3/29/2011 (S244):

A bill awaiting consideration in the Senate would give law enforcement more authority to ticket drivers who block traffic, even if they are driving the speed limit in the left lane. A failure to stay to the right would be included as one of the offenses that make up “aggressive careless driving.”
Dubbed the “Highway Safety Act,” S244 would prohibit travelers from driving in the left lane of a multilane highway if they “reasonably should know” that they are being overtaken by another vehicle. Originally, the effort allowed law enforcement to issue citations to drivers who used the left lane for anything other than passing.
The bill also targets those drivers who get upset by slower moving vehicles. Tailgating and other risky maneuvers in response to slower drivers could result in $100 fines. Repeat offenders would face as much as a $500 fine and a mandatory court appearance for “aggressive careless driving.” Offenders also would receive points for each offense committed.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.
A similar House bill – HB177 – is also awaiting consideration.

12/28/2010 (S244):

Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, has prefiled a bill that would give law enforcement more authority to ticket drivers who block traffic, even if they are driving the speed limit in the left lane. A failure to stay to the right would be included as one of the offenses that make up “aggressive careless driving.”
Dubbed the “Highway Safety Act,” S244 would prohibit travelers from driving in the left lane of a multilane highway when they are about to be overtaken by another vehicle. Originally, the effort allowed law enforcement to issue citations to drivers who used the left lane for anything other than passing.
The bill also changes, from two to three, the number of driving offenses that must be committed at one time to constitute “aggressive careless driving.”
Violators would face a $100 fine in addition to any other fines. Repeat offenders would face as much as a $500 fine and a mandatory court appearance. Drivers also would receive points for each offense committed.
The bill is awaiting assignment to committee for the session that begins in March.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

4/28/2010 (S244):

With only a couple of days remaining in the session S244 appears dead. However, a similar bill – S448 – remains active.

12/10/2009 (S244):

Sen. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami Gardens, has prefiled a bill for consideration during the 2010 regular session that would prohibit cell phone use on hand-held devices.
S244 would also outlaw text messaging. Violations would be a secondary offense.
The bill has been referred to multiple committees where it can be considered during the session that begins in March.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

05/16/2011 - Ticket Cameras

5/16/2011 (HB4087):
A bill has died in the Senate that sought to force local governments in more than 50 cities and counties throughout Florida to yank down cameras at intersections to catch red-light runners. Since July 2010, localities have been authorized to post the cameras at intersections.
HB4087, which previously passed the House, called for violators to face $158 fines. Revenue from fines is divvied up between the state and the cities and counties where the roads are located. Whatever local jurisdictions pay to companies to supply, maintain and operate the equipment come out of their $75 cut.
The bill would have forbidden the use of cameras to catch red-light runners.
A similar Senate bill – S672 – met the same fate.

5/16/2011 (S672):
A bill has died that sought to force local governments in more than 50 cities and counties throughout Florida to yank down cameras at intersections to catch red-light runners. Since July 2010, localities have been authorized to post the cameras at intersections.
Violators face $158 fines. Revenue from fines is divvied up between the state and the cities and counties where the roads are located. Whatever local jurisdictions pay to companies to supply, maintain and operate the equipment come out of their $75 cut.
Sponsored by Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah, S672 would have forbidden use of cameras to catch red-light runners.

4/12/2011 (HB4087):

A bill in the House Appropriations Committee would force local governments in more than 50 cities and counties throughout Florida to yank down cameras at intersections to catch red-light runners. Since July 2010, localities have been authorized to post the cameras at intersections.
Violators face $158 fines. Revenue from fines is divvied up between the state and the cities and counties where the roads are located. Whatever local jurisdictions pay to companies to supply, maintain and operate the equipment come out of their $75 cut.
HB4087 would forbid the use of cameras to catch red-light runners.
A similar Senate bill – S672 – is in the Senate Community Affairs Committee.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

4/12/2011 (S672):

The Senate Transportation Committee voted 4-2 to advance a bill that would force local governments in more than 50 cities and counties throughout Florida to yank down cameras at intersections to catch red-light runners. Since July 2010, localities have been authorized to post the cameras at intersections.
Violators face $158 fines. Revenue from fines is divvied up between the state and the cities and counties where the roads are located. Whatever local jurisdictions pay to companies to supply, maintain and operate the equipment come out of their $75 cut.
Sponsored by Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah, S672 would forbid use of cameras to catch red-light runners.
The bill is awaiting further consideration in the Senate Community Affairs Committee before it can come up for a Senate floor vote.
A similar House bill – HB4087 – is in the House Appropriations Committee.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

3/7/2011 (HB4087):

A bill in the House Economic Affairs and House Appropriations committees would repeal existing state law that allows use of cameras to enforce red light violations.
HB4087 is sponsored by Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-New Port Richey.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.
A similar bill – S672 – is in committee.

3/7/2011 (S672):

A bill in multiple Senate committees would repeal existing state law that allows use of cameras to enforce red light violations.
S672 is sponsored by Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.
A similar bill – HB4087 – is in committee.

04/12/2011 - Red-Light Cameras

5/16/2011 (HB149):

A bill has died in the Senate that was intended to curb use of red-light cameras. The House previously approved it.
HB149 called for lengthening yellow light durations based on traffic speed.

4/12/2011:

Three House panels have voted to advance a bill that is intended to curb use of red-light cameras.
HB149 calls for lengthening yellow light durations based on traffic speed.
The bill awaits further consideration in the House.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

05/12/2011 - Credentialing

6/1/2011 (HB283):

Gov. Rick Scott signed into law a bill to end a state-mandated credentialing law.
Previously HB283, the new law removes state regulations at Florida’s 14 seaports that mirror federal security rules that are used across the country. The statewide security requirements include duplicative background checks and access cards.
About two years ago the federal Transportation Worker Identification Credential was fully implemented at all Florida seaports. However, many ports in the state continue to issue local port access cards that are good only for the specific port. Truckers must also purchase a TWIC card.
The new law prohibits a port from charging a fee for local access cards that require a fingerprint-based background check, in addition to the federal TWIC. Exceptions will be made for new hires or for lost or misplaced TWIC cards.

5/12/2011:

The House and Senate approved a bill in the final days of the recently completed session to end a state-mandated credentialing law. The bill now moves to Gov. Rick Scott’s desk.
Sponsored by Rep. Dana Young, R-Tampa, HB283 would remove state regulations at Florida’s 14 seaports that mirror federal security rules that are used across the country.
The statewide security requirements include duplicative background checks and access cards.
About two years ago the federal Transportation Worker Identification Credential was fully implemented at all Florida seaports. However, many ports in the state continue to issue local port access cards that are good only for the specific port. Truckers must also purchase a TWIC card.
The bill would prohibit a port from charging a fee for local access cards that require a fingerprint-based background check, in addition to the federal TWIC. Exceptions would be made for new hires or for lost or misplaced TWIC cards.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

01/10/2011 - Household Goods Movers

5/16/2011 (S296):

S296 was substituted by HB901, which has advanced to the governor.

1/10/2011:

Sen. Steve Wise, R-Jacksonville, has prefiled a bill that would require household movers to renew their registration every two years. Currently, renewal must be done each year.
S296 would also authorize a mover to exclude liability for household goods packed by the shipper, under certain circumstances. The shipper must decline – in writing – to allow the mover to open and inspect a box or crate that was packed by the shipper.
Movers could also refuse to transport or ship household goods as long as the mover notifies the shipper and the shipper acknowledges the refusal in writing.
The bill can be considered during the session that begins March 8.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

State Watches

12/05/2011 - 2012 Prefiles

12/5/2011:

Multiple rule changes sought by Florida state lawmakers would give parents a heads-up when their teen driver does something wrong and try to curb a driver distraction.
The first bill would provide parents with the option to get an electronic notification when certain events are added to their teenager’s driving record.
Sponsored by Sen. Greg Evers, R-Baker, the bill would apply to violations that include tickets, traffic violation convictions, accidents and driver’s license suspensions.
The effort is modeled after a similar program in New York.
Evers said the rule would enable parents to gain more information about their teenage driver and be able to address any events that may occur.
“I am sponsoring this legislation because I support a parent’s right to know what is going on with their child’s driving record, especially when their insurance rates go up because of an infraction they knew nothing about,” Evers said in a statement.
The bill – S854 – can be considered during the session that begins Jan. 10, 2012.
Another road safety initiative that is expected to draw attention at the capitol is intended to curb a growing driver distraction.
Multiple bills have been filed that once again try to ban texting while driving and make it a secondary offense, meaning law enforcement would need another reason to pull someone over.
Similar efforts in Tallahassee have struggled in recent years because certain lawmakers have doubted the proposed rule’s effectiveness, and blocked passage.
If approved this time around, first offenses would be a non-moving violation. Subsequent offenses would be classified as moving violations. Accidents that result from the distraction would be a 6-point offense.
As truckers are aware, the federal government already prohibits texting while driving for commercial operators. At the state level, Florida is one of 15 states that have not acted to outlaw combining texting with driving for all vehicles.

9/19/2011:

As fall approaches, state lawmakers in Florida already have an eye on legislative efforts they plan to pursue this winter. Among the issues expected to be considered when lawmakers return to Tallahassee next year is a left lane restriction and new rules on ticket cameras.
One effort is intended to keep most drivers out of the fast lane on Florida highways and reduce road rage in the process.
Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, has prefiled a bill for the 2012 regular session that is intended to combat aggressive driving on the state’s multilane highways by reducing the number of drivers in the far left-hand lane. The issue has turned into an annual pursuit for supporters at the Florida statehouse.
The legislation historically has struggled because of concerns it would punish people who are driving the speed limit for not getting out of the way of speeders.
Bennett recently tweaked the legislation to address some of the concerns.
Dubbed the “Highway Safety Act,” it would give law enforcement more authority to ticket drivers who block traffic, even if they are driving the speed limit in the left lane. A failure to stay to the right would be included as one of the offenses that make up “aggressive careless driving.”
Travelers would be prohibited from driving in the left lane of a multilane highway when they are about to be overtaken by another vehicle. Originally, the legislation allowed law enforcement to issue citations to drivers who used the left lane for anything other than passing.
Opponents say the bill is “code for increasing speed limits” and that it supports the actions of speeding drivers coming up behind slower drivers. Supporters say the measure would avert dangerous situations where frustrated motorists stuck behind a slower-moving vehicle try to pass on the right.
The bill – S244 – also targets those drivers who get upset by slower moving vehicles. Tailgating and other risky maneuvers in response to slower drivers could result in $100 fines. Repeat offenders would face as much as a $500 fine and a mandatory court appearance for “aggressive careless driving.” Offenders also would receive points for each offense committed.
Another bill addresses the use of red-light cameras in the state. Sponsored by Rep. Larry Ahern, R-St. Petersburg, the bill stops short of an outright ban on the cameras, but it could reduce the number of tickets issued.
HB33 calls for lengthening yellow light durations based on traffic speed. In addition, intersections with a posted speed more than 55 mph, on approach, would be required to alert drivers.
Camera opponents say advance warning signs on all approaches to intersections equipped with automated enforcement would virtually solve the red-light running problem – in Florida and elsewhere.
The bills can be considered during the session that begins Jan. 10, 2012.

2010

State Issues

6/15/2010 - Red-Light Cameras

6/15/2010 (HB1235):

A bill has died that sought to ban the use of red-light cameras.
Sponsored by Rep. Robert Schenck, R-Spring Hill, HB1235 didn’t get House floor consideration before the regular session ended.

5/21/2010 (HB325):

Gov. Charlie Crist has signed a bill into law that sets statewide standards for the red-light program and allows cities and counties to set up cameras at intersections. It takes effect July 1.
Until now, Florida law neither permitted nor forbid the use of red-light cameras to fine violators. Governments have been slow to post them because of privacy and other concerns. Despite the concerns, more than 50 cities and counties around the state use the cameras.
Previously HB325, the new law calls for violators to face $158 fines. Revenue from fines would be divvied up between the state and the cities and counties where the roads are located. Whatever local jurisdictions pay to companies to supply, maintain and operate the equipment would come out of their $75 cut.
Another provision in the bill bans using automated enforcement cameras for ticketing drivers making a right turn “in a careful and prudent manner.”

4/28/2010 (HB325):

The Senate voted 30-7 to approve a bill that would allow cities and counties to set up cameras at intersections and set statewide standards for the program. HB325 now moves to Gov. Charlie Crist. House lawmakers have already approved the bill.
Florida law neither permits nor forbids the use of red-light cameras to fine violators, but governments have been slow to post them because of privacy and other concerns. Despite the concerns, more than 50 cities and counties around the state use the cameras.
Sponsored by Rep. Ron Reagan, R-Sarasota, HB325 would require local governments to adopt their own ordinances to put the program in place.
Tickets would be $150. Revenue from fines would be divvied up between the state and the cities and counties where the roads are located. Whatever local jurisdictions pay to companies to supply, maintain and operate the equipment would come out of their $75 cut.
Another provision would ban using automated enforcement cameras for ticketing drivers making a right or left turn.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

4/28/2010 (S294):

With only a couple of days remaining in the session S294 appears dead. However, a similar bill – HB325 – remains active.

4/7/2010 (HB325):

The House Health Care Regulation Policy Committee unanimously approved a bill that would set statewide standards for red-light cameras.
The cameras snap pictures of red-light runners’ vehicle tags. Tickets are mailed to the vehicles’ owners, regardless who was driving at the time. Florida law neither permits nor forbids the use of red-light cameras to fine violators, but governments have been reluctant to post them because of privacy and other concerns.
Sponsored by Rep. Ron Reagan, R-Sarasota, HB325 would require local governments to adopt their own ordinances to put the program in place.
Revenue from the $155 ticket would be split between the cities and counties where the roads are located and the state. Whatever local jurisdictions pay to companies to supply, maintain and operate the equipment would come out of their $75 cut.
The bill has been sent to the House Finance and Tax Council.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

4/7/2010 (HB1235):

A bill on the move in the House would ban the use of red-light cameras
Sponsored by Rep. Robert Schenck, R-Spring Hill, HB1235 has cleared two committees. It now awaits consideration in the House Economic Development and Community Affairs Policy Council.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

4/7/2010 (HB325):

The House Health Care Regulation Policy Committee unanimously approved a bill that would set statewide standards for red-light cameras.
The cameras snap pictures of red-light runners’ vehicle tags. Tickets are mailed to the vehicles’ owners, regardless who was driving at the time. Florida law neither permits nor forbids the use of red-light cameras to fine violators, but governments have been reluctant to post them because of privacy and other concerns.
Sponsored by Rep. Ron Reagan, R-Sarasota, HB325 would require local governments to adopt their own ordinances to put the program in place.
Revenue from the $155 ticket would be split between the cities and counties where the roads are located and the state. Whatever local jurisdictions pay to companies to supply, maintain and operate the equipment would come out of their $75 cut.
The bill has been sent to the House Finance and Tax Council.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

2/25/2010 (HB325):

A bill has advanced from the House Roads, Bridges and Ports Policy Committee that would set statewide standards for red-light cameras.
The cameras snap pictures of red-light runners’ vehicle tags. Tickets are mailed to the vehicles’ owners, regardless who was driving at the time. Florida law neither permits nor forbids the use of red-light cameras to fine violators, but governments have been reluctant to post them because of privacy and other concerns.
Sponsored by Rep. Ron Reagan, R-Sarasota, HB325 would require local governments to adopt their own ordinances to put the program in place failed to advance to the governor’s desk despite receiving overwhelming approval in both chambers.
Revenue from the $155 ticket would be split between the cities and counties where the roads are located and the state. Whatever local jurisdictions pay to companies to supply, maintain and operate the equipment would come out of their $75 cut.
The bill is awaiting consideration in two House committees.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

12/1/2009 (HB325):

Rep. Ron Reagan, R-Bradenton, has prefiled a bill for consideration during the 2010 regular session that would set statewide standards for red-light cameras.
The cameras snap pictures of red-light runners’ vehicle tags. Tickets are mailed to the vehicles’ owners, regardless who was driving at the time. Florida law neither permits nor forbids the use of red-light cameras to fine violators, but governments have been reluctant to post them because of privacy and other concerns.
HB325 would require local governments to adopt their own ordinances to put the program in place failed to advance to the governor’s desk despite receiving overwhelming approval in both chambers.
Revenue from the $150 ticket would be split between the cities and counties where the roads are located and the state.
The bill has been referred to multiple committees where it can be considered during the session that begins in March.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

12/10/2009 (S294):

Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, has prefiled a bill for consideration during the 2010 regular session that would set statewide standards for red-light cameras.
The cameras snap pictures of red-light runners’ vehicle tags. Tickets are mailed to the vehicles’ owners, regardless who was driving at the time. Florida law neither permits nor forbids the use of red-light cameras to fine violators, but governments have been reluctant to post them because of privacy and other concerns.
S294 would require local governments to adopt their own ordinances to put the program in place failed to advance to the governor’s desk despite receiving overwhelming approval in both chambers.
Revenue from the $150 ticket would be split between the cities and counties where the roads are located and the state.
The bill has been referred to multiple committees where it can be considered during the session that begins in March.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.
A similar House bill – HB325 – also has been offered.

6/15/2010 - Text Messaging

6/15/2010 (S522):

A bill has died that was intended to eliminate one of the growing distractions while at the wheel.
Sponsored by Sen. Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach, S522 sought to prohibit texting while driving.

5/7/2010 (S448):

A bill has died that was intended to eliminate one of the growing distractions while at the wheel.
Sponsored by Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, S448 called for prohibiting texting while driving.
The bill didn’t get brought up for consideration in the House before the session ended. It previously passed the Senate.

4/28/2010 (S168):

With only a couple of days remaining in the session S168 appears dead. A similar bill – S448 – however, remains active.

4/28/2010 (S328):

With only a couple of days remaining in the session S328 appears dead. However, a similar bill – S448 – remains active.

4/28/2010 (HB41):

With only a couple of days remaining in the session HB41 appears dead.

4/28/2010 (S324):

With only a couple of days remaining in the session S324 appears dead. However, a similar bill – S448 – remains active.

4/28/2010 (S608):
With only a couple of days remaining in the session S608 appears dead. However, a similar bill – S448 – remains active.

3/12/2010 (HB41):

The House Roads, Bridges and Ports Policy Committee unanimously approved a bill that would prohibit people from reading, typing or sending text messages.
Sponsored by Rep. Doug Holder, R-Sarasota, HB41 would fine violators $30.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

12/17/2009 (S608):

A bill prefiled for consideration during the 2010 regular session that is intended to eliminate one of the growing distractions while at the wheel.
Sponsored by Sen. Nan Rich, D-Sunrise, S608 would prohibit texting while driving.
The bill has been referred to three committees where it can be considered during the session that begins in March.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

12/10/2009 (S522):

A bill prefiled for consideration during the 2010 regular session that is intended to eliminate one of the growing distractions while at the wheel.
Sponsored by Sen. Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach, S522 would prohibit texting while driving.
The bill has been referred to three committees where it can be considered during the session that begins in March.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

12/10/2009 (S448):

A bill prefiled for consideration during the 2010 regular session that is intended to eliminate one of the growing distractions while at the wheel.
Sponsored by Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, S448 would prohibit texting while driving.
The bill has been referred to three committees where it can be considered during the session that begins in March.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

12/10/2009 (S328):

A bill prefiled for consideration during the 2010 regular session would prohibit people from reading, typing or sending text messages.
Sponsored by Sen. Paula Dockery, R-Lakeland, S328 has been referred to three committees where it can be considered during the session that begins in March.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

12/10/2009 (S324):

A bill prefiled for consideration during the 2010 regular session would prohibit people from reading, typing or sending text messages.
Sponsored by Sen. Carey Baker, R-Eustis, S324 has been referred to three committees where it can be considered during the session that begins in March.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

12/7/2009 (HB323):

A bill prefiled for consideration during the 2010 regular session that is intended to eliminate one of the growing distractions while at the wheel.
Sponsored by Rep. Janet Long, D-Seminole, HB323 would prohibit texting while driving.
The bill has been referred to three committees where it can be considered during the session that begins in March.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

10/5/2009 (HB41):

Rep. Doug Holder, R-Sarasota, has prefiled a bill for consideration during the 2010 regular session that would prohibit people from reading, typing or sending text messages.
Under HB41, offenders would face fines of $30.
The bill has been referred to multiple committees where it can be considered during the session that begins in March.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

4/28/2010 - Cell Phone Restriction

4/28/2010 (HB333):

With only a couple of days remaining in the session HB333 appears dead. However, a similar bill – S448 – remains active.

12/7/2009:

A bill prefiled for consideration during the 2010 regular session that is intended to eliminate one distraction while at the wheel.
Sponsored by Rep. Luis Garcia, D-Miami Beach, HB333 would prohibit cell phone use while driving.
The bill has been referred to two committees where it can be considered during the session that begins in March.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

05/20/2010 - Transportation Trust Fund

6/9/2010 (HB5003):

Gov. Charlie Crist vetoed an effort to strip $160 million from transportation. He removed a provision from HB5003 that authorized raiding the State Transportation Fund to help cover state budget deficits.

5/20/2010:

A bill atop Gov. Charlie Crist’s desk would take money out of the State Transportation Trust Fund.
HB5003 would authorize $160 million to be raided from the trust fund to help cover state budget deficits.
For bill status, call 850-656-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

6/9/2010 - Axel Weight Limit

6/9/2010 (HB1271):

Gov. Charlie Crist has signed into law a lengthy transportation bill that includes a provision to allow heavier trucks. A separate provision gives truckers a 400-pound weight exception for auxiliary power units.
Starting July 1, permitted heavy trucks are slated to be able to run 8,000 pounds heavier on non-interstate highways. The provision was added to the nearly 100-page bill at the end of the regular session.
The new rule allows tractor-trailers to weigh 88,000 pounds on designated routes. Loads on interstates would continue to be limited to 80,000 pounds.
Also included in the bill – HB1271 – is a provision allowing a weight allowance for auxiliary power units. The maximum gross vehicle, axle weight limits will be increased for large trucks equipped with idle reduction technology. Trucks equipped with APUs would be authorized to weigh up to an additional 400 pounds.

5/20/2010 (HB1271):

A bill awaiting action from Gov. Charlie Crist includes an incentive to reduce trucking idling.
HB1271 is a lengthy transportation bill with a provision tucked inside that would increase the maximum gross vehicle, axle weight limits for large trucks equipped with idle reduction technology. Trucks equipped with auxiliary power units would be authorized to weigh up to an additional 400 pounds.
Adopting the weight exemption would create greater uniformity between federal and state law, a legislative analysis of the bill reports. The change is important to trucks and “would assist regulatory officials by preventing enforcement ambiguities that could cause problems for drivers during inspections.”
For bill status, call 850-656-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

4/28/2010 (HB51):

With only a couple of days remaining in the session HB51 appears dead.

4/20/2010 (HB1271):

The House Economic Development and Community Affairs Policy Council unanimously approved a bill that includes an incentive to reduce truck idling.
HB1271 would increase the maximum gross vehicle, axle weight limits for large trucks equipped with idle reduction technology. Trucks equipped with auxiliary power units would be authorized to weigh up to an additional 400 pounds.
Adopting the weight exemption would create greater uniformity between federal and state law, a legislative analysis of the bill reports. The change is important to trucks and “would assist regulatory officials by preventing enforcement ambiguities that could cause problems for drivers during inspections.”
Another provision in the 111-page bill would boost the maximum weight allowed for trucks moving agricultural products, under certain circumstances. The Florida Department of Transportation or local authorities could issue permits allowing agricultural haulers on non-interstates a 10 percent increase in the weight limit on designated routes specified in the permit.
The bill has advanced through three House committees. It now awaits clearance for full consideration on the House floor. If approved there, the bill would move to the Senate.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

10/5/2009 (HB51):

Rep. Greg Evers, R-Baker, has prefiled a bill for consideration during the regular session that convenes in March 2010 that would increase the maximum gross vehicle, axle weight limits for large trucks equipped with idle reduction technology.
HB51 would authorize trucks equipped with auxiliary power units to weigh up to an additional 400 pounds.
The bill has been referred to multiple committees where it can be considered during the session that begins in March.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

3/22/2012 - Distracted Driving

3/22/2012 (S244):

A bill has died in committee that called for combating aggressive driving on the state’s multilane highways by reducing the number of drivers in the far left-hand lane.
Dubbed the “Highway Safety Act,” it would have given law enforcement more authority to ticket drivers who block traffic, even if they are driving the speed limit in the left lane. A failure to stay to the right would have been included as one of the offenses that make up “aggressive careless driving.”
Travelers would have been prohibited from driving in the left lane of a multilane highway when they are about to be overtaken by another vehicle.
S244 also targeted those drivers who get upset by slower moving vehicles. Tailgating and other risky maneuvers in response to slower drivers could have resulted in $100 fines. Repeat offenders would have faced as much as a $500 fine and a mandatory court appearance for “aggressive careless driving.” Offenders also would have received points for each offense committed.

