California Legislative Update: Budgets and Appropriations

bikeatCapitollabel2In the state legislature this week, the only policy committee that met was the Appropriations Committee, which voted to move forward or let die a long list of bills that have a cost to the state.

Next week, the Budget Conference Committee will begin deliberations on the two budget proposals, S.B. 69 from the Senate and A.B. 103 from the Assembly. The conference committee is a joint Senate and Assembly committee that will make final decisions on what goes into the joint legislative budget proposal. Appointments to the committee were announced this week, and included on the roster is Assemblymember Richard Bloom, who has championed the Active Transportation Program and is author of A.B. 902, which would allow ticketed bicyclists to take a class and lower their fine. In fact, the Assembly budget bill includes an increase of $25 million for that program.

Some of the bills that progressed this week include:

  • A.B. 8 from Assembymember Mike Gatto (D-Glendale) would create a yellow alert system to make it easier for authorities to get help from the public to catch hit-and-run perpetrators.
  • A.B. 40, from Assemblymembers Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) and Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) would prohibit tolls for bikes on state-owned bridges.
  • A.B. 28, from Assemblymember Kansen Chu (D-San Jose) would allow bikes to substitute red lights for the currently required reflectors.
  • A.B. 208, from Assemblymember Frank Bigelow (R-O’Neals) would clarify when bicycles and other slow vehicles must pull over to let other vehicles pass. For some reason, this bill is still alive. (See our previous coverage here.)
  • A.B. 779, from Assemblymember Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) seeks to delay the implementation of last year’s SB 743. That law will remove the use of traffic delay as a measurement of environmental impact under California environmental law. (See our previous coverage here.)
  • A.B. 744, from Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park) would require a city or county to eliminate minimum parking requirements under certain circumstances, upon request by the developer. We covered this bill in more detail here, and see Joe’s interview with Donald Shoup about it below.
  • S.B. 192, from Senator Carol Liu (D- La Cañada Flintridge),  started out as a bill requiring bicyclists to wear helmets, and changed to a call for a study of helmet use. This bill seems to be dead for this session, as the Appropriations Committee held on to it.

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