Sunday, July 31, 2016 saw the end of the 187th Formal General Session of the Massachusetts Legislature. Though pending Bills can still be heard and advance during informal sessions, advancement is typically very limited once the formal session closes. Of the 7 bills filed and sponsored for this session, only 1 saw positive movement, but on the other hand, at least as many bills that were deemed detrimental to motorcyclists also did not advance.
This session, your MMA’s “Motorcycle Safety Fund” bill saw a “Favorable, Ought-to-Pass Recommendation” from the Transportation Committee, was sent to the Senate Ways & Means Committee, but never advanced out of this committee. The other 6 MMA bills were held by the Transportation Committee for “Further Study”, a euphemism that pretty much kills the bill.
On the other side of the coin, your MMA formally testified against all of these bills:
- An Act to Protect Vulnerable Road Users - there were actually 2 such bills filed; your MMA does not wish to see motorcyclists classified as vulnerable road users
- An Act to Protect Vulnerable Road Users by requiring certain vehicles to be equipped with side under-ride guards and blind spot mirrors
- An Act Relative to the Creation of a Vulnerable Road User Committee
- An Act Relative to Motorcycle Noise – there were actually 2 such bills filed; your MMA does not wish to see more restrictive regulations for motorcycle sound emissions
- And several others
Additionally, your MMA lobbied to get the formal sponsor to amend the language of a “Motorcycle Safety Fund Bill”, which was not worded appropriately. Although we supported the intent, there was no further movement on this Bill.
As mentioned above, although the formal legislative session has ended, bills could still move forward during the informal sessions and your MMA is continually vigilant monitoring these bills.
Looking forward, your Massachusetts Motorcycle Association has scheduled a Legislative Planning Session for October 15, 2016 to set the Legislative Agenda for the 2017-2018 Legislative Session. Your MMA does not set the agenda, YOU DO! This is your opportunity to be a part of the solution and lend your voice at this legislative planning session!