I just got off the phone with a guy from the Americans with disabilities act. I explained my daughters situation and he said I have a great reason to file a complaint. He was going to make some calls and look into the situation, and here is some more good news
quoted from rhinoforums.net and rzrforums.net
Quote: Originally Posted by Tim.Itnyre
Hi, my name is Tim Itnyre and I'm the Legislative Director for Assemblyman Paul Cook. I've spoken with several of you on the phone over the past couple of days about the significant problems in AB 1595. I've been following the discussions in the forum since yesterday and thought that I owed it to you to reach out directly to explain what happened with AB 1595 and to explain what Assemblyman Cook is doing to fix it.
First, here's the background on AB 1595. Last winter, our office was approached by ROHVA (the sponsor of the bill) with proposed language that would add a definition of "recreational off-highway vehicles" to state code and put in place a couple of basic safety regulations. The regulations as we understood them were basic stuff such as having restraints, having a parent or adult directly supervising in vehicle when you have children younger than 16 driving ROHVs, and some sort of helmet law. These regulations were supposed to be pretty minor and there was already some pressure from state agencies to act on this or there was the prospect of some sort of administrative action with no direct accountability to the voters. Running the bill would head off administrative action and give off roaders a lot more opportunity for input during the legislative process. Additionally, Assemblyman Cook knew that by agreeing to be the author of the bill, he would be able to control its contents. Specifically, as it went through hearings any portions of the bill that the off-road community raised objections to could be modified or eliminated. If necessary, the entire bill could be killed with a single phone call if he was the author.
Unfortunately, the legislative process broke down when the legislature heard nothing from the off-road community during the legislative process. The language that makes up AB 1595 was in print from March 29 until it became law on July 24, and during that time, there was not a single individual, group, club, or off-roading organization that raised any objections to the contents of the bill. Because of this, it went through hearings in 4 different committees and passed off the floor of both houses of the legislature without a single "No" vote. A single call, email, or fax at any point during that process would have caused us to halt the bill and fix or kill it entirely.
I'm not trying to pass the buck on this one, we clearly made a mistake by assuming that the silence of the off-roading community meant that there were no complaints or issues with the contents of this bill. I'm just trying to explain to you how it appeared from our perspective. As far as why AB 1595 started as a tax bill, that was because of a pretty common legislative process known as "gut and amend". Because there are limits on how many bills can be introduced adn when they can be introduced, bills that have stalled or failed are often "gutted and amended" into new bills during the process to deal with new issues that come up. AB 1595's sales tax reduction was dead on arrival in Assembly Tax and Revenue Committee, so we gutted and amended it on March 29 to run the Off-Highway Vehicle Safety bill.
That's all the past though and what we're focused on now is the future. There are several provisions of AB 1595 that have been brought to our attention that need an immediate fix. The following two sections have been the focus of about 90% of the calls and emails that we've recieved:
Section 38603: This is the section requiring that factory-installed seats be used. When we had read the bill and talked with the sponsors and state agencies, we had understood that this was supposed to prevent people from "mad max"-style seats strapped on to vehicles with bungee cords, etc that were inherently unsafe. Over the past couple days, the off road community has done an excellent job educating us about the huge market in after market seating, much of which is even safer than the original factory installed seating. This provision is clearly far too broad and would cripple the aftermarket industry in California while leaving countless California offroaders with vehicles that they can no longer legally use.
Section 38604: This section requires that passengers be able to grab the safety handhold while their feet are on the floor and they are fully strapped or harnessed in. When we talked with the sponsors about the bill, we heard that this was a safety requirement to ensure that the harness worked correctly. Unfortunately, we learned after the bill was signed into law and off-roaders began contacting our office that this will prevent children, indivduals with dwarfism, and possibly even amputees from being able to use ROHVs. This was never Assemblyman Cook's intent and is completely unacceptable to him.
The fix that we are running is simple. Both Section 38603 and Section 38604 will be eliminated entirely. Remember what I wrote earlier in the post about "Gut and amends"? That is the method that I'll be using to run the fix and get it passed in the four weeks remaining in legislative session. I've already begun speaking with committee officials from the relevant committes and they all appear very understanding of the problems with these provisions and open to doing what is necessary to move this bill through over the next four weeks. The fix should be in print on monday or tuesday of next week and as soon as it is, I'll post the bill number for the fix on this forum and let you all know what the first committee that it will be assigned to will be.
One other thing that I'd like to briefly touch on: the helmet provision. Unlike the two sections I listed above, there has been significant division in the position of callers vis a vis helmets. There appear to be three camps that I've heard from so far among off-roaders:
1) Those who more or less support the helmet provision as written.
2) Those who would support some sort of helmet law, but want some changes to it.
3) Those who are opposed to any sort of helmet law.
The debate over helmets and vehicles has been going on in California for at least the past 25 years. With the abbreviated four week timeframe, turning the fix bill into the latest chapter in the helmet battle would almost certainly guarantee that the bill is delayed, which will effectively kill it for the year. I'd rather get the two parts that I know we can fix immediately done. Once we get this fix, I would be glad to help you find an author willing to carry a bill fixing the helmet provisions of the law for next year (since Assemblyman Cook will be termed out of the Assembly this December).
Fixing AB 1595 has become Assemblyman Cook's top legislative priority for the remainder of his time in the Assembly and I will be glad to serve as a direct line of communication either here on the forum or via email (email@example.com) or by calling our Capitol Office (916-319-2065) as we move forward.
Office of Assemblyman Paul Cook