Monday, March 24, 2008

Lawmaker hopes to revive bill calling for off-highway vehicle fee

[Source: Danile J. Quigley, Cronkite News Service] -- A state representative pushing for legislation that would make off-highway vehicle owners pay a registration fee said Thursday he can still prevail despite the bill's defeat in a Senate committee. "It's not over until the fat guy shaves his beard, and I'm growing my beard back," said Rep. Jerry Weiers, R-Glendale, who was clean-shaven after sporting a beard. HB 2573 would create a $20-25 fee for each off-highway vehicle to maintain and build trails, restore damaged areas, educate riders and provide more law enforcement. It also would make certain activities misdemeanors, including driving off paths in a manner that damages wildlife, property or natural resources. A bipartisan group of co-sponsors and a diverse coalition ranging from off-roading groups to environmental organizations supported the bill, saying it would help protect landscapes and preserve the pastime in Arizona. The bill failed Wednesday in the Senate Natural Resources and Rural Affairs Committee on a 3-3 vote. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]