News
State Watch
OOIDA’s state watch

By Keith Goble, state legislative editor

The majority of state legislatures have wrapped up their work for this year. A special thanks to those of you who followed what took place in your state and who tipped us off on initiatives you cared about.

Here’s our roundup of what governors signed into law in recent weeks and the latest activity on other notable efforts.

For a complete rundown of state legislation, visit landlinemag.com and click on “Legislative Watch” under the “Important Info” tab.

CALIFORNIA
Gov. Jerry Brown has signed four bills of interest into law. SB1077 authorizes a pilot program in the state to assess the practicality of taxing truckers and other drivers based on vehicle miles traveled in the state. The VMT tax could replace the state’s fuel tax as people are driving vehicles that get better mileage.

SB486 requires the California DOT to set up goals and performance measures. Specifically, Caltrans is required to prepare a strategic plan for modernizing the agency that will include public input.

AB1447 makes traffic synchronization programs eligible for funding through the Greenhouse Gas Emission Fund. It takes effect Jan. 1, 2015.

AB935 will soon allow veterans to apply for a California driver’s license or identification card with a designation that identifies them as a veteran. Veterans will be able to apply for the special license or ID starting Veterans Day 2015.

Illinois
Sen. Bill Haine and Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth, both Democrats, have announced plans to pursue money from an existing grant program to enable local police to buy body cameras or dashboard cameras. An amended version of HB3911 could come up for consideration when state lawmakers return to Springfield in November for the annual fall session.

New Jersey
A Senate resolution proposes a change to the state Constitution to dedicate a portion of motor vehicle fees and surcharges to the Transportation Trust Fund. SCR126 would redirect at least $400 million annually from vehicle fees and surcharges for transportation projects. The revenue now goes into the general fund.

The Senate Transportation Committee voted unanimously to advance a bill that would prohibit the state from sharing information about New Jersey drivers with other states for speed or red-light camera enforcement. S2325 awaits further consideration on the Senate floor.

A bill still in committee would increase the state’s 14.5-cent-per-gallon gas tax rate and 17.5-cent diesel tax by 15 cents. S1865 would increase the tax rates by five cents per gallon each year for three years. The bill would mandate that the estimated $750 million raised each year be used solely for transportation purposes.

Pennsylvania
A bill halfway through the statehouse would prohibit the Delaware River Port Authority from engaging in economic development activity. SB1358 would also force the agency to comply with ethics and public records laws. In addition, a two-thirds majority of commissioners would need to sign off on any toll increase.

To change DRPA’s federal charter, identical legislation must be enacted in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and approved by the federal government. LL