State legislature: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
The legislature in California is in session and crazy things are happening. The good is that bill SB402 was signed into law. This bill will allow dual use of roads up to 10-mile sections in Inyo County to connect BLM and National Forest trails. By dual use it is meant that off-road vehicles will be able to travel on public paved roads when those sections of roads have been approved for dual use to connect trails. The only problem is that during the legislative process, an amendment was added requiring environmental work be done before approval can be granted. We can live with that, but it adds complexity. Currently the longest dual use road section can be no more than three miles, so we like this.
The bill we hate and have been fighting all year has had a bad twist. SB767—which is designed to make the state sell off a big part of a state park riding area called Carnegie—had its last committee stop at Assembly Appropriations. We had asked the chair of that committee to not allow this bill through. Chairperson Gonzalez “held” the bill, which rendered it dead for this year. Our leadership let out a collective sigh of relief. A week later our lobbyist was reviewing bill amendments and discovered that the language from SB767 had been put in a different bill that had passed all the committees. Now AB1086 was gutted of its environmental farming content and made into enemy number one of off-roaders.
Bills are moving quickly now, as the session is about to end and hundreds of bills are being worked on. When bills get amended near the end and have to go through committees a second time, they usually fly right through, so we are concentrating our efforts with asking the governor for a veto. The chance of a veto is actually pretty good. The reason is twofold: First, the Department of Finance came out against the bill in early August. The governor starts the budget process and the Dept. of Finance is an extension of the governor’s office. Second, the Dept. of Parks and Recreation is against the bill. These are the people who manage Carnegie and should have a say. The governor has until mid-October to sign or veto bills. Since this magazine comes out on the first of the month, we are giving you the info help us. Please check the SDORC Facebook page or website to see if the bill has been acted on. If it hasn’t, please consider calling governor Newsom and ask him to veto AB1086.
Governor Gavin Newsom
Lost Lizard Fun Run
Our popular annual Lost Lizard Fun Run is fast approaching (November 9) and we are getting pre-entries every day from our website, www.sdorc.org. Lots of off-roaders plan to make this their first trip of the season and we hope you will join us. The base camp will once again be at the north end of Wheeler Road and to the left, or west. We will have a great route, lots of super raffle prizes, cool event shirts, some new food vendors and a lot of fun so please plan on joining us.
Our friend Joel Anderson is running for County Supervisor and we had bumper stickers made that say “Off-Roaders for Anderson *** Supervisor.” Joel is in a tight race with an opponent who really doesn’t care about off-roading, so we are giving out stickers FREE to all our friends in East County. We have been mailing them out every day now and get excited when we see them on trucks and Jeeps. If you want yours, just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us how many you want and which size, 3X5 or 4X7, as well as your address and we will get them right out to you. Joel is having precinct walks on most Saturdays and is accepting contributions. See how you can help him represent us at https://www.andersonforsupervisor2020.com.