We spent the day talking to Senators about the helmet Bill including Senator Carona. The senator was very cordial and thanked us for coming up with a good Bill. He said he realizes it was tough to get started but we stayed with it and came up with a good Bill. We thanked him for allowing his staff to listen to what we had to say and he assured us he was really excited with it.
Then went to the office of Rep. Jim Pitts to catch an update on our Rider Training Fund. Todd informed us that they had been working on how to spend the Federal Funds coming down the pipe. He said they should wrap it up by Thursday and we could get together on the Training Fund.
We then went down to the office of Rep. Chavez to see how things are progressing on that end. We were given proposed rider amendments which she had already filed with the Legislative Budget Board requesting an increase in the current proposed budget of $50,000 per year for the next two years to buy motorcycles along with $ 158,932 to hire four new employees for the program. If these amendments are accepted that would bring our Budget back up almost to where it was before DPS began taking a swipe at it. I agree that amount would be acceptable. We shall both meet with Todd on Thursday.
I checked in with Terri on my way back to the office to go over all the paper work and learned she and Stephanie were on their way to the capitol to visit more Reps. with our “Equal Access Bill.” They are really taking charge while I spend my time on other issues.
While running down the final figures on the amendments from Rep. Chavez I ran across an Email from Senator Watson. He has introduced SB 736 to stop the legislators from grabbing unused portions of Dedicated Funds and placing them into the General Fund to give the appearance of having a balanced budget. If this Bill passes we will have our Rider Training Fund rededicated by 2011 and the government will have to come up with an honest budget by then. Not only that but SB 737 would require an internet site to view what the government spends and where that money comes from. Come on everybody get in touch with your Senator and let them know you strongly support Sb 736 and let’s get this thing moving. My senator Mike Jackson will vote for it.
Be sure to attend ABATE’s Bar-B-Que with the Bikers Wednesday March 18th from 11:30am to 1:00pm. Get your legislator down there and discuss issues in a friendly environment.
DFW Chapter Meeting Minutes March 11th
We didn’t get as good of turnout as last year even tho it was a beautiful day. Maybe it was too good of a day to come to the event. However with donations we were still able to raise some money to be sent to the state office. Every little bit helps.
Hopefully next year we can have it on our normal date and get those people back that missed us this time around.
Need your Letters
State Rep. Senfronia Thompson has reintroduced our Equal Access Bill. It is HB 1569. Now you have something you can start talking to your state Representative about supporting. Let us hear from you when you get a yes response so we can keep up a running tally.
Bills out there right Now….
HB 759 – Scheduled for public hearing on 9th, but it didn’t happen
Subject: Relating to the creation of a hot line to report suspected incidents of impaired driving or dangerous driving
HB 1569 – Filed
Subject: Relating to equal access to places of public accommodation
SB 374 – Passed Senate committee.
Subject: Relating to the power of a county to enforce compliance with speed limits by an automated traffic control system (Prevents cities or counties from putting up automatic speed traps)
HB 169 – Filed – in committee
Subject: Relating to the authority of the Texas Department of Public Safety and certain local law enforcement agencies to establish a checkpoint on a highway or street to determine whether persons are driving while intoxicated
SB 298 – Public Hearing on 3/4 – no action since.
Caption: Relating to the authority of the Texas Department of Public Safety and certain local law enforcement agencies to establish a checkpoint on a highway or street to determine whether persons are driving while intoxicated
(Left pending in committee) Sput
SB 369 – Filed – in committee
Subject: Relating to information contained in an intelligence database used to investigate and prosecute offenses committed by criminal street gangs
Bills to keep an eye on
HB 823 – Filed – in committee
Subject: Relating to the authority of a peace officer to take a blood specimen from a vehicle operator to test for alcohol concentration or other intoxicating substances (Basically an officer cannot do it, just qualified medical professionals)
HB 714 / SB 1369 – Filed – in committee
Subject: Relating to the penalty for the offense of reckless driving
(Covers reckless driving penalties like we wanted for failure for yield)
SB 506 – Filed – in committee
Subject: Relating to the operation and movement of motorcycles during periods of traffic congestion (Lane splitting but requires a helmet)
(Hearing set for this Wednesday) Sput
SB 730 / 1107 – Filed – in committee
Subject: Relating to an employee’s transportation and storage of certain firearms or ammunition while on certain property owned or controlled by the employee’s employer (Allows a person to store their weapon in their vehicle even if the employer doesn’t want it around)
Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month (From Suds and Butterfly)
It’s time to start on 2009 proclamations for Motorcycle Safety & Awareness month. Texas bikers have done outstanding work through the years. Go to the link below to add a city to the board…
Since 2003 this campaign has been the combined knowledge & participation of many clubs, organizations & Independents across Texas. Some may not understand why we need to do this again each year…
It gives non-riding folks the chance to see riders in person and put a face to that little taillight they see on the highway. This helps a lot when we ask them to drive more aware and share the road.
rider participation increases and each year the number of newspaper articles increases… which means the number of drivers receiving our message also increases.
For those new to the proclamations campaign…
Our goal is to set up dates to attend city council meetings where the riders will be presented with a proclamation for Motorcycle Safety & Awareness. The proclamation is read during the meeting. Some cities broadcast their meetings on pbs for folks in the community to watch. The local newspaper will usually run an article showing the Mayor’s support for Motorcycle Safety & Awareness month if we make sure to contact them ahead of time with this request. This media coverage is our main goal because this is what reaches the drivers in each community.
If you’re unable to add a city to the board then please check the board for cities near you and attend to support. That’s a big part of what we need is more support for these meetings.
If you’re unable to attend a meeting then maybe you have time to make the call to your local newspaper or radio station to see about getting some messages out there on motorcycle awareness. May is nationally recognized as Motorcycle Safety & Awareness month so during the next couple months most newspapers will be happy to take your call. If everyone does a little then no one has to do more than they can handle.
It’s all about looking out for the safety of the brothers & sisters we love… if we can spend all day and our last dollar for a down brother or sister’s benefit, then we oughta be able to make at least one meeting to help prevent more riders down.
On the next newsletter I’ll be able to introduce the TCOC&I; team of Safety & Awareness Coordinators for each region. They are an outstanding team who stand ready to assist with proclamations across Texas this year.
Respect & Ride Safe ~Bttrfly
State Safety & Awareness Liaison, TCOC&I;
Safety & Awareness Coordinator, TCOC&I-;DFW
BBQ with the Bikers
Here is another opportunity to speak with your legislators in a friendly environment. It will be at the Southwest Capitol grounds. Parking is available on Colorado Street. Lunch served from 11:30 am to 1 pm for you and your Legislator. If you haven’t already done so email or call them and invite them to eat lunch with you during this time.
Elmer H. McKeegan
I realize this is a lot to digest but we need your help to get these Bills passed. SB 1976 – SB 736 and HB 1569. Write a letter or make a phone call.