12/21/2011 (S244):

The Senate Transportation Committee advanced one bill that is intended to keep most drivers out of the fast lane on Florida highways and reduce road rage in the process. The bill’s next stop is a Senate budget subcommittee.
Sponsored by Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, the bill – S244 – would combat aggressive driving on the state’s multilane highways by reducing the number of drivers in the far left-hand lane. The issue has turned into an annual pursuit for supporters at the Florida statehouse.
Dubbed the “Highway Safety Act,” it would give law enforcement more authority to ticket drivers who block traffic, even if they are driving the speed limit in the left lane. A failure to stay to the right would be included as one of the offenses that make up “aggressive careless driving.”
Travelers would be prohibited from driving in the left lane of a multilane highway when they are about to be overtaken by another vehicle.
The bill also targets those drivers who get upset by slower moving vehicles. Tailgating and other risky maneuvers in response to slower drivers could result in $100 fines. Repeat offenders would face as much as a $500 fine and a mandatory court appearance for “aggressive careless driving.” Offenders also would receive points for each offense committed.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

9/19/2011 (S244):

Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, has prefiled a bill for the 2012 regular session that is intended to combat aggressive driving on the state’s multilane highways by reducing the number of drivers in the far left-hand lane.
Dubbed the “Highway Safety Act,” S244 would give law enforcement more authority to ticket drivers who block traffic, even if they are driving the speed limit in the left lane. A failure to stay to the right would be included as one of the offenses that make up “aggressive careless driving.”
Travelers would be prohibited from driving in the left lane of a multilane highway when they are about to be overtaken by another vehicle. Originally, the legislation allowed law enforcement to issue citations to drivers who used the left lane for anything other than passing.
The bill also targets those drivers who get upset by slower moving vehicles. Tailgating and other risky maneuvers in response to slower drivers could result in $100 fines. Repeat offenders would face as much as a $500 fine and a mandatory court appearance for “aggressive careless driving.” Offenders also would receive points for each offense committed.
The bill can be considered during the session that begins Jan. 10.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

5/16/2011 (S244):

A bill has died in the House that sought to give law enforcement more authority to ticket drivers who block traffic, even if they are driving the speed limit in the left lane. A failure to stay to the right would have been included as one of the offenses that make up “aggressive careless driving.”
Previously approved by the Senate, S244 would have given law enforcement more authority to ticket drivers who block traffic, even if they are driving the speed limit in the left lane. A failure to stay to the right would have been included as one of the offenses that make up “aggressive careless driving.”
Travelers would have been prohibited from driving in the left lane of a multilane highway if they “reasonably should know” that they are being overtaken by another vehicle. In the past, the effort allowed law enforcement to issue citations to drivers who used the left lane for anything other than passing.
The bill also targeted those drivers who get upset by slower moving vehicles. Tailgating and other risky maneuvers in response to slower drivers could have resulted in $100 fines. Repeat offenders would have faced as much as a $500 fine and a mandatory court appearance for “aggressive careless driving.” Offenders also would have received points for each offense committed.

4/13/2011 (S244):

The Senate voted 37-1 to advance a bill to the House that would give law enforcement more authority to ticket drivers who block traffic, even if they are driving the speed limit in the left lane. A failure to stay to the right would be included as one of the offenses that make up “aggressive careless driving.”
Dubbed the “Highway Safety Act,” S244 would give law enforcement more authority to ticket drivers who block traffic, even if they are driving the speed limit in the left lane. A failure to stay to the right would be included as one of the offenses that make up “aggressive careless driving.”
Travelers would be prohibited from driving in the left lane of a multilane highway if they “reasonably should know” that they are being overtaken by another vehicle. In the past, the effort allowed law enforcement to issue citations to drivers who used the left lane for anything other than passing.
The bill also targets those drivers who get upset by slower moving vehicles. Tailgating and other risky maneuvers in response to slower drivers could result in $100 fines. Repeat offenders would face as much as a $500 fine and a mandatory court appearance for “aggressive careless driving.” Offenders also would receive points for each offense committed.
The bill is awaiting assignment to committee in the House.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

3/29/2011 (S244):

A bill awaiting consideration in the Senate would give law enforcement more authority to ticket drivers who block traffic, even if they are driving the speed limit in the left lane. A failure to stay to the right would be included as one of the offenses that make up “aggressive careless driving.”
Dubbed the “Highway Safety Act,” S244 would prohibit travelers from driving in the left lane of a multilane highway if they “reasonably should know” that they are being overtaken by another vehicle. Originally, the effort allowed law enforcement to issue citations to drivers who used the left lane for anything other than passing.
The bill also targets those drivers who get upset by slower moving vehicles. Tailgating and other risky maneuvers in response to slower drivers could result in $100 fines. Repeat offenders would face as much as a $500 fine and a mandatory court appearance for “aggressive careless driving.” Offenders also would receive points for each offense committed.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.
A similar House bill – HB177 – is also awaiting consideration.

12/28/2010 (S244):

Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, has prefiled a bill that would give law enforcement more authority to ticket drivers who block traffic, even if they are driving the speed limit in the left lane. A failure to stay to the right would be included as one of the offenses that make up “aggressive careless driving.”
Dubbed the “Highway Safety Act,” S244 would prohibit travelers from driving in the left lane of a multilane highway when they are about to be overtaken by another vehicle. Originally, the effort allowed law enforcement to issue citations to drivers who used the left lane for anything other than passing.
The bill also changes, from two to three, the number of driving offenses that must be committed at one time to constitute “aggressive careless driving.”
Violators would face a $100 fine in addition to any other fines. Repeat offenders would face as much as a $500 fine and a mandatory court appearance. Drivers also would receive points for each offense committed.
The bill is awaiting assignment to committee for the session that begins in March.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

4/28/2010 (S448):

With only a couple of days remaining in the session S374 appears dead. However, a similar bill – S448 – remains active.

4/28/2010: (S244):

With only a couple of days remaining in the session S244 appears dead. However, a similar bill – S448 – remains active.

12/10/2009 (S374):
A bill prefiled for consideration during the 2010 regular session that is intended to eliminate one of the growing distractions while at the wheel.
Sponsored by Sen. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami Gardens, S374 would prohibit texting while driving. It also would include limits on cell phone use.
The bill has been referred to three committees where it can be considered during the session that begins in March.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

12/10/2009 (S244):

Sen. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami Gardens, has prefiled a bill for consideration during the 2010 regular session that would prohibit cell phone use on hand-held devices.
S244 would also outlaw text messaging. Violations would be a secondary offense.
The bill has been referred to multiple committees where it can be considered during the session that begins in March.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

10/27/2009 - Left-Lane Ticketing

4/21/2010 (S482):

A bill has died that sought to give law enforcement more authority to ticket drivers who block traffic, even if they are driving the speed limit in the left lane. A failure to stay to the right would have been included as one of the offenses that make up “aggressive careless driving.”
Sponsored by Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, S482 died in the House when the session ended. It previously advanced from the Senate.
Dubbed the “Highway Safety Act,” the bill would have prohibited travelers from driving in the left lane of a multi-lane highway when they are about to be overtaken by another vehicle.
S482 also changed, from two to three, the number of driving offenses that must be committed at one time to constitute “aggressive careless driving.”
Violators would have faced a $100 fine in addition to any other fines. Repeat offenders would have faced as much as a $500 fine and a mandatory court appearance. Drivers also would have received points for each offense committed.

4/21/2010:

A bill in the Senate Policy & Steering Committee on Ways and Means would give law enforcement more authority to ticket drivers who block traffic, even if they are driving the speed limit in the left lane. A failure to stay to the right would be included as one of the offenses that make up “aggressive careless driving.”
Sponsored by Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, S482 has already cleared three House committees.
Dubbed the “Highway Safety Act,” the bill would prohibit travelers from driving in the left lane of a multi-lane highway when they are about to be overtaken by another vehicle.
S482 also changes, from two to three, the number of driving offenses that must be committed at one time to constitute “aggressive careless driving.”
Violators would face a $100 fine in addition to any other fines. Repeat offenders would face as much as a $500 fine and a mandatory court appearance. Drivers also would receive points for each offense committed.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

10/27/2009:

Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, has prefiled a bill for the 2010 regular session that would give law enforcement more authority to ticket drivers who block traffic, even if they are driving the speed limit in the left lane. A failure to stay to the right would be included as one of the offenses that make up “aggressive careless driving.”
Dubbed the “Highway Safety Act,” the bill would prohibit travelers from driving in the left lane of a multi-lane highway when they are about to be overtaken by another vehicle.
S482 also changes, from two to three, the number of driving offenses that must be committed at one time to constitute “aggressive careless driving.”
Violators would face a $100 fine in addition to any other fines. Repeat offenders would face as much as a $500 fine and a mandatory court appearance. Drivers also would receive points for each offense committed.
The bill is awaiting assignment to committee for the session that begins in March.
For bill status, call 850-488-4371. In Florida, call 800-342-1827.

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Georgia

2016

State Issues

03/30/2016 - Road Racing

3/30/2016 (HB707):

A bill died that was intended to get tough with motorists caught racing on public roads and streets, or driving “in a circular or zigzag course.”
Georgia law now authorizes offenders to face misdemeanor charges. The classification subjects violators to as much as one year behind bars and a maximum $1,000 fine.
HB707 would increase the penalty to a felony. The designation could result in jail time ranging from one year to five years and/or fines between $1,000 and $5,000.

1/19/2016:

Rep. Keisha Waites, D-Atlanta, has introduced a bill that is intended to get tough with motorists caught racing on public roads and streets, or driving “in a circular or zigzag course.”
Georgia law now authorizes offenders to face misdemeanor charges. The classification subjects violators to as much as one year behind bars and a maximum $1,000 fine.
HB707 would increase the penalty to a felony. The designation could result in jail time ranging from one year to five years and/or fines between $1,000 and $5,000.
The bill awaits assignment to committee.

03/30/2016 - 'Super Speeders'

3/30/2016 (HB732):

A bill died that called for expanding the state’s “super speeder” law to include drivers of commercial motor vehicles.
State law already tacks $200 fines onto traffic tickets for excessive speeding. Penalties can be applied to motorists caught driving more than 85 mph on interstates and four-lane roads, or more than 75 mph on two-lane roads.
Failure to pay within 120 days of official notice results in license suspension or loss of driving privileges in the state.
HB732 would have applied the same fine for truck drivers found exceeding the posted speed limit by at least 10 mph.

1/19/2016:

A bill in the House Motor Vehicles Committee would expand the state’s “super speeder” law to include drivers of commercial motor vehicles.
State law already tacks $200 fines onto traffic tickets for excessive speeding. Penalties can be applied to motorists caught driving more than 85 mph on interstates and four-lane roads, or more than 75 mph on two-lane roads.
Failure to pay within 120 days of official notice results in license suspension or loss of driving privileges in the state.
Sponsored by Rep. Ron Stephens, R-Savannah, HB732 would apply the same fine for truck drivers found exceeding the posted speed limit by at least 10 mph.

2015

State Issues

05/07/2015 - Transportation Funding

5/7/2015 (HB170):

Gov. Nathan Deal has signed into law a $900 million per year transportation funding bill that includes a fuel tax increase and a new fee on trucks. The state’s fuel tax now is a two-part tax. A percentage portion of the tax is calculated twice annually and is based on the average price per gallon of fuel in the state at the time. The excise portion of the tax adds 7.5 cents per gallon – a rate that has remained unchanged since 1971. Previously HB170, the new law converts fuel tax collection in the state to a pure excise tax. Starting July 1, the gas tax rate will be set at 26 cents per gallon. The diesel rate will become 29 cents. The tax increase is expected to raise $700 million for transportation work. The change in how fuel tax revenue is collected will also result in about $180 million being rerouted from the state’s general fund to transportation. In addition, fuel tax rates will be adjusted to inflation. Roberts said the indexing component of the law provides a reliable, predictable source of transportation funding. A protection included in the deal also ensures that fuel tax revenue is applied solely for transportation purposes. Truckers will also be responsible for paying an additional tax, dubbed the “highway impact fee.” Commercial vehicles weighing between 15,500 and 26,000 pounds will be assessed a $50 annual fee. Trucks heavier than 26,000 pounds will be charged $100 per year. An annual fee on electric vehicles will also be assessed. Affected commercial vehicles will be charged $300 while the registration fee on electric-run personal vehicles will be set at $200. Another new fee will be collected on visitors to the state. Specifically, a new $5 per night hotel/motel tax estimated to raise $200 million per year will be routed for transportation purposes. Local governments will also be allowed to place transportation sales tax proposals of up to one penny on their ballots.

4/3/2015:

House lawmakers voted 129-41 to endorse a plan to convert fuel tax collection in the state to a pure excise tax. The Senate followed suit on a 42-12 vote. HB170 now moves to Gov. Nathan Deal’s desk for his expected signature.
The state’s fuel tax now is a two-part tax. A percentage portion of the tax is calculated twice annually and is based on the average price per gallon of fuel in the state at the time. The excise portion of the tax adds 7.5 cents per gallon – a rate that has remained unchanged since 1971.
The new law will set the gas tax rate at 26 cents per gallon. The diesel rate will become 29 cents. Fuel tax rates will also be adjusted to inflation.
A protection included in the bill would also ensure that fuel tax revenue is applied solely for transportation purposes.
Another provision will make truckers responsible for paying an additional tax, dubbed the “highway impact fee.” Commercial vehicles weighing between 15,500 and 26,000 pounds will be assessed a $50 annual fee. Trucks heavier than 26,000 pounds will be charged $100 per year.
An annual fee on electric vehicles will also be assessed. Affected commercial vehicles will be charged $300 while the registration fee on electric-run personal vehicles will be set at $200.
Another new fee will be collected on visitors to the state. Specifically, a new $5 per night hotel/motel tax estimated to raise $200 million per year will be routed for transportation purposes.

3/17/2015:

House lawmakers voted 123-46 to send a bill to the Senate that would raise transportation revenue.
Georgia’s fuel tax is a two-part tax. A percentage portion of the tax is calculated twice annually and is based on the average price per gallon of fuel in the state at the time. The excise portion of the tax adds 7.5 cents per gallon – a rate that has remained unchanged since 1971.
HB170 would end the collection of the 4 percent sales tax at the pump. In exchange, the excise tax rate would rise to 29.2 cents. The rate would also be adjusted to inflation.
A protection included in the bill would ensure that fuel tax revenue is applied solely for transportation purposes.
Another provision in the bill calls for overhauling the collection of local taxes on fuel purchases. In exchange, counties and cities could increase the local sales tax rate on other purchases from 1 percent to 1.25 percent.
The annual fee on alternative fuel commercial vehicles could also be set at $300 while the fee on alternative fuel personal vehicles could be set at $200, and indexed to inflation.
The bill awaits further consideration in the Senate Transportation Committee.

2/19/2015:

The House Transportation Committee voted on Wednesday, Feb. 19, to advance a bill that would raise transportation revenue.
Georgia’s fuel tax is a two-part tax. A percentage portion of the tax is calculated twice annually and is based on the average price per gallon of fuel in the state at the time. The excise portion of the tax adds 7.5 cents per gallon – a rate that has remained unchanged since 1971.
HB170 would end the collection of the 4 percent sales tax at the pump. In exchange, the excise tax rate would rise to 29.2 cents. The rate would also be adjusted to inflation.
A protection included in the bill would ensure that fuel tax revenue is applied solely for transportation purposes.
Another provision in the bill calls for overhauling the collection of local taxes on fuel purchases. In exchange, counties and cities could increase the local sales tax rate from 1 percent to 1.5 percent.
The annual fee on alternative fuel commercial vehicles could also be set at $300 while the fee on alternative fuel personal vehicles could be set at $200, and indexed to inflation.
The full House could take up the bill for consideration as soon as Friday, Feb. 20. If approved there, it would move to the Senate for expected changes.

2/6/2015:

A bill in the House Transportation Committee would implement a straight excise tax of 29.2 cents per gallon.
Sponsored by Rep. Jay Roberts, R-Ocilla, HB170 would also authorize cities and counties to impose a 6-cent-per-gallon local excise tax on fuel purchases.

05/12/2015 - Speed Traps

5/12/2015 (SB134):

Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law a bill that makes changes to existing rules to curtail speed traps. It takes effect July 1. Georgia law now limits to 40 percent how much revenue departments can keep from speeding tickets. In place since the early 2000s, the rule states that anything above that amount could result in the department losing their ability to use speed detection devices. However, speeding tickets issued for exceeding the posted limit by at least 17 mph do not count toward that percentage. Previously SB134, the new law will increase the threshold to at least 20 mph. In addition, the amount of revenue local or county departments could keep would be capped at 35 percent. The new law also requires agencies to report to the state each year the amount of money they receive from speeding tickets.

3/31/2015:

The House voted 104-54 to advance a Senate-approved bill that would revise the state’s threshold on how much ticket revenue that police departments can rake in.
Georgia law now limits to 40 percent how much revenue departments can keep from speeding tickets. In place since the early 2000s, the rule states that anything above that amount could result in the department losing their ability to use speed detection devices.
However, speeding tickets issued for exceeding the posted limit by at least 17 mph do not count toward that percentage.
SB134 would increase the threshold to 20 mph. In addition, the amount of revenue local or county departments could keep would be capped at 35 percent.
Agencies would also be required to report to the state each year the amount of money they receive from speeding tickets.
The bill now heads back to the Senate for consideration of changes. If approved there, it would move to the governor’s desk.

3/25/2015:

The House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee voted to advance a bill that would revise the state’s threshold on how much ticket revenue that police departments can rake in. The Senate already approved it.
Georgia law now limits to 40 percent how much revenue departments can raise from speeding tickets. Anything above that amount could result in the department losing their ability to use speed detection devices.
However, speeding tickets issued for exceeding the posted limit by at least 17 mph do not count toward that percentage.
SB134 would remove that distinction.
The bill awaits consideration on the House floor. If approved, it would head back to the Senate for consideration of changes.

State Watches

01/12/2015 - Transportation Funding

1/12/2015:

A report released by a Georgia state legislative panel has found a transportation funding shortfall in excess of $1 billion per year. The best ways to fill the gap are expected to be addressed during the three-month session that begins Monday, Jan. 12.
The Joint Study Committee on Critical Transportation Infrastructure Funding has offered multiple options to help address the issue. One option touted for consideration by the group of state lawmakers who held eight public hearings across the state is a one-cent statewide sales tax to benefit transportation.
The sales tax would generate $1.4 billion annually, which would raise enough money to fill the gap needed to maintain roads and bridges throughout the state.
However, the report found that the state would need as much as $3 billion more each year to increase interstate capacity to accommodate increased freight flows resulting from the Savannah Harbor deepening projects, boost transit options and make other improvements.
Another option to help the state pay for a wide range of projects includes indexing the fuel tax to inflation, construction costs or the price of fuel. A similar approach would simply raise the state’s flat excise tax on fuel purchases.
Georgia’s fuel tax is a two-part tax. A percentage portion of the tax is calculated twice annually and is based on the average price per gallon of fuel in the state at the time. The excise portion of the tax adds 7.5 cents per gallon – a rate that has remained unchanged since 1971.
The panel reports that a 10-cent-per-gallon increase in the excise tax would raise an additional $600 million per year.
A separate option calls for converting the sales tax on fuel to an excise tax. The panel touts the advantages the switch would have for the state’s participation in the International Fuel Tax Agreement.
The report explains that the conversion would result in an additional $60 million to the state.
Other options expected to be addressed during the session include charging usage fees to owners of alternative fuel vehicles and ending the diversion of 1 percent of the sales tax on fuel purchases for non-transportation purposes.
The panel suggested the annual fee on alternative fuel commercial vehicles could be set at $300 while the fee on alternative fuel personal vehicles could be set at $200, and indexed to inflation.

2014

State Issues

05/29/2014 - Left Lane Use

5/29/2014 (HB459):

Gov. Nathan Deal signed a bill into law that allows police to ticket people driving slow in the far left lanes on interstates and highways.
Previously HB459, the new law requires any driver on multi-lane roadways is required to move to the right if they are being overtaken by another vehicle. Drivers traveling the speed limit would also be required to yield to vehicles exceeding the posted speed limit.
Signage will be posted to alert travelers to the new rule. Starting July 1, violators would face up to $1,000 fines.

3/14/2014:

A bill on its way to Gov. Nathan Deal’s desk would allow police to ticket people driving slow in the far left lanes on interstates and highways. The House approved the bill on a 162-9 vote. Senators later approved it on a 42-5 vote.
Dubbed the “slowpoke bill,” HB459 would require any driver on multi-lane roadways to move to the right if they are being overtaken by another vehicle. Drivers traveling the speed limit would also be required to yield to vehicles exceeding the posted speed limit.
Violators would face up to $1,000 fines.

05/29/2014 - Speed Limits

5/29/2014 (HB774):

Gov. Nathan Deal signed a bill into law that includes a provision to allow the speed limit in urban areas with more than 50,000 people to be raised to 70 mph – up from 55 mph and 65 mph.
Specifically, HB774 requires traffic studies performed by the state DOT before travelers on urban interstates could be authorized to drive faster.

4/16/2014:

A bill on the governor’s desk would allow the speed limit in urban areas to be raised by to 70 mph – up from 55 mph and 65 mph.
Speed limits in metro areas around the state with more than 50,000 people now are capped at 65 mph.
House lawmakers voted 158-7 to sign off on Senate changes to a bill that includes a provision to allow the speed limit in urban areas to be raised to 70 mph – up from 55 mph and 65 mph. The bill next moves to Gov. Nathan Deal’s desk. The Senate approved the bill on a 45-3 vote.
Specifically, HB774 would require traffic studies performed by the Georgia Department of Transportation before travelers on urban interstates could be authorized to drive faster.

2/12/2014:

The Senate Transportation Committee approved a bill that would allow the speed limit in urban areas to be raised by to 70 mph – up from 55 mph and 65 mph.
Speed limits in metro areas around the state with more than 50,000 people now are capped at 65 mph.
HB774 would require traffic studies performed by the Georgia Department of Transportation before travelers on urban interstates could be authorized to drive faster.
The bill awaits consideration on the Senate floor. If approved there, it would move to the governor’s desk. House lawmakers already approved it on a 157-7 vote.

2/10/2014:

A bill in the Senate Transportation Committee would allow the speed limit in urban areas to be raised by to 70 mph – up from 55 mph and 65 mph. The House already approved it on a 157-7 vote.
Speed limits in metro areas around the state with more than 50,000 people now are capped at 65 mph.
HB774 would require traffic studies performed by the Georgia Department of Transportation before travelers on urban interstates could be authorized to drive faster.

2/3/2014:

The House voted to advance a bill to the Senate that could result in faster speeds on certain highways.
HB774 would require traffic studies before travelers on urban interstates could be authorized to drive 70 mph – up from 65 mph.
The bill awaits assignment to committee in the Senate.

