Oregon Bike Summit today.
(Photo © J. Maus)
Speaking at the opening session of the Oregon Bike Summit today, Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) Executive Director Scott Bricker gave a rundown of their existing priority bills in the 2009 legislative session.
With the door officially closed on Idaho Stops (interesting report about it on the Mercury blog today) and with news today that their Driver’s Education bill (HB 3252) will not move forward this session, the BTA is pouring all remaining efforts into their vehicular homicide bill, HB 3399.
Addressing over 100 bike advocates from throughout Oregon, Bricker said the bill is “alive and kicking”. The bill was given a public hearing earlier this month. During that hearing, a need for amendments was raised. Bricker says the BTA is still working on getting those amendments back and they hope to have them ready before an important work session with the House Judiciary committee set for this Thursday.
Besides the amendments, the larger hurdle for the bill is that it still must get through the Ways and Means Committee to discuss the fiscal components of the bill. With Oregon’s budget in crisis this session, Bricker says Ways and Means is “the graveyard for most bills”. After Ways and Means it would be referred to another committee. “We don’t know what committee it will go to after that,” said Bricker, and he added that they hope it goes to the Public Safety committee.
Idaho Stops got all the publicity, but HB 3399 is the BTA’s big iron in the fire. They have been working on it for years and it would fill a glaring gap in our state’s laws.
In a recent update on their blog, the BTA wrote that they have already met with most of the House Judiciary Committee and received positive comments.
Stay tuned for more on this bill.