The Arizona House passed HB2266 on Tuesday, in a 48-10 vote, and it passed the state Senate last week 28-0. The bill follows Colorado, California, Arkansas, Illinois, Michigan, Tennessee, Utah, and Washington, who have adopted the three class system.
“The three-class e-bike system was embraced by Arizona legislators as a sensible way to manage and regulate electric bike usage in the state,” said Morgan Lommele, e-bike campaigns manager for the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association and PeopleForBikes. “We’re grateful to our coalition of retailers, manufacturers, advocates and interested legislators who together got this bill through. A special thank you to Brandee Lepak of Global Bikes and Chris Cocalis of Pivot.”
Lepak, who owns three Phoenix-area Global Bikes stores, is also board chair for the National Bicycle Dealers Assocation. She said, “I think this success speaks volumes about what you can accomplish when a community comes together to push for common goals and interests … This will be a tremendous economic driver for our state, through increased participation, due to eliminating confusion with clearly defined classes of e-bikes.
“This will help us sell more bikes and get more people outside enjoying our great state.”
Pivot Cycles’ president Chris Cocalis got involved when Lepak and Lommele reached out to him after the bill failed to pass the House on the first attempt.
Localities can prohibit operation on bicycle paths, and Class 3 e-bikes are restricted to road use, and Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes are allowed on bike paths and multi-use paths.
E-bike industry members say they have seen sales increases in each state as the model legislation has been enacted, similar to the sales bumps in the 1990s when many states passed mandatory bike helmet laws for children.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey vetoed the bill, not because he opposed it, but to protest fellow Republicans who opposed a 20 percent pay raise for teachers by 2020.
“We are disappointed that our bill stalled when it hit Gov. Ducey’s desk due to an unrelated legislative dispute, as it would have greatly benefited retailers and small business across the state. There is a slim chance that the bill language could be inserted into another bill currently on the floor, but we’re betting on a success in 2019,” said Morgan Lommele, e-bike campaigns manager for the BPSA and PFB.
Brandee Lepak, owner of Phoenix-area retailer Global Bikes and board chair of the National Bicycle Dealers Association, and Pivot Cycles’ Chris Cocalis have both been involved in the industry groups’ legislative effort in their home state.
“We need to get the three-tier e-bike law passed here,” said Cocalis, president and CEO of Tempe, Arizona-based Pivot. “It passed the Arizona House and the Senate. It was on the governor’s desk for final signature, and it should have been signed and gone through smoothly. However, he vetoed everything that came across his desk last week due to a looming teachers strike. He’s basically told the Legislature that he’s not signing anything until they get an education budget figured out. We got caught in the political crosshairs a bit.
“I don’t think it’s a long-term problem and hopefully the education situation gets resolved quickly and we can get back on track. It was my understanding that the governor was in support of the bill and that this setback has nothing to do with the bill itself.”