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July 28, 2021

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Here’s What Bills Are Still Alive in the Senate and Assembly – Streetsblog California

As noted last week, with the legislature now on its summer recess, many pieces of legislation that have not passed through all policy committees are now off the table until next year. Here’s an update on important legislation that Streetsblog has covered and where it now stands. Legislation is listed by bill number with the Assembly Bills listed before the Senate Bills.

Legislation:  A.B. 43  – “Changes to the 85th Percentile Rule”
Status: Passed Assembly. Passed Senate Committees. Waiting on Full Vote in Senate
Description:  A.B. 43, introduced by Asm. Transportation Committee Chair Laura Friedman. begins the process of changing the way speed limits are set, based on recommendations from the Zero Fatalities Task Force of a few years ago. It would make it easier for local jurisdictions to lower speed limits, something that they are currently prevented from doing by the state’s 85th percentile rules.

Legislation: A.B 116, – “Oversight of the High Speed Rail Authority”
Status: DEAD. Did not receive vote in Asm. Transportation Committee.
Description: A.B 116, would have given authority to the Legislative Analyst’s Office to weigh in on and advise the legislature on the development of the high speed rail system and “shared mobility systems statewide.” The LAO already advises the legislature on many matters, emphasizing economic cost-benefit analyses

Legislation: A.B. 117 – “E-bike Rebates”
Status: Passed Assembly. Passed Senate Committees. Waiting on vote from Senate Appropriations Committee
Description: A.B. 117 would add e-bikes to the Air Resource Board’s Clean Vehicles Rebate project, making them eligible for rebates under the rules – and budget constraints – of that program. Funding for this program was included in the state budget passed last week.

Legislation: A.B. 122 – “Safety Stop”
Status: Passed Assembly. Passed Senate Committees. Waiting on vote from Senate Appropriations Committee
Description: Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath’s legislation would make it legal for bicyclists to treat “stop signs” as “yield signs” given of course that they are on their bicycle at the time.

Legislation: A.B. 339  – “Virtual Participation in Public Meetings”
Status: Passed Assembly. Passed Senate Committees. Waiting on vote from Senate Appropriations Committee
Description: Asm. Alex Lee’s A.B. 339 would allow municipalities to continue to allow remote participation in public meetings.

Legislation: A.B. 455  – “Transit Only Bus Lanes on Bay Bridge”
Status: DEAD. Passed Assembly. Failed to earn vote in Senate Transportation Committee.
Description:A.B. 455, sets a goal (increase bus service across the bridge to 45 mph) and a timeline (by January 2025); names the agencies responsible for solving the problem (Bay Area Toll Authority, Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Caltrans, Oakland DOT, transit operators, San Francisco County Transportation Authority, Alameda County Transportation Commission, and Contra Costa Transportation Authority); and then offers a solution if they can’t solve it. That is, if buses aren’t able to travel at 45 mph across the bridge regularly by January 2025, then the authorities must set aside one of the bridge’s lanes for transit only.

Legislation: A.B. 550  – “Limited Use of Speed Cameras”
Status: Passed Assembly and Senate Committees. “Held” by Senate Appropriations Committee.
Description: This legislation would have allowed the use of automated speed cameras. It was killed in the appropriations process.

Legislation:  A.B. 629  – “Seamless Bay Area”
Status: DEAD. On pause until next session.
Description: This was a state bill that aims to lay out a roadmap for the many transit agencies in the San Francisco Bay Area to come together and create a unified system, at least from the perspective of riders.

A lonely Slow Streets sign in Los Angeles. Photo: Damien Newton
A lonely Slow Streets sign in Los Angeles. Photo: Damien Newton

Legislation: A.B. 773  – “Street Closures and Designations” aka “The Slow Streets Bill”
Status: Passed Assembly. Passed Senate Committees. Waiting on Full Vote in Senate
Description: A.B. 773 , introduced by Asm Adrin Nazarian, would allow cities to close streets to vehicles to keep them safe for other users, thus allowing them to make the pandemic-inspired “safe streets” permanent. While many cities are already moving to build on the successes of the Slow Streets program, this legislation clarifies existing state language to reduce the chances that worthy programs could be held up by legal challenges.

