True story. HB 1073 failed to make it out of the transportation committee meeting today. After opposing testimony from a representative who helped with an amendment to make it more moderate, and opposing testimony from the Departments of Transportation, Public Safety & Tourism even the primary sponsor/chair of the committee voted to scrap the bill.
Hear the audio from the meeting here - http://ow.ly/XE5yF - it's a bit lively.
Among the highest of lights is the Secretary of Tourism saying interest in bicycle tourism is at an all time high and he echoed someone he heard say all bicyclists do is quietly roll through the state and leave behind a trail of money.
FAB President Chris Parsley does an excellent job of teaching lane control in 4 minutes or less. People who hear will think they're listening to testimony but what he's really doing is teaching. Go ahead listen in, maybe learn something.
There was one shaky resident of the Black Hills who opposed the bill. Boy I appreciate that. In that position I AM that.
There was Rep Krischman making an awkward joke about being in the wrong room - it's not his committee - and then saying "it's been 8 beers since..." - he meant "years."
The discussion about what a Class 2 Misdemeanor is was oh so disappointingly wrong and incorrect.
Rep Bolin got way out of line when questioning Rep Deutsch. OUT OF ORDER!
Rep Rasmussen did all but move her non-existant reflective clothing bill. It's coming! Be ready!
Rep Schoenbeck got really disappointed with the DOT. Really disappointed with the state of rider/driver relations on the roadways. Then pretty much everybody agreed that something needs to be done, just this bill isn't that right something.
DANGER! When legislators think something ought to be done.
Tabled to the 41st day of the legislative session. Like you do in South Dakota, because if a bill is sitting on the table and nobody is around to take it off the table - is there really even a bill?
Here's an article from the local Argus Leader about what transpired today. Yes, that's Chris Parsley and I in there.
My friend Jessica and I were on the Dakota Rural Action "Voices" podcast after the vote today. The podcast hasn't been released yet. I can't wait to hear what I said. Jessica, of course has nothing to worry about because she's great. I do know that as my opposition to the idea of a reflective clothing bill was coming out of my mouth I was happy about the words - but maybe I wasn't listening closely enough. The podcast page is here.
I immediately sent messages to three legislators and the DOT offering that I know people who are willing and ready to assist with citizen input into future legislation and policy. All we need is an invitation to participate - which should be easy given that we live in a democracy. Don't find hope in any of these words - it's not that easy. Maybe if the 5 people who read this blog sent the same messages...
I'm hosting another Bicycling in the Legislature call next Tuesday. The Facebook event is here. The call information is on this blog post. The phone number and meeting IDs are the same, the date and time is 2/2 at 12:15pm.