04/29/2014 - Cargo Theft

4/29/2014 (HB749):

A new law stiffens the punishment for truck, rail or container cargo thieves. Previously HB749, the new law establishes cargo theft as a specific offense and impose escalating fines and punishment based on the value of goods or controlled substances stolen.
Offenders who steal cargo from trucks loaded with controlled substances, or pharmaceuticals, valued at less than $10,000 would face fines up to $100,000 and/or up to 10 years in prison.
Theft of controlled substances valued up to $1 million could result in as much as 25 years behind bars and/or fines up to $1 million. Loads valued in excess of $1 million could result in prison terms as long as 30 years and/or fines up to $1 million.
Violators of other property heists valued as much as $1,500 would face misdemeanor charges. Theft of cargo valued as high as $10,000 would include fines up to $100,000 and/or 10 years behind bars. Stolen loads valued up to $1 million could result in 20 years in prison and/or fines up to $1 million.
Another provision covers fifth wheels, and any antitheft locking device attached to the fifth wheel. Any attempt to alter, move or sell a fifth wheel could result in 10-year prison terms and/or $100,000 fines.

4/22/2014:

The Senate voted unanimously to advance a bill that would stiffen the punishment for truck, rail or container cargo thieves. House lawmakers voted 116-55 to agree to changes in the bill, thus clearing the way for HB749 to move to Gov. Nathan Deal’s desk.
The bill would establish cargo theft as a specific offense and impose escalating fines and punishment based on the value of goods or controlled substances stolen.
Offenders who steal cargo from trucks loaded with controlled substances, or pharmaceuticals, valued at less than $10,000 would face fines up to $100,000 and/or up to 10 years in prison.
Theft of controlled substances valued up to $1 million could result in as much as 25 years behind bars and/or fines up to $1 million. Loads valued in excess of $1 million could result in prison terms as long as 30 years and/or fines up to $1 million.
Violators of other property heists valued as much as $1,500 would face misdemeanor charges. Theft of cargo valued as high as $10,000 would include fines up to $100,000 and/or 10 years behind bars. Stolen loads valued up to $1 million could result in 20 years in prison and/or fines up to $1 million.
Another provision in the bill covers fifth wheels, and any antitheft locking device attached to the fifth wheel. Any attempt to alter, move or sell a fifth wheel could result in 10-year prison terms and/or $100,000 fines.
Removed from the bill was a provision intended to help clear up any jurisdictional concerns. It specified that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation would have jurisdiction on cargo theft.

3/6/2014:

The House voted 161-2 to advance a bill to the Senate that would stiffen the punishment for truck, rail or container cargo thieves.
HB749 would establish cargo theft as a specific offense and impose escalating fines and punishment based on the value of goods or controlled substances stolen.
Offenders who steal cargo from trucks loaded with controlled substances, or pharmaceuticals, valued at less than $10,000 would face fines up to $100,000 and/or up to 10 years in prison.
Theft of controlled substances valued up to $1 million could result in as much as 25 years behind bars and/or fines up to $1 million. Loads valued in excess of $1 million could result in prison terms as long as 30 years and/or fines up to $1 million.
Violators of other property heists valued as much as $1,500 would face misdemeanor charges. Theft of cargo valued as high as $10,000 would include fines up to $100,000 and/or 10 years behind bars. Stolen loads valued up to $1 million could result in 20 years in prison and/or fines up to $1 million.
Another provision in the bill covers fifth wheels, and any antitheft locking device attached to the fifth wheel. Any attempt to alter, move or sell a fifth wheel could result in 10-year prison terms and/or $100,000 fines.
The bill is also intended to help clear up any jurisdictional concerns. It specifies that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation would have jurisdiction on cargo theft.
The bill awaits consideration in the Senate Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.

2/12/2014:

A bill in the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee would stiffen the punishment for truck, rail or container cargo thieves.
Sponsored by Rep. Geoff Duncan, R-Cumming, HB749 would establish cargo theft as a specific offense and impose escalating fines and punishment based on the value of goods or controlled substances stolen.
Offenders who steal cargo from trucks loaded with controlled substances, or pharmaceuticals, valued at less than $10,000 would face fines up to $100,000 and/or up to 10 years in prison.
Theft of controlled substances valued up to $1 million could result in as much as 25 years behind bars and/or fines up to $1 million. Loads valued in excess of $1 million could result in prison terms as long as 30 years and/or fines up to $1 million.
Violators of other property heists valued as much as $1,500 would face misdemeanor charges. Theft of cargo valued as high as $10,000 would include fines up to $100,000 and/or 10 years behind bars. Stolen loads valued up to $1 million could result in 20 years in prison and/or fines up to $1 million.
Another provision in the bill covers fifth wheels, and any antitheft locking device attached to the fifth wheel. Any attempt to alter, move or sell a fifth wheel could result in 10-year prison terms and/or $100,000 fines.
The bill is also intended to help clear up any jurisdictional concerns. It specifies that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation would have jurisdiction on cargo theft.

2013

State Issues

04/24/2013 - Value Engineering Studies

4/24/2013 (HB202):
Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law a bill that is intended to reduce project costs and improve funding opportunities.
Georgia law requires GDOT to perform value engineering studies on all construction projects with combined costs of at least $10 million.
Previously HB202, the new law waives a requirement to balance funds by congressional districts for interstate improvements, certain freight corridor projects and other projects of regional significance.

4/4/2013:

A bill on Gov. Nathan Deal’s desk is intended to reduce project costs and improve funding opportunities.
Georgia law requires GDOT to perform value engineering studies on all construction projects with combined costs of at least $10 million.
HB202 would raise the minimum required project cost for value engineering studies to $50 million, which mirrors recent changes to federal requirements.
The bill would exempt interstate projects from congressional balancing. It would also exempt freight routes if the route is approved by the state transportation board.
For bill status, call 404-656-5040.

3/19/2013:

House lawmakers voted unanimously to send to the Senate a bill that is intended to reduce project costs and improve funding opportunities.
Georgia law requires GDOT to perform value engineering studies on all construction projects with combined costs of at least $10 million.
HB202 would raise the minimum required project cost for value engineering studies to $50 million, which mirrors recent changes to federal requirements.
The bill would exempt interstate projects from congressional balancing. It would also exempt freight routes if the route is approved by the state transportation board.
The bill is in the Senate Transportation Committee. For bill status, call 404-656-5040.

04/24/2013 - 'Design-Build'

4/24/2013 (SB70):

Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law a bill to expand the Georgia Department of Transportation’s ability to use the “design-build” method for planning and working on projects.
The design-build process allows contractors to submit plans to design and construct each project. Typically, one firm designs a highway and another builds it, with the two tasks bid separately.
Also included in SB70 is a provision that does away with a requirement that contracts go to the low bidder. GDOT now can award contracts based on “best value.”

4/4/2013:

A bill on Gov. Nathan Deal’s desk would expand the Georgia Department of Transportation’s ability to use the “design-build” method for planning and working on projects.
The design-build process allows contractors to submit plans to design and construct each project. Typically, one firm designs a highway and another builds it, with the two tasks bid separately.
Also included in SB70 is a provision that does away with a requirement that contracts go to the low bidder. GDOT would be allowed to award contracts based on “best value.”
For bill status, call 404-656-5040.

3/19/2013:

Senate lawmakers unanimously approved a bill to expand the Georgia Department of Transportation’s ability to use the “design-build” method for planning and working on projects.
The design-build process allows contractors to submit plans to design and construct each project. Typically, one firm designs a highway and another builds it, with the two tasks bid separately.
Also included in the bill is a provision that does away with a requirement that contracts go to the low bidder. GDOT would be allowed to award contracts based on “best value.”
SB70 is in the House Transportation Committee. For bill status, call 404-656-5040.

03/19/2013 - International Registration Pla

3/19/2013 (HB463):

The House voted to advance a bill that would cost many professional drivers more to register their trucks. It now moves to the Senate.
Georgia now charges $725 a year for registration under the International Registration Plan. Unchanged since 2009, the fee is the lowest in the nation.
HB463 would increase IRP rates to $950 a year. In addition, local ad valorem taxes on affected vehicles would be included in the registration payment.
The bill is awaiting consideration in the Senate Finance Committee. For bill status, call 404-656-5015.

2012

State Watches

01/12/2012 - Transportation Funds

1/12/2012:

Gov. Nathan Deal used his State of the State speech to call for improvements to the state’s transportation network that promote efficiency.
“That means roads on which traffic and freight move freely, ports that handle bigger ships, and airports that process people and packages more efficiently,” Deal said Tuesday, Jan. 10, in prepared remarks.
The Republican governor is also pushing for support on upcoming transportation tax votes. In July, voters around the state will cast ballots on regional transportation referendums that would add a 1-cent sales tax for projects.
Voters in each of the state’s 12 regions will cast ballots this summer on 1-cent sales tax referendums for a predetermined list of road, bridge and transit projects.
During his joint session speech Deal also mentioned the recent decision to halt a public-private partnership project for Atlanta’s Northwest Corridor. The state backed away from plans to add managed lanes to portions of interstates 75 and 575.
Deal said he is “opposed to contracting away Georgia’s sovereignty for a period of 60 to 70 years over a transportation corridor that is so vital to our future.” He said he remains committed to improving the corridor, but “there is a better way forward.”

2/12/2010:

In hopes of curbing traffic congestion and other concerns related to transportation, Georgia legislative leaders appear to be nearing a deal on a funding plan that would let residents vote to tax themselves to pay for needed improvements.
Gov. Sonny Perdue also wants to borrow $300 million a year to benefit freight movement throughout the state.
The Republican governor and leading lawmakers in the statehouse announced they are moving forward with a proposal that would have regions decide whether to increase the 4-cent sales tax by one penny to pay for road and other infrastructure work. If approved by lawmakers, voters would get the final say in the 2012 presidential primary.
Getting transportation funding legislation through the statehouse has been difficult the past couple of years. The Georgia House and Senate, which are led by Republicans, have been divided on how to come up with the money to pay for projects. The stumbling block has been whether the tax should be regional or statewide.
The latest proposal would permit regions who vote in favor of the tax to spend money on local projects. Others rejecting the increase would not get any additional funding.
“This approach will mean dollars spent in a region remain in that region, and the projects will benefit the entire region,” Perdue said in a statement.
Lawmakers would have to sign off on the projects getting the funds. After eight years, voters would have to decide whether to renew the tax.
While Perdue, a Republican, and fellow party leaders are making plans to unveil their initiative, Democrats are calling for a quicker outcome that they say is needed to address the state’s ailing transportation system.
The governor has indicated he is weary of pushing for the tax increase in the middle of a struggling economy.
Perdue is also pursuing a plan to issue $300 million a year in bonds that would help move freight across the state. He wants lawmakers to approve a bond package for 10 years for a total of $3 billion.
The plan’s key component is improving the flow of trucks into and out of the Port of Savannah. The governor is hopeful of making upgrades at the nation’s fastest-growing container port in time for a major widening of the Panama Canal, due for completion in 2014.
The bonds would be repaid using state general funds.

2011

State Issues

02/25/2011 - Snow & Ice Removal

4/22/2011 (HB201):

A bill has died that sought to require truckers and motorists to completely clear their vehicles of snow and ice before driving.
Sponsored by Rep. Rashad Taylor, D-Atlanta, HB201 remained in the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee at the deadline to advance, effectively killing it for the year.
The bill would have authorized fines as much as $1,000 and/or jail time.

2/25/2011:

A bill in the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee would require truckers and motorists to completely clear their vehicles of snow and ice before driving.
Sponsored by Rep. Rashad Taylor, D-Atlanta, HB201 would authorize fines as much as $1,000 and/or jail time.
For House bill status, call 404-656-5015.

08/22/2011 - Regional Transportation Referendums

8/29/2011 (HB3EX):

During a special session, lawmakers were unable to reach agreement on a bill sought by Gov. Nathan Deal – HB3EX – to move planned votes on regional transportation referendums.
The referendums would add a 1-cent sales tax to pay for transportation projects. The governor wants to push back votes from the 2012 presidential primary ballot on July 31 to the Nov. 6 general election.
Voters in each of the state’s 12 regions will cast ballots on referendums for a predetermined list of road, bridge and transit projects.
The governor said in a statement “it’s now obvious that it will take too much time to reach a consensus on changing the date. It’s best for taxpayers that we not let this special session drag on.”
The issue could be brought back for consideration during the regular session that begins in January.

8/22/2011:

Drawing consideration at the statehouse during a special session is a bill sought by Gov. Nathan Deal – HB3EX – to move planned votes on regional transportation referendums.
The referendums would add a 1-cent sales tax to pay for transportation projects. The governor wants to push back votes from the 2012 presidential primary ballot on July 31 to the Nov. 6 general election.
Voters in each of the state’s 12 regions will cast ballots on referendums for a predetermined list of road, bridge and transit projects.

02/23/2011 - Georgia 400 Tolls

4/22/2011 (SB97):

A bill has died that sought to prohibit the State Road and Tollway Authority from continuing to charge motorists 50 cents – truckers pay more – for using the Georgia 400 toll road.
For the past 20 years tolls have been applied to pay for bonds used to finance construction. Truckers and other drivers who use the roadway had been promised that toll collection would end this July. Even though the Georgia 400 is paid off, the state agency in charge of toll roads voted last fall to continue operating the roadway as a toll road for another 10 years.
Sponsored by Sen. John Albers, R-Roswell, SB97 remained in the Senate Government Oversight Committee at the deadline to advance, effectively killing it for the year.
The bill would have only allowed tolls to be extended with the approval of SRTA and a joint resolution from the Georgia General Assembly
It also prohibited any toll that isn’t paying off debt or its related interest. In addition, SRTA would have been required to pay off the new bonds as soon as possible.

2/23/2011:

A bill in the Senate Government Oversight Committee would prohibit the State Road and Tollway Authority from continuing to charge motorists 50 cents – truckers pay more – for using the Georgia 400 toll road.
For the past 20 years tolls have been applied to pay for bonds used to finance construction. Truckers and other drivers who use the roadway had been promised that toll collection would end this July. Even though the Georgia 400 is paid off, the state agency in charge of toll roads voted last fall to continue operating the roadway as a toll road for another 10 years.
Sponsored by Sen. John Albers, R-Roswell, SB97 would only allow tolls to be extended with the approval of SRTA and a joint resolution from the Georgia General Assembly
The bill would prohibit any toll that isn’t paying off debt or its related interest. SRTA would also be required to pay off the new bonds as soon as possible.
For Senate bill status, call 404-656-5040.

08/22/2011 - Fuel Tax Freeze

8/29/2011 (HB2EX):

During a special session state lawmakers ratified a freeze in the tax collected on fuel purchases.
Georgia’s fuel tax is a two-part tax. A 4 percent portion of the tax is calculated twice per year and is based on the average price per gallon of fuel in the state at the time. The rate can change every six months on Jan. 1 and July 1.
Gov. Nathan Deal decided in June to freeze the state’s fuel taxes to help consumers avoid more pain at the pump. The tax rates were slated to increase the first of July.
As required by state law, the Georgia House and Senate approved the freeze through the end of the year with passage of a bill – HB2EX.

8/22/2011:

Drawing consideration at the statehouse during a special session is a bill to ratify a freeze in the tax collected on fuel purchases.
Georgia’s fuel tax is a two-part tax. A 4 percent portion of the tax is calculated twice per year and is based on the average price per gallon of fuel in the state at the time. The rate can change every six months on Jan. 1 and July 1.
Gov. Nathan Deal decided in June to freeze the state’s fuel taxes to help consumers avoid more pain at the pump. The tax rates were slated to increase the first of July.
As required by state law, lawmakers must ratify the freeze through passage of a bill – HB2EX.
House lawmakers voted Thursday, Aug. 18, to sign off on the governor’s action. The bill has advanced to the Senate Finance Committee for consideration before it moves to the chamber floor.

02/04/2011 - Driver's Licenses

4/22/2011 (HB7):

A bill has died that sought to do away with Georgia’s driver’s licenses.
Sponsored by Rep. Bobby Franklin, R-Marietta, HB7 remained in the House Motor Vehicles Committee at the deadline to advance, effectively killing it for the year.
The bill stated that “Free people have a common law and constitutional right to travel on the roads and highways that are provided by their government for that purpose. Licensing of drivers cannot be required of free people, because taking on the restrictions of a license requires the surrender of an inalienable right.”

2/4/2011:

A bill in the House Motor Vehicles Committee would do away with Georgia’s driver’s licenses.
Rep. Bobby Franklin, R-Marietta, states in HB7 that “Free people have a common law and constitutional right to travel on the roads and highways that are provided by their government for that purpose. Licensing of drivers cannot be required of free people, because taking on the restrictions of a license requires the surrender of an inalienable right.”
For House bill status, call 404-656-5015.

02/04/2011 - English-Only Licenses

2/11/2011 (HB72):

A bill has been tabled, effectively killing it, which sought to trim the written portion of the test from 14 languages to English only.
The state of Georgia now limits the signage portion of the written test and the driving test to be in English.
The House approved an amendment that effectively gutted it. HB72 sought to authorize affected applicants to get a temporary license in another language, but for only 10 years. At that time, testing must be done in English.

2/4/2011:

The House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee voted Thursday, Feb. 3, to approve a bill that would trim the written portion of the test from 14 languages to English only. Its next stop is the House floor.
The state of Georgia now limits the signage portion of the written test and the driving test to be in English.
HB72 would still authorize affected applicants to get a temporary license in another language, but for only 10 years. At that time, testing must be done in English.
For House bill status, call 404-656-5015.

03/07/2011 - Ticket Cameras

4/22/2011 (SB142):

A bill has died that sought to prohibit use of red-light cameras.
Sponsored by Sen. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville, SB142 remained in the Senate Public Safety Committee at the deadline to advance, effectively killing it for the year.

3/7/2011:

A bill in the Senate Public Safety Committee would prohibit use of red light cameras.
SB142 is sponsored by Sen. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville.
For Senate bill status, call 404-656-5040.

2010

State Issues

02/24/2010 - Left Lane Use

6/15/2010 (HB1047):

A bill has died that sought to allow law enforcement to crack down on slowpokes that clog traffic by driving in the left lanes.
Georgia law already makes it a misdemeanor to impede traffic by driving slower than the speed limit in the left-hand lane of multi-lane highways “once such person knows or should reasonably know that he is being overtaken in such lane from the rear.”
Sponsored by Rep. Mark Butler, R-Carrollton, HB1047 failed to get a final Senate vote before the session ended. The House previously approved it.
The bill would have imposed a minimum fine of $75 for vehicles not traveling at the maximum posted speed limit in the left lane.
High-occupancy vehicle and high-occupancy toll lanes would have been excluded. In addition, anyone traveling the speed limit in the left lane would not have been required to make way for another vehicle exceeding the speed limit.

4/6/2010:

The House voted 129-29 to advance a bill to the Senate that would allow law enforcement to crack down on slowpokes that clog traffic by driving in the left lanes.
Georgia law already makes it a misdemeanor to impede traffic by driving slower than the speed limit in the left-hand lane of multi-lane highways “once such person knows or should reasonably know that he is being overtaken in such lane from the rear.”
Sponsored by Rep. Mark Butler, R-Carrollton, HB1047 would impose a minimum fine of $75 for vehicles not traveling at the maximum posted speed limit in the left lane.
High-occupancy vehicle and high-occupancy toll lanes would be excluded. In addition, anyone traveling the speed limit in the left lane would not be required to make way for another vehicle exceeding the speed limit.
The bill is in the Senate Public Safety Committee. For bill status, call 404-656-5015.

2/24/2010:

The House Transportation Committee voted unanimously to advance a bill to the House Rules Committee that would allow law enforcement to crack down on slowpokes that clog traffic by driving in the left lanes.
Georgia law already makes it a misdemeanor to impede traffic by driving slower than the speed limit in the left-hand lane of multi-lane highways “once such person knows or should reasonably know that he is being overtaken in such lane from the rear.”
Sponsored by Rep. Mark Butler, R-Carrollton, HB1047 would impose a minimum fine of $75.
High-occupancy vehicle and high-occupancy toll lanes would be excluded. In addition, anyone traveling the speed limit in the left lane would not be required to make way for another vehicle exceeding the speed limit.
The bill is awaiting consideration on the House floor. For House bill status, call 404-656-5015.

05/07/2010 - Public-Private Partnerships

6/9/2010 (HB1186):

Gov. Sonny Perdue has signed into law a bill that is intended to make public-private partnerships more attractive to private groups.
Previously HB1186, the new law exempts private entities that build toll roads from having to pay property taxes on the property they put roads on.

5/7/2010:

A bill on Gov. Sonny Perdue’s desk is intended to make public-private partnerships more attractive to private groups.
HB1186 would exempt private entities that build toll roads from having to pay property taxes on the property they put roads on.
For bill status, call 404-656-5015.

4/23/2010 - Transportation Funds

6/14/2010 (HB277):

Gov. Sonny Perdue has signed a transportation funding plan that lets voters decide whether to tax themselves to pay for road improvements.
HB277 lets regions decide whether to increase the 4-cent sales tax by one penny to pay for roads, bridges and transit. The issue is slated to be on the 2012 presidential primary ballot.
Under the new plan, the state would be broken into 12 regions. A select group of elected officials in each region will come up with a list of local projects, and could then submit the list to voters, along with the 1-cent sales tax increase to fund them.
The plan permits regions who vote in favor of the tax to spend money on local projects. Counties could not opt out of a region’s tax. Those regions rejecting the increase would not get any additional funding.
The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority is also given more flexibility to spend its reserve money on new projects. Revenue from the state’s fuel tax is not available for use by mass transit.

4/23/2010:

The General Assembly has approved a transportation funding plan that would let residents vote whether to tax themselves to pay for needed improvements.
House lawmakers voted 141-29 for passage of the bill after the Senate voted 43-8 to let regions decide whether to increase the 4-cent sales tax by one penny to pay for roads, bridges and transit. HB277 now moves to Gov. Sonny Perdue for his signature, which would give voters the final say in the 2012 presidential primary.
Under the new plan, the state would be broken into 12 regions. A select group of elected officials in each region would come up with a list of local projects, and could then submit the list to voters, along with the 1-cent sales tax increase to fund them.
The plan would permit regions who vote in favor of the tax to spend money on local projects. Counties could not opt out of a region’s tax, but those regions rejecting the increase would not get any additional funding.
The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority would also get more flexibility to spend its reserve money on new projects.
For bill status, call 404-656-5015.

07/01/2010 - 'Design-Build'

7/1/2010 (SB305):

A new law raises the cap for the amount of “design-build” work that the Georgia Department of Transportation can contract. It took effect July 1.
Previously SB305, the new law increases the share of design-build transportation projects from 15 percent to 30 percent.

04/02/2010 - English-Only Driver's Licenses

5/7/2010 (SB67):

A bill has died that sought to make English the only language for a driving test. Currently, the exam is available in 13 languages.
Despite passage in both chambers of the statehouse, lawmakers were unable to agree on wording for a bill before the session wrapped up. SB67 sought to make the driver’s exam available only in English to individuals who intend to be permanent residents of the state.

4/2/2010:

The Senate voted 39-11 Tuesday, March 30, to approve a bill that would make English the only language for a driving test. Currently, the exam is available in 13 languages.
SB67 would make the driver’s exam available only in English to individuals who intend to be permanent residents of the state. An exemption would be allowed for anyone seeking a temporary license.
The bill now heads back to the House for final approval before it is cleared to move to Gov. Sonny Perdue’s desk.
For bill status, call 404-656-5015.
Click here to read the 2009 state watches for SB67.

