State Watch – March/April 2020
Since the first of the year, lawmakers throughout the country have been working at breakneck speed to advance their agendas. A portion of those efforts are included on the following pages.
For a complete rundown of state legislation, visit LandLine.media.
A Senate bill would double the state’s fuel tax rate. SB115 would raise the 8-cent tax rate for gas and diesel to 16 cents.
Truck enforcement is the topic of one House bill. HB2030 would limit the state Department of Transportation to enforce vehicle rules to within 5 miles of an Arizona port of entry and to within 1 mile of a port of entry on the border between Arizona and Mexico.
Two bills are of note. H309 would divert more than a quarter billion dollars from the state’s “rainy day” fund to a new account accessible for transportation purposes. Specifically, $272 million would be shifted from the state’s budget stabilization fund to the new economic reserve and investment fund.
H325 would increase the amount of sales tax allotted to transportation. Idaho now sends about 1% of the state’s sales tax to the highway account. The bill would double the amount sent to transportation to 2%.
Two bills cover toll lanes to Interstates 270 and 495. HB292 and SB229 would prohibit construction of roadway expansion, toll lanes and bridges without approval of affected counties.
A House bill would eliminate citation quotas for state or local law enforcement.
HB64 would forbid performance evaluations from comparing the number of citations issued by one officer to the number of citations issued by another officer. Officers could still have arrests or citations considered for performance evaluations.
Violators would face a $10,000 fine.
A bill introduced in the House covers automated vehicles. HB2059 would prohibit affected vehicles from being operated in automatic mode on a highway or street unless a licensed, trained person is present in the vehicle. The driver must have the ability to monitor the vehicle’s performance and take control of the vehicle, if necessary.
A bill in the Senate targets ticket quotas. SB1264 would outlaw local governments and police departments from requiring officers to issue a certain number of citations within a specific period of time. Additionally, agencies would be prohibited from evaluating personnel based on the number of tickets written or arrests made.
One bill continuing to move through the statehouse would authorize law enforcement to issue tickets solely for failure to clear vehicles of snow and ice. Drivers traveling on highways would be required to make “reasonable efforts” to remove snow or ice from all parts of their vehicles within 24 hours of a weather event. SB114 would excuse truck operators if they are on their way to a facility to remove accumulated snow or ice. In addition, violations would not be issued if compliance would cause the trucker to violate any federal or state law or regulation regarding workplace safety, or if it would be a health or safety threat.
Nearly a dozen bills cover the topic of speed cameras. HB1414 covers roads designated as “highway safety corridors.” Automated tickets would be generated for vehicles exceeding the posted speed limit by more than 10 mph. The Senate version is SB890.
HB621, HB1442, HB1721 and SB623 would authorize local governments to use speed cameras in areas that include highway work zones. The speed threshold for activation of cameras to snap photos vary. HB1442 includes authorization for troopers to use the devices.
A Senate bill would redirect state sales tax revenue from vehicle purchases for roads and bridges. The money now is routed to the state’s general fund. SB6041 would shift vehicle sales tax revenue from one budget to the other in 10% increments over the next decade.
One House bill would raise the state’s fuel tax rate of 24 cents per gallon. HB63 would adjust the taxes on gas, diesel and alternative fuels based on the consumer price index.
The changes would be implemented on July 1. The bill would raise the tax rates by 3 cents to 27 cents per gallon. LL