Legislative

Legislative Report
By Steve Panten 

Riding season has truly kicked in and so did things in Madison. May could be renamed Public Hearing month this year with two of our bills being scheduled for hearings in both the Senate and the Assembly. As I am writing this we made it through one hearing with 3 more to go before the end of May.

AB201/SB198 -- ROW Violations Bill: The Senate held a hearing for our ROW Violations Bill and we were fortunate to not have anyone testify in opposition. In fact, we picked up the support from the Bicycle Federation which should help push some legislators who were on the fence to support it. ABATE was well represented at the hearing with 7 members attending and sitting through an exciting 3 1/2 hour hearing before they got to our bill. Like I said during the Legislative Training Seminars last year, sometimes these hearings go quick but sometimes you will learn about a subject that you normally would not care about. Later in the month of May we have a hearing scheduled in the Assembly Committee.

SB196/AB254 -- Black Box Bill: There is discussion that at the end of May we should have a Public Hearing in both the Assembly and the Senate for our Black Box Bill. We are fortunate in that we should have support from the AMA and the Waukesha Old Car Club who both agreed to testify in support of our bill. This is very exciting that other groups are starting to get on board and support this very important privacy issue. We will still have an uphill battle to convince the legislators that an individual's privacy about where and when they travel is something that should be protected. The Auto Manufacturers and General Motors Lobby Groups have registered in opposition to our bill but the Public Hearing will be the opportunity to get the information out for discussion purposes.

Autocycle: Unfortunately, we have not seen any progress on this piece of legislation. We are still looking for a Senator to take the lead. We were working with a couple Senators that had expressed interest but the pressure from Polaris made them decide to not take a position at this time. We will continue to reach out to those that have helped us in the past, but we could use help from the members to reach out to their Senators to see if we can get help.

Bikers Inside the Beltway: May 23rd the MRF held their annual Federal Lobby Day called Bikers Inside the Beltway. Look for articles in the July Newsletter from those that attended. We have meetings scheduled with every Wisconsin elected representative in the House and the Senate. We will be presenting the Motorcycle Riders Foundation's Legislative Agenda and explain how it would benefit motorcyclists in the state.

Back here in Wisconsin, while it is great that we were able to get public hearings scheduled, the next big step is to get a vote on our bills in the committee level. We will need the memberships help to push the leaders in the legislature as well as the committee chairs, to schedule the vote in executive session. The chair of the committee will not schedule the vote unless they have the votes to pass it. Please help however you can. If your legislator is on the committee, ask them to support it. If they are in leadership, ask them to push the committee to vote on it. If they are not in either one of those positions, please ask them to support it. The legislators will be home this summer attending picnics and parades, this is a great time to get in front of them with your ABATE swag on and ask them for their support. If they tell you that they cannot support one of our bills, please ask them why and get the information back to me.

That's it -- ride safe and enjoy motorcycling in this great state.


Panten, Steve. "Legislative Report." ABATE of Wisconsin Newsletter Jun. 2017.

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