A group of transportation bills are on their way through the state legislature that should help keep Wisconsin’s roads safe and funded. Senator Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon) authored Senate Bills 240 and 247, which will bring Wisconsin’s transportation codes in line with federal guidelines. “When they find that they’re not following their rules exactly, they threaten to deduct $25 million a year from your transportation funding, and that goes to $50 million the second year.”
The bills fix regulations pertaining to licensing veterans for their commercial licenses as well as fixing how the state handles out-of-service violations for trucker logs. Keeping that funding is important to Petrowski, who’s the chair of the Transportation Committee. “In transportation, you know how we’re looking for dollars all the time to fix our bridges and everything. We had to fix this, and it was just two of the bill’s I’d worked on and they’re off to the Assembly now.”
In addition, a bill was passed to allow for multi-axle trucks to carry more weight for hauling wood to be used in more parts of the state. It’s sometimes known as the “Michigan Configuration”, and Petrowski says keeping logging competitive in the state is vital. “Forestry is such a huge industry, and we need to make sure that we can further the job creation and the commerce that’s created there.”
A number of other transportation bills passed the Senate, including two aimed at improving DOT enforcement of unlicensed salvage, recreational vehicle, and moped dealers and another to allow waivers for people taking motorcycle courses. All of the bills are now on the way to the Assembly.