Big weekend push helps Oregon’s ‘Idaho Stop’ bill pass final committee

“Hey, did you hear we might not have to stop at these anymore?”.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Oregon’s attempt to decriminalize rolling stops for bicycle riders took a giant leap forward today when it was voted out of the House Rules Committee 5 to 2.

At Senate Bill 998‘s first House hearing on Thursday, committee members voiced several concerns with the idea of allow bicycle riders to treat stop signs and flashing red signals as yields. One member noticed there were only three pieces of testimony in the official record. So on Friday we put out a call to get more people to email the committee.

By today’s meeting there were 183 emails filed on the State legislative website — the vast majority of which were in strong support of the bill.

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Despite that, there were still two committee members who voted against it. Rep. Denyc Boles (R-Salem) said, “I still have some safety concerns,” prior to her “no” vote. Rep. Sherrie Sprenger (R-Scio) also voted no.

Through three committees and the full Senate, SB 998 has tallied 48 total votes with 36 in favor and just 12 opposed. The final step before this bill becomes law is a vote on the floor of the House. We now wait for that vote to be scheduled.

With just one week left in the legislative session, and with the Senate side in complete disarray because Republicans are still AWOL, there’s an excellent chance the House will take up this legislation. There’s also a good chance it will pass once they do.

Reached for comment today, Senator Prozanski’s office shared, “The Senator fully expects it will pass the House before sine die.”

This is the closest we’ve been to moving forward with this sensible law change since it was first introduced in 2003.

Fingers crossed. Stay tuned. And thank you to everyone who answered our call and wrote an email to the committee.

UPDATE, 3:16pm: The bill has been scheduled for its third reading tomorrow (6/25). Bills are usually voted on after their third reading. So we might know the fate of SB 998 very very soon.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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bikeninja
bikeninja
3 years ago

How does the run-away republican group who has split town to avoid a quorum on the cap and trade bill effect the potential outcome of this bill?

ed
ed
3 years ago

Oh the irony! Let’s hope the GOP doesn’t realize going AWOL from the Senate can lead to actual progress. This is of course not their intention, so maybe we can find ways to just keep them AWOL for awhile and get stuff done 😉

Bjorn
Bjorn
3 years ago
Reply to  ed

A quick reminder that this bill passed the senate with bipartisan support. More than half of the GOP senators voted for it. Please avoid politicizing cycling issues unnecessarily as it is counterproductive. My only concern around the senators not being here and SB998 would have been if the rules committee had amended it and then the house had passed it then we would probably have failed since the senate would be unlikely to take it up again this session. It passed the committee with no amendments though so if it passes the house then it will go straight to the governor.

Schrauf
Schrauf
3 years ago
Reply to  bikeninja

If the House changes anything the bill will go back to the Senate for revote, but we’re probably past the point of that likely occurring.

This is a good summary for the process in Oregon – https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/citizen_engagement/Documents/idea2LawEnglish.pdf

Mark Smith
Mark Smith
3 years ago

Sweet. I can literally passed by the stupid stop signs at 3 9th and glisan

El Biciclero
El Biciclero
3 years ago

Even if this bill doesn’t get passed, a big thanks to Senator Prozanski and all those who supported this common-sense bill to make cyclists’ lives just a teeny bit better.

But here’s hoping it does get passed…

TJ
TJ
3 years ago

Emailed my rep and my employer’s rep today. Hoping to read that it gets voted on and passed asap.

Marshall Habermann-Guthrie

AND IT PASSED! It was a nail-biter, down to just a few deciding votes. Good work everyone.