BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                     AB 995

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          995 (Bigelow)

          As Enrolled  August 30, 2016

          2/3 vote

          |ASSEMBLY:  |74-0  |(May 22, 2015) |SENATE: |37-0  |(August 18,      |
          |           |      |               |        |      |2016)            |
          |           |      |               |        |      |                 |
          |           |      |               |        |      |                 |

          |ASSEMBLY:  |78-0  |(August 23,    |        |      |                 |
          |           |      |2016)          |        |      |                 |
          |           |      |               |        |      |                 |
          |           |      |               |        |      |                 |

          Original Committee Reference:  TRANS.

          SUMMARY:  Directs the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and the  
          Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to establish a pilot program  
          exempting certain farm vehicles from vehicle registration  
          requirements, as specified.


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          The Senate amendments:

          1)Recast the provisions of the Assembly version of this bill to  
            instead, direct the CHP and DMV to establish a pilot program  
            in Fresno, Kings, and Madera Counties until January 1, 2020,  
            to evaluate the exemption from vehicle registration for a  
            motor vehicle designed and used exclusively for carrying, or  
            returning from carrying, agricultural or farming products, and  
            used on a highway between one part of a farm to another part  
            of that farm, or from one farm to another farm, for a distance  
            of no more than 20 air miles, provided that the vehicle is  
            operated on the highway only incidental to the farming  
            operation, the vehicle displays a special identification  
            plate, the applicant obtains a carrier identification number  
            from CHP and a motor carrier permit.  The applicant agrees to  
            conduct periodic inspections of the participating vehicles,  
            and the employer of the driver enrolls in the DMV pull-notice  
            system, pursuant to existing law.

          2)Require CHP and DMV to report to the Legislature on the status  
            and effectiveness of the pilot program by July 1, 2018.

          3)Add provisions from AB 1960 (Lackey), Chapter 748, Statutes of  
            2016 to avoid chaptering out conflicts.

          EXISTING LAW:  

          1)Generally requires a motor vehicle operated on any street,  
            road, or highway open to the public to be registered with DMV.  
          2)Defines "implements of husbandry" as vehicles used exclusively  
            in the conduct of agricultural operations and exempts them  
            from registration requirements if they are only incidentally  
            operated on a highway.   


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          3)Exempts certain farm vehicles from registration requirements  
            and commercial motor vehicle safety requirements, under  
            specified conditions. 

          4)Requires a motor carrier, as defined, to obtain a carrier  
            identification number from CHP and a motor carrier permit from  
            DMV before operating a commercial motor vehicle.

          AS PASSED BY THE ASSEMBLY, this bill:

          1)Defined "onion hauling truck" as specified. 

          2)Exempted onion hauling trucks from registration with the DMV.

          3)Required that the owner of an onion hauling truck not operate  
            the vehicle during the exemption period in any manner other  
            than as an onion hauling truck in order to maintain the  
            exemption from registration.

          4)Required the owner of an onion hauling truck to both register  
            an onion hauling truck with the DMV before operating it as a  
            commercial motor vehicle and apply to DMV for any renewal of  
            the exemption from registration.

          5)Specified that an onion hauling truck is subject to all  
            vehicle safety requirements, including equipment standards,  
            driver licensing requirements, maximum driving and on-duty  
            hours provisions, log book requirements, drug and alcohol  
            testing, maintenance of vehicles, and any other driver or  
            vehicle safety standards.


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          6)Required the driver of an onion hauling truck to have a valid  
            Class A driver's license.

          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Senate Appropriations  
          Committee, pursuant to Senate Rule 28.8, negligible state costs.

          COMMENTS:  Current law, with certain exceptions, requires that  
          motor vehicles operated on highways be registered with DMV.   
          Additionally, existing law requires that commercial vehicles  
          comply with the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1996,  
          which generally requires that commercial motor vehicles pay fees  
          that support highway maintenance and enforcement programs,  
          undergo periodic safety inspections conducted by CHP, and  
          participate in operator drug and alcohol testing programs.  

          Vehicles that are operated on farms and that are only  
          incidentally driven on highways, no more than a mile, are exempt  
          from registration requirements.  While use of farm vehicles on  
          highways is generally restricted to protect the safety of the  
          traveling public, existing law also exempts from registration  
          requirements and commercial vehicle safety requirements a number  
          of farm vehicles that are operated on highways beyond the  
          typical one-mile limit.  The law provides varying allowances for  
          these vehicles depending on their type.  For example, melon  
          trucks are exempt from registration and allowed to travel up to  
          two miles on highways, while trucks carrying livestock feed  
          (silage) are exempt and allowed to travel up to 20 miles on  

          This bill would establish a pilot program exempting farm  
          vehicles, subject to certain conditions, from registration  
          requirements and allow them to travel up to 20 miles on  
          highways.  Previous versions of this bill exempted onion trucks  


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          specifically from registration requirements.  This version of  
          the bill includes all types of farm vehicles, but retains  
          certain safety requirements.

          According to Dalena Farms, one of the supporters of this bill,  
          this bill "would be especially helpful to our operations as we  
          deal with the current historic drought in California.  Under  
          current law, we can obtain special equipment plates.  However,  
          our operations and the current drought have caused us to lease  
          and farm land further than one mile from our shed, making the  
          special equipment plates less useful."  The pilot established by  
          this bill would allow vehicles, such as onion trucks to  
          transport product from fields to packing sheds, while still  
          being subject to certain commercial vehicle safety requirements.


          I am returning Assembly Bill 995 without my signature.

          This bill establishes, until January 1, 2020, a pilot program in  
          the counties of Fresno, Kings, and Madera, exempting  
          agricultural vehicles from vehicle registration and weight fees.

          The author of the bill argues that farm vehicles have to travel  
          greater distances with harvested goods than in the past and  
          that, for trips up to 20 miles, these vehicles should be exempt  
          from paying fees used to fund the state's transportation system.

          Exemptions like those proposed in this bill are best considered  
          as part of a comprehensive transportation funding solution to  
          address the state's $57 billion deferred maintenance backlog.


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          Analysis Prepared by:                                             
                          Justin Behrens / TRANS. / (916) 319-2093  FN: