MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Assembly Republicans hope the Senate’s newest members will help pass a bill raising the speed limit to 70 mph in Wisconsin.
The Assembly last year approved the 5 mph hike, but the measure died when senators declined to back it. Both houses were controlled by Republicans, as they are now, but the makeup of the Senate has changed with the retirement of more moderate lawmakers, including Mike Ellis and Dale Schultz.
Rep. Paul Tittl tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel it’s time Wisconsin follows its neighbors and other states which have a maximum speed of 70 mph or higher.
“We now have become the island all the way from Washington to Pennsylvania,” said Tittl, a Republican from Manitowoc.
Tittl plans to outline his bill during a news conference Wednesday. The state Department of Transportation would determine which highways would have speed limit increases.
Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Jerry Petrowski said he didn’t hold a vote on the measure last session because there wasn’t enough support to pass it. The Marathon Republican lso said he recently told Tittl that he and other supporters will need to make their case for the bill to be successful this time around.
“It’s going to come down to the safety issues,” Petrowski said.
Democratic Rep. Daniel Riemer of Milwaukee voted against the higher speed limit last year because supporters had not provided enough data on how it would affect the number and severity of highway crashes.
Information from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, http://www.jsonline.com