By Keith Goble, state legislative editor
Included in this issue’s State Watch you will find the annual Legislative Guide, beginning here. The directory is your reference guide for tracking issues important to you.
On this page, Land Line rounds up some recent actions from statehouses. For a complete rundown of state legislation, visit landlinemag.com and click on “Legislative Watch” under the “Important Info” tab. You can also visit ooida.com and click on “Introduction” under the “Issues & Actions” tab.
Gov. Rick Snyder signed multiple bills of note into law. SB873 does away with indemnification clauses in trucking contracts. No longer can contracts provide for shippers to be indemnified for losses caused by their own negligence. The clauses are “void and unenforceable.”
HB5936 allows service personnel returning from duty to exchange their military CDL for a state-issued CDL without requiring a driving test. However, the written portion of the test will not be waived.
A House bill would make the state the first in the nation to adopt an enhanced incentive to reduce truck idling. Specifically, SB43 would allow heavy-duty trucks to exceed the 80,000-pound maximum weight limit by 550 pounds to accommodate idling-reduction equipment.
A new law adds to the list of police officers in the state authorized to inspect hazardous materials hauls. Effective Feb. 1, S1816 extends the authority to include Delaware River Port Authority police officers.
Another bill is intended to deter truck thieves with stiffer penalties. A3003 specifies that anyone who steals a truck would face second degree criminal charges. Terms would double if the crime involved a weapon.
Two efforts would protect transportation funds. HJR22 calls for an amendment to the state constitution to limit uses of revenue from vehicle registration fees, fuel taxes and certain federal funds to roadway improvements.
HB106 would no longer distribute state highway funds to the Department of Public Safety for patrols. Instead, the bill clarifies that money in the state highway fund is to be used solely to improve the state highway system.
Delegate Chris Stolle, R-Virginia Beach, has filed a bill for consideration that would allow Hampton Roads voters to decide on a 1 percent local sales tax for transportation work. Under HB1450, the proposed local sales tax could raise about $175 million annually for the region. LL