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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

 2:39 PM 

Dems try to refer speed limit increase back to committee

Assembly Democrats are attempting to refer the bill increasing the speed limit to the 70 on interstate highways, because they say they've not heard relevant experts and data justifying the speed increase.

Some Democrats indicated the bill might be something they could support, but there were not enough details on the effects of the legislation. They also expressed dismay that experts from the Department of Transportation did not testify, if only for information.

"This may be a good bill, but the frustration that I have is that the relevant experts were not consulted or were not able to bring this information to the committee," said Rep. Chris Danou, D-Trempealeau.

Rep. Fred Clark, D-Baraboo, also cited opposition from trucking company Schneider National to the bill due to potential increases in fatalities and losses in efficiency.

Rep. Paul Tittl, R-Manitowoc, said the bill isn't going to make the state interstate any less safe and that DOT engineers will determine where the 70 mph limit is safe. Tittl said he's been consulting with DOT on the bill, but when asked why law enforcement did not testify on the measure, Tittl said he didn't know.

"If they (law enforcement) felt passionate against it, they probably would have been there, but they didn't show up. I can't explain why someone didn't show up to a committee meeting, it was fairly well covered (in the media)."

Tittl also said the measure wasn't a "lobbyist bill," but was drawn up after looking at trends from surrounding states.

An inquiry of the Assembly Chief Clerk showed that only Tittl, Gary Biller of the National Motorists Association and Will Sandstrom, a local Madison resident known for his political bids and eccentric testimony.


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