07/14/2010 - Indemnification, Axle Weights & Saddlemounts

7/14/2010 (HB1174):

Gov. Sonny Perdue signed into law a bill that prohibits indemnification clauses associated with annual permits for trucks exceeding height limitations.
As of July 1, no longer can an indemnity bond or proof of insurance protection for $300,000 be required to obtain a permit.
Until now, Georgia law has required bonds or insurance protection held for the benefit of the owners of bridges and other highway structures, such as traffic signals, damaged by a vehicle operating under authority of an overheight permit.
HB1174 removes from state law the following code:
Another change made in Georgia law increases actual gross weight, single axle weight, tandem axle weight, or the allowed weight on any group of two or more axles. As is the case in 44 other states, trucks equipped with auxiliary power units would be authorized to weigh up to an additional 400 pounds.
A separate provision included in the bill brings Georgia law in line with federal rules for saddlemount vehicle transporter combinations. The maximum length for “saddlemount and saddlemount with fullmount combinations” in the state is changed from 75 feet to 97 feet, when operated on interstate highways.

04/30/2010 - Young Drivers

6/11/2010 (HB23):

Gov. Sonny Perdue has signed into law a bill making it illegal for anyone under 18 to use a cell phone while driving. It takes effect July 1.
Previously HB23, the new law calls for violators to face $150 fines. One point would be added to their driver’s license.

4/30/2010:

State lawmakers spent time on the final day of the session Thursday, April 29, to finalize legislation that would prohibit any cell phone use for the state’s youngest drivers.
HB23 would make it illegal for anyone under 18 and driving on an instructional or provisional license to talk on a cell phone while driving, unless they’re reporting an accident or other emergency.
Violators would face $150 fines and one point against their driver’s license.
For bill status, call 404-656-5015.

4/28/2010 - Speed Radar

4/28/2010 (SB295):

As the regular session draws to a close a bill that appears dead was intended to put the brakes on communities that use speed radar as a money maker. It got as far as the Senate floor.
Sponsored by Sen. Mitch Seabaugh, R-Sharpsburg, SB295 targeted towns that have police patrol spots on interstates and issue tickets as a way to generate revenue. If approved, municipalities would have been prohibited from running radar on interstates.

1/29/2010:

A bill in the Senate Public Safety Committee is intended to put the brakes on communities that use speed radar as a money maker.
Sponsored by Sen. Mitch Seabaugh, R-Sharpsburg, SB295 targets towns that have police patrol spots on interstates and issue tickets as a way to generate revenue. If approved, municipalities would be prohibited from running radar on interstates.
For Senate bill status, call 404-656-5040.

12/11/2009:

A bill prefiled for consideration during the 2010 regular session is intended to put the brakes on communities that use speed radar as a money maker.
Sponsored by Sen. Mitch Seabaugh, R-Sharpsburg, SB295 targets towns that have police patrol spots on interstates and issue tickets as a way to generate revenue. If approved, municipalities would be prohibited from running radar on interstates.
The bill is awaiting consideration for the session that begins in mid January. For Senate bill status, call 404-656-5040.

04/30/2010 - Text Messaging

6/11/2010 (SB360):

Gov. Sonny Perdue has signed into law a bill that addresses distracted driving.
Previously SB360, the new law makes it illegal for all drivers to text while driving while heading down the road. Violators would be fined $150 with one point added to their driver’s license.
The new law is effective July 1.

4/30/2010:

State lawmakers spent time on the final day of the session Thursday, April 29, to finalize legislation that would ban texting while driving for all motorists.
SB360 calls for violators to face $150 fines and one point against their driver’s license. The fine would double if an accident results from texting while driving. Exceptions would be made for the use of CB radios or GPS navigation devices.
For bill status, call 404-656-5040

State Watches

02/12/2010 - Transportation Funds

1/12/2012:

Gov. Nathan Deal used his State of the State speech to call for improvements to the state’s transportation network that promote efficiency.
“That means roads on which traffic and freight move freely, ports that handle bigger ships, and airports that process people and packages more efficiently,” Deal said Tuesday, Jan. 10, in prepared remarks.
The Republican governor is also pushing for support on upcoming transportation tax votes. In July, voters around the state will cast ballots on regional transportation referendums that would add a 1-cent sales tax for projects.
Voters in each of the state’s 12 regions will cast ballots this summer on 1-cent sales tax referendums for a predetermined list of road, bridge and transit projects.
During his joint session speech Deal also mentioned the recent decision to halt a public-private partnership project for Atlanta’s Northwest Corridor. The state backed away from plans to add managed lanes to portions of interstates 75 and 575.
Deal said he is “opposed to contracting away Georgia’s sovereignty for a period of 60 to 70 years over a transportation corridor that is so vital to our future.” He said he remains committed to improving the corridor, but “there is a better way forward.”

2/12/2010:

In hopes of curbing traffic congestion and other concerns related to transportation, Georgia legislative leaders appear to be nearing a deal on a funding plan that would let residents vote to tax themselves to pay for needed improvements.
Gov. Sonny Perdue also wants to borrow $300 million a year to benefit freight movement throughout the state.
The Republican governor and leading lawmakers in the statehouse announced they are moving forward with a proposal that would have regions decide whether to increase the 4-cent sales tax by one penny to pay for road and other infrastructure work. If approved by lawmakers, voters would get the final say in the 2012 presidential primary.
Getting transportation funding legislation through the statehouse has been difficult the past couple of years. The Georgia House and Senate, which are led by Republicans, have been divided on how to come up with the money to pay for projects. The stumbling block has been whether the tax should be regional or statewide.
The latest proposal would permit regions who vote in favor of the tax to spend money on local projects. Others rejecting the increase would not get any additional funding.
“This approach will mean dollars spent in a region remain in that region, and the projects will benefit the entire region,” Perdue said in a statement.
Lawmakers would have to sign off on the projects getting the funds. After eight years, voters would have to decide whether to renew the tax.
While Perdue, a Republican, and fellow party leaders are making plans to unveil their initiative, Democrats are calling for a quicker outcome that they say is needed to address the state’s ailing transportation system.
The governor has indicated he is weary of pushing for the tax increase in the middle of a struggling economy.
Perdue is also pursuing a plan to issue $300 million a year in bonds that would help move freight across the state. He wants lawmakers to approve a bond package for 10 years for a total of $3 billion.
The plan’s key component is improving the flow of trucks into and out of the Port of Savannah. The governor is hopeful of making upgrades at the nation’s fastest-growing container port in time for a major widening of the Panama Canal, due for completion in 2014.
The bonds would be repaid using state general funds.

Contact Info

General Assembly runs from Jan. 14 to early April.

Website: http://www.legis.ga.gov/en-US/default.aspx

 

Contact Numbers:
Senate general info and bill status 404-656-5040
House general info and bill status 404-656-5015

Hawaii

2016

State Issues

03/30/2016 - Fuel Tax

3/30/2016 (SB2938):

House Transportation Committee voted to kill a bill to raise the state’s 16-cent fuel tax rate. Vehicle registration and weight tax fees would also be increased. The Senate previously approved it on a 16-8 vote.
The amended bill sought to authorize the Senate Ways and Means Committee to decide on the tax and fee increase amounts. As introduced, SB2938 called for a 3-cent hike.
The additional revenue would be earmarked for the state’s highway fund.

3/1/2016 (SB2938):

The Senate Transportation and Energy Committee voted to advance a bill to raise the state’s 16-cent fuel tax rate. Vehicle registration and weight tax fees would also be increased.
A change made to the bill in committee would authorize the Senate Ways and Means Committee to decide on the tax and fee increase amounts. As introduced, SB2938 called for a 3-cent hike.
The additional revenue would be earmarked for the state’s highway fund.
The bill is in the Senate Ways and Means Committee.
The House version, HB2409, is in the House Transportation Committee.

3/1/2016 (HB2409):

A bill in the House Transportation Committee would raise the state’s 16-cent fuel tax rate. Vehicle registration and weight tax fees would also be increased.
HB2409 would earmark the additional revenue for the state’s highway fund.
The Senate version, SB2938, is in the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

2/2/2016 (SB2938):

A bill in the Senate Transportation and Energy Committee would raise the state’s fuel tax rate from 16 cents to 19 cents per gallon.
SB2938 would also increase vehicle registration and weight tax fees. The additional revenue would be earmarked for the state’s highway fund.
The House version, HB2409, is in the House Transportation and Finance committees.

2/2/2016 (HB2409):

A bill in the House Transportation and Finance committees would raise the state’s fuel tax rate from 16 cents to 19 cents per gallon.
HB2409 would also increase vehicle registration and weight tax fees. The additional revenue would be earmarked for the state’s highway fund.
The Senate version, SB2938, is in the Senate Transportation and Energy Committee.

02/25/2016 - Left Lane Use

2/25/2016 (HB2746):

The House Transportation Committee voted to advance a bill that concerns left lane use.
Dubbed the “lollygagging bill,” the measure targets drivers who impede traffic. Specifically, HB2746 requires any driver on multi-lane roadways to move to the right if they are being overtaken by another vehicle, if they are driving below the posted speed, or if they have at least three vehicles following closely behind.
The committee amended the bill to delay implementation until 2050. As introduced, the bill called for the rule to take effect in July 2017.

2015

State Issues

05/04/2015 - Truck Speed Limit

5/4/2015 (SB346):

A bill died that sought to require trucks to drive slower than other traffic. SB346 called for slowing trucks from 60 to 55 mph on interstates.

2/6/2015:

A bill in the Senate Transportation Committee would require trucks to drive slower than other traffic.
SB346 would slow trucks from 60 to 55 mph on interstates.

2012

State Issues

7/16/2012 - 'Move Over' Law

7/16/2012 (HB2030):

Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed into law a bill to give emergency vehicles, including tow trucks, parked along roadsides with lights flashing a one-lane leeway. If unable to move over, drivers would be required to reduce speed and maintain a safe distance.
Under HB2030, violations would be treated like a simple moving violation.

5/23/2012 (HB2030):

A bill on Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s desk would give emergency vehicles, including tow trucks, parked along roadsides with lights flashing a one-lane leeway. If unable to move over, drivers would be required to reduce speed and maintain a safe distance.
Under HB2030, violations would be treated like a simple moving violation.
For bill status, call 808-587-0700.

5/16/2012 (SB2663):

A bill died that sought to require travelers to make way for emergency personnel during roadside stops.
SB2663 would have required drivers to move into a lane away from emergency vehicles, including tow trucks, parked along roadsides with lights flashing. If unable to move over, drivers would have been required to reduce speed and maintain a safe distance.

5/16/2012 (SB61):

A bill died that sought to require travelers to make way for emergency personnel during roadside stops.
SB61 would have required drivers to move into a lane away from emergency vehicles, including tow trucks, parked along roadsides with lights flashing. If unable to move over, drivers would have been required to reduce speed and maintain a safe distance.

4/6/2012 (HB2030):

The Senate voted to advance a bill to require travelers to make way for emergency personnel during roadside stops. HB2030 moves back to the House for approval of changes.
The amended version would include Ocean Safety and lifeguard vehicles among the emergency vehicles parked along roadsides with lights flashing that drivers would be required to move a lane away.
For bill status, call 808-587-0700.

3/6/2012 (HB2030):

The full House could vote as soon as Tuesday, March 6, to advance a bill to require travelers to make way for emergency personnel during roadside stops. If approved there, HB2030 would advance to the Senate before moving to the governor’s desk.
The bill would require drivers to move into a lane away from emergency vehicles, including tow trucks, parked along roadsides with lights flashing. If unable to move over, drivers would be required to reduce speed and maintain a safe distance.
For bill status, call 808-587-0700.

2/14/2012 (SB2663):

A bill in multiple Senate committees voted to advance a bill to require travelers to make way for emergency personnel during roadside stops.
SB2663 would require drivers to move into a lane away from emergency vehicles, including tow trucks, parked along roadsides with lights flashing. If unable to move over, drivers would be required to reduce speed and maintain a safe distance.
For bill status, call 808-587-0700.

2/14/2012 (SB61):

A bill in the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance a bill to require travelers to make way for emergency personnel during roadside stops.
SB61 would require drivers to move into a lane away from emergency vehicles, including tow trucks, parked along roadsides with lights flashing. If unable to move over, drivers would be required to reduce speed and maintain a safe distance.

2/12/2012 (HB2030):

The House Transportation Committee voted to advance a bill to require travelers to make way for emergency personnel during roadside stops.
Sponsored by Rep. Gil Keith-Agaran, D-Maui, HB2030 would require drivers to move into a lane away from emergency vehicles, including tow trucks, parked along roadsides with lights flashing. If unable to move over, drivers would be required to reduce speed and maintain a safe distance.
The bill is scheduled for consideration Tuesday, Feb. 14, in the House Judiciary Committee.
For bill status, call 808-587-0700.

04/06/2012 - CDL Texting Ban

4/6/2012 (HB2609):

A bill has died that sought to bring the state in line with federal truck rules.
HB2609 would have prohibited commercial drivers from taking part in the practice.

2/14/2012:

The House Transportation Committee voted to advance a bill to bring the state in line with federal truck rules.
HB2609 would prohibit commercial drivers from taking part in the practice.
The bill now awaits consideration in the House Finance Committee before it can be moved to the House floor.
For bill status, call 808-587-0700.

4/6/2012 - Red-Light Cameras

4/6/2012 (HB2790):

A bill has died that sought to authorize intersections to be outfitted with cameras to nab red light runners. Offenders could have faced fines between $90 and $200.
HB2790 would have authorized counties to keep revenue for general funding.

2/14/2012:

The House Judiciary Committee voted to advance a bill to authorize intersections to be outfitted with cameras to nab red light runners. Offenders could face fines between $90 and $200.
Sponsored by Rep. Joseph Souki, D-Maui, HB2790 would authorize counties to keep revenue for general funding.
The bill now awaits consideration in the House Finance Committee before it can be moved to the House floor.
For bill status, call 808-587-0700.

07/20/2012 - Indemnification Clauses

7/20/2012 (SB824):

Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed into law a bill to end the practice of including indemnification clauses in trucking contracts. The clauses are set up to protect shippers or hold them harmless from anything that happens with a shipment.
Previously SB824, the new law prohibits provisions in motor carrier contracts that provide for shippers to be indemnified for losses caused by their own negligence and make them “void and unenforceable.”
The new rule is now in effect.
Affected contracts are defined as “a contract or agreement” between a motor carrier and a shipper covering the transportation of property for hire by the motor carrier, entry on property to load, unload or transport property.

5/16/2012 (HB392):

A bill has died that sought to end the practice of including indemnification clauses in trucking contracts. The clauses are set up to protect shippers or hold them harmless from anything that happens with a shipment.
HB392 would have prohibited provisions in motor carrier contracts that provide for shippers to be indemnified for losses caused by their own negligence and make them “void and unenforceable.”
Affected contracts were defined as “a contract or agreement” between a motor carrier and a shipper covering the transportation of property for hire by the motor carrier, entry on property to load, unload or transport property.

2/14/2012 (HB392):
A bill in the House Judiciary Committee would end the practice of including indemnification clauses in trucking contracts. The clauses are set up to protect shippers or hold them harmless from anything that happens with a shipment.
Sponsored by Rep. Joseph Souki, D-Maui, HB392 would prohibit provisions in motor carrier contracts that provide for shippers to be indemnified for losses caused by their own negligence and make them “void and unenforceable.”
Affected contracts are defined as “a contract or agreement” between a motor carrier and a shipper covering the transportation of property for hire by the motor carrier, entry on property to load, unload or transport property.
For bill status, call 808-587-0700.

04/06/2012 - Texting While Driving

4/6/2012 (HB2355):

A bill has died that sought to prohibit texting while driving.
Hawaii does not have a state law prohibiting the distracting activity. However, all of the state’s counties have distracted driving ordinances.
HB2355 remained in the House at the deadline to advance, effectively killing it for the year. It would have forbidden all drivers from texting.

2/14/2012:

The House Transportation Committee voted to advance a bill to prohibit texting while driving.
Hawaii does not have a state law prohibiting the distracting activity. However, all of the state’s counties have distracted driving ordinances.
HB2355 would forbid all drivers from texting.
The bill now awaits consideration in the House Finance Committee before it can be moved to the House floor.
For bill status, call 808-587-0700.

04/06/2012 - Speed Cameras

4/6/2012 (HB2789):

A bill has died that sought to authorize the use of automated enforcement cameras to ticket drivers for speeding.
HB2789 would have authorized counties to keep revenue for general funding.

2/14/2012:

The House Judiciary Committee voted to advance a bill to authorize the use of automated enforcement cameras to ticket drivers for speeding.
Sponsored by Rep. Joseph Souki, D-Maui, HB2789 would authorize counties to keep revenue for general funding.
The bill now awaits consideration in the House Finance Committee before it can be moved to the House floor.
For bill status, call 808-587-0700.

Contact Info

Legislature runs from Jan. 16 to late April.

Website: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov

 

Contact Numbers:
Senate general info 808-586-6720
House general info 808-587-0478
Bill status 808-587-0700

 

Idaho

2016

State Issues

03/29/2016 - Truck Weights

3/29/2016 (S1229):

Gov. Butch Otter has signed into law a bill to permit truck loads weighing up to 129,000 pounds on Interstates 15, 84, 86, 90 and 184 – up from 105,500 pounds.
Previously S1229, the new law authorizes the weight change to take effect July 1, 2016.

3/8/2016:

The House has cleared the way for a bill to move to the governor that would authorize heavier trucks to access the state’s interstate highway system.
S1229 would permit loads weighing up to 129,000 pounds on Interstates 15, 84, 86, 90 and 184 – up from 105,500 pounds.
The bill now moves to Gov. Butch Otter’s desk for his signature. Senate lawmakers already approved the bill on a 31-3 vote.
Once signed into law, the weight change is expected to take effect July 1, 2016.

2/28/2016:

The House could vote as soon as Monday, Feb. 29, to advance a bill that would authorize heavier trucks to access Idaho’s interstate highway system.
Awaiting a House floor vote, S1229 would permit loads weighing up to 129,000 pounds on Interstates 15, 84, 86, 90 and 184 – up from 105,500 pounds. The Senate voted 31-3 earlier this month to authorize the heavier loads.
The U.S. Congress gave Idaho permission late last year to pursue the change.
If approved on the House floor, the bill would head to Gov. Butch Otter’s desk for his expected signature.

2/15/2012:

The Senate Transportation Committee voted to send for study an effort to do away with split speed limits on interstate highways.
Idaho law now authorizes motorists to drive 75 mph on interstates while trucks are limited to 65 mph.
Sponsored by Senate Transportation Chairman Jim Hammond, S1229 sought to rid the state of speed differentials by authorizing trucks to travel 75 mph. However, his panel decided on Tuesday, Feb. 14, to pursue a work group to address the speed issue.

2/3/2012:

The Senate Transportation Committee voted 5-4 on Thursday, Feb. 2, to hold the bill that would rid the state of speed differentials by authorizing trucks to travel 75 mph.
Idaho law now authorizes motorists to drive 75 mph on interstates while trucks are limited to 65 mph.
One day after the committee vote that nearly derailed S1229, Senate Transportation Chairman Jim Hammond, the bill sponsor, said he is not done fighting to make Idaho’s highways safer.
The committee is expected to once again consider the bill Thursday, Feb. 9.
Hammond said it appears the bill’s only chance at advancing is tied to the promise it will be amended once it reaches the Senate floor.
For bill status, call 208-332-1000. In Idaho, call 800-626-0471.

1/23/2012:

A bill in the Senate Transportation Committee would do away with the state’s split speed limit.
Idaho law now authorizes motorists to drive 75 mph on interstate highways while trucks are limited to 65 mph.
Sponsored by Sen. Jim Hammond, R-Coeur d’Alene, S1229 would rid the state of speed differentials by authorizing trucks to travel 75 mph.
For bill status, call 208-332-1000. In Idaho, call 800-626-0471.

2015

State Issues

04/16/2015 - Daylight Saving Time

4/16/2015 (H198):

A bill died that covers the state’s observance of daylight saving time. H198 called for exempting the state from time changes.

2/27/2015:

The House Ways and Means Committee voted 4-2 to advance a bill that covers the state’s observance of daylight saving time.
H198 would exempt the state from time changes.

04/29/2015 - Transportation Funds

4/29/2015 (H312):

Gov. Butch Otter signed into law a transportation funding deal that will boost revenue in the state of Idaho by $95 million annually.
Previously H312, the new law includes a 7-cent-per-gallon fuel tax increase to 32 cents. The increase is estimated to raise $63 million annually.
The state’s fuel tax rate now is set at 25 cents per gallon. The rate has remained unchanged since 1996.
A separate provision increases vehicle registration fees by $25 for large trucks. Owners of 80,000-pound trucks driven more than 50,000 miles will pay $3,485 – up from $3,460.
Owners of personal vehicles will pay $21 more per year. The additional revenue from all vehicle fees is estimated at $31 million per year.
The state’s highway fund will collect 60 percent of the new revenue each year from vehicle fee and fuel tax increases. Local governments will divvy up the other 40 percent.
In addition, a portion of any budget surpluses in the next two years would be routed to transportation.

4/14/2015:

A House-Senate conference committee met last week to work out the details for a plan to pay for road and bridge work throughout the state.
The full House and Senate followed with votes in the wee hours of Saturday, April 11, to approve the final version of a $94 million funding plan before adjourning the regular session. H312 now moves to Gov. Butch Otter’s desk for his signature.
Legislators agreed on a plan that includes a 7-cent-per-gallon fuel tax increase to 32 cents. The increase is estimated to raise $63 million annually.
The state’s fuel tax rate now is set at 25 cents per gallon. The rate has remained unchanged since 1996.
A separate provision in the bill increases vehicle registration fees by $25 for large trucks. Owners of 80,000-pound trucks driven more than 50,000 miles would pay $3,485 – up from $3,460.
Owners of personal vehicles would pay $21 more per year. The additional revenue from the vehicle fees is estimated at $31 million per year.
The state’s highway fund would receive 60 percent of the new revenue each year from vehicle fee and fuel tax increases. Local governments would divvy up the other 40 percent.
In addition, a portion of any budget surpluses in future years would be routed to transportation.

2014

State Issues

4/17/2014 - Fuel Tax

4/17/2014 (HB481):

A bill died that sought to increase the state’s 25-cent-per-gallon fuel tax rate to 31 cents over three years.
HB481 would have increased the tax rate by 6 cents (2 cents each year) through 2016.
A fiscal note attached to the bill estimated that each penny increase would raise about $8.8 million. Once fully implemented the 6-cent increase would add about $52.8 million for roads and bridges.

2/13/2014 (H481):

The House Transportation Committee recently heard testimony on a bill to increase the state’s 25-cent-per-gallon fuel tax rate to 31 cents over three years.
H481 would increase the tax rate by 6 cents (2 cents each year) through 2016.
A fiscal note attached to the bill estimates that each penny increase would raise about $8.8 million. Once fully implemented the 6-cent increase would add about $52.8 million for roads and bridges.

04/15/2014 - Snow & Ice Accumulation

4/15/2014 (HB493):

A bill died that sought to give truckers a break from weight restrictions during periods when snow and ice accumulate on roadways in the state.
HB493 provided an allowable excess weight provision of 2,000 pounds for “the inadvertent accumulation of mud, snow, water of other such substance” over the allowable loaded gross weight of the vehicle, or combination of vehicles.
Idaho law already makes the weight exception available for farm loads.
The bill passed the House and Senate but the chambers weren’t able to agree to changes before the session ended, effectively killing it for the year.

04/17/2014 - Daylight Saving Time

4/17/2014 (HB559):

A bill died that sought to nix daylight saving time changes.
HB559 would have kept the state on standard time year round.

3/7/2014:

A bill in the House State Affairs Committee would nix daylight saving time changes.
Sponsored by Rep. Mike Moyle, R-Star, HB559 would keep the state on standard time year round.

04/15/2014 - Tank Vehicle Definition

4/15/2014 (SB1305):

Gov. Butch Otter signed a bill into law to bring a truck definition in line with federal rules.
SB1305 changes the definition of the tank endorsement and clarifies the tank vehicle definition. Enactment assures compliance with federal regulations.
Failure to make the changes could have resulted in Idaho losing out on 4 percent, or $9.6 million, of federal highway funds the first year. Withholdings double to 8 percent, or $19.2 million, each year thereafter until compliance is achieved.

04/15/2014 - Transportation Funds

4/15/2014 (HB547):

Gov. Butch Otter signed a bill into law that taps into cigarette tax revenue to pay off $130 million in bonds on the statehouse renovation. Once the project is paid in full, revenue from the state’s 56-cent-per-pack tax will be applied to road work. Some funds from the $40 million yearly tax collection will also be applied to water projects.
Previously HB547, the new law will result in $4.7 million annually through 2030 to retire bonds from the “Connecting Idaho” highway construction program.
The new law also authorizes another $15 million to be used over two years to address the state’s backlog of road work. Idaho transportation officials estimate the state has an annual $262 million maintenance backlog.

03/24/2014 - Split Speeds

3/24/2014 (S1284):

Gov. Butch Otter signed a bill into law that will result in faster speeds in certain areas of the state while maintaining a speed differential.
Idaho law authorizes motorists to travel 75 mph on rural interstates. In 1998, large truck speeds were dropped from 75 mph to 65 mph. Speeds are 65 mph for all vehicles on state highways.
Previously S1284, the new law requires engineering studies to be done and the Idaho Transportation Department to make a final decision about whether highways could handle the higher speeds, up to 70 mph on state highways and 80 mph on interstates.
However, truck speeds on affected stretches of interstates could continue to be 10 mph slower.

3/13/2014:

House lawmakers voted 34-31 on Tuesday, March 11, to send a bill to Gov. Butch Otter that could soon result in faster speeds in certain areas while maintaining a speed differential. Senate lawmakers approved the bill last month on a 30-4 vote.
Idaho law authorizes motorists to travel 75 mph on rural interstates. In 1998, large truck speeds were dropped from 75 mph to 65 mph. Speeds are 65 mph for all vehicles on state highways.
S1284 would require engineering studies to be done and the Idaho Transportation Department to make a final decision about whether highways could handle the higher speeds, up to 70 mph on state highways and 80 mph on interstates.
However, truck speeds on affected stretches of interstates could continue to be 10 mph slower.

2/27/2014:

The Senate voted 30-4 on Tuesday, Feb. 25, to advance a bill that could result in faster speeds in certain areas while maintaining a speed differential.
Idaho law authorizes motorists to travel 75 mph on rural interstates. In 1998, large truck speeds were dropped from 75 mph to 65 mph. Speeds are 65 mph for all vehicles on state highways.
S1284 would require engineering studies to be done and the Idaho Transportation Department to make a final decision about whether highways could handle the higher speeds, up to 70 mph on state highways and 80 mph on interstates.
However, truck speeds on affected stretches of interstates could continue to be as much as 10 mph slower.
The bill awaits further consideration in the House Transportation and Defense Committee.

2/13/2014:

The Senate Transportation Committee voted unanimously on Tuesday, Feb. 11, to advance a bill that could result in speed increases to 80 mph and 70 mph on certain roadways for some vehicles.
Idaho law authorizes motorists to travel 75 mph on interstates. In 1998, large truck speeds were dropped from 75 mph to 65 mph. Speeds are 65 mph for all vehicles on state highways.
Sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis, R-Idaho Falls, S1284 would require the Idaho Transportation Department to determine whether highways could handle the higher speeds, up to 70 mph on state highways and 80 mph on interstates.
Truck speeds on interstates would continue to be 10 mph slower.
Davis told the committee before the vote that his bill needs to be changed on the Senate floor to prevent an unintended change in truck speeds while traveling through urban areas that could result in truck speeds being dropped to 55 mph.
The committee approved the bill with a note to make the change on the Senate floor.

2/3/2014:

A bill in the Senate Transportation Committee could result in speed increases to 80 mph and 70 mph on certain roadways.
Sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis, R-Idaho Falls, S1284 would require the Idaho Transportation Department to determine whether highways could handle the higher speeds, up to 70 on state highways (from 65) and 80 on interstates (from 75).
Truck speeds would continue to be 10 mph slower.

2013

State Issues

03/22/2013 - Indemnity Protection

3/22/2013 (H168):

Gov. Butch Otter signed into law a bill to prohibit unfair clauses in trucking contracts. It takes effect July 1.
Previously H168, the new law does away with indemnification clauses in trucking contracts. The clauses are set up to protect shippers or hold them harmless from anything that happens with a shipment.
Affected contracts typically are defined as a contract, agreement, or understanding between a motor carrier and a shipper covering the transportation of property for hire by the motor carrier, entry on property to load, unload or transport property, including the storage of property.
The protections exclude intermodal chassis, containers, or other intermodal equipment.

3/8/2013:

The Senate Transportation Committee voted to advance a bill to prohibit unfair clauses in trucking contracts.
H168 would do away with indemnification clauses in trucking contracts. The clauses are set up to protect shippers or hold them harmless from anything that happens with a shipment.
Affected contracts typically are defined as a contract, agreement, or understanding between a motor carrier and a shipper covering the transportation of property for hire by the motor carrier, entry on property to load, unload or transport property, including the storage of property.
The protections would exclude intermodal chassis, containers, or other intermodal equipment.
The bill awaits consideration on the Senate floor. If approved there, it would head to the governor’s desk. House lawmakers already approved it by unanimous consent.
For bill status, call 208-332-1000. In Idaho, call 800-626-0471.

3/1/2013:

House lawmakers voted unanimously to advance a bill to prohibit unfair clauses in trucking contracts. It awaits further consideration in the Senate.
H168 would do away with indemnification clauses in trucking contracts. The clauses are set up to protect shippers or hold them harmless from anything that happens with a shipment.
Affected contracts typically are defined as a contract, agreement, or understanding between a motor carrier and a shipper covering the transportation of property for hire by the motor carrier, entry on property to load, unload or transport property, including the storage of property.
The protections would exclude intermodal chassis, containers, or other intermodal equipment.
The bill is in the Senate Transportation Committee.
For bill status, call 208-332-1000. In Idaho, call 800-626-0471.

03/05/2013 - Naming Rights

3/5/2013 (HB1051):

A bill died that sought to authorize the sale of naming rights to highways, bridges and rest areas.
HB1051 missed the crossover deadline, effectively killing it for the year.
The Senate version – SB5584 – met the same fate.

4/5/2013 - Heavier Trucks

4/5/2013 (H322):

Gov. Butch Otter signed into law a bill that requires public hearings be held before designating any new roads for multiple trailer trucks with overweight permits to weigh up to 129,000 pounds.

4/5/2013 (S117):

Gov. Butch Otter signed into law a bill to authorize heavier trucks on roads throughout the state.
In 2003, Idaho lawmakers approved a pilot project authorizing multiple trailer trucks with overweight permits to weigh up to 129,000 pounds, rather than the previous restriction of 105,500 pounds. The trucks are allowed on 35 southern Idaho routes.
S1117 opens the possibility of adding roads in northern Idaho – as long as local highway officials agree.

4/5/2013 (S1064):

Gov. Butch Otter signed into law a bill to make permanent a decade-old pilot project in Idaho permitting heavier trucks on certain roadways.
In 2003, Idaho lawmakers approved a pilot project authorizing multiple trailer trucks with overweight permits to weigh up to 129,000 pounds, rather than the previous restriction of 105,500 pounds. The trucks are allowed on 35 southern Idaho routes.
Effective July 1, the change becomes permanent.

3/22/2013 (S1064):

The House voted 69-1 to advance a bill to Gov. Butch Otter’s desk that would make permanent a decade-old pilot project permitting heavier trucks on certain roadways.
In 2003, Idaho lawmakers approved a pilot project authorizing multiple trailer trucks with overweight permits to weigh up to 129,000 pounds, rather than the previous restriction of 105,500 pounds. The trucks are allowed on 35 southern Idaho routes.
S1064 would make the change permanent.
For bill status, call 208-332-1000. In Idaho, call 800-626-0471.'

3/22/2013 (S117):

The House voted to advance a bill to Gov. Butch Otter’s desk that would authorize heavier trucks on roads throughout the state. Senate lawmakers already approved it on a 22-13 vote.
In 2003, Idaho lawmakers approved a pilot project authorizing multiple trailer trucks with overweight permits to weigh up to 129,000 pounds, rather than the previous restriction of 105,500 pounds. The trucks are allowed on 35 southern Idaho routes.
S1117 would open the possibility of adding roads in northern Idaho – as long as local highway officials agree.
For bill status, call 208-332-1000. In Idaho, call 800-626-0471.

3/8/2013 (S1064):

The Senate voted 33-1 to advance a bill that would make permanent a decade-old pilot project permitting heavier trucks on certain roadways. It now moves to the House.
In 2003, Idaho lawmakers approved a pilot project authorizing multiple trailer trucks with overweight permits to weigh up to 129,000 pounds, rather than the previous restriction of 105,500 pounds. The trucks are allowed on 35 southern Idaho routes.
S1064 awaits consideration in the House Transportation and Defense Committee.
For bill status, call 208-332-1000. In Idaho, call 800-626-0471.

3/8/2013 (S1117):

The Senate voted 22-13 to advance a bill to the House that would authorize heavier trucks on more roads.
In 2003, Idaho lawmakers approved a pilot project authorizing multiple trailer trucks with overweight permits to weigh up to 129,000 pounds, rather than the previous restriction of 105,500 pounds. The trucks are allowed on 35 southern Idaho routes.
S1117 would open the possibility of adding roads in northern Idaho – as long as local highway officials agree.
The bill awaits consideration in the House Transportation and Defense Committee.
For bill status, call 208-332-1000. In Idaho, call 800-626-0471.

2/28/2013 (S1064):

The Senate Transportation Committee on Thursday, Feb. 28, approved a bill that would make permanent a decade-old pilot project permitting heavier trucks on certain roadways.
In 2003, Idaho lawmakers approved a pilot project authorizing multiple trailer trucks with overweight permits to weigh up to 129,000 pounds, rather than the previous restriction of 105,500 pounds. The trucks are allowed on 35 southern Idaho routes.
S1064 next heads to the Senate floor. If approved there, it would advance to the House before moving to the governor’s desk.
For bill status, call 208-332-1000. In Idaho, call 800-626-0471.

2/28/2013 (S1117):

The Senate Transportation Committee on Thursday, Feb. 28, approved a bill that would make add roads in northern Idaho to a rule permitting heavier trucks on certain roadways.
Specifically, S1117 would authorize local jurisdictions, such as cities, counties or highway districts, to decide whether specific roads can handle the additional weight.
The bill heads to the Senate floor. If approved there, it would advance to the House before moving to the governor’s desk.
For bill status, call 208-332-1000. In Idaho, call 800-626-0471.

2012

State Issues

04/11/2012 - Speed Traps

4/11/2012 (H619):

Gov. Butch Otter signed into law a bill to remove the authority from towns to set speed limits on state highways. It takes effect July 1.
Idaho law now authorizes local governments to set speed limits on state highways that run through city limits. The local power can result in posted speeds that are at least 10 mph lower than outside their boundaries.
Previously H619, the new law returns to the Idaho Transportation Department the power to set speed limits on highways.
The ITD will be required to investigate and base posted speeds on “sound traffic engineering safety standards.” Localities could do their own study and request a different posted speed from the department.

3/26/2012:

The Senate voted 26-9 to advance a bill to Gov. Butch Otter that would remove the authority from towns to set speed limits on state highways. House lawmakers already approved it on a 56-10 vote.
Idaho law now authorizes local governments to set speed limits on state highways that run through city limits. The local power can result in posted speeds that are at least 10 mph lower than outside their boundaries.
H619 would return to the Idaho Transportation Department the power to set speed limits on highways.
The bill would require ITD to investigate and base posted speeds on “sound traffic engineering safety standards.” Localities could do their own study and request a different posted speed from the department.
For bill status, call 208-833-1000. In Idaho, call 800-626-0471.

04/12/2012 - Text Messaging

4/12/2012 (S1274):

A new law covers texting while driving.
Previously S1274, the new law specifies that tickets can be handed out to anyone caught reviewing, preparing or sending text messages while driving. Violators would face $85 fines. Emergency personnel and law enforcement also would face punishment.

03/29/2016 - Uniform Speeds

3/29/2016 (S1229):

Gov. Butch Otter has signed into law a bill to permit truck loads weighing up to 129,000 pounds on Interstates 15, 84, 86, 90 and 184 – up from 105,500 pounds.
Previously S1229, the new law authorizes the weight change to take effect July 1, 2016.

3/8/2016:

The House has cleared the way for a bill to move to the governor that would authorize heavier trucks to access the state’s interstate highway system.
S1229 would permit loads weighing up to 129,000 pounds on Interstates 15, 84, 86, 90 and 184 – up from 105,500 pounds.
The bill now moves to Gov. Butch Otter’s desk for his signature. Senate lawmakers already approved the bill on a 31-3 vote.
Once signed into law, the weight change is expected to take effect July 1, 2016.

2/28/2016:

The House could vote as soon as Monday, Feb. 29, to advance a bill that would authorize heavier trucks to access Idaho’s interstate highway system.
Awaiting a House floor vote, S1229 would permit loads weighing up to 129,000 pounds on Interstates 15, 84, 86, 90 and 184 – up from 105,500 pounds. The Senate voted 31-3 earlier this month to authorize the heavier loads.
The U.S. Congress gave Idaho permission late last year to pursue the change.
If approved on the House floor, the bill would head to Gov. Butch Otter’s desk for his expected signature.

2/15/2012:

The Senate Transportation Committee voted to send for study an effort to do away with split speed limits on interstate highways.
Idaho law now authorizes motorists to drive 75 mph on interstates while trucks are limited to 65 mph.
Sponsored by Senate Transportation Chairman Jim Hammond, S1229 sought to rid the state of speed differentials by authorizing trucks to travel 75 mph. However, his panel decided on Tuesday, Feb. 14, to pursue a work group to address the speed issue.

2/3/2012:

The Senate Transportation Committee voted 5-4 on Thursday, Feb. 2, to hold the bill that would rid the state of speed differentials by authorizing trucks to travel 75 mph.
Idaho law now authorizes motorists to drive 75 mph on interstates while trucks are limited to 65 mph.
One day after the committee vote that nearly derailed S1229, Senate Transportation Chairman Jim Hammond, the bill sponsor, said he is not done fighting to make Idaho’s highways safer.
The committee is expected to once again consider the bill Thursday, Feb. 9.
Hammond said it appears the bill’s only chance at advancing is tied to the promise it will be amended once it reaches the Senate floor.
For bill status, call 208-332-1000. In Idaho, call 800-626-0471.

1/23/2012:

A bill in the Senate Transportation Committee would do away with the state’s split speed limit.
Idaho law now authorizes motorists to drive 75 mph on interstate highways while trucks are limited to 65 mph.
Sponsored by Sen. Jim Hammond, R-Coeur d’Alene, S1229 would rid the state of speed differentials by authorizing trucks to travel 75 mph.
For bill status, call 208-332-1000. In Idaho, call 800-626-0471.

State Watches

11/21/2012 - Truck Speed Limits

11/21/2012:

A work group in Idaho met recently to discuss possible changes to the state’s speed limit rules.
OOIDA Board Member Bill Rode of Eagle, ID, was one of about a dozen participants representing state government, law enforcement, and trucking that gathered in Boise to discuss the state’s speed differential on interstates.
Idaho law now authorizes motorists to drive 75 mph on interstates. In 1998, truck speeds were dropped from 75 mph to 65 mph.
During the 2012 regular session Senate Transportation Chairman Jim Hammond offered a bill to rid the state of speed differentials by authorizing trucks to travel 75 mph. Instead, his panel decided to call on a work group to address the speed issue.
Rode said the work group didn’t reach consensus on recommendations to give lawmakers when they convene in early January. Instead, they were split on whether to recommend keeping the status quo on speeds.
The longtime truck driver said that he was one of the panelists to tout the safety benefits of uniform speeds which result in fewer interactions between cars and trucks. Others expressed reservations about giving trucks the authority to travel faster.
One point I got to make was to a lawmaker who complained about rocks, or gravel, from trucks striking his windshield,” Rode said. “I told him ‘It looks like you have a problem with following too close.’ It shut him right up.”
It will be up to lawmakers to decide the best path to take. However, the group did list three possibilities that they believe warrant additional consideration by state lawmakers. One option would be to eliminate the differential on a specific stretch of interstate.
“On roadways where speeds are uniform you don’t have the problems you see where there’s a differential,” Rode told Land Line.
He referred to a 15-mile stretch of Interstate 84 near Boise with uniform speeds.
“With everybody running 65 mph I can see that uniform is the only way we should be.”
Another option listed in the report would be to reduce the speed limit differential.
“You reduce it by 5 mph and it’s still a split. You still have someone cutting in front of me. I want a uniform speed,” he said.
The other option would be to get additional information for lawmakers to review down the road.
Idaho lawmakers can address the issue during the session that begins Jan. 7, 2013.

2011

State Issues

02/10/2011 - 'Move Over' Law

3/3/2011 (S1011):

Gov. Butch Otter signed into law a bill that addresses a perceived loophole in the state’s existing move over rule.
State law requires vehicles traveling on highways with two or more lanes in the same direction to change lanes as soon as possible “in a manner that is reasonable and prudent.” Violators face $85 fines.
The intent is to require drivers to change lanes out of the lane nearest to an emergency vehicle. However, drivers who have changed lanes into the lane nearest stopped emergency vehicles have claimed that they complied with the law by making the lane change.
Previously S1011, the new rule modifies the requirement to make it clear that drivers must change lanes out of the lane adjacent to the stopped emergency vehicle. The change takes effect July 1.

2/10/2011:

The Senate voted Tuesday, Feb. 8, to unanimously approve a bill that addresses a perceived loophole in the state’s existing move over rule. It now moves to the House.
State law now requires vehicles traveling on highways with two or more lanes in the same direction to change lanes as soon as possible “in a manner that is reasonable and prudent.” Violators face $85 fines.
SB1011 would modify the rule to make it clear that drivers must change lanes out of the lane adjacent to the stopped emergency vehicle.
The bill is awaiting consideration in the House Transportation Committee.
For bill status, call 208-332-1000. In Idaho, call 800-626-0471.

Contact Info

Legislature runs from Jan. 7 to early April.

Website: http://www.legislature.idaho.gov

Contact Numbers:

General info and bill status 208-332-1000
General info and bill status (in ID) 800-626-0471

Illinois

2016

State Issues

03/30/2016 - Police Uniform Cameras

3/30/2016 (HB4355):

A bill moved to the House Judiciary – Criminal Committee covers the issue of police uniform cameras.
Illinois law already sets minimum policies and standards for law enforcement agencies that choose to use devices. The public is also permitted to record police actions.
Sponsored by Rep. Arthur Turner, D-Chicago, HB4355 would require a court to conduct an expedited hearing on any exemptions asserted by the public body denying video captured from dash cams or uniform cams from being released.

2/28/2016 (HB4355):

A bill in the House Rules Committee covers the issue of police uniform cameras.
Illinois law already sets minimum policies and standards for law enforcement agencies that choose to use devices. The public is also permitted to record police actions.
Sponsored by Rep. Arthur Turner, D-Chicago, HB4355 would require a court to conduct an expedited hearing on any exemptions asserted by the public body denying video captured from dash cams or uniform cams from being released.

2/28/2016 (SB2207):

A bill in the Senate Executive Committee covers the issue of police uniform cameras.
Illinois law already sets minimum policies and standards for law enforcement agencies that choose to use devices. The public is also permitted to record police actions.
Sponsored by Sen. Emil Jones III, D-Chicago, SB2207 would include a requirement that Chicago police officers must wear and use body cameras. Policy would also be enacted concerning the wearing and use of the devices.

1/4/2016 (HB4355):

Rep. Arthur Turner, D-Chicago, has filed a bill that covers the issue of police uniform cameras.
Illinois law already sets minimum policies and standards for law enforcement agencies that choose to use devices. The public is also permitted to record police actions.
HB4355 would require a court to conduct an expedited hearing on any exemptions asserted by the public body denying video captured from dash cams or uniform cams from being released.

1/4/2016 (SB2207):

Sen. Emil Jones III, D-Chicago, has filed a bill that covers the issue of police uniform cameras.
Illinois law already sets minimum policies and standards for law enforcement agencies that choose to use devices. The public is also permitted to record police actions.
SB2207 would include a requirement that Chicago police officers must wear and use body cameras. Policy would also be enacted concerning the wearing and use of the devices.

04/01/2016 - Truck stops, video gaming

4/1/2016 (HB4629):

A bill in the House Rules Committee addresses the use of video gaming, or gambling, at truck stops in the state.
Illinois law now permits establishments that include truck stops to have up to five gambling machines.
The state claims 30 percent of the proceeds with the local government receiving 5 percent of that amount. The remaining 70 percent of the proceeds are split between the machine owner and the establishment.
HB4629 would permit truck stops that sell more than 50,000 gallons of diesel or biodiesel each month to operate as many as 10 gaming terminals.

04/05/2016 - Truck Weights, Exceptions

4/5/2016 (HB5531):

The House Transportation: Regulation, Roads and Bridges Committee unanimously approved a bill that covers trucking through the state following damaging storms.
HB5531 would exempt trucks from a requirement for a special permit for excess size and weight to access the state’s roadways upon declaration by the governor that a disaster resulting from a storm exists.
The weight of affected trucks could not exceed 20 percent above the permissible limit.
The bill awaits further consideration in the House.

4/1/2016:

A bill in the House Transportation: Regulation, Roads and Bridges Committee covers trucking through the state following damaging storms.
HB5531 would exempt trucks from a requirement for a special permit for excess size and weight to access the state’s roadways upon declaration by the governor that a disaster resulting from a storm exists.
The weight of affected trucks could not exceed 20 percent above the permissible limit.
The bill is scheduled for a committee hearing on Monday, April 4.

05/11/2016 - Transportation 'Lockbox'

5/11/2016 (HJRCA36):

The General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to approve a joint resolution, HJRCA36, to amend the Illinois Constitution to prevent revenues from the state’s road fund from being used for purposes not related to transportation.
The question will appear on the Nov. 8 statewide ballot. If approved, all fuel tax revenues would be directed solely for transportation-related purposes. The governor’s office would also be prevented from tapping into the funding source for other uses.

04/01/2016 - Commercial Distribution Fee

4/1/2016 (SB2319):

A bill in the Senate Revenue Committee would allow truckers with Illinois base plates to keep more money in their pockets.
SB2319 would repeal collection of the commercial distribution fee for trucks in the state. The amount is a 14.35 percent surcharge of the annual registration fees.
For truck registrations of 80,000 pounds, truckers are required to chip in another $400 to cover the CDF. On top of the nearly $2,800 they already pay for base plates, truckers pay about $3,200 a year to tag their trucks in the state.

04/01/2016 - Snow & Ice Removal

4/1/2016 (SB2838):

A bill in the Senate Transportation Committee would require the removal of ice and snow from atop trucks.
Sponsored by Sen. Ira Silverstein, D-Chicago, SB2838 focuses concern on trucks in excess of 8,000 pounds. As introduced, the bill does not specify fine amounts.
The bill is scheduled for a hearing on Tuesday, April 5.

04/01/2016 - Rest Areas, Concealed Carry

4/1/2016 (HB4534, HB4953, SB2334):

A bill in the House Rules Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee would clarify a portion of the state’s concealed carry law.
HB4534, HB4953, SB2334 would make clear that it is not against the law to carry a concealed firearm on the premises of a DOT rest area.

02/28/2016 - Interstate 55 Public-Private Partnership

2/28/2016 (HJR125):

A House resolution in the House Tollway Oversight Committee would allow the Illinois Department of Transportation to partner with a private investor to add managed lanes to a 25-mile segment of Interstate 55, or the Stevenson Expressway.
A 2011 Illinois law allows IDOT to build, finance, operate, and maintain highway projects using public-private partnerships. The only hitch is the General Assembly must adopt a resolution in support of the project.
If HJR125 is approved by state lawmakers, the I-55 project would be the state’s first public-private partnership.
The I-55 managed lanes project would add at least one lane in each direction between Interstate 355, also known as the Veterans Memorial Tollway, and Interstate 90/94, also known as the Dan Ryan Expressway.

