Trucking bills await further consideration in California

| 8/1/2006

As state lawmakers prepare to head back to the California statehouse Aug. 7 for their final push to approve bills before the regular session ends later this month, several bills of interest to truck drivers are likely to draw consideration.

Among the bills expected to draw discussion is an effort to establish a revolving fund loan program to provide funding for truck parking space electrification and anti-idling truck cab technologies.

Sponsored by Assemblywoman Jenny Oropeza, D-Carson, the measure would finance the installation of electrification facilities that would enable large trucks “to use plug-in electricity to power their in-cab needs rather than using main engine or auxiliary diesel powered units,” Oropeza wrote.

According to a legislative analysis, the bill would also aid compliance with the California Air Resources Board’s heavy-duty vehicle idling emission reduction requirements. It is also consistent with the mandate to reduce particulate emissions from heavy-duty diesel trucks.

Another bill would add California to a national safety compliance database that monitors interstate truckers’ safety compliance.

Sponsored by Assemblyman Roger Niello, R-Fair Oaks, the measure would allow the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles access to the registration information for out-of-state truckers doing business in the state.

Niello said the goal of the program is that law enforcement would have the same information for interstate carriers as they have for intrastate carriers.

The measure would also stagger registration renewals instead of the current end-of-year registration renewal process.

Niello’s bill – AB2736 – is awaiting approval in the Assembly of Senate changes. If approved, it would head to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s desk.

Oropeza’s bill – AB2647 – is in the Senate Appropriations Committee. The Assembly already approved it.

All legislation must be approved by both chambers prior to the end of the regular session, which is scheduled for Aug. 31.

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor