After business hours yesterday, BikeTexas received a call with some great news - the Safe Passing Bill (CSSB 488) passed the Senate Transportation Committee on a 7-2 vote!
Voting for the bill were Senators John Carona (chair and bill co-author), R-Dallas; Kirk Watson (vice-chair), D-Austin; Wendy Davis (bill co-author), D-Fort Worth; Rodney Ellis (bill co-author), D-Houston; Eliot Shapleigh, D-El Paso; Joan Huffman, R-Houston; and Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio.
Senator Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, did not support the bill as he received more negative than positive reaction from the constituents in his rural district. We appreciate the constructive way in which his staff communicated with us. We hope to win him over in the future as we make a better case for the economic benefits of cycling to rural communities.
Senator Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, also voted no. We haven't been able to determine why she did not support the bill. If you are a constituent of hers you may call her office and ask. If you're not a constituent, it would not be helpful to call her office.
As we noted in our email yesterday, the next step will be for the bill to be scheduled for a floor vote by the full Senate. This could happen as early as next week. We are in the process of identifying which senators are supportive of CSSB 488 and which are undecided. Once we do, we will contact those of you in the districts of the undecided senators so you can urge them to support the bill.
Thanks to all of you who helped get this bill through the Senate hearing, and stay tuned!