Act Now & Stop this Minnesota bill

Minnesota Legislation is considering a bill that would eliminate releases (waivers) in Minnesota for recreational activities.

What the legislature does not understand is this bill will eliminate recreational activities in Minnesota.

Again, the Minnesota Senate and the House have introduced bills to ban releases in MN for recreational activities. Here is a copy of the Senate bill.

A bill for an act relating to civil actions; voiding a waiver of liability for ordinary negligence involving a consumer service; amending Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 604.055, subdivision 1.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 604.055, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Certain agreements are void and unenforceable.

An agreement between parties for a consumer service, including a recreational activity, that purports to release, limit, or waive the liability of one party for damage, injuries, or death resulting from conduct that constitutes new text begin ordinary negligence or new text end greater than ordinary negligence is against public policy and void and unenforceable.

The agreement, or portion thereof, is severable from a release, limitation, or waiver of liability for damage, injuries, or death resulting from deleted text begin conduct that constitutes ordinary negligence or for deleted text end risks that are inherent in a particular activity.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective August 1, 2019, and applies to agreements first signed or accepted on or after that date.

Without the defenses supplied by releases in Minnesota:

  • Insurance costs will skyrocket. After OR outlawed releases some premiums jumped 2.5 times.
  • Insurance for many activities will be impossible to find.
  • Either because of the costs or the lack of premium recreation business will close.
  • The first group of recreation businesses to go will be those serving kids. They get hurt easy, and their parents sue easy.
  • Minnesota courts will back log because the only defense available will be assumption of the risk. Assumption of the risk is determined in the vast majority of cases by the jury. Consequently, it will take years to get to trial and prove the injured plaintiff assumed the risk.

Do Something

Contact your Senator and Representative and tell them you are opposed to this bill. Do it by telephone and in writing.

Find other organizations, trade associations and the like and join with them to give them more power because they have more people they represent.

Explain the bill to your friends and neighbors, so they can voice their opinion. Encourage them to do so.

Become politically aware so you know what is going on with the legislature and how to fight bills like this.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

Copyright 2018 Recreation Law (720) 334 8529

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People for Bikes: Electrict Bike bill moving through California Legislature, Stalled in New York

 Bicycle Product Suppliers AssociationElectric Bike Bill Progressing in California, Stalled in New York

Updated regulations will help remove confusion as to what an electric bicycle is and where they can be used

Boulder, Colo. (July 1, 2015) Two bills that will modernize California and New York’s vehicle and traffic laws for electric bicycles have progressed in their respective state legislatures with just a few steps left to go into effect. Both bills will clarify confusion at the state level to define and regulate electric bicycles as bicycles, not motor vehicles, and create safety and operational criteria for their use.

In California, AB 1096 (Chiu, D-San Francisco) passed the State Assembly on May 22 with 74 in favor and 0 against. Before reaching the Assembly floor, the bill sailed through the Assembly Committee on Transportation hearing as well as the Appropriations Committee, also without opposition. The bill faces a bigger hurdle in the Senate and will be heard by the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee in late June. California advocates and industry have been meeting in order to craft the regulatory framework that best enables more people to ride bicycles in California.

The California bill defines three classes of electric bicycle: Class 1, with a 20 mph top assisted speed and pedal-assist; Class 2 with a 20 mph top assisted speed and throttle assist; and Class 3 with a 28 mph top assisted speed + pedal assist; all with a maximum power output of 750 watts.

In New York, S.997-Dilan, which would amend the vehicle and traffic law for electric bicycles but not define classes, passed the State Senate, 59-3, on May 19, after a 15-4 vote in the Committee on Transportation, but the identical bill, A.233-Gantt, did not make it to the Assembly floor for a vote in the recently-ended session. It is expected that the bill will be heard in the next 2016 legislative session.

Although A.233-Gantt carried wide ranging support from the New York City Department of Transportation, a majority of Assembly members, national bicycle manufacturers and New York retailers, the bill faced many challenges, including changes in leadership in the Assembly and Senate, a difficult sponsor, and opposition from the City of New York.

On the advice of the expert team of lobbyists who counsel the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association, New York Bicycling Coalition, and PeopleForBikes on this bill, there is opportunity to take the time between sessions to build a strong base of support outside the bicycling community to ensure passage in the next session. Between now and early 2016, the team will work primarily to cultivate a coalition partners – environmental advocates, tourism groups, chambers of commerce, business groups, and consumer protection groups – that can demonstrate wide-ranging support for the bill; hold regional legislative hearings; host community board meetings in New York City; connect district members with strategic coalition partners; engage local elected officials in strategic districts; and lead a community grassroots effort in support of electric bicycle legislation.

The group will also consider modifying A.233-Gantt’s language and potentially finding a new Assembly sponsor for the bill. Currently, the New York bill is consistent with the existing federal definition of electric bicycles, with a 750-watt maximum power output and a maximum assisted speed of 20 mph.

In addition to California and New York, electric bicycle legislation has advanced in other states. So far during the 2015 session, bills to regulate electric bicycles like traditional bicycles passed in Nebraska and Montana. A new law governing electric bicycle use also passed one chamber of the state legislature in South Carolina, and will be taken up by the Senate in January 2016. BPSA and PeopleForBikes also intend to advance state electric bicycle legislation in Hawaii, Indiana, Massachusetts, Ohio, Missouri, Tennessee and Utah in late 2015 and 2016.

Updated regulations open thousands of bicycle paths to electric bicycles and allow people to understand where they can ride by removing confusing and restricting rules. These bills will encourage more consumers to purchase and use electric bicycles and make it easier for independent bicycle dealers to sell electric bicycles to new and existing bicycle riders.

This work is the result of a partnership between the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association, PeopleForBikes, and local advocacy groups to monitor and improve electric bicycle regulations and to support the efforts of local and state level advocacy organizations.

