As state lawmakers prepare to wrap up
their work for the year Thursday, Aug. 31, several efforts that would have
implications for the trucking industry are nearing passage. Meanwhile, a
handful of related efforts have died.
The Senate voted to send a bill to
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger that would give owner-operators whose trucks service
ports in California the right to collectively bargain. Assembly lawmakers
already approved the bill.
Sponsored by Sen. Joseph Dunn, D-Garden Grove, the bill –
SB1213 – would allow port owner-operators to organize and to collectively
negotiate with port motor carriers regarding such matters as compensation and
It also would extend to those drivers key benefits that many employees
in the state have, such as the ability to withhold their services on a
collective basis – in essence, the right to legally strike – and to be free
from any coercion by port motor carriers regarding those rights.
Owner-operators would have an anti-trust exemption.
Another bill awaiting the governor’s signature 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 bill – AB2736 – would also
stagger registration renewals instead of the current end-of-year registration
An effort still awaiting final
passage in the Senate is focused on air quality.
Sponsored by Assemblywoman Jenny
Oropeza, D-Carson, the bill would require local air districts to develop diesel
reduction measures and plans to reduce emissions. Areas affected would include
10 airports, five seaports and 25 rail yards.
If approved by senators the bill –
AB1101 – would head back to the Assembly for approval of changes. Any actions
on the bill must be complete by the Thursday deadline to move to
Among the legislation affecting truckers that failed to advance to
their respective chamber floors prior to deadlines this past week are a pair of
bills that focused on seaports, including the massive Los Angeles-Long Beach
Sponsored by Sen. Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, the bills sought to
park certain large trucks, limit port growth and speed up “turn times.”
The first bill, SB764, would have
required the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to reduce the amount of
pollution produced. The twin ports complex would have been required to reduce
emissions 30 percent below the level of emissions produced in 2001. The ports
would have been required to meet the roll back on emissions by 2010.
Another bill, SB1829, would have required marine terminals to operate
in such a manner that doesn’t cause trucks to wait – and idle – for more than
30 minutes outside terminal gates. Once inside, it also would have prohibited
making truckers wait more than 30 minutes for a single transaction. Unloading
and loading must be completed in 60 minutes.
Marine terminals found to be in violation, would have faced a $250
fine, per occurrence. Any attempt by owners or operators of terminals to avoid
or circumvent these requirements would have resulted in a $750 fine.
Lowenthal, chairman of the Committee on Environmental Quality, said the
port bills were intended to “promote air quality” and set clearly defined goals
and incentives to achieve them.
One other failed effort was intended to aid truckers.
Sponsored by Assemblywoman Jenny Oropeza, D-Carson, the bill would have
established a revolving fund loan program to provide funding for truck parking
space electrification and anti-idling truck cab technologies.
The measure called for financing the
installation of electrification facilities that would have enabled 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 have aided
compliance with the California Air Resources Board’s heavy-duty vehicle idling
emission reduction requirements. It was also consistent with the mandate to
reduce particulate emissions from heavy-duty diesel trucks.
Oropeza’s bill – AB2647 – remained in the Senate Appropriations
Committee at the deadline for passage to the Senate floor. The Assembly
previously approved it.
The bills that failed passage during the current two-year session can
be reintroduced in the session that begins in December.