The legislative process slows down throughout the fall and into the holidays since most state legislatures have recessed for the year. Look for much more activity in the first quarter of 2016. However, we did see a few notable proposals that required our members’ attention in the fourth quarter of 2015, which we will summarize below.
Supported the petition efforts of “Ban it Sheridan,” a citizens group organized to ban photo radar vans and red-light cameras in Sheridan, Colorado.
Opposed House Bill 1187 which would make seat belt violations a primary traffic offense and double the fine from $25 to $50. HB 1187 is currently under consideration in the Joint Judiciary Committee.
Supported House Bill 1576 which would require the refund of filing fees for parking ticket appeals if the appeal is successful. Currently the filing fee is nonrefundable, regardless of the verdict, which effectively stifles many appeals from even being attempted. HB 1576 is currently under consideration in the Joint Judiciary Committee.
Supported Senate Bill 1676 which would strengthen the commonwealth’s public records law by adding new enforcement measures for noncompliance, reduce fees for data retrieval, provide more electronic access to information and designate a point person at each state agency to handle public records requests. SB 1676 is currently under consideration in the Joint State Administration and Regulatory Oversight Committee.
Opposed Senate Bills 627 and 628 which would expand tolling in Michigan and allow camera-based citations for unpaid tolls. Both bills are under consideration in the Senate Commerce Committee. For an excellent analysis of the impact these bills could have if passed, read this op-ed written by Jim Walker, NMA Michigan Life Member and Executive Director of the NMA Foundation.
Opposed House Bill 950 which would allow the state’s red-light cameras to operate in perpetuity. The bill has passed the Pennsylvania House and is currently under consideration in the Senate Transportation Committee.
If you’re interested in tracking legislation on your own, check out openstates.org. It provides information on state-level legislation for all 50 states, is easily searchable and sends updates directly to your inbox. You can also find out who your legislators are, what bills they’ve sponsored, how they voted on recent bills and how to get in touch with them.
Also be sure to check out the enhanced legislative alert archive on our newly redesigned NMA website. The new alert posting format includes an up-front summary section so you can get the basics of the bill, along with our position on it, at a glance. The new site also allows us to post legislative alerts more prominently on each state page as well as on the main home page.
Thanks to the many NMA members who volunteered their time to send emails, write letters, make phone calls, and work with policymakers and media outlets on these important issues. If you’re not signed up to receive legislative alerts but would like to, use the “Choose Your NMA E-Subscriptions” link in the sidebar of this email.