2/10/2016:
A House resolution would allow the Illinois Department of Transportation to partner with a private investor to add managed lanes to a 25-mile segment of Interstate 55, or the Stevenson Expressway.
A 2011 Illinois law allows IDOT to build, finance, operate, and maintain highway projects using public-private partnerships. The only hitch is the General Assembly must adopt a resolution in support of the project.
If the resolution is approved by state lawmakers, the I-55 project would be the state’s first public-private partnership.
The I-55 managed lanes project would add at least one lane in each direction between Interstate 355, also known as the Veterans Memorial Tollway, and Interstate 90/94, also known as the Dan Ryan Expressway.
HJR125 awaits House consideration.

04/01/2016 - 'Move Over' Law

4/1/2016 (SB3177):

A bill in the Senate Transportation Committee would revise the state’s Move Over law.
Illinois law already requires drivers to move to an adjacent lane if possible, or reduce speed, when approaching emergency vehicles parked along road shoulders.
SB3177 would revise the rule to cover any vehicle, including large trucks, parked along shoulders of roadways with at least two lanes in the same direction.
Violators would face $100 fines.
The bill is scheduled to receive a hearing on Tuesday, April 5.

2015

State Issues

08/14/2015 - Hours-of-Service Violations

8/14/2015 (HB1516):

A new law substantially increases the penalties for truck drivers who injure or kill someone because they willingly violated hours-of-service rules.
The offense would become a more serious, Class 2 felony – punishable by three to seven years in prison and up to $25,000 fines – for incidents that result in death. Incidents that result in severe injuries to others would be a Class 3 felony – punishable by two to five years in prison and fines up to $25,000.
Previously HB1516, the new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2016.

6/10/2015 (HB1516):

A bill sent to the governor’s desk would substantially increase the penalties for truck drivers who injure or kill someone because they willingly violated hours-of-service rules. HB1516 would upgrade offenses to a more serious, Class 2 felony – punishable by three to seven years in prison and up to $25,000 fines – for incidents that result in death. Incidents that result in severe injuries to others would be a Class 3 felony – punishable by two to five years in prison and fines up to $25,000.

4/15/2015 (HB1516):

House lawmakers voted 85-23 to send a bill to the Senate that would substantially increase the penalties for truck drivers who injure or kill someone because they willingly violated hours-of-service rules.
HB1516 would upgrade offenses to a more serious, Class 2 felony – punishable by three to seven years in prison and up to $25,000 fines – for incidents that result in death. Incidents that result in severe injuries to others would be a Class 3 felony – punishable by two to five years in prison and fines up to $25,000.
The bill is in the Senate Criminal Law Committee.

4/15/2015 (SB1582):

A bill awaiting a Senate floor vote addresses concerns about hours-of-service violations.
SB1582 would upgrade the offense of “willfully” exceeding allowable hours behind the wheel.
Violations that result in serious injury or death to another person would be upgraded from a Class 4 felony to a Class 3 felony. As a result, offenders would face up to five years in prison – up from a maximum of three years behind bars.

2/26/2015 (SB1582):

A bill in the Senate Assignments Committee addresses concerns about hours-of-service violations.
Sponsored by Sen. Chris Nybo, R-Elmhurst, SB1582 would upgrade the offense of “willfully” exceeding allowable hours behind the wheel.
Violations that result in serious injury or death to another person would be upgraded from a Class 4 felony to a Class 3 felony. As a result, offenders would face up to five years in prison – up from a maximum of three years behind bars.

03/27/2015 - Smartphone Kill Switch

3/27/2015 (HB3505):

A bill in the House Consumer Protection Committee would require smartphone manufacturers to add the capability of downloading a shut-off function, or “kill switch,” to all new devices sold.
The kill switch function allows smartphone owners to remotely disable their device if it is lost or stolen, rendering it useless to thieves. Owners can later reverse the function.
Sponsored by Rep. Anna Moeller, D-Elgin, HB3505 would apply to all new devices sold in the state.

3/27/2015 (SB1300):

A bill in the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee would require smartphone manufacturers to add the capability of downloading a shut-off function, or “kill switch,” to all new devices sold.
The kill switch function allows smartphone owners to remotely disable their device if it is lost or stolen, rendering it useless to thieves. Owners can later reverse the function.
Sponsored by Sen. Toi Hutchinson, D-Chicago Heights, SB1300 would apply to all new devices sold in the state starting in July 2016.

03/27/2015 - Commercial Distribution Fees

3/27/2015 (HB371 & HB387):

A bill in the House Rules Committee would allow truckers with Illinois base plates to keep more money in their pockets.
HB371 and HB387 would repeal collection of the commercial distribution fee for trucks in the state. The amount is a 14.35 percent surcharge of the annual registration fees.
For truck registrations of 80,000 pounds, truckers are required to chip in another $400 to cover the CDF. On top of the nearly $2,800 they already pay for base plates, truckers pay about $3,200 a year to tag their trucks in the state.

3/27/2015 (SB1691):

A bill in the Senate Revenue Committee would allow truckers with Illinois base plates to keep more money in their pockets.
SB1691 would repeal collection of the commercial distribution fee for trucks in the state. The amount is a 14.35 percent surcharge of the annual registration fees.
For truck registrations of 80,000 pounds, truckers are required to chip in another $400 to cover the CDF. On top of the nearly $2,800 they already pay for base plates, truckers pay about $3,200 a year to tag their trucks in the state.

2/26/2015 (HB371):

A bill in the House Revenue and Finance Committee would allow truckers with Illinois base plates to keep more money in their pockets.
Sponsored by Rep. Rita Mayfield, D-Waukegan, HB371 would repeal collection of the commercial distribution fee for trucks in the state. The amount is a 14.35 percent surcharge of the annual registration fees.
For truck registrations of 80,000 pounds, truckers are required to chip in another $400 to cover the CDF. On top of the nearly $2,800 they already pay for base plates, truckers pay about $3,200 a year to tag their trucks in the state.

2/26/2015 (HB387):

A bill in the House Revenue and Finance Committee would allow truckers with Illinois base plates to keep more money in their pockets.
Sponsored by Rep. Robert Martwick, D-Chicago, HB387 would repeal collection of the commercial distribution fee for trucks in the state. The amount is a 14.35 percent surcharge of the annual registration fees.
For truck registrations of 80,000 pounds, truckers are required to chip in another $400 to cover the CDF. On top of the nearly $2,800 they already pay for base plates, truckers pay about $3,200 a year to tag their trucks in the state.

2/26/2015 (SB662):

A bill in the Senate Revenue Committee would allow truckers with Illinois base plates to keep more money in their pockets.
Sponsored by Sen. Martin Sandoval, D-Cicero, SB662 would repeal collection of the commercial distribution fee for trucks in the state. The amount is a 14.35 percent surcharge of the annual registration fees.
For truck registrations of 80,000 pounds, truckers are required to chip in another $400 to cover the CDF. On top of the nearly $2,800 they already pay for base plates, truckers pay about $3,200 a year to tag their trucks in the state.

2/26/2015 (SB1691):

A bill in the Senate Assignment Committee would allow truckers with Illinois base plates to keep more money in their pockets.
Sponsored by Sen. Sam McCann, R-Plainview, SB1691 would repeal collection of the commercial distribution fee for trucks in the state. The amount is a 14.35 percent surcharge of the annual registration fees.
For truck registrations of 80,000 pounds, truckers are required to chip in another $400 to cover the CDF. On top of the nearly $2,800 they already pay for base plates, truckers pay about $3,200 a year to tag their trucks in the state.

10/08/2015 - 'Rolling Stock' Sales Tax

10/8/2015 (HB4300):

An effort underway at the statehouse would do away with a tax break available to truckers.
Rep. Jack Franks, D-Marengo, is the sponsor of a lengthy bill to address the state’s annual budget. One provision in the 941-page bill would repeal the existing “rolling stock” sales tax exemption for qualified purchases, such as trucks, trailers and tires.
The exemption would end on June 30, 2016.
HB4300 awaits consideration in the House.

04/15/2015 - Rest Areas

4/15/2015 (HJR29):

House lawmakers voted unanimously to advance a measure that urges the Illinois Department of Transportation to include healthy, Illinois-made snacks in rest area vending machines. It now moves to the Senate.
House Joint Resolution 29 would encourage IDOT to stock at least three snacks containing less than 220 calories for every 10 snacks that are offered in vending machines. Two of the three healthy snacks would need to be made in the state.
The resolution is in Senate Assignments.

2/26/2015:

A bill in the House Rules Committee urges the Illinois Department of Transportation to include healthy, Illinois-made snacks in rest area vending machines.
Sponsored by Rep. Don Moffitt, R-Gilson, House Joint Resolution 29 would encourage IDOT to stock at least three snacks containing less than 220 calories for every 10 snacks that are offered in vending machines. Two of the three healthy snacks would need to be made in the state.
Illinois operates 30 rest areas and 11 welcome centers along roadways.

08/12/2015 - Police Uniform Cameras

8/12/2015 (SB1304):

A new law address the use of body-worn devices by law enforcement.
Previously SB1304, the new law doesn’t require police to wear the cameras, but they are required to record any interaction with the public. Exceptions that include interviews with witnesses would be exempt. A grant program would also be set up to help departments pay for the devices.

8/12/2015:

A new law address the use of body-worn devices by law enforcement.
Previously SB1304, the new law doesn’t require police to wear the cameras, but they are required to record any interaction with the public. Exceptions that include interviews with witnesses would be exempt. A grant program would also be set up to help departments pay for the devices.

08/25/2015 - Towing Rules

8/25/2015 (SB1441):

A new law puts in place limits on nonconsensual tows of large trucks.
Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law a bill to prohibit towers from removing a commercial vehicle under the vehicle’s own power without authorization from law enforcement. It takes effect Jan. 1, 2016.
SB1441 forbids “towing” a truck by operating the vehicle under its own power as opposed to physically hauling the vehicle away unless police authorize moving the vehicle.
The new law also requires law enforcement agencies that are responsible for patrolling highways in the state to maintain at least one tow rotation list.
Tow operators that are present at the scene of a vehicle incident or disablement that were not requested by law enforcement, or the owner or operator of the vehicle would be told to leave the scene.
Towers found to be soliciting business at wreck or disablement scenes would face fines between $500 and $1,000. Offenders would also face three months suspension.
In addition, truck drivers arriving on the scene while a tow is in progress must be able to get the truck and/or trailer disconnected as long as they pay up to one-half of the posted rates of the towing service for each vehicle.

8/14/2015 (SB1441):

A bill on Gov. Bruce Rauner’s desk would prohibit towers from removing a commercial vehicle under the vehicle’s own power without authorization from law enforcement.
SB1441 forbids “towing” a truck by operating the vehicle under its own power as opposed to physically hauling the vehicle away unless police authorize moving the vehicle.
The bill also requires law enforcement agencies that are responsible for patrolling highways in the state to maintain at least one tow rotation list.
Tow operators that are present at the scene of a vehicle incident or disablement that were not requested by law enforcement, or the owner or operator of the vehicle would be told to leave the scene.
Towers found to be soliciting business at wreck or disablement scenes would face fines between $500 and $1,000. Offenders would also face three months suspension.
In addition, truck drivers arriving on the scene while a tow is in progress must be able to get the truck and/or trailer disconnected as long as they pay up to one-half of the posted rates of the towing service for each vehicle.

5/4/2015 (SB674):

A bill in the House Revenue and Finance Committee would prohibit towers from removing a commercial vehicle under the vehicle’s own power without authorization from law enforcement. The Senate already approved it. SB674 would forbid “towing” a truck by operating the vehicle under its own power as opposed to physically hauling the vehicle away unless police authorize moving the vehicle.

4/15/2015 (SB674):

The Senate has voted unanimously to advance a rule change that would prohibit towers from removing a commercial vehicle under the vehicle’s own power without authorization from law enforcement.
SB674 would forbid “towing” a truck by operating the vehicle under its own power as opposed to physically hauling the vehicle away unless police authorize moving the vehicle.
The bill is in the House Rules Committee.

3/27/2015:

A bill in the Senate Transportation Committee would put limits in place on nonconsensual tows of large trucks.
SB1441 would prohibit towers from removing a commercial vehicle under the vehicle’s own power without authorization from law enforcement.
The bill would also forbid “towing” a truck by operating the vehicle under its own power as opposed to physically hauling the vehicle away unless police authorize moving the vehicle.

3/27/2015 (HB358):

A bill in the House Rules Committee would put limits in place on nonconsensual tows of large trucks.
HB358 would prohibit towers from removing a commercial vehicle under the vehicle’s own power without authorization from law enforcement.
The bill would also forbid “towing” a truck by operating the vehicle under its own power as opposed to physically hauling the vehicle away unless police authorize moving the vehicle.

2/26/2015 (SB1441):

A bill in the Senate Assignments Committee would put limits in place on nonconsensual tows of large trucks.
Sponsored by Sen. Martin Sandoval, D-Cicero, SB1441 would prohibit towers from removing a commercial vehicle under the vehicle’s own power without authorization from law enforcement.
The bill would also forbid “towing” a truck by operating the vehicle under its own power as opposed to physically hauling the vehicle away unless police authorize moving the vehicle.

2/26/2015 (HB358):

A bill in the House Revenue and Finance Committee would put limits in place on nonconsensual tows of large trucks.
Sponsored by Rep. Daniel Beiser, HB358 would prohibit towers from removing a commercial vehicle under the vehicle’s own power without authorization from law enforcement.
The bill would also forbid “towing” a truck by operating the vehicle under its own power as opposed to physically hauling the vehicle away unless police authorize moving the vehicle.

2/26/2015 (SB674):

A bill in the Senate Transportation Committee would put limits in place on nonconsensual tows of large trucks.
Sponsored by Sen. John Sullivan, D-Rushville, SB674 would prohibit towers from removing a commercial vehicle under the vehicle’s own power without authorization from law enforcement.
The bill would also forbid “towing” a truck by operating the vehicle under its own power as opposed to physically hauling the vehicle away unless police authorize moving the vehicle.

03/27/2015 - Daylight Saving Time

3/27/2015 (HB1562):

A bill in the House Rules Committee covers the state’s observance of daylight saving time.
HB1562 would keep the state on daylight saving time year-round.

2/27/2015:

A bill in the House Executive Committee covers the state’s observance of daylight saving time.
Sponsored by Rep. Bill Mitchell, R-Forsyth, HB1562 would keep the state on daylight saving time year-round.

03/27/2015 - Rest Areas, Concealed Carry

3/27/2015 (SB1423):

A bill in the Senate Judiciary Committee would clarify a portion of the state’s concealed carry law.
SB1423 would make clear that it is not against the law for a concealed carry licensee to carry a weapon on the premises of a DOT rest area.

2/26/2015 (SB1423):

A bill in the Senate Assignments Committee would clarify a portion of the state’s concealed carry law.
Sponsored by Sen. Neil Anderson, R-Rock Island, SB1423 would make clear that it is not against the law for a concealed carry licensee to carry a weapon on the premises of a DOT rest area.

2/26/2015:

A bill in the House Rules Committee would clarify a portion of the state’s concealed carry law.
Sponsored by Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg, HB481 would make clear that it is not against the law for a concealed carry licensee to carry a weapon on the premises of a DOT rest area.

03/05/2014 - Warning SIgnals

3/5/2014 (HB4785):

A bill is in the House Rules Committee would require vehicles equipped with dump bodies to include visual and audible warning signals in the cab.
Sponsored by Rep. Robert Rita, D-Blue Island, HB4785 would require the signal to be “activated when the dump body is unlatched, unsecured or is in an upright or elevated position.”
Rita wrote in the bill that “the visual device must be located within the driver’s view and the audible warning must be distinct from other audible warnings in the cab.”

2014

State Issues

07/29/2014 - Road and Bridge Work

7/29/2014 (HB3794):

Gov. Pat Quinn put his signature on a bill July 22 in Chicago to authorize selling $1.1 billion in bonds to pay for road and bridge work throughout the state.

Among the 210 projects funded by HB3794:

• $86 million to rebuild and repair the bridges at Interstate 55 and state Route 171 in the southwest suburbs;
• $56.8 million to add lanes to U.S. 14 in Crystal Lake;
• $52.7 million to resurface 25.7 miles of I-57 in Union, Johnson and Williamson counties;
• $52.1 million to initiate improvements at the I-55 interchange with Weber Road in Romeoville;
• $48 million to reconstruct the I-55 bridges approaching Lake Shore Drive in Chicago;
• $39.9 million for 8.3 miles of resurfacing and bridge deck repair on I-70 in Fayette and Effingham counties; and
• $31 million to resurface 30 miles of I-80 in Henry County.

6/18/2014:

The Senate voted 51-5 to send a bill to the governor’s desk that would authorize selling $1.1 billion in bonds to pay for road and bridge work throughout the state. House lawmakers already approved HB3794 on a 97-11 vote.

05/15/2014 - Nonconsensual Tows

5/15/2014 (SB2932):

A bill in the House Towing Oversight Subcommittee would prohibit towers from removing a commercial vehicle under the vehicle’s own power without authorization from law enforcement. The Senate already approved it.
SB2932 would forbid “towing” a truck by operating the vehicle under its own power as opposed to physically hauling the vehicle away unless police authorize moving the vehicle.

4/23/2014 (SB2932):

The Senate voted unanimously to advance a bill that would prohibit towers from removing a commercial vehicle under the vehicle’s own power without authorization from law enforcement. The bill awaits consideration in the House before it could move to the governor’s desk.
Sponsored by Sen. John Sullivan, D-Rushville, SB2932 would forbid “towing” a truck by operating the vehicle under its own power as opposed to physically hauling the vehicle away unless police authorize moving the vehicle.

3/11/2014 (HB4392):

A bill in the House Towing Oversight Subcommittee would put limits in place on nonconsensual tows of large trucks.
HB4392 would prohibit towers from removing a commercial vehicle under the vehicle’s own power without authorization from law enforcement.
The bill would forbid “towing” a truck by operating the vehicle under its own power as opposed to physically hauling the vehicle away unless police authorize moving the vehicle.

3/5/2014 (HB4392):

A bill in the House Rules Committee would put limits in place on nonconsensual tows of large trucks.
HB4392 would prohibit towers from removing a commercial vehicle under the vehicle’s own power without authorization from law enforcement.
The bill would forbid “towing” a truck by operating the vehicle under its own power as opposed to physically hauling the vehicle away unless police authorize moving the vehicle.
The Senate version – SB2932 – is awaiting a final vote on the Senate floor.

3/5/2014 (SB2932):

A bill awaiting a final vote on the Senate floor would put limits in place on nonconsensual tows of large trucks.
Sponsored by Sen. John Sullivan, D-Rushville, SB2932 would prohibit towers from removing a commercial vehicle under the vehicle’s own power without authorization from law enforcement.
The bill would forbid “towing” a truck by operating the vehicle under its own power as opposed to physically hauling the vehicle away unless police authorize moving the vehicle.
If approved by the full Senate, the bill would head to the House where a nearly identical version – HB4392 – is in the House Rules Committee.

03/27/2014 - Ticket Cameras

3/27/2014 (HB4632):

A bill in the House Transportation: Vehicles and Safety Committee would authorize speed cameras around the state. Currently, speed cameras are limited to the city of Chicago near schools and public parks.
Sponsored by Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Belleville/Collinsville, HB4632 would permit cities of all sizes to use automated ticketing machines.

12/03/2014 - Tollways Speed Limit

12/3/2014 (SB2015):

State lawmakers voted to override a veto on a bill to alter speeds for all vehicles on Illinois tollways.
SB2015 will raise the speed limit from 65 to 70 mph on the 286-mile network of tollways.
The governor previously said “the convenience of increased speeds for drivers on Illinois tollways does not outweigh the safety risks.”
House lawmakers voted 100-11 on Wednesday to overturn the veto. The Senate already voted 44-5 in favor of the override.

04/23/2014 - Commercial Distribution Fee

4/23/2014 (SB2927):

A bill in the Senate Assignments Committee would repeal collection of the commercial distribution fee for trucks in the state. The amount is a 14.35 percent surcharge of the annual registration fees.
For truck registrations of 80,000 pounds, truckers are required to chip in another $400 to cover the CDF. On top of the nearly $2,800 they already pay for base plates, truckers pay about $3,200 a year to tag their trucks in the state.
SB2927 is in the Senate Assignments Committee.

3/5/2014:

A bill in the Senate Revenue Committee would allow truckers with Illinois base plates to keep more money in their pockets.
Sponsored by Sen. Martin Sandoval, D-Cicero, SB2927 would repeal collection of the commercial distribution fee for trucks in the state. The amount is a 14.35 percent surcharge of the annual registration fees.
For truck registrations of 80,000 pounds, truckers are required to chip in another $400 to cover the CDF. On top of the nearly $2,800 they already pay for base plates, truckers pay about $3,200 a year to tag their trucks in the state.

03/05/2014 - Concealed Carry & Rest Areas

3/5/2014 (HB4682):

A bill in the House Rules Committee would clarify a portion of the state’s concealed carry law.
HB4682 would make clear that it is not against the law to carry a concealed firearm on the premises of a DOT rest area.
The Senate version – SB3010 – is in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

3/5/2014 (SB3010):

A bill in the Senate Judiciary Committee would clarify a portion of the state’s concealed carry law.
SB3010 would make clear that it is not against the law to carry a concealed firearm on the premises of a DOT rest area.
The House version – HB4682 – is in the House Rules Committee.

07/10/2014 - Ticket Quotas

7/10/2014 (SB3411):

Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill into law that eliminates citation quotas for state, county and municipal police officers.
SB3411 forbids any requirement “to issue a specific number of citations within a designated period of time.”
Law enforcement agencies are also prohibited from evaluating personnel based on the number of tickets written or arrests made.
Departments, however, could continue to use officer contacts as an evaluative tool. The practice covers any instance where an officer makes contact with someone, such as traffic stops, arrests and written warnings.

6/2/2014:

The House voted 106-9 to approve a bill that would forbid any requirement from law enforcement officers “to issue a specific number of citations within a designated period of time.”
SB3411 now moves to Gov. Pat Quinn’s desk. Senate lawmakers already approved it on a 57-1 vote.
If signed into law, law enforcement agencies would also be prohibited from evaluating personnel based on the number of tickets written or arrests made.
Departments, however, could continue to use officer contacts as an evaluative tool. The practice covers any instance where an officer makes contact with someone, such as traffic stops, arrests and written warnings.
A change made to the bill would exempt Chicago from the requirements. Advocates for the change say that Chicago has its own system of oversight in place.
The governor has 60 days to decide whether he will sign the bill, veto it or let it become law without his signature.

5/1/2014:

The Senate voted 57-1 last month to advance a bill that would eliminate citation quotas for state, county and municipal police officers.
SB3411 would forbid any requirement “to issue a specific number of citations within a designated period of time.”
Law enforcement agencies would be prohibited from evaluating personnel based on the number of tickets written or arrests made. Departments, however, could continue to use officer contacts as an evaluative tool. The practice covers any instance where an officer makes contact with someone.
A provision added to the bill would allow for quotas when enforcement funding comes from federal or state grants. Programs include DUI checkpoints, seat belt checks and truck enforcement.
The House Labor and Commerce Committee is scheduled to consider SB3411 on Wednesday, May 7.

12/03/2014 - Speed Limit Differential

12/3/2014 (SB930):

The House voted 103-12 on Tuesday, Dec. 2, to overturn an August veto from Gov. Pat Quinn for a bill to permit trucks on rural interstate highways in Cook and the “collar” counties surrounding Chicago to drive 60 mph. The vote exceeded the three-fifths majority needed to override the governor’s veto.
The bill, SB930, now becomes law. Senate lawmakers gave unanimous consent last month to overriding the veto.
At the time of his veto, Quinn cited concerns about allowing large trucks to drive faster.
“Increased speeds on urban interstate highways for trucks will result in the increased loss of human life,” Quinn wrote in a veto message to lawmakers. He said speed also exacerbates the size and weight differences between large trucks and passenger vehicles, leading to more severe crashes.
Since Jan. 1, the speed limit on affected roadways is 70 mph for cars and 55 mph for trucks. Previously, car speeds were set at 65 mph.

