With the Legislature passing the key first chamber committee deadline on April 18, it is a good time to provide an update on the bills and critical related issues we have discussed so far this session.

Most of the critical transportation issues are wrapped up in the transportation funding package discussions ongoing in the Joint Transportation Committee. Work continues on drafting an initial bill (or series of bills) that will likely be discussed in that committee within the next two weeks. That said, below are some other noteworthy policy bills and their current status:

House Bill (HB) 2208 – Would have created a path for property owners to receive a way of necessity at the expense of state and/or local governments. AOC testified in opposition and the bill died in the House Transportation Committee.

HB 2568 – Exemption from permitting for overlength utility poles. We worked on amendments with PGE and this bill ultimately passed the House 60-0 and has been referred to Senate Business and Transportation.

HB 2597/Senate Bill (SB) 2 – Product of Distracted Driving Task Force. Limits the use of any device that is not hands-free or fixed/mounted to the vehicle. Increases penalties for use non-hands free devices. Both bills are headed to Ways and Means.

HB 2667 – Task Force on Vision Zero (Safety/Traffic Fatalities). AOC asked for, and received, an amendment for representation on the Task Force, however the bill died in committee.

HB 2682 – AOC opposed this bill in its original form, which would have allowed cities and counties to set their own speed limits. The bill was amended to apply only to the City of Portland’s residential side streets. It moved out of committee and will go to the House floor.

HB 3203 – Requires expanded cost analysis and new enforcement mechanisms on public agencies self-performing public improvement projects (paving and utility work). AOC is opposed to the bill in its current form and, along with other local government associations, is engaged in ongoing negotiations with private sector contractor groups. The bill is currently in House Rules and is also tied to the transportation package discussions as an additional “accountability” measure.

HB 3386 – Imposes new “cost containment” mechanisms on the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (aka “Clean Fuels Program”). Sent to the House Rules Committee, where further work will be done on the bill.

HB 3435 – Would allow counties the option to loan county road funds to taxing districts within the county. AOC Legislative Committee supports this bill. The bill’s sponsor (Rep. Brock Smith) is asking for amendments to narrow the scope to Klamath and Curry Counties. Currently this bill is alive in the House Revenue Committee.

SB 1008 – Would impose numerous mandates requiring the phase out of older diesel engines. The bill was amended in the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee and limited to a one-time state-funded inventory of off-road diesel equipment and a disbursement process for the VW Settlement fund dollars. This bill passed out of Committee 5-0 and was sent to Senate Rules.

Please let us know if you have questions on these or any other bills.

Contributed by: Mike Eliason | AOC Transportation Policy Manager