State Watch — August/September 2019
The majority of state legislatures have wrapped up their work for this calendar year. Here’s our end-of-summer review of bills you found of interest. It’s a roundup of the items that governors signed into law in recent weeks and other actions.
For a complete rundown of state legislation, visit LandLine.media.
Gov. John Carney has signed into law a bill that includes $425 million for transportation work. The portion of the capital budget that covers transportation includes money to construct and repair roads and bridges.
The General Assembly has advanced to the governor a bill to remove the state from Eastern Standard Time – effectively adopting yearlong daylight saving time. SB73 would have the state adopt Atlantic Standard Time. The bill specifies that Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland must also adopt the change for Delaware to make the switch.
A bill on Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk would raise the maximum penalty for hitting a construction worker. Currently, the maximum penalty for striking a worker is $10,000. SB1496 would increase the fine to $25,000.
One bill signed into law targets electric vehicles for additional road revenue. The state already collects a $35 fee for a two-year registration period on electric vehicles. SB1939 includes a provision to set a registration fee for electric vehicles at $248 each year starting in 2020.
A new law allots more than $700 million for infrastructure work around the state. Specifically, HB578 uses proceeds secured in the settlement for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil spill to pay for 10 key infrastructure projects that include Lafayette’s Interstate 49 South and Shreveport’s I-49 North connector. The state receives $53 million annually as part of the settlement. Money for the projects could be bonded to get work underway sooner rather than later.
Gov. Doug Burgum signed into law a bill to collect a $120 annual “road use fee” on electric vehicles. Hybrids will have imposed a $50 yearly fee. SB2061 also sets up a legislative study on the infrastructure needs for electric cars. Revenue estimated in excess of $200,000 annually will be used for state and local roads, and transit.
A new law now in effect prohibits trains from blocking a rail crossing for more than 10 minutes. HB2472 allows up to a $1,000 fine for statute violations. Certain exceptions would apply.
Gov. Kate Brown has signed into law a bill to abolish time changes to maintain daylight saving time throughout the year. The portion of the state in the Mountain Time Zone (Malheur County) would be exempted from permanent daylight saving time. In addition to the necessary approval from Congress for the change to take effect in Oregon, SB320 says that both Washington and California also would need to agree to the switch.
One bill on the governor’s desk, S11, states that if Congress amends U.S. code to permit states to observe year-round daylight saving time if it is the intent of the Legislature for “daylight saving time to be the year-round standard time.”
Gov. Phil Scott has signed into law a bill to put
$373 million into highway infrastructure investments. Specifically, H529 allots $100 million for bridge work, more than $100 million for paving, nearly $50 million for roadways, and $20 million in traffic and safety improvements. Another $93.7 million will be applied for transit and other purposes.