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Published on Friday, March 29, 2013

Fleet Conversion Bill passes the House Environment Committee

On Thursday, March 28, the House Environment Committee moved our fleet conversion bill (SB 5099) out of committee on a unanimous vote. There were a handful of minor amendments added by the committee. One amendment requires local governments who are purchasing vehicles capable of running on biodiesel to request warranty protection for the highest level of biodiesel the vehicle is capable of using, as long as the costs are reasonably equal to a warranty for a lower level of biodiesel usage. This would apply to vehicle purchases that take place prior to June 1, 2018. Another amendment requires cities to notify the Department of Commerce when they exercise the authority within the bill to exempt police, fire, and other emergency vehicles.

Although we would have preferred the bill pass without amendments, we were happy to work with these legislators to secure their support for this proposal and help address the concerns that they were raising.

The Democratic chair (Rep. Upthegrove) and ranking Republican member (Rep. Short) have recommended that this bill be placed on the “suspension calendar” which is a sort of fast track for non-controversial bills. This could help us get this bill out of the House before the inevitable crush of bills at the end of session that can result in some bills dying simply due to lack of time.