8/14/2014 (SB930):

Gov. Pat Quinn has nixed an effort to reduce the speed limit differential on certain Chicago-area roadways. He cited concerns about allowing large trucks to drive faster.
Since Jan. 1, the speed limit on rural interstate highways in Cook and the “collar” counties surrounding Chicago is 70 mph for cars and 55 mph for trucks. Previously, car speeds were set at 65 mph.
The governor vetoed a bill on Monday, Aug. 11, that permitted trucks on affected roadways to drive 60 mph.
“Increased speeds on urban interstate highways for trucks will result in the increased loss of human life,” Quinn wrote in a veto message to lawmakers. He speed also exacerbates the size and weight differences between large trucks and passenger vehicles, leading to more severe crashes.
The House and Senate can consider SB930 this fall during a scheduled veto session. A three-fifths majority would be needed to override the veto. During the regular session, the bill passed through the statehouse with unanimous consent.
Quinn urged lawmakers to stand with him in his decision to veto the bill.
“The convenience of increased speeds for truckers on roadways does not outweigh the safety risks to children, families, and our dedicated public servants.”

12/3/2014 (SB930):

The House voted 103-12 on Tuesday, Dec. 2, to overturn an August veto from Gov. Pat Quinn for a bill to permit trucks on rural interstate highways in Cook and the “collar” counties surrounding Chicago to drive 60 mph. The vote exceeded the three-fifths majority needed to override the governor’s veto.
The bill, SB930, now becomes law. Senate lawmakers gave unanimous consent last month to overriding the veto.
At the time of his veto, Quinn cited concerns about allowing large trucks to drive faster.
“Increased speeds on urban interstate highways for trucks will result in the increased loss of human life,” Quinn wrote in a veto message to lawmakers. He said speed also exacerbates the size and weight differences between large trucks and passenger vehicles, leading to more severe crashes.
Since Jan. 1, the speed limit on affected roadways is 70 mph for cars and 55 mph for trucks. Previously, car speeds were set at 65 mph.

8/14/2014 (SB930):

Gov. Pat Quinn has nixed an effort to reduce the speed limit differential on certain Chicago-area roadways. He cited concerns about allowing large trucks to drive faster.
Since Jan. 1, the speed limit on rural interstate highways in Cook and the “collar” counties surrounding Chicago is 70 mph for cars and 55 mph for trucks. Previously, car speeds were set at 65 mph.
The governor vetoed a bill on Monday, Aug. 11, that permitted trucks on affected roadways to drive 60 mph.
“Increased speeds on urban interstate highways for trucks will result in the increased loss of human life,” Quinn wrote in a veto message to lawmakers. He speed also exacerbates the size and weight differences between large trucks and passenger vehicles, leading to more severe crashes.
The House and Senate can consider SB930 this fall during a scheduled veto session. A three-fifths majority would be needed to override the veto. During the regular session, the bill passed through the statehouse with unanimous consent.
Quinn urged lawmakers to stand with him in his decision to veto the bill.
“The convenience of increased speeds for truckers on roadways does not outweigh the safety risks to children, families, and our dedicated public servants.”

09/22/2014 - Police Dash Cams

9/22/2014 (HB3911):

Sen. Bill Haine, D-Alton, and Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth, D-Peoria, have announced plans to pursue increased funding for police departments to buy more cameras.
The plan would add money to an existing grant program to enable local police to buy body cameras or dashboard cameras.
HB3911 is expected to be amended to increase an existing court fee by $6 to fund the camera grant program. The fee is estimated to raise as much as $6 million annually.
Illinois lawmakers are scheduled to return to Springfield in November for the annual fall session.

03/05/2014 - Vehicle Haulers

3/5/2014 (HB4592):

A bill in the House Rules Committee would authorize vehicle haulers to be a little bit taller.
Sponsored by Rep. Dwight Kay, R-Glen Carbon, HB4592 would allow vehicles designed to transport multiple vehicles to reach a height of 14 feet – up from 13 feet 6 inches.

03/05/2014 - Clinging to Vehicles

3/5/2014 (HB5484):

A bill in the House Transportation: Vehicles and Safety Committee would prohibit clinging to vehicles.
HB5484 would forbid people from using a scooter, moped, roller blades or themselves to attach to any vehicle on the state’s roadways.

10/24/2014 - Warrantless Searches

10/24/2014 (SB2808):

A new law limits the circumstances that law enforcement can use information collected from cellphones.
SB2808 allows law enforcement to capture cellphone data only after obtaining a court order based on probable cause of a crime. It took effect immediately.

5/23/2014:

A bill on its way to the governor’s desk would limit the circumstances that law enforcement can use information collected from cellphones.
SB2808 would allow law enforcement to capture cellphone data only after obtaining a court order based on probable cause of a crime.

4/8/2014:

The Senate voted unanimously to advance a bill to the House that would limit the circumstances that law enforcement can use information collected from cellphones.
SB2808 would allow law enforcement to capture cellphone data only after obtaining a search warrant.
The bill awaits assignment to committee in the House.

3/24/2014:

A bill awaiting consideration on the Senate floor would limit the circumstances that law enforcement can use information collected from cellphones.
Sponsored by Sen. Daniel Biss, D-Evanston, SB2808 would allow law enforcement to capture cellphone data only after obtaining a search warrant.

04/23/2014 - CDL Testing Languages

4/23/2014 (SB3373):

A bill in the Senate Assignments Committee would simplify commercial driver’s license testing for more prospective truck drivers.
Illinois law now requires the state and third-party testers to make testing available in English, Spanish and Polish.
Sponsored by Sen. Martin Sandoval, D-Cicero, SB3373 would add Mandarin to the list of test offerings.

3/5/2014:

A bill is in the Senate Assignments Committee would simplify commercial driver’s license testing for more prospective truck drivers.
Illinois law now requires the state and third-party testers to make testing available in English, Spanish and Polish.
SB3373 would add Mandarin to the list of test offerings.

04/23/2014 - Road Closures

4/23/2014 (SB3471):

A bill awaiting a final Senate floor vote covers road closures.
Sponsored by Sen. Darin LaHood, R-Dunlap, SB3471 would prohibit highway commissioners from permanently closing, vacating, or reducing “the weight limit on any road or portion thereof without the written approval of the county.”

3/5/2014:

A bill in the Senate Assignments Committee covers road closures.
Sponsored by Sen. Darin LaHood, R-Dunlap, SB3471 would prohibit highway commissioners from permanently closing, vacating, or reducing “the weight limit on any road or portion thereof without the written approval of the county superintendent of highways and the elected board associated with that road district.”

2013

State Issues

08/12/2013 - Young Drivers

8/12/2013 (HB1009):

Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill into law that authorizes the Secretary of State to deny driver’s licenses or permits to anyone 18 or younger who has unresolved traffic citations. HB1009 took effect immediately.
The secretary’s office can also revoke a graduated driver’s license if it’s later found that driving privileges were granted when the minor had an unresolved traffic citation.

08/22/2013 - Hand-Held Cellphones

8/22/2013 (HB1247):

Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill into law forbidding the use of hand-held cellphones while driving. The changes take effect Jan. 1, 2014.
HB1247 makes an exception for hands-free or voice-operated modes, as well as headsets.
Violators face fines of $75. Subsequent penalties increase to as much as $150.

08/02/2013 - Online Voter Registration

8/2/2013 (HB2418):

Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill into law to authorize voters to register online.
HB2418 requires online voter registration to be in place for the 2014 general election. Applicants will need a driver’s license or state identification card and the last four digits of their Social Security number to register.
Voters can also request mail-in ballots online.

08/22/2013 - Distracted Driving

8/22/2013 (HB2585):

Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill into law to increase penalties for drivers who get in wrecks while using electronic devices.
Previously HB2585, the new law authorizes penalties for first offenders of up to one year in prison for wrecks that cause injury. Wrecks that result in death could result in prison terms up to three years.
The changes take effect on Jan. 1, 2014.

08/12/2013 - Driver's Education

8/12/2013 (HB772):

Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill into law that beefs up adult driver’s education requirements. Anyone between ages 18 and 21 who didn’t take a driver’s education course in high school must complete a six-hour adult driver training and education course before getting licensed. HB772 takes effect July 1, 2014.

05/24/2013 - Independent Contractors

5/24/2013 (SB1660 & SB1661):

A bill died that sought to clarify independent contractor status.
SB1660 would have set conditions under which a person who operates a truck is an independent contractor and not an employee.

3/11/2013:

A bill in the Senate Assignments Committee would clarify independent contractor status.
Sponsored by Sen. Gary Forby, D-Benton, SB1660 would sets conditions under which a person who operates a truck is an independent contractor and not an employee.
For Senate bill status, call 217-782-9778.

04/23/2013 - Towing Fees

4/23/2013 (SB1825):

The Senate voted unanimously to advance a bill that is intended to rein in excessive towing fees. It now moves to the House.
SB1825 would prohibit towers from hooking up commercial vehicles without permission from law enforcement.
For bill status, call 217-782-5799.

3/19/2013:

The Senate Transportation Committee voted unanimously to advance a bill that is intended to rein in excessive towing fees.
SB1825 would prohibit towers from hooking up commercial vehicles without permission from law enforcement.
The bill awaits further Senate consideration. For Senate bill status, call 217-782-5799.

3/11/2013:

A bill in the Senate Transportation Committee is intended to rein in excessive towing fees.
SB1825 would prohibit towers from hooking up commercial vehicles without permission from law enforcement.
For Senate bill status, call 217-782-5799.

08/20/2013 - Speed Limits

8/20/2013 (SB2356)

Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill into law on Monday, Aug. 19, to raise the speed limit from 65 mph to 70 mph on rural four-lane highways and the Illinois Tollway. The change will take effect on Jan. 1, 2014.
The number of highways where new speeds are authorized could change in the months ahead. Cook and the “collar” counties surrounding Chicago, and Madison and St. Clair counties outside of St. Louis can opt out of the rule change.
Previously SB2356, the new law also lowers the threshold by 5 mph for speeding violations to increase from a petty offense to a misdemeanor. Specifically, speeding between 26-35 mph above the speed limit – down from 31-40 mph – would be a Class B misdemeanor. Exceeding the posted speed by more than 35 mph – down from 40 mph – would be a Class A misdemeanor.

5/24/2013 (SB2356):

The House voted 85-30 this week to send to the governor a bill that would raise the speed limit from 65 mph on rural interstate highways and the Illinois Tollway. Speeds on divided four-lane highways wouldn’t change. Senate lawmakers already approved the bill on a 41-6 vote.
Cook and the “collar” counties surrounding Chicago, and Madison and St. Clair counties outside of St. Louis could opt out of the rule change.
SB2356 would also lower the threshold for speeding violations to increase from a petty offense to a misdemeanor. Specifically, speeding between 26-35 mph above the speed limit – down from 31-40 mph – would be a Class B misdemeanor. Exceeding the posted speed by more than 35 mph – currently 40 mph – would be a Class A misdemeanor.
If signed into law the speed change would take effect Jan. 1. If vetoed, lawmakers may be able to override the governor. The House and Senate vote tallies exceed the margins needed to override a veto.
For bill status, call 217-782-9778.

5/24/2013 (HB2573):

HB2573 is likely dead. However, a similar bill – SB2356 – has moved to the governor.

5/14/2013 (SB2356):

The House could vote as early as this week to send a bill to the governor that would authorize all vehicles to travel 70 mph. Senate lawmakers already approved the bill on a 41-6 vote.
Sponsored by Sen. Jim Oberweis, R-Sugar Grove, SB2356 would raise the speed limit from 65 mph on rural interstate highways and the Illinois Tollway. Speeds on divided four-lane highways wouldn’t change.
Cook and the “collar” counties surrounding Chicago, and Madison and St. Clair counties outside of St. Louis could opt out of the rule change.
The bill would lower the threshold for speeding violations to increase from a petty offense to a misdemeanor. Specifically, speeding between 26-35 mph above the speed limit – down from 31-40 mph – would be a Class B misdemeanor. Exceeding the posted speed by more than 35 mph – down from 40 mph – would be a Class A misdemeanor.
-For bill status, call 217-782-9778.

4/25/2013 (SB2356):

The Senate voted 41-6 this week to advance a bill that would authorize all vehicles to travel at least 70 mph. It now moves to the House.
Sponsored by Sen. Jim Oberweis, R-Sugar Grove, SB2356 would raise the speed limit from 65 mph on rural interstate highways and the Illinois Tollway. Speeds on divided four-lane highways wouldn’t change.
Cook and the “collar” counties surrounding Chicago, and Madison and St. Clair counties outside of St. Louis could opt out of the rule change.
The bill would lower the threshold for speeding violations to increase from a petty offense to a misdemeanor. Specifically, speeding between 26-35 mph above the speed limit – down from 31-40 mph – would be a Class B misdemeanor. Exceeding the posted speed by more than 35 mph – down from 40 mph – would be a Class A misdemeanor.
For bill status, call 217-782-9778.

3/21/2013 (SB2356):

A bill in the Senate Transportation Committee would increase speed limits on certain roadways.
SB2356 would raise the speed limit from 65 mph on rural interstate highways. Cook and the “collar” counties surrounding Chicago would be exempt from the rule change.
For Senate bill status, call 217-782-9778.

3/12/2013 (SB2356):

A bill in the Senate Subcommittee on Special Issues would increase speed limits on certain roadways.
SB2356 would raise the speed limit from 65 mph on rural interstate highways. Cook and the “collar” counties surrounding Chicago would be exempt from the rule change.
For Senate bill status, call 217-782-9778.

3/12/2013 (HB2573):
A bill in the House Transportation: Regulation, Roads & Bridges Committee would authorize faster travel on many rural interstates.
HB2573 would raise the speed limit from 65 mph on rural interstates to 70 mph. Cook and the “collar” counties surrounding Chicago would be exempt from the rule change.
For House bill status, call 217-782-5799.

08/12/2013 - Court Supervisions

8/12/2013 (HB1010):

Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill into law that prohibits judges from granting supervision to people charged in fatal wrecks if they don’t have a clean driving record. HB1010 takes effect Jan. 1, 2014.
Supervisions allow offenders to pay a fine and, in some instances, attend traffic school to avoid having violations added to their driving record.

8/12/2013:

Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill into law that prohibits judges from granting supervision to people charged in fatal wrecks if they don’t have a clean driving record. HB1010 takes effect Jan. 1, 2014.
Supervisions allow offenders to pay a fine and, in some instances, attend traffic school to avoid having violations added to their driving record.

02/04/2013 - Engine Brakes

2/4/2013 (HB170):

A bill in the House Transportation: Vehicles & Safety Committee is intended to curb excessive noise from engine brakes.
Currently, the signs can only be posted near weigh stations near residential areas or communities.
HB170 would authorize IDOT to post signs prohibiting large trucks from using engine brakes near residential areas or communities.
For House bill status, call 217-782-5799.

08/20/2013 - Littering

8/20/2013 (HB3243):

Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill into law that adds cigarette butts to the list of items that a person can be charged with littering. The violation carries a maximum fine of $1,500 and up to 180 days behind bars.
To make matters worse, HB3243 authorizes a judge to require violators to pick up litter along roadways for 30 days.

08/28/2013 - Electronic Proof of Insurance

8/28/2013 (SB1775):

Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill into law that allows drivers to provide law enforcement officers with electronic proof of insurance on smartphones and other similar devices when prompted. Effective immediately, no longer will drivers be required to have the traditional paper proof of insurance to avoid a ticket.
Previously SB1775, the new law relieves officers from any liability for damage to an electronic device when it’s presented as proof of insurance. However, law enforcement is prohibited from accessing any other information on the phone or device.

2012

State Issues

06/05/2012 - Tolls

6/5/2012 (HB3924):

A bill has died that was intended to rein in efforts by the Illinois Tollway to increase tolls.
HB3924 prohibited the Tollway from increasing toll rates without first obtaining authorization by joint resolution of the General Assembly.

2/4/2012:

A bill in the House Rules Committee is intended to rein in efforts by the Illinois Tollway to increase tolls.
Sponsored by Rep. Richard Morthland, R-Moline, HB3924 prohibits the Tollway from increasing toll rates without first obtaining authorization by joint resolution of the General Assembly.
For House bill status, call 217-782-5799.

06/05/2012 - Kingpin-Rear Axle Length

6/5/2012 (HB4446):

A bill has died that addressed the kingpin-rear axle length limit on certain semitrailers longer than 48 feet.
HB4446 would have removed length limits for livestock haulers for the distance between the kingpin and the center of the rear axle of semitrailers longer than 48 feet.

3/7/2012 (SB2579):

The Senate Transportation Committee voted to advance a bill to the Senate floor that would eliminate the kingpin-rear axle length limit on semi trailers longer than 48 feet.
Currently, the limit is 45 feet, six inches on Class I and Class II highways. On Class III and other state highways, the limit is 42 feet, six inches.
SB2579 would remove length limits for the distance between the kingpin and the center of the rear axle of semitrailers longer than 48 feet.
For Senate bill status, call 217-782-9778.

2/4/2012 (HB4446):

A bill in the House Transportation: Regulation, Roads and Bridges Committee would address the kingpin-rear axle length limit on certain semitrailers longer than 48 feet.
HB4446 would remove length limits for livestock haulers for the distance between the kingpin and the center of the rear axle of semitrailers longer than 48 feet.
A hearing on the bill is scheduled for Feb. 21.
For House bill status, call 217-782-5799.

2/4/2012 (SB2579):
A bill in the Senate Transportation Committee would address the kingpin-rear axle length limit on semi trailers longer than 48 feet.
Sponsored by Sen. John Sullivan, D-Quincy, SB2579 would remove length limits for the distance between the kingpin and the center of the rear axle of semitrailers longer than 48 feet.
For Senate bill status, call 217-782-9778.

07/24/2012 - Truckers' Cellphone Use

7/24/2012 (HB5101):

Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law a bill to bring Illinois into compliance with federal regulations by outlawing truckers’ use of text messaging devices while at the wheel. A ban is also included on the use of hand-held phones.
Previously HB5101, the new law would make violations a “serious traffic violation.”
The new rule takes effect Jan. 1, 2013.

6/7/2012:

Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law a bill to outlaw truckers’ use of text messaging devices while at the wheel. A ban is also included on the use of hand-held phones.
HB5101 considers violations a “serious traffic violation.”

4/16/2012:

A bill in the Senate Transportation Committee would outlaw truckers’ use of text messaging devices while at the wheel. The House already approved it.
HB5101 would also include a ban on the use of hand-held phones. Violations would be considered a “serious traffic violation.”
For bill status, call 217-782-5799.

3/22/2012:

The House unanimously approved a bill to outlaw truckers’ use of text messaging devices while at the wheel. The bill now moves to the Senate.
HB5101 would also include a ban on the use of hand-held phones. Violations would be considered a “serious traffic violation.”
The bill is in Senate Assignments. For bill status, call 217-782-5799.

3/7/2012:

Awaiting consideration on the House floor would outlaw truckers’ use of text messaging devices while at the wheel.
HB5101 would also include a ban on the use of hand-held phones. Violations would be considered a “serious traffic violation.”
For House bill status, call 217-782-5799.

07/12/2012 - Road Bonds

7/12/2012 (HB5468):

Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law a bill Tuesday, July 10, to provide $1.6 billion in bonds to continue funding the Illinois Jobs Now capital improvement program. The six-year, $31 billion program was approved by Quinn in 2009. State lawmakers and the governor regularly must endorse legislation to authorize new borrowing.
In effect, the state is borrowing money and will repay it over the next two or three decades. Revenue to repay the debt is created by charging more for licenses and registrations. Higher taxes and a vast expansion of legalized gambling will also be relied on.
The allotment for fiscal year 2013 will provide about $820 million in new highway work around the state and nearly $800 million for transit and rail improvements.
Specifically in the city of Chicago, nearly $94 million is allotted in the latest round of bond approval for projects that include about 100 miles of street resurfacing.
The projects funded by this year’s bill – HB5468 – have already been approved through the three-year-old program and will keep work on schedule.

06/05/2012 - Ticket Cameras

6/5/2012 (SB2863):

SB2863 has died. The bill sought to forbid the issuance of automated tickets for turning right on red.

2/13/2012:

A bill in the Senate Transportation Committee would forbid the issuance of automated tickets for turning right on red.
SB2863 is sponsored by Sen. Dan Duffy, R-Barrington.
For Senate bill status, call 217-782-9778.

07/24/2012 - Reckless Driving

7/24/2012 (SB2888):

Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law a bill to take the option of court supervision away from drivers who break the posted speed limit by more than 25 mph on local roads and 30 mph on highways. It takes effect July 1, 2013.
Intended to reduce instances of reckless driving on Illinois roadways, state law now prohibits judges from issuing court supervision to anyone found guilty of driving at least 40 mph in excess of the speed limit. Exceeding the speed limit by 40 mph could result in a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
Supervisions allow speeders to pay a fine and, in some instances, attend traffic school to avoid having violations added to their driving record.
Previously SB2888, the new law takes the option of court supervision away from drivers who break the posted speed limit by more than 25 mph on local roads and 30 mph on highways.

5/29/2012:

The House voted 92-11 to advance a bill to the governor to take the option of court supervision away from drivers who break the posted speed limit by more than 25 mph on local roads and 30 mph on highways.
Intended to reduce instances of reckless driving on Illinois roadways, state law now prohibits judges from issuing court supervision to anyone found guilty of driving at least 40 mph in excess of the speed limit. Exceeding the speed limit by 40 mph could result in a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
Supervisions allow speeders to pay a fine and, in some instances, attend traffic school to avoid having violations added to their driving record.
Dubbed “Julie’s Law,” SB2888 would take the option of court supervision away from drivers who break the posted speed limit by more than 25 mph on local roads and 30 mph on highways.
For bill status, call 217-782-9778.

5/7/2012:

The House Transportation: Vehicles & Safety Committee voted unanimously to advance a bill to take the option of court supervision away from drivers who break the posted speed limit by more than 25 mph on local roads and 30 mph on highways.
Intended to reduce instances of reckless driving on Illinois roadways, state law now prohibits judges from issuing court supervision to anyone found guilty of driving at least 40 mph in excess of the speed limit. Exceeding the speed limit by 40 mph could result in a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
Supervisions allow speeders to pay a fine and, in some instances, attend traffic school to avoid having violations added to their driving record.
Dubbed “Julie’s Law,” the bill now moves to the House floor for further consideration. If approved there, SB2888 would move to the governor’s desk. Senate lawmakers already approved it.
For bill status, call 217-782-9778.

4/16/2012:

A bill in the House Transportation: Vehicles and Safety Committee would take the option of court supervision away from drivers who break the posted speed limit by more than 25 mph on local roads and 30 mph on highways. Dubbed “Julie’s Law,” SB2888 already passed the Senate.
Intended to reduce instances of reckless driving on Illinois roadways, state law now prohibits judges from issuing court supervision to anyone found guilty of driving at least 40 mph in excess of the speed limit. Exceeding the speed limit by 40 mph could result in a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
Supervisions allow speeders to pay a fine and, in some instances, attend traffic school to avoid having violations added to their driving record.
For bill status, call 217-782-9778.

4/9/2012:

The Senate voted unanimously to advance a bill to take the option of court supervision away from drivers who break the posted speed limit by more than 25 mph on local roads and 30 mph on highways. Dubbed “Julie’s Law,” the bill now moves to the House for further consideration.
Intended to reduce instances of reckless driving on Illinois roadways, state law now prohibits judges from issuing court supervision to anyone found guilty of driving at least 40 mph in excess of the speed limit. Exceeding the speed limit by 40 mph could result in a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
Supervisions allow speeders to pay a fine and, in some instances, attend traffic school to avoid having violations added to their driving record.
SB2888 is awaiting assignment to committee in the House.
For bill status, call 217-782-9778.

