CA Legislative Update: Raise the Gas Tax? Cap and Trade, HOT Lanes

bikeatCapitollabel2Bills have started moving through committees in both houses of the California legislature as the hearing season starts.

For those of you just joining us, we try to provide a regular roundup of legislation of interest to livable streets advocates. Highlights from the current session are included the bills below. Let us know if we missed anything in the comments.

Mandatory Helmet Law Dropped: As we wrote about last week, Senator Carol Liu rewrote her S.B. 192 to ask for a study of helmet use and helmet laws, instead of requiring all bike riders to wear helmets and high-visibility clothing. The new bill is currently set for a hearing in the Transportation and Housing Committee in two weeks.

Proposal to Raise the Gas Tax: Brave Senator Jim Beall finally broached the Subject That Will Not Be Named: raising the gas tax to pay for road maintenance. His SB 16, amended this week, also proposes raising vehicle registration fees and imposing a $100 vehicle registration fee on electric vehicles, the drivers of which pay no gas taxes. The bill is set for a hearing in two weeks in the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee.

Cap-and-trade for Technical Assistance: A.B. 156, from Assemblymember Henry Perea (D-Fresno), would allocate money from the state’s cap-and-trade system to disadvantaged communities for technical assistance. Cap-and-trade funds are available for a range of projects and programs designed to lower greenhouse gas emissions, but “the application process can be overwhelming for communities to navigate on their own. The bill got the green light from the Assembly Natural Resources Committee, and now goes to the Appropriations Committee.

HOT Lane Conversions: A.B. 194 from Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Oakley) would give the California Transportation Commission authority to allow more conversions of carpool (High Occupancy Vehicle, or HOV) lanes to toll lanes (known as HOT lanes). The bill passed out of the Assembly Transportation Committee, which Frazier chairs, and moves on to the Appropriations Committee.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Legislative Update: Budget, Cap-and-Trade, LOS, Gas Tax

|
This week the California legislature was mostly focused on the budget, since the Assembly and the Senate must by law present a budget bill to the governor by midnight on Monday, June 15. The joint Budget Conference Committee succeeded in producing an agreement [PDF] well before the deadline; their budget bill, A.B. 93, should be […]

California Legislative Update: How to Fund Transportation

|
The legislature came back from its summer break on Monday, and has only a month to resolve some big goals before the session ends on September 11. Over 600 bills are pending in both the Senate and the Assembly, plus there are behind-the-scenes negotiations on leftover budget issues and two concurrent special sessions aimed at […]

Dems, Repubs Far Apart on Solving CA Transportation Funding

|
The California legislature held its first joint special session on transportation funding just before the holiday weekend. The session was called by Governor Jerry Brown when he and the legislature punted some big decisions so they could sign a budget before the June 30 deadline. The first extraordinary session of the Transportation and Infrastructure Development […]

California Legislative Update

|
This week Sacramento saw long hearings in the Senate and Assembly, as both houses pushed to meet their deadline to pass bills. Any bill that doesn’t pass its house of origin by the end of this week is dead–for this year at least. Herein, our highly selective look at this week’s activities in the California […]