By Daniel Stefanski |
A west-valley lawmaker is speaking out after Democrat Governor Katie Hobbs vetoed his bill.
On Friday, Arizona Senator Frank Carroll issued a press release following the governor’s veto of his bill, SB 1100, which “would have increased the maximum weight of all-terrain vehicles or OHVs (Off-Highway Vehicles) subject to registration and vehicle license tax requirements from 2500 pounds to 3500 pounds as a way to update the state law definition to coincide with the evolution of safety features, electrification and other modernizations of these vehicles.”
Carroll included the following statement in his release, expressing his disappointment over the first-year governor’s action against his proposal: “It’s disappointing Governor Hobbs vetoed a bill that had strong bipartisan support, as well as support from the sponsor who established the Off-Highway Study Committee. This bill would have promoted small businesses in Arizona and supported electric alternatives to gas-powered OHVs, which would have helped reduce exhaust and noise emissions. A number of states who regulate weights of OHVs have already updated their statute to coincide with the industry’s technological advancements. Hobbs’ veto shows her lack of knowledge on the issue, which is a complete disservice to our state.”
In her veto letter to the Arizona Legislature, justifying her decision, Hobbs wrote: “I encourage the Legislature to work with my administration to explore current challenges with Off-Highway Vehicles (OHVs) and recommend mitigation strategies to minimize the impact and destruction of off-trails before increasing the weight limits. To accomplish this, I suggest working with the Off-Highway Vehicle Study Committee and/or the All-Terrain State Parks Advisory Group to study and propose administrative or legislative solutions.”
Senator Carroll, however, was not buying the governor’s reasoning, saying, “Governor Hobbs’ veto letter stated she believes the Off-Highway Study Committee established last session, instead of the Legislature, should determine whether OHVs with cab systems and electric powertrains can be legally operated in Arizona. However, this study committee was formed to address concerns stemming from improper use of OHVs and enforcement issues, not whether policymakers should amend the state’s OHV definition to allow new products to be available for our outdoor enthusiasts.”
The legislation first passed the Arizona Senate 19-10 (with one member not voting) on February 21. It then cleared the House of Representatives 43-15 (with one member not voting and one seat vacant).
During the legislative process, representatives from the Sierra Club – Grand Canyon Chapter and City of Sedona had opposed the bill.
Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.