06/05/2012 - Red-Light Cameras

6/5/2012 (SB3504):

A bill has died in the House that addressed the minimum yellow light change intervals for traffic signals at affected intersections. The Senate previously approved it.
SB3504 required yellow standards to be set in accordance with nationally recognized engineering standards. Federal guidelines specify times somewhere between three and six seconds – depending on such factors as the grade of the road and the speed limit.
In addition to adopting the federal recommendation, the bill mandated municipalities add an additional second to the yellow time.

3/30/2012:

The Senate voted 43-5 on Thursday, March 29, to advance a bill to the House that addresses the minimum yellow light change intervals for traffic signals at affected intersections.
SB3504 would require yellow standards to be set in accordance with nationally recognized engineering standards. Federal guidelines specify times somewhere between three and six seconds – depending on such factors as the grade of the road and the speed limit.
In addition to adopting the federal recommendation, the bill would mandate municipalities add an additional second to the yellow time.
For bill status, call 217-778-9778.

06/05/2012 - Commercial Distribution Fee

6/5/2012 (SB3586, SB3199, and HB5389):

A bill has died that sought to allow truckers with Illinois base plates to keep more money in their pockets.
SB3586 would repeal collection of the commercial distribution fee for trucks in the state. The amount is a 14.35 percent surcharge of the annual registration fees.
For truck registrations of 80,000 pounds, truckers are required to chip in another $400 to cover the CDF. On top of the nearly $2,800 they already pay for base plates, truckers pay about $3,200 a year to tag their trucks in the state.

3/7/2012 (SB3586):

A bill in the Senate executive subcommittee on State Government Operations would allow truckers with Illinois base plates to keep more money in their pockets.
Sponsored by Sen. Martin Sandoval, D-Cicero, SB3586 would repeal collection of the commercial distribution fee for trucks in the state. The amount is a 14.35 percent surcharge of the annual registration fees.
For truck registrations of 80,000 pounds, truckers are required to chip in another $400 to cover the CDF. On top of the nearly $2,800 they already pay for base plates, truckers pay about $3,200 a year to tag their trucks in the state.
For Senate bill status, call 217-782-9778.

3/7/2012 (SB3199):

A bill in Senate Assignments would allow truckers with Illinois base plates to keep more money in their pockets.
Sponsored by Sen. Pamela Althoff, R-Crystal Lake, SB3199 would repeal collection of the commercial distribution fee for trucks in the state. The amount is a 14.35 percent surcharge of the annual registration fees.
For truck registrations of 80,000 pounds, truckers are required to chip in another $400 to cover the CDF. On top of the nearly $2,800 they already pay for base plates, truckers pay about $3,200 a year to tag their trucks in the state.
For Senate bill status, call 217-782-9778.

3/7/2012 (HB5389):

A bill in the House Rules Committee would allow truckers with Illinois base plates to keep more money in their pockets.
Sponsored by Rep. Daniel Burke, D-Chicago, HB5389 would repeal collection of the commercial distribution fee for trucks in the state. The amount is a 14.35 percent surcharge of the annual registration fees.
For truck registrations of 80,000 pounds, truckers are required to chip in another $400 to cover the CDF. On top of the nearly $2,800 they already pay for base plates, truckers pay about $3,200 a year to tag their trucks in the state.
For House bill status, call 217-782-5799.

07/24/2012 - Cell Phone Restriction

7/24/2012 (SB2488):

Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law a bill to prohibit cellphone use in highway work zones and school zones. Offenders would face fines of at least $250. Repeat offenses within two years would result in a 90-day license suspension.
State law already prohibits the use of hand-held cellphones in work and school zones with speed-limit reductions. The city of Chicago, as well as many municipalities, has an outright cellphone ban for drivers.
Effective Jan. 1, 2013, SB2488 prohibits the use of cellphones by drivers in all roadwork zones. The change includes areas posted with signage advising travelers of an approaching speed zone.

7/24/2012 (HB5099):

Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law a bill to prohibit drivers from using cellphones when driving within 500 feet of an accident scene where emergency vehicles have lights flashing. HB5099 also includes a ban on snapping photos near an emergency scene.
Effective immediately, offenders would face fines of up to $75.

6/5/2012 (HB3972):

A bill has died in the House that sought to prohibit drivers from using hand-held cellphones. Fines would start at $75. The Senate previously approved it.
Classified as moving violations, HB3972 could have resulted in offenders losing their driving privileges after a third violation in one year.

5/31/2012 (HB5099):

The House voted 84-30 on Monday, May 28, to send a bill to the governor that would prohibit certain phone calls while driving near emergency scenes. The Senate already approved it on a 38-17 vote.
Illinois law already prohibits the use of hand-held cellphones in work and school zones. The city of Chicago, as well as many municipalities, has an outright cellphone ban for drivers.
State law also requires drivers approaching stationary emergency vehicles with lights flashing, including tow trucks and recovery vehicles, to merge to a lane further away. If vehicles are unable to move into another lane, drivers must slow to a safe speed.
HB5099 would expand the protection and make it illegal for drivers to place calls with a hand-held phone within 500 feet of an accident scene where emergency vehicles have lights flashing. An exception would be made for reporting the accident.
Violators would face fines of up to $75.
For bill status, call 217-782-5799.

4/12/2012 (HB3972):

House lawmakers approved a bill to prohibit drivers from using hand-held cellphones. Fines would start at $75.
Classified as moving violations, HB3972 could result in offenders losing their driving privileges after a third violation in one year.
The bill awaits further consideration in the Senate. For bill status, call 217-782-5799.

4/12/2012 (SB2488):

The Senate voted to advance bill to prohibit cellphone use in highway work zones and school zones. Offenders would face fines of at least $250. Repeat offenses within two years would result in a 90-day license suspension.
SB2488 has moved to the House for further consideration. For bill status, call 217-782-9778.

06/05/2012 - Lap Pets

6/5/2012 (SB2863):

SB2863 has died. The bill sought to forbid the issuance of automated tickets for turning right on red.

5/18/2012 (SB2653):

The Senate voted 27-21 to kill a bill to prohibit car and truck drivers from permitting pets to sit on their laps while behind the wheel.
Specifically, SB2653 would have made it a no-no for a driver to “hold an animal in his or her lap while operating a motor vehicle.”

5/4/2012 (SB2653):

The Senate Transportation Committee voted 7-3 on Tuesday, May 1, to advance a bill to prohibit car and truck drivers from permitting pets to sit on their laps while behind the wheel.
Specifically, SB2653 would make it a no-no for a driver to “hold an animal in his or her lap while operating a motor vehicle.”
The bill now moves to the Senate floor. For bill status, call 217-782-9778.

2/13/2012 (SB2863):
A bill in the Senate Transportation Committee would forbid the issuance of automated tickets for turning right on red.
SB2863 is sponsored by Sen. Dan Duffy, R-Barrington.
For Senate bill status, call 217-782-9778.

06/05/2012 - Local Fees

6/5/2012 (SB3516):

A bill has died that was intended to rein in certain truck fees charged by local governments.
SB3516 would have required local jurisdictions to adopt the state permit schedule. Local governments would have been prohibited from charging truck drivers excessive fees to access local roads, including locales with home rule powers.

3/26/2012:

A bill in the Senate Transportation Committee is intended to rein in certain truck fees charged by local governments.
Many truck drivers traveling south of Joliet off Interstate 55 are all too familiar with one community’s exorbitant fees to drive less than two miles of road to access intermodal facilities. The village of Elwood requires truck drivers to pay $700 for a monthly overweight permit – even for a single trip.
Sponsored by Sen. John Sullivan, D-Rushville, SB3516 would require local jurisdictions to adopt the state permit schedule. Local governments would be prohibited from charging truck drivers excessive fees to access local roads, including locales with home rule powers.
The bill must advance from committee by Friday, March 30.
For Senate bill status, call 217-782-9778.

01/09/2013 - Illegal Immigrants

1/9/2013 (SB957):

Gov. Pat Quinn said on Tuesday, Jan. 8, that he will sign into law a bill to legalize driving for illegal immigrants.
Illinois law now requires people to show proof of citizenship to obtain driver’s licenses. The program allows for temporary licenses for foreign visitors in the country legally.
On the final day of the 2012 regular session, House lawmakers voted 65-46 to send a bill to the governor to change licensing rules to allow illegal immigrants to obtain three-year renewable licenses. Senate lawmakers already approved it on a 41-14 vote.
SB957 would enable illegal immigrants to obtain a three-year license. The license would be distinct from a regular driver’s license and would not be valid for identification purposes other than driving or buying auto insurance. It would be identical to licenses made available for legal immigrants.

12/6/2012:

The Senate voted 41-14 on Tuesday, Dec. 4, to advance a bill to change licensing rules to allow illegal immigrants to obtain special driver’s licenses. SB957 now awaits further consideration in the House Transportation: Vehicles and Safety Committee.
Illinois law now requires people to show proof of citizenship to obtain driver’s licenses. The program allows for temporary licenses for foreign visitors in the country legally.
The three-year license would be distinct from a regular driver’s license and would not be valid for identification purposes other than driving or buying auto insurance. It would be identical to licenses made available for legal immigrants.

03/08/2011 - Uniform Speeds

7/28/2011 (SB1913):

Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law on Wednesday, July 27, a bill that takes the next step toward uniform speeds on roadways in the state.
In 2009, Quinn signed into law a bill to authorize trucks to travel 65 mph on rural, interstate highways – the same speed as smaller vehicles.
Previously SB1913, the new law expands the 65 mph speed limit for cars and trucks to include certain four-lane, divided highways. The change effects U.S. and state highways outside of Chicago and the five surrounding “collar” counties.
Truckers will be able to drive the same speed as cars on affected roadways starting Jan. 1, 2012.

5/9/2011:

The House voted 82-29 on Friday, May 6, to approve a bill that would expand the 65 mph speed limit for cars and trucks to include four-lane, divided highways outside of the Chicago area.
SB1913 now moves to Gov. Pat Quinn’s desk. Senate lawmakers already approved it by unanimous consent.
Two years ago, Quinn signed into law the uniform speed bill on rural interstates. This year’s version would include U.S. and state highways outside of Chicago and the five surrounding “collar” counties.
For bill status, call 217-782-9778.

4/27/2011:

The House Transportation: Vehicles and Safety Committee voted 4-3 on Wednesday, April 27, to advance a bill to the House floor that would expand the 65 mph speed limit for cars and trucks to include four-lane, divided highways outside of the Chicago area.
If approved by the full House, SB1913 would move to the governor’s desk. The Senate already approved the bill by unanimous consent.
In 2009, Gov. Quinn signed into law a bill authorizing trucks to travel the same speed as smaller vehicles on rural, interstate highways. This year’s version would include U.S. and state highways outside of Chicago and the five surrounding “collar” counties.
For bill status, call 217-782-9778.

4/25/2011:

The Senate voted to unanimously approve a bill that would expand the 65 mph speed limit for cars and trucks to include four-lane, divided highways outside of Chicago.
Illinois law authorizes trucks to travel the same speed as smaller vehicles on rural, interstate highways outside the Chicago area.
Sponsored by Sen. John Sullivan, D-Rushville, SB1913 would include U.S. and state highways outside of Chicago and the five surrounding “collar” counties.
The bill is scheduled for additional consideration Wednesday, April 27, in the House Transportation: Vehicles and Safety Committee.
For bill status, call 217-782-9778.

3/10/2011:

The Senate Transportation Committee voted Tuesday, March 9, to unanimously approve a bill that would expand the 65 mph speed limit for cars and trucks to include four-lane, divided highways outside of Chicago.
Illinois law authorizes trucks to travel the same speed as smaller vehicles on rural, interstate highways outside the Chicago area.
Sponsored by Sen. John Sullivan, D-Rushville, SB1913 would include U.S. and state highways outside of Chicago and the five surrounding “collar” counties.
The bill awaits further consideration on the Senate floor. If approved there, it would move to the House.
For Senate bill status, call 217-782-9778.

3/8/2011:

A bill in the Senate Transportation Committee would expand the 65 mph speed limit for cars and trucks to include four-lane, divided highways outside of Chicago.
Illinois law authorizes trucks to travel the same speed as smaller vehicles on rural, interstate highways outside the Chicago area.
Sponsored by Sen. John Sullivan, D-Rushville, SB1913 would include U.S. and state highways outside of Chicago and the five surrounding “collar” counties.
The bill is scheduled for consideration during a Senate Transportation Committee hearing planned for Tuesday afternoon.
For Senate bill status, call 217-782-9778.

State Watches

10/01/2012 - Court Supervision

10/1/2012:

The state’s Advisory Committee on Traffic Safety voted unanimously to pursue a change to Illinois law that would prohibit the issuance of court supervision for drivers involved in fatal wrecks.
State law now permits drivers involved in fatal crashes to seek and obtain court supervision.
Supervisions allow certain traffic offenders to pay a fine and, in some instances, attend traffic school to avoid stiffer penalties.
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is out to change the rule. His proposal would prohibit judges from giving the reduced sentence to anyone found guilty of causing a traffic death.
“My mission as secretary of state is to make the roads of Illinois as safe as possible,” White said in a statement.
He cited two instances when drivers who caused wrecks that resulted in fatal injuries to others received court supervisions.
One driver struck another vehicle while texting behind the wheel. The second driver hit a pedestrian while crossing the street.
Critics say that it is a bad idea to take away the option of discretion from judges. They contend that there are occasions when nobody is at fault for a tragedy.
The proposal can be submitted to state lawmakers once they convene in Jan. 2013.
Early this year Illinois lawmakers adopted another revision to the state’s court supervision rule. The rule change takes the option of court supervision away from drivers who break the posted speed limit by more than 25 mph on local roads and 30 mph on highways.
Previously, supervisions were available to drivers who exceed the posted limit by as much as 40 mph.

11/26/2012 - Illegal Immigrants

11/26/2012:

A push is underway by some heavy hitters in Illinois to change licensing rules to allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.
Gov. Pat Quinn is among some influential politicians supporting an initiative to create a special driver’s license for illegal immigrants.
State law now requires people to show proof of citizenship to obtain driving privileges. The program allows for temporary licenses for foreign visitors in the country legally.
Quinn and others are advocating a change to require a special license and insurance for illegal immigrants. The three-year license would be distinct from a regular driver’s license and would not be valid for identification purposes other than driving or buying auto insurance.
There are an estimated 250,000 illegal immigrant motorists in Illinois, according to state figures.
Quinn said it is a safety issue that affects every driver in Illinois.
“Making sure all motorists, regardless of their background, are licensed and insured will drive economic growth and ease the financial burden on all Illinois motorists,” Quinn said in a statement.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel also voiced support for the change. Illinois Senate President John Cullerton is expected to introduce the bill at the statehouse in the coming weeks.
Opponents say the driving privilege cards would “reward” people for disobeying immigration rules.

2011

State Issues

03/08/2011 - Commercial Distribution Fee

3/8/2011 (HB1464):

A bill in the House Revenue and Finance Committee would allow truckers with Illinois base plates to keep more money in their pockets.
Sponsored by Rep. Daniel Burke, D-Chicago, HB1464 would repeal collection of the commercial distribution fee for trucks in the state. The amount is a 14.35 percent surcharge of the annual registration fees.
For truck registrations of 80,000 pounds, truckers are required to chip in another $400 to cover the CDF. On top of the nearly $2,800 they already pay for base plates, truckers pay about $3,200 a year to tag their trucks in the state.
The bill is scheduled for review in the committee on Thursday, March 10.
For House bill status, call 217-782-5799.

3/8/2011 (SB1731):

A bill in the Senate executive subcommittee on State Government Operations would allow truckers with Illinois base plates to keep more money in their pockets.
Sponsored by Sen. Martin Sandoval, D-Cicero, SB1731 would repeal collection of the commercial distribution fee for trucks in the state. The amount is a 14.35 percent surcharge of the annual registration fees.
For truck registrations of 80,000 pounds, truckers are required to chip in another $400 to cover the CDF. On top of the nearly $2,800 they already pay for base plates, truckers pay about $3,200 a year to tag their trucks in the state.
The bill is scheduled for review in the subcommittee on Thursday, March 10.
For Senate bill status, call 217-782-9778.

3/8/2011 (HB1051):

A bill in the House Revenue and Finance Committee would allow truckers with Illinois base plates to keep more money in their pockets.
Sponsored by Rep. Ron Stephens, R-Highland, HB1051 would repeal collection of the commercial distribution fee for trucks in the state. The amount is a 14.35 percent surcharge of the annual registration fees.
For truck registrations of 80,000 pounds, truckers are required to chip in another $400 to cover the CDF. On top of the nearly $2,800 they already pay for base plates, truckers pay about $3,200 a year to tag their trucks in the state.
The bill is scheduled for review in the House Revenue and Finance Committee on Thursday, March 10.
For House bill status, call 217-782-5799.

08/23/2011 - Drunken Drivers

8/23/2011 (HB1241):

Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill into law that is intended to strengthen drunken driving enforcement in the state.
HB1241 requires law enforcement officers to request a chemical test of an alleged drunken driver when the officer has probable cause to believe that alcohol was a factor in an accident that caused personal injury or death.
Until now, police procedure has accepted, but did not require, chemical tests that reliably measure blood and urine samples for intoxication levels.

03/08/2011 - Truck Routes/GPS

8/12/2011 (HB1377):

Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill into law on Aug. 11 to require local governments to provide up-to-date truck route data. It takes effect Jan. 1, 2012.
HB1377 requires all city, county and township governments to submit their local truck routes to the Illinois Department of Transportation.
IDOT will serve as a collection site for all truck route information, state and local. All preferred truck routes are to be posted on the agency’s website.
A separate provision in the new law requires the creation of a brochure that illustrates the distinctions between a truck-attributed GPS device and other non-truck-attributed GPS devices. The brochure will be available at all facilities where people can obtain or renew a CDL.

6/7/2011 (HB1377):

The Senate voted 54-1 to approve a bill that would require local governments to submit truck routes to the Illinois Department of Transportation, which would serve as a collection point for truck route data. All designated truck routes would be posted on IDOT’s website.
HB1377 now moves to Gov. Pat Quinn. The House already approved it.
The bill would also make the distinctions in the CDL curriculum and study guide, and in materials relating to obtaining or renewing a CDL, as to the difference between utilizing a truck-attributed GPS device and other non-truck-attributed GPS devices.
For bill status, call 217-782-5799.

5/16/2011 (HB1377):

The Senate Transportation Committee unanimously approved a bill to require local governments to submit truck routes to the Illinois Department of Transportation, which would serve as a collection point for truck route data. All designated truck routes would be posted on IDOT’s website.
Sponsored by Rep. Michael Zalewski, D-Summit, HB1377 would also make the distinctions in the CDL curriculum and study guide, and in materials relating to obtaining or renewing a CDL, as to the difference between utilizing a truck-attributed GPS device and other non-truck-attributed GPS devices.
The bill now awaits a vote on the Senate floor. For bill status, call 217-782-5799.

3/10/2011 (HB1377):

The House unanimously approved a bill to require local governments to submit truck routes to the Illinois Department of Transportation, which would serve as a collection point for truck route data. All designated truck routes would be posted on IDOT’s website.
Sponsored by Rep. Michael Zalewski, D-Summit, HB1377 would also make the distinctions in the CDL curriculum and study guide, and in materials relating to obtaining or renewing a CDL, as to the difference between utilizing a truck-attributed GPS device and other non-truck-attributed GPS devices.
The bill now moves to the Senate. For bill status, call 217-782-5799.

3/8/2011 (HB1377):

A bill awaiting consideration on the House floor would require local governments to submit truck routes to the Illinois Department of Transportation, which would serve as a collection point for truck route data. All designated truck routes would be posted on IDOT’s website.
Sponsored by Rep. Michael Zalewski, D-Summit, HB1377 would also make the distinctions in the CDL curriculum and study guide, and in materials relating to obtaining or renewing a CDL, as to the difference between utilizing a truck-attributed GPS device and other non-truck-attributed GPS devices.
For House bill status, call 217-782-5799.

3/8/2011 (SB1870):

A bill in the Senate Transportation Committee would require local governments to submit truck routes to the Illinois Department of Transportation, which would serve as a collection point for truck route data. All preferred truck routes would be posted on IDOT’s website.
Sponsored by Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago, SB1870 would also make distinctions in the CDL curriculum and study guide, and in materials relating to obtaining or renewing a CDL, as to the difference between utilizing a truck-attributed GPS device and other non-truck-attributed GPS devices.
The bill is scheduled for consideration during a Senate Transportation Committee hearing planned for Tuesday afternoon.
For Senate bill status, call 217-782-9778.

03/08/2011 - Truck Length Limits

4/27/2011 (HB22):

A bill has died that sought to eliminate the 55-foot maximum length limit for trucks on local roads.
Sponsored by Rep. Jim Sacia, R-Freeport, HB22 specified that the new length limit for tractor-trailers would be 65 feet.

3/8/2011:

A bill in the House Transportation: Vehicles and Safety Committee would eliminate the 55-foot maximum length limit for trucks on local roads.
Sponsored by Rep. Jim Sacia, R-Freeport, HB22 specifies that the new length limit for tractor-trailers would be 65 feet.
The bill is scheduled for review in the House Transportation: Vehicles and Safety Committee on Wednesday, March 9.
For House bill status, call 217-782-5799.

08/10/2011 - Roadkill

11/16/2011 (HB3178):

Illinois lawmakers have voted to override the veto of Gov. Pat Quinn to enact legislation that is intended to prevent waste of animal carcasses while providing the state some financial relief. It took effect immediately.
The new law authorizes a person with the proper license or permit for fur-bearing mammals to be removed from roadways as long as they were in season. Essentially, licensed hunters can stop and scrape up a possum, or other appetizing critters, along Illinois roadways as long as it is the appropriate hunting season.
State law already allows people to collect deer killed by vehicles. HB3178 greatly expands the options. Resourceful hunters can either skin animals for the hide or for eating’s.

8/10/2011:

Gov. Pat Quinn has vetoed a bill that was intended to prevent waste of animal carcasses while providing the state some financial relief.
In his veto message, the governor said he was concerned about the safety of drivers stopped along roadways trying to scrape up animal carcasses.
“I cannot support a measure that places the citizens of our state in harm’s way,” Quinn wrote.
HB3178 was sought to authorize a person with the proper license or permit for fur-bearing mammals to be removed from roadways as long as they were in season.
People would have been given the all clear to either skin animals for the hide or for eating’s.
The House previously approved the bill by a 98-16 margin. Senate lawmakers followed suit with unanimous consent.
Even without the new authority, Illinois already allows people to collect deer killed by vehicles.

03/08/2011 - Truck Rules

7/29/2011 (SB1644):

Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law a new rule intended to clarify and standardize enforcement language for truck weight and size, as well as reduce emissions.
Among the provisions in SB1644 is increasing the maximum weight limits for large trucks equipped with idle-reduction technology. Commercial vehicles equipped with auxiliary power units will be authorized in state law to weigh up to an additional 400 pounds.
Until now, Illinois has been one of 16 states where the weight allowance is granted by enforcement policy rather than by state law.
The new law also standardizes gross weight regulations. When the gross weight of a vehicle with a registered gross weight of up to 77,000 pounds exceeds certain weight limits by as much as 2,000 pounds, the owner or operator must remove the excess weight.
In addition, the law clarifies that clearance lamps are required only on commercial vehicles – not personal vehicles.
The rule changes take effect Jan. 1, 2012.

6/7/2011:

A bill on its way to Gov. Pat Quinn would put in place certification requirements for municipalities to use portable scales to cite truckers for weight restrictions.
SB1644 would also increase the maximum weight limits for large trucks equipped with idle-reduction technology. Commercial vehicles equipped with APUs would be authorized to weigh up to an additional 400 pounds.
For Senate bill status, call 217-782-9778.

4/7/2011:

The Senate Transportation Committee voted unanimously to advance a bill to the Senate floor that would put in place certification requirements for municipalities to u