Senator Brian W. Jones (R-Santee) today introduced a measure to save off-highway vehicle (OHV) competitions in California. Senate Bill 894 is the third OHV competition bill Jones has authored in the last three years with the two previous measures easily clearing the Senate only to become stalled in the Assembly.
“As the saying goes, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day,’” stated Senator Brian W. Jones. “OHV stakeholders, government agencies, and many others have worked hard the last few years on this issue. Last year, the environmental community joined these discussions and we were able to work out a compromise that removed their previous opposition. Unfortunately, the Assembly Appropriations Committee held the bill in committee. Our bi-partisan coalition looks forward to getting this year’s measure to the Governor’s Desk for signature.”
Competition OHVs have long been operated through the Red Sticker program under the California Air Resources Board (CARB). This program has allowed competition off-highway vehicles to operate in the state for the past two decades. However, the Red Sticker program ended last year with no program to replace it.
Without a new program, OHV competitions and practice riding on public lands have been thrown into confusion with reports of some competitors still getting Red Stickers and permission to compete while others have not. This uncertainty negatively impacts local businesses, jobs and the economy of many rural and suburban regions that have long hosted competitions. Additionally, funding for environmental work and law enforcement has also been lost.
SB 894 would create a new, off-highway vehicle competition program that is narrowly tailored for legitimate competitors only. SB 894 is similar to Jones’s SB 227 from last year and his SB 1024 from the 2019-20 legislative session. SB 227 was a bipartisan measure coauthored by Senators Ben Hueso (D-San Diego), Melissa Hurtado (D-Fresno), Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park), and Brian Dahle (R-Bieber), and Adam Gray (D-Merced), James Ramos (D-Highland), Thurston Smith (R-Hesperia) and then-Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Fairfield).
SB 894 is cosponsored by the Coalition for Public Access and is currently in the Senate Rules Committee awaiting assignment to a policy committee for hearing.