HB 1367, which allows counties to provide funding for maintenance of private roads, was heard in the House Local Government Committee, where we testified in opposition. The bill is on the committee schedule on February 2nd for executive hearing to be reported out.
HB 1165, which changes the opt-in vs. opt-out threshold for ATVs on county roads was heard in the House Transportation Committee this past week, as well. We testified in opposition, noting that counties should be able to deliberate on when and where ATVs should be able to use roads. At this time ten counties have opted to allow ATVs on county roads. In another seven counties with populations less than 15,000 ATVs were allowed to use county roads by the initial legislation authorizing their use.
A bill up for hearing this week is HB 1331, which clarifies that ferry districts can provide auto ferry service. Counties have the authority to provide auto and passenger ferry service, but ferry districts had language that limited their authority to passenger-only ferry service. The bill will clarify it for counties that have or plan to adopt ferry districts.
Bills associated with hydraulic projects are on the schedule for hearing this week. HB 1428 and its companion bill, SB 5446, are both scheduled for hearing on February 2nd at 1:30pm in House Agriculture & Natural Resources and Senate Natural Resources & Parks Committees, respectively. SB 5228, which addresses hydraulic project jurisdiction, was heard last week. HB 1760, which addresses off-site mitigation, was introduced this past week, at our request, but has not yet been scheduled for a hearing. These bills will all likely be looked at together to see if a compromise bill can be developed to move the issue forward.
Another bill that could impact counties is HB 1406, which more than doubles some fees for surface mining permits. The fee does not change for county surface mines less than seven acres.
More information on bills being tracked can be found here. Please contact me if you have any questions on any legislation.