Legislation: A.B. 784  – “Alameda Contra-Costa Transit District”
Status: Passed Assembly. Passed Senate Committees. Waiting on vote from Senate Appropriations Committee
Description:A.B. 784, aims to update the governance structure of AC Transit, the transit agency for Alameda and Contra Costa counties. The bill would also give the district an extra year to pay back loans it takes out against future local sales tax revenues.

Legislation: A.B.823 – “Ban on Fossil Fuel Powered Trains on High Speed Rail”
Status: DEAD. Did not receive vote in Asm. Transportation Committee.
Description: Would have prohibited the High-Speed Rail Authority from directly or indirectly using local, State, federal, or any other public or private funding to purchase, lease, operate, or maintain a diesel passenger locomotive engine or a passenger locomotive engine that directly emits particulate matter from the onboard combustion of fossil fuels.

Legislation: A.B. 917 – “Vehicles: video imaging of parking violations”
Status: Passed Assembly. Passed Senate Committees. Waiting on full vote in Senate
Description: Assemblymember Richard Bloom’s A.B. 917 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee late last week. This would expand a pilot program being used on the Alameda Contra Costa Transit system to allow every transit agency in the state to enforce bus-only lanes and parking violations at bus stops using cameras attached to the buses.

Legislation: A.B. 1091 – “Reorganizing Board of VTA”
Status: DEAD, shelved for this year at request of author, Asm. Berman
Description: Would have ordered the reorganization of the VTA Board of Directors.

Legislation: A.B. 1147  – “Regional transportation plan: Active Transportation Program”
Status: Passed Assembly. Passed Senate Committees. Waiting on vote from Senate Appropriations Committee
Description: A.B. 1147, also introduced by Friedman, would require a number of changes to the ways regions plan their transportation and land use, including requiring them to account for how transportation funds support greenhouse gas reductions. It would also require Caltrans to develop a proposal for building bicycle highways to support long bike commutes.

Legislation: A.B. 1196 – “Sacramento Regional Transit District: board of directors: voting procedures.”
Status: Passed Assembly. Passed Senate Committees. Waiting on vote from Senate Appropriations Committee
Description: The bill “would authorize the board of SacRT to adopt its own voting procedures.” In 2006, the board pursued A.B. 2137 to create a voting system that weighted votes according to how much each jurisdiction contributed financially to SacRT’s budget. A.B. 1196 would allow the board to change voting procedures without asking permission from the state, as long as it follows some basic transparency procedures.

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Legislation: A.B. 1238 – “Freedom to Walk”
Status: Passed Assembly. Passed Senate Committees. Waiting on vote from Senate Appropriations Committee
Description: A.B. 1238, by Asm. Phil Ting, which would “decriminalize jaywalking” by making it legal for pedestrians to cross the street mid-block if there is no vehicular traffic coming.

Legislation: A.B. 1401 – “Residential and commercial development: remodeling, renovations, and additions: parking requirements”
Status: Passed Assembly. Passed Senate Committees. Waiting on vote from Senate Appropriations Committee
Description: A.B. 1401, another bill introduced by Friedman, faces a similar path. 1401 was passed by the full Assembly and the Senate Housing Committee earlier this month, but needs a thumbs up from Senate Appropriations. 1401 would prohibit cities from imposing minimum parking requirements on developments near transit, which have led to overbuilt parking and higher housing costs, among other negative outcomes.

Legislation: S.B. 260 – “Climate Corporate Accountability”
Status: DEAD. Cut in Appropriations process.
Description: S.B. 260 was always a bit of a long shot, if also long-overdue: It would have required corporations to track and report their greenhouse gas emissions.

Legislation: S.B. 467  – “Phasing Out Fracking
Status: DEAD. Failed in committee.
Description: S.B. 467, introduced by Scott Weiner and Monique Limón would would have banned all new permits for fracking starting in 2022, and phase the practice out completely by 2027.

Legislation: S.B. 551 – “California Zero-Emission Vehicle Authority”
Status: Passed Senate. Passed Assembly Committees. Awaiting vote of Assembly Appropriations Committee
Description: This bill calls for the creation of a new statewide authority, the Electric Vehicle authority, to to coordinate activities among state agencies to advance electric vehicle and zero-emission charging infrastructure deployment as well as ensure related equity, workforce development, economic development, and other needs are addressed, as specified.