Slow Progress Is Still Progress
By Steve Panten 

May is here and hopefully warm weather and a great riding season will follow. Our bills are progressing but slowly. The legislature is moving very cautiously on all bills to make sure they are well thought out. While this is appreciated and a great way to pass bills, it seems to be dragging ours down. We are making progress and having successes but it is very slow.

ROW violations -- LRB-0662/P1: The period to sign on as a cosponsor has closed. A Call to Action was sent out to our members so and we should have enough legislators signed on to keep it moving. That is not to say that members still can't sign on, but we needed this to get leadership to give it a number and assign it to a committee. The next step a Public Hearing once it gets to a committee. We will need at least three people to testify in support of it so we will be looking for members to join me at the hearing. Stay tuned to ABATE Alerts for more information. These hearings are generally set up quickly with little notice so please stay tuned to ABATE's Alerts. If your legislator is on the committee it would be great if you could make it.

Autocycle -- LRB-2295/P1: This piece of legislation is having a little more trouble moving. We are still looking for a member of the majority party to take the lead in the Senate. We spoke with Senator Olsen and he is considering it but we will need to try to get a little more support from the leadership in the Senate before he will commit to it. In particular, caucus leadership. I am talking with the staff from Senator Harsdorf's office but with everything going on in Madison, progress on our bill is slow. Hopefully by early May we will have a better understanding of what we will need to do.

Black Box -- LRB-1649/P1: The scheduled period for legislators to sign on to this bill has passed as well. Same as before, a legislator can still sign on but the draft was sent to leadership to get a bill number. We did a great job in this one with bipartisan support from 7 Senators and 17 Representatives amongst great pressure from the Auto Manufacturers Lobby Group to oppose it. This is going to be a tough bill to keep moving because of all pressure. I understand the Auto Manufacturers have brought in their Federal Lobbyist to fight this bill. I am thinking that we will need to get support from the public to get this passed. We will be reaching out to the media and get us much air time as we can. We will need to be LOUD if we want to have success with this.

ITS: Wisconsin in becoming a player in the driverless car world by allowing the technology to be tested in Madison. UW Madison is requesting that Wisconsin become one of 10 states to study driverless car technology. The advantages of using our state for this is our winding, hilly roads and our rapidly changing weather. Ric Mellon and Tim Tomann have been in discussions with members of the State Legislature to ensure that motorcyclists will have a seat at the table when the discussions about how this will happen, and what kind of data will be needed. Our goal of course is to make sure that while they are collecting the data they are also looking at how these cars "see" a motorcycle ... if at all. It seems that all new technology is scary but this is our lives and way of life at stake. If this technology does not pick up when there is a motorcycle in front of or next to them, we are not safe ever! We will continue to try to learn more about this and push for us to be a player recognized during the discussions.

Bikers Inside the Beltway: May is our chance to head off to Washington to meet with our Federal Legislators and discuss what is important to us. The event is put on by the Motorcycle Riders Foundation and it will bring people from all over the country to the nation's capitol for a motorcyclists' lobby day. We had many people ask to be part of this trip so the Board of Directors has approved sending up to 6 more people. This could mean that we will have 14 ABATE members representing Wisconsin. I am very happy that we have so many enthusiastic members willing to take time out of their work and personal lives to attend. Thank You!

There is no doubt that we will have a very busy May. Please watch for the ABATE Alerts and do as much as you can to help us be successful with that we are trying to accomplish.

That's it


Panten, Steve. "Slow Progress Is Still Progress." ABATE of Wisconsin Newsletter May. 2017.

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