Wednesday, April 09, 2008

AZ land and law enforcement bill I support is back

AZ ORV bill will help law enforcement protect landscapes, wildlife and public safety

RELATED, 4/10: Media coverage.

PHOENIX -- An update from the Capitol on important public-interest legislation I've been working on to help solve a growing problem across Arizona -- reckless and unsafe off-road vehicle use.

With broad support, the Arizona House of Representatives recently passed Senate Bill 1167 (also known as the funeral escort vehicle bill, changed by strike-everything amendment to become the OHV user fee bill), by a vote of 42 to 13.

For nearly a year, I've been working in a cooperative bi-partisan manner on SB1167 to provide resources to better manage Arizona’s growing off-road vehicle (ORV/OHV) use while protecting wildlife habitat. According to Arizona Game & Fish, ORVs have seen a 347% increase in usage in Arizona in recent times, but law enforcement and trail management have lagged far behind.

Through this compromise legislation, dollars would be provided by a nominal ORV user fee to create new law enforcement positions, new land and habitat mitigation for damaged use areas, and better trail management.

The bill now heads to the Arizona Senate for consideration, where hopefully Tim Bee will this time help it pass. If approved it would then be forwarded to Governor Janet Napolitano for her signature.

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