Policy Update 17 Feb 2017

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Advocates turned out this week to support complete streets and a local source of funding to pay for them.

HB121, Raising the Cap on the Optional Municipal Registration Fee

Many thanks to all of you who contacted your state representatives, wrote letters of support, and testified in person on Tuesday Feb. 7th regarding HB121, the bill to raise the cap on the optional municipal vehicle registration fee from $5 to $10 and enhance the ability for communities to fund transportation options.  Everyone who testified spoke in favor of the bill.  The Committee debated the bill in Executive Session on Tuesday the 14th, voted 19 to 1 in favor, and placed the bill on the consent calendar.  This means the full House will vote on the bill in the next floor session as part of a package of many bills heard in committee during the previous week or so. 

There is no House floor session scheduled for next week as of this writing, so the vote on HB121 will probably take place the next week, between Feb. 28th and March 2nd.  You can check the docket of the bill for updates on the schedule by clicking here.

SB243, Complete Streets Policy and Pilot Program

Additional thanks are due to those who showed strong support for SB243, the complete streets policy bill that also creates a pilot program with a statewide fund for complete streets projects.  The Senate Transportation Committee heard that bill on Tuesday.  Testimony was uniformly in favor.  The Committee held an executive session immediately following the hearing, and voted unanimously in favor of the bill, adding a committee amendment that that says the pilot program will require 60% in local funds to match 40% in state funds.  The Committee felt this level of match would show more commitment on the part of the communities applying for the funds, and would allow the funds to support more projects across the state.

Since SB243 has a financial note attached to it (funding for the pilot program), it will first be voted on by the full Senate, and then it will be referred to the Finance Committee for additional hearings and possible amendment. 

The full Senate vote has been scheduled for Thursday Feb. 23rd.  The session begins at 10:00 a.m.  They might discuss the bill or they might bring it to a vote without discussion.  If it passes, it will move along to the Finance Committee.  You can follow the bill's progress by clicking here.