Friday was the deadline for bills in Olympia to get out of the fiscal committees. Now, all the survivors have to get through their chamber’s Rules Committee, and get passed on 2nd/3rd reading on their chamber’s floor, by 5 pm on Wednesday, March 13.
The extremely user-friendly state legislative website lists bills that have made it out of each committee.
Among the 50 bills that got voted out of the House Transportation Committee, 13 substantially impact transit, bikes, and pedestrians:
- Engrossed House Bill 1058, would allow multiple motorcycles to park in the same parking space. The bill has already zoomed unanimously out of the House. (See virtual companion SB 5653)
- 2nd Substitute House Bill 1110, would set a schedule for limiting greenhouse gas emissions from fuels; would exempt exports, electricity, and fuel for aircrafts, vessels and railroads from the limits; and would exempt the 2015 Transportation Revenue Package from being impacted by the Clean Fuels Program goals. Its companion bill died in the Senate Committee on Environment, Energy, and Technology.
- Substitute HB 1116, would increase the scope and cost of motorcycle education requirements, increase the fine for driving a motorcycle without a licence, and set up a need-based subsidy program. See its companion, SSB 5303.
- SHB 1189 would allow WSDOT to adopt additional performance standards for Washington State Ferries, but would specify unfilled car spots as one of those measures. This bill has sailed to the Senate.
- HB 1256 would increase the fines for driving while using a personal electronic device in a school zone, playground zone, crosswalk, or speed zone and direct the revenue to local communities for programs to improve safety in these zones. A few Republicans voted no in committee, despite nobody testifying in opposition.
- SHB 1277 would remove the wattage limit on electric-assisted bicycles.
- SHB 1325 would establish regulations for unstaffed personal delivery services on sidewalks and crosswalks. See companion bill SSB 5378.
- SHB 1397 would set up a work group, under WSDOT, to study the potential for the electric aircraft industry for travel within the state. The bill has advanced to the House Floor second reading calendar.
- SHB 1504 would make several changes to the punishments for impaired driving.
- SHB 1723 would merge the pedestrian and bicycle safety councils into the Cooper Jones Active Transportation Safety Council, with the support of all who testified. The bill has advanced to the second reading calendar. See companion bill SSB 5710.
- SHB 1772 would set various regulations on motorized foot scooters, allow for other local regulations, and impose an insurance requirement on shared scooter operations. See companion bill SSB 5751.
- SHB 1793 would allow automated traffic camera enforcement of HOV and bus lanes, crosswalks, box-blocking, and impediment of emergency vehicles. The substitute bill gives those caught a free warning. Its companion bill died in committee.
- HB 1966 would make several changes to the laws regarding traffic behavior around cyclists and pedestrians, increase fines for violations, and create a Vulnerable Roadway User Account, using the revenue to educate about such laws. See companion SSB 5723.
Among the 48 bills that survived the Senate Transportation Committee are 14 substantially impacting transit, bicyclists, and pedestrians, along with 1 scary proposed Constitutional Amendment that might help doom humanity:
- Substitute Senate Bill 5104 would ban most local governments, except port districts, from imposing tolls on local roads. It has advanced to the Senate Floor second reading calendar. The bill is primarily a response to Mayor Durkan’s call for congestion pricing.
- SSB 5128 would lower the annual additional annual fee on electric motorcycles from $120 to $30.
- SSB 5253 would require vehicles to be utilizing wheelchairs or other mobility equipment in order to be allowed to park in van accessible parking spaces. It was brought forth at the request of a constituent of Sen. Tim Sheldon. No other representatives of disability communities testified. The bill is on the second reading calendar.
- SB 5254 would allow motorcycles to overtake within the same lane under certain conditions, and allow motorcycles on shoulder lanes that are open to public transit vehicles. The bill is on the second reading calendar.
- SSB 5303 is the companion to SHB 1116. It has advanced to the second reading calendar.
- SSB 5378 is the companion to SHB 1325.
- SB 5653 would allow multiple motorcycles to park in the same parking space, like EHB 1058. It has zoomed unanimously out of the Senate.
- SSB 5695 would impose escalating fines on HOV lane violators. Its companion bill died in committee.
- SSB 5710 is the companion to SHB 1723.
- SSB 5723 is the companion to SHB 1966.
- SSB 5751 would update the definition of “motorized foot scooter”, allow local regulations, and establish insurance requirements for shared scooter operations. See companion SHB 1772.
- SSB 5847 would create a process for designating a “transportation project of statewide significance” in order to expedite various major highway construction with more lanes. The bill throws in words like “safety” and “congestion reduction”, as if it these projects were really doing that. This bill begs for requiring climate impact statements on transportation bills, and a veto by our governor if he wants to “defeat climate change”.
- SB 5881 would increase the penalties for unlawfully installing vehicle safety glazing or film sunscreening in a vehicle. The bill is basically a well-justified lashing out at illegal tinting by Sen. Curtis King after police complained that illegally dark tinting was impinging on their ability to enforce traffic laws, particularly HOV lanes.
- SSB 5896 would add shared employer shuttles to the list of passenger transportation services that may be privately operated in King County, and would (more contentiously) require public transit park & rides to provide parking stalls for employer shuttles (not just the shared ones, if you read the bill language) regardless of whether the facility is at capacity, so long as some of the passengers are using public transit. A little conversation between profligate prime sponsor Sen. Guy Palumbo and the agencies about how to make this program easily admisterable would be a win-win, from my vantage point.
- Substitute Senate Joint Resolution 8206 would propose an Amendment to the Washington State Constitution to require vehicle license fees and vehicle sales taxes to be used for “highway purposes”, just like with the gas tax. If the Constitutional Amendment were to name transit, protected bike lanes, sidewalks, and curb cuts as “highway purposes”, then the amendment would be a positive improvement. Barring that, it is just another accellerant of global warming and human extinction. A Constitutional Amendment requires a 2/3 majority in each chamber to propose, and then a simple majority of voters to pass, with no involvement by the governor.
Unless otherwise stated above, all of these bills are in their chamber’s Rules Committee at time of publication.
The budget bills and any bills deemed necessary to the budget are exempt from the deadlines.