Senate Bill 31 Passes! February 25, 2010 --- Senate Bill 31 to amend motorcycle handlebar height passed third reading in the House of Representatives today, Thursday February 25, with a vote of 91 - 1. This is the second consecutive "short session" in which ABATE of Indiana has been successful in getting legislation passed to correct something for Hoosier motorcyclists.
This victory is a testament to the strength and dedication of ABATE of Indiana and could not have been accomplished without the efforts of many people including: everyone that attended ABATE Day at the Statehouse, all members that made calls to their legislators or spoke with them at "Third House" meetings, ABATE State LINC Director Mike Meyer with his updates and frequent visits to the Statehouse, Operations Director Gary Williams and especially Mike Seiler for his almost daily presence at the Statehouse,
We are most appreciate of the legislators that assisted us with this bill starting with the original author Senator Phil Boots and including: co-authors Senator Jim Lewis and Senator Jim Buck, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Transportation and Veteran's Affairs Senator Tom Wyss, House sponsor and Chair of the House Committee on Roads and Transportation Representative Terri Austin, co-sponsor Representative Jacque Clements and a special thank you to Representative Bill Ruppel who checked with us on the status of the bill almost daily. Additionally we would like to thank all of the legislators that voted in favor of SB31.
We will now look forward to Governor Mitch Daniels signing this pro-motorcycling legislation into law.
Despite this being a "short session" I sure seemed to spend a lot of days having a granola bar and Diet Coke for lunch while playing "hurry up and wait" with the other lobbyists. Most people don't understand just how significant it is to get a bill passed in the 30 day short session and we've done it two times in a row. You should all be very proud.
Senate Bill 31 Update On February 17 SB31, regarding motorcycle handlebar height, passed through a hearing of the House Committee on Roads and Transportation 11-0. We thank the committee and Chair, Representative Terri Austin, for their assistance in advancing this legislation. It will now head for a second reading on the House floor.
January 15, 2010 --- ABATE of Indiana had a busy and productive week at the Statehouse. The following is a list of the status of some of the bills affecting motorcyclists.
SB31 - Changes maximum handlebar height from 15 inches to shoulder height. Scheduled to be heard in committee on Tuesday January 19th. We have been in contact with the sponsor of the bill, Senator Phil Boots, as well as all committee members and Chairman, Senator Tom Wyss. We are unaware of any opposition to this bill and remain optimistic that it will be successful. UPDATE (January 21, 2010) SB31 passed second reading on the Senate Floor at about 2:30 this afternoon (01/21/10). It has been ordered to engrossment and will return to the full senate for third reading before being sent to the House. In accordance with rules, this must be completed by February 3rd for the bill to be eligible in the House. (January 19, 2010) SB31 passed out of committee with no opposition. The bill now goes to the full Senate.
SB68 - Senator Edward Charbonneau has introduced a bill that would allow for the sales of motorcycles on Sundays. We do not have a vested interest in this legislation at this time, but will continue to monitor for amendments. This bill has not yet been scheduled for hearing.
HB1175 - This bill, offered by Representative David Wolkins, provides for the titling and registration of mini-trucks as low speed vehicles. This bill does not directly affect motorcycles at this point but will also continue to monitor this. A hearing is scheduled for January 20.
HB1292 - Responsibility for virtually all training of motor-vehicle operators (including motorcycles) would fall under the authority of one agency, the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute. No hearing has been scheduled and the future of this bill is questionable.
HB1293 - This is the same language as HB1292 except the agency would be the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. The future of this bill is equally uncertain.
Remember that this is a short session (30 session days) and is to adjourn by March 15. Additionally, there is talk that legislators will attempt to complete their work and finish the session early (perhaps the end of February). Lawmakers are limited as to how many bills they may introduce in the short session. Combine this with the 2010 election and it makes getting legislation passed in even numbered years quite difficult. With 19 fatalities reported for motorized bicycles in 2008, we will continue to look for methods to add accountability to these vehicles in an effort to reduce accidents, injuries and fatalities.
Tuesday, January 26th will be ABATE Day at the Statehouse and provides a wonderful opportunity to experience the process first hand. It is important that elected officials and citizens see how committed motorcyclists are. We encourage everyone to attend to insure that motorcycling is preserved for future generations. Registration will begin at 8:00 AM at the Sheraton (details available on the website).
Ride Safe, Ride Free.