2017 Legislative Priorities

Local Motion is Vermont's only statewide nonprofit advocate for walkable and bikeable communities. We take our job of being the voice for better walking and biking across the state very seriously. Our legislative priorities in 2017  will primarily include keeping a close eye on 5 bills (click on bill number below for status and more detail) and making sure that when and if need be, Local Motion is there (with all of our community friends and partners), speaking up and speaking out to ensure that decisions made in Montpelier improve walking and biking all across the state. 

H.8 - Distracted Driving

This bill would increase the penalties for a second offense distracted driver as defined in 23 V.S.A § 1095b.

The increased penalties would...

  • add points to an individual's record
  • require the retaking of the written motorist DMV test
  • require revocation of a junior license for 30 days

Current Status

(4/21/2017): This bill is currently "on-the-wall" of the House Committee on Transportation. It will either be taken off-the-wall in the next session or left on the wall to "die". If the bill "dies" on the wall, it will need to be re-introduced as a new bill in another session.

(3/15/2017): This bill is currently in committee

Why This Bill Matters to Biking and Walking:

If passed, H.8 would penalize distracted drivers who pose a direct threat to cyclists and walkers. Anything that can be done to increase the safety of cycling and walking is worth paying attention to!


S.51 - 90% Renewable Energy

This bill would establish Vermont's renewable energy goals (90% by 2050) in statute.

Current Status

(4/21/2017): This bill is currently "on-the-wall" of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources & Energy Committee. It will either be taken off-the-wall in the next session or left on the wall to "die". If the bill "dies" on the wall, it will need to be re-introduced as a new bill in another session.

(3/15/2017): This bill is currently under consideration as a Joint Resolution with House, J.R.S. 11 and gaining momentum. This bill is also likely to be influenced by YOUR comments and preferences, so contact your legislators and make your thoughts known!

Why This Bill Matters to Walking and Biking:

If passed,  S.51 would require Vermonters to rely more heavily on alternate modes of transportation in an effort to meet these energy goals. An increase in the use of carbon-neutral modes of transportation will lead to biking and walking issues being of higher priority within the statehouse.


S.84 - Motor Vehicle Emissions

This bill would establish more specific vehicle emission inspections provisions and stiffen the legal definition of "following too closely". This bill would also impose significant fines for installing or using emission defeating devices.

Current Status

(4/21/2017): This bill is currently "on-the-wall" of the Senate Committee of Transportation. It will either be taken off-the-wall in the next session or left on the wall to "die". If the bill "dies" on the wall, it will need to be re-introduced as a new bill in another session.

(3/15/2017): This bill is currently in currently in committee and testimony is being collected - NOW is the time to contact your legislator about S.84

Why this Bill Matters for Walking and Biking in Vermont:

If passed, S.84 would address "rolling coal" attacks - when a car intentionally emits a dense cloud of emission particulates and smoke which can impair pedestrian, cyclist and motorist visibility and exposes anyone in the area to harmful emissions. 


H.46 - Bicycle Registration Fee

This bill would require a $10 registration fee for all bicycles.

Current Status 

(4/21/2017): This bill is currently "on-the-wall" of the House Committee of Transportation. It will either be taken off-the-wall in the next session or left on the wall to "die". If the bill "dies" on the wall, it will need to be re-introduced as a new bill in another session.

(3/15/2017): This bill is currently in committee.

Why This Bill Matters to Biking and Walking:

If passed, H.46 would serve as a barrier to increasing bicycle use in Vermont.


H.355 - Exempting motor-assisted bicycles from sales and use tax

This bill would remove sales and use tax from the purchase of motor assisted bicycles.

Current Status

(4/21/2017): This bill is currently "on-the-wall" of the House Committee on Ways and Means. It will either be taken off-the-wall in the next session or left on the wall to "die". If the bill "dies" on the wall, it will need to be re-introduced as a new bill in another session.

(3/15/2017): This bill is currently in the Ways and Means Committee as it affects overall revenue.

Why This Bill Matters to Biking and Walking:

If passed, H.355 would promote the acceptance of motor assisted bicycles and help to promote and expand active transportation options for all Vermonters.


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