Update 5/3/2017: The bill was approved by the second senate committee.  You can still do your part by reaching out to lawmakers here.

California has been in the news for many things as of late, but something that hasn’t been getting the headlines like it should have was the introduction of S.B. 249. This legislation would allow funds collected for California’s Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMRV) program to be spent by other agencies on unrelated programs and never be reimbursed.

On Tuesday, March 14 the bill was approved by the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee and is now being sent to the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee for consideration.

OHV areas like this can be in danger if S.B. 249 gets approved.

California’s OHMVR program was established in 1971. California OHV user taxes and fees directly fund OHV management and facility maintenance. This self-sustaining program doesn’t require general fund taxes. The OHMVR program provides funds to local, state and federal agencies, educational institutions and nonprofit entities for OHV management on both federal and state lands.

S.B. 249, on the other hand, does the opposite:

  • S.B. 249 would allow OHMVR funds to be spent on unrelated programs, without any requirement to reimburse the funds.
  • S.B. 249 would threaten closure of existing OHV recreation areas and any new or expanded areas.
  • S.B. 249 would undermine the OHMVR program, a dedicated-funding program that has been a worldwide model of success. OHV use contributes an estimated $20 billion to the California economy.

To voice your opinion and request opposition to this legislation visit the SEMA Action Network’s website.