In addition to the mixed news on legislation impacting bicyclists, Governor Brown acted on many other pieces of legislation that will have a direct impact on transportation planning and public safety.
Governor Signs Law Allowing Undocumented Immigrants to Obtain Drivers Licenses
Perhaps the most controversial action the Governor took last week will allow many undocumented immigrants to earn drivers licenses. AB 2189, introduced by Asm. Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles), allows immigrants who qualify for a new federal work permit program and reside in California to apply for drivers licenses. A new federal protocol allows illegal immigrants who came to the United States before they were 16, and who are now 30 or younger, to obtain work permits.
Cedillo, who has introduced legislation that would allow all undocumented workers to earn licenses, points to safety as a major reason why all Californians should support licensing all interested potential drivers.
“This is important first step to making sure our highways are safe for all Californians,” Cedillo writes in an official statement. “I am proud that the governor chose public safety over politics. I look forward to continuing to work with his office to make sure that all motorists in this state are licensed, tested and insured and that California will once again enjoy the safest highways in America that they deserve.”
“Encouraging” High Speed Rail Authority to Shop for Rail Cars in California
As you might have heard, the California High Speed Rail project is somewhat controversial in the state. In an effort to boost job creation and improve the project’s popularity, Brown signed AB 16, authored by Henry Perea (D-Fresno), which “encourages” the Authority to purchase cars for the project that are manufactured in California. One option to meet this “suggestion” would be Sacramento-based Siemens Rail Systems.