Legislative Update - May 2017
Still A Ways To Go
The 53rd Legislature - First Regular Session is over. The legislature will be adjourned by the time this goes to print. It has been a learning experience for me this session. We had some great wins and some set backs over the past 5 months. I think we have done alot this session but we still have a ways to go.
HB2046 - HELMET BILL
Representative Friese had introduced this bill as usual. Representative Campbell agreed to let it be heard in the Transportation committee out of respect to the representative from LD-9. We had a good turn out for committee testimony and ultimately defeated the bill in committee 8-0. This was a good win but what came out of it was better. Dr. Friese agreed to attend a motorcycle basic riders course when I invited him. Mick Degn (AMSAF) agreed to scholarship Dr. Friese as well. This is what politics is about. Attempting to win an opponent over to your point of view. I think this will make great strides in having an advocate for motorcycle safety in Dr. Friese when he actually experiences what we, as motorcyclists, encounter. Our state president, Jim Butsback, also volunteered to take the same class as Dr. Friese since he is in his district. Good for our Southern Arizona chapter in making a difference.
MOTORCYCLE DAY AT THE DOME
An incredible turnout and fantastic conversations with the legislators who came down and had lunch with us. We had such a great turn out that we ran out of food. This is good since in years past, there were always left overs. I am looking towards a bigger and better MDATD next year. Thanks to Bob at Law Tigers for helping out this year by stepping up with all the printing and sponsoring the website. We need more help on the planning committee. So if you are interested, let me know.
SB1082 - MOTORCYCLE SAFETY FUND
After getting this bill through the Senate it had a little hiccup in the House. I was extremely surprised at the opposition for it. Ultimately it passed and Governor Ducey signed it into law. Thanks to Senator Karen Fann for working really hard on behalf of motorcyclists across the state.
CIVIL FORFEITURE REFORM - HB2477
The measure will change Arizona's civil asset forfeiture laws to require prosecutors to prove property was involved in a crime by "clear and convincing" evidence, a step above the current standard. This is a huge win for Arizonans. The Governor defied law enforcement and prosecutors by signing this into law.
MOTORCYCLE SAFETY AND AWARENESS MONTH
Governor Ducey signed the proclamation making May Motorcycle Safety and Awareness month once again. This is a great opportunity for all motorcyclists to get the word out to cagers about the need for motorcycle awareness. If you need bumper stickers, tri-folds, etc, contact me and I will get them to your chapter.
I am still working on getting stiffer penalties for those who hit a motorcyclist while distracted. I spoke to Senator Farley about trying to get a comprehensive bi-partisan bill through the legislature. It didn’t happen this session, but I’ll keep trying.
I am working on some bill language to present to certain legislators that would be acceptable to those in the law enforcement community who are against any type of anti-profiling legislation. It’s an uphill battle but we are still pushing forward.
I presented a policy paper to the chair of the Senate and House Transportation committee. This way, the committee will know where the motorcyclists of Arizona stand on this issue.
There have been a lot of meetings with legislators this session in order for them to know who we are as an organization. Some of the discussions were productive, some not so much. Like I said, we have done a lot during this session but still have a ways to go.
Start discussing within your chapters what ABATE agenda should be for next session. I’ll be around the different chapters, so please let me know.
Until then… be good to one another.
State Designated Lobbyist, ABATE of Arizona