About PeopleForBikes

PeopleForBikes is making riding better for everyone by uniting millions of individuals, thousands of businesses and hundreds of communities. Join us at PeopleForBikes.org.

About the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association

The Bicycle Product Suppliers Association is an association of suppliers of bicycles, parts, accessories and services that leads industry initiatives in legal and governmental affairs and safety issues, is the leading resource for bicycle statistical data, and provides regular networking and educational forums for members.


No Child Left Inside Legislation Reintroduced in Congress

Thanks to you and our colleague organizations, the No Child Left Inside act (NCLI) got a great start this year. We feel that with another round or two of followups to engage addition legislators who needed more time and encouragement to sign-on, our Congressional champions will be able to position the provisions of NCLI to be considered for inclusion into the larger Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

Bill numbers: H.R. 882 & S. 492, introduced on 2/11/15 & 2/12/15. More about them at www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/882 and www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/492. You can sign up there to get an alert about any official actions. Note that as of today, the bill names on Congress.gov are the formal, “A bill to amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 in order to improve environmental education…” We have been informed that it will be administratively changed to “No Child Left Inside Act of 2015” shortly.

Cosponsors: Thanks to you and the coalition of our friends, including the NCLI Coalition, National Wildlife Federation, and others, 42 House members are original cosponsors, plus sponsor Rep. Sarbanes (MD-3), compared to 43+1 for all of the last Congress…great work! On the Senate side, we were level with the last Congress for initial cosponsors, with five plus Sen. Reed (RI). In both chambers there are many additional legislators who have supported us in the past, including every one who cosponsored last time in the Senate; see below. Support spread sheet attached. (One more House cosponsor was added this morning, bringing us even with the House total from the last Congress!)

What’s next? Thank you notes + requests for our initial cosponsors to help us with recruiting some of the additional cosponsors we need. Please send your thanks via email to all legislators and staff you connected with who cosponsored, or even if you hadn’t contacted them… if they stepped up, then send a thank you. We also need public thank yous – have your state environmental education (EE) association mention our champions in their newsletter, blog, twitter feed, etc. Request that other organizations with whom you are friends, do the same: local league of conservation voters, Audubon Societies, the zoo and aquarium, etc. Sample social media language attached.

We still need more NCLI cosponsors in these categories:

Senators – We are thin with their support so far. There are 16 who have cosponsored in the past but not yet this year… mostly because they weren’t asked again!

Other past EE supporters, Senate and House, of NCLI – we have plenty of friends of environmental education who just need a little reminding of the importance of EE to their state and country, and of their past support. There are an additional 10 House members who cosponsored last term and haven’t yet done so this one, and 30 more who cosponsored in other previous Congress and not yet this time, and plenty more who have signed appropriations support letters.

Freshmen – We need new champions; we only have two so far. Some of these new legislators don’t know what EE looks like in their district or state, or they may know and love your school/organization, but don’t think about the connection between your good work, EE, and NCLI. For freshmen profiles see http://info.cqrollcall.com/NewMemberGuide2014.html (you must provide your email address to download this).

Education committee members – In the House we have 9 of 16 already cosponsoring on the Democratic side, and 4 of the those remaining 7 have supported EE in Congress in the past. On the Senate HELP Committee, we have only 3 cosponsoring ed committee members so far, but again, almost all of the rest of the Democrats on the committee are friends of EE.

At least one cosponsor from every state – We are almost 1/2 way there with 23 states and D.C. represented… let’s try for this!

Republicans – We simply need more connections with them.

With all of the above groups, we know in some cases there might be a low probability of an individual legislator willing to be on the record cosponsoring NCLI, so the goal becomes having them make that positive link between your good work and support of EE, so that the Senator or Representative will at least say that they won’t vote against us!

In the coming few weeks: Congressional EE appropriations support to request. For most of us, it makes sense to combine our appeals to our legislators with several appropriation items for Congress. More on this shortly.

Thanks again for a great start!

Brock

Brock Adler

Chair, Advocacy Committee, NAAEE

(917) 608-8120
brockadler

Congressional Environmental Education Supporters 2007-2015 By State.xlsx

NAAEE Advocacy Committee Communications – sample social media messages.docx


Great article on why helmet laws are stupid

Either that or we should be wearing helmets at dinner.

Yes I know I write a lot about helmets. However the most important issue I write about is to make people think about what they do and why. In this case you are not solving any problems and you are creating greater liability issues.

The article was written because a new law in Nova Scotia requires skiers and riders to wear helmets. The law carries a $250 fine. On top of that, there “will, indeed, be helmet cops on the slopes. The minimum fine is $250.

The head injury rate is pretty low. “…since 2000, 11 helmetless skiers and snowboarders have suffered such an injury on the slopes of Nova Scotia.” That is one head injury per year in Nova Scotia from head injuries.

Simply put the article looks at the risks of a head injury in Nova Scotia from skiing based on the injury stats of Canada.

In 2003-04, one in 4,100 Canadians was admitted to hospital for head trauma suffered in a fall, and one in 5,300 for head trauma suffered in a car accident. Bill 131 proposes to offset, by 60%, a risk of roughly one in the population of Nova Scotia, which is 945,000.

If you want to stop head injuries, you would legislate wearing a helmet while driving. That would prevent more head injuries.

The articles intent is to point out there is no logical basis in the way laws are created. Instead of asking “why” they need a new law, legislators are asking “why not.”

Or as I say, what can I do, no matter how stupid, that will put me on the front page of a newspaper to help me get reelected.

It’s a great article. See Why not enact pointless ski helmet law?

What do you think? Leave a comment.

Copyright 2011 Recreation Law (720) Edit Law, blog@Rec-law.us

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