Thank You!
By Steve Panten 

Thank You, Thank You, Thank you! Our success for the remainder of the year begins with Lobby Day and our members nailed it! Thank you to everyone that took the time out of their schedules to help get our information out. Whether you had a speaking role or were there just in a support capacity, your attendance made a difference.

A couple of takeaways from Lobby Day 2017. First -- attendance was fantastic, we had over 500 people there again. Many new faces which is exciting to see. Then we had great response from the meetings with legislators. A lot of interest and some great questions were asked. And the final thing is thank you to everyone that filled out an exit evaluation. The information in those papers is valuable to me so I can get a feel for what the legislators are thinking and we can proceed better informed.

Update on where we are at with our agenda:

Autocycle -- LRB-2295/P1 -- This bill draft has the language that we are looking for to have passed. Representative Jacque is leading the charge with this piece of legislation and he is looking to start circulating it for cosponsors at the end of March or early April. Please watch your emails for an alert from ABATE (or go to the website and sign up to get them) when he sends this out for cosponsors. We will send out a call to action to our members asking them to contact their legislators ask them to sign on and support this. We are going to need support from both sides of the aisle and from as many members of the Assembly and Senate to keep this moving. As Lobby Day was winding down, I went down to the hotel bar for a much needed beer when I got a call from Harley-Davidson asking me what was going on with the Autocycle Bill. Apparently, our members showing up at Lobby Day made a difference because phone calls were flying between Harley and the Legislators. This just proves the effectiveness of Grassroots Lobbying! Within 30 minutes of the last meeting, word was out that we are serious about getting this done. Powerful!

ROW Violations Bill -- LRB-0662/P1 -- Thank You to Senator Luther Olsen for volunteering to take the lead on the Senate version of this legislation. This was a direct result of Lobby Day as he contacted Representative Brandtjen's office and said he wanted to take the lead in the Senate shortly after the meetings. We should have more cosponsors before the end of March and hopefully will have a bill number before April. There will still be time for others to sign on but it will be exciting to have a bill number. Thank You to Representative Brandtjen for working with us to try to get this passed.

Black box -- We are still waiting for a final draft of our Black Box Bill. Senator Stroebel and Representatives Kremer and Quinn have been working with the Auto Dealers and Manufacturers to try to finalize the language to make all parties happy but it does not look like we are going to agree on some very important parts. We are willing to compromise by allowing a vehicle to be "pinged" in the event of an Amber or Silver Alert for dispatch of emergency vehicles but they are looking for more access which would dramatically change the intent of the bill. If we are going to have success with this bill we are going to need the membership to work on their legislators to get support. This is a "make sense" bill as it protects a consumers privacy if they choose, but still allows access from people that are willing. Watch your emails and Facebook for any progress on this bill. We have a lot of work to do but I am hopeful that we can get it passed.

Other things:

Autonomous Vehicles -- Ric Mellon and Tim Tomann attended a meeting with Representative Neylon to discuss Autonomous Vehicles, driverless cars and how the technology will affect motorcycling in this country. Madison has been selected to be a testing region for this type of vehicle. Of course, we are watching this very closely as we are still not sure how this technology will change motorcycling as we know it. We asked Rep. Neylon for his help to ensure that motorcyclists are at the table when the discussions of moving forward with this in Wisconsin begins. This issue is major for us and I want to thank Ric and Tim for their commitment to following it.

I would like to thank the St. Croix Valley Riders for not only showing up at our Lobby Day but also for their donation of $1,500 to help offset our costs. I would also Michael Hupy for generously donating the bus from Milwaukee. Their support and generosity is greatly appreciated.

That's it.

Panten, Steve. "Thank You!." ABATE of Wisconsin Newsletter Apr. 2017.

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