BikePortland

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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