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UPDATE: Senate may not take up bill raising speed limit

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UPDATED Friday, December 27, 2013 --- 2:30 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A proposal that would raise the speed limit on Wisconsin's interstates to 70 mph may run out of gas in the state Senate.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald tells The Associated Press that the bill does not currently have enough support to pass. It takes 17 votes to pass in the Senate.

Fitzgerald said Friday that work continues behind the scenes to address concerns about the bill, and it may still come up for a vote next year.

The Assembly passed the measure in October on a 63-32 bipartisan vote.

The bill would give the state Department of Transportation six months to change interstate speed limits from 65 mph to 70 mph. It would also allow for a lower 65 mph speed limit for commercial vehicles.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Saturday, October 26, 2013 --- 6:52 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A proposal that would raise the speed limit on Wisconsin's interstates to 70 mph continues to race through the Legislature.

The Assembly passed the bill earlier this month. A Senate committee plans to hold a public hearing on the measure Thursday and the full Senate could vote on it in November.

The bill would give the state Department of Transportation six months to change interstate speed limits from 65 mph to 70 mph. The agency would have to submit a study to the Legislature within a year on the feasibility of raising the limit to 70 mph on other four-lane highways.

Democratic opponents have raised safety concerns with increasing the speed limit, but backers say most people already drive that fast now anyhow.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, October 15, 2013 --- 3:43 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The state Assembly has approved a bill that would raise the speed limit on Wisconsin interstates.

The Republican measure would raise the current 65 mph limit to 70 mph. The proposal also would require state transportation officials to submit a study on the feasibility of raising the limit to 70 on other four-lane highways to the Legislature within a year.

Assembly Democrats contended the bill would lead to more serious accidents and higher expenses for trucking companies. They said lawmakers should focus on job creation. But Republicans control the chamber and the bill ultimately passed 63-32.

The proposal now goes to the state Senate.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, October 15, 2013 --- 11:24 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The state Assembly is set to consider a bill that would raise the speed limit on Wisconsin interstates.

The Republican measure would raise the current 65 mph limit to 70 mph. The proposal also would require state transportation officials to submit a study on the feasibility of raising the limit to 70 on other four-lane highways to the Legislature within a year.

The Assembly is set to vote on the bill Tuesday afternoon. Republicans control the chamber, making passage all but certain.

Approval would send the bill on to the state Senate.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED October 8, 2013 --- 6:09 p.m.

According to a release, the Assembly Committee on Transportation approved Assembly Bill 389 to raise the speed limit to 70 mph on Wisconsin freeways and expressways.

“I’m pleased the Transportation Committee approved this bill,” said Rep. Paul Tittl (R-Manitowoc), author of the bill. “Most people tell me it’s about time, he said.

“This bill isn’t just about getting from one place to another more quickly. According to traffic safety experts, it could even help to make our highways safer,” Tittl said.

The bill would raise the speed limit on nearly 800 miles of rural freeways and expressways that are part of the interstate highway system, according to the release. It also requires the DOT to prepare a report regarding the suitability of a 70 mph speed limit on freeways and expressways that are not interstate highways.

The bill is expected to come before the Assembly next week and pass with bipartisan support.
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UPDATED Tuesday, October 1,2013 --- 6:05 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A Republican lawmaker is trying to persuade a legislative committee to approve his bill raising Wisconsin's speed limit to 70 mph.

Rep. Paul Tittl of Manitowoc told the Assembly transportation committee during a public hearing Tuesday that Wisconsin is the only state in the Midwest with a 65 mph limit. He says a higher limit would encourage tourism and help commuters get home to their families faster.

Democrats on the committee questioned whether a 70 mph limit would lead to more accidents with more severe injuries. They also questioned how much time drivers would really save.

Committee approval would clear the way for a full vote in the state Assembly. The panel hasn't scheduled a vote on the measure yet.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, August 20, 2013--6:25p.m.
MADISON--State Rep. Paul Tittl, R-Manitowoc, calls it "common sense" to raise the speed limit from 65 to 70mph on the state's freeways and expressways. "Increasing the speed limit is good for business, it's good for tourism and it's good for industry," said Tittl.

He said boosting the max would cut down on the drive time for Wisconsinites with long commutes. "Five percent of the commuters in Wisconsin actually spend 60 minutes or more one way in their cars going to their jobs each day," he said.

Additionally, he said the move would put Wisconsin more in line with its neighbors and most of the country's other states. "We can increase the speed and do it safely," he said. "If the safety or compromising of people's safety on the roads was in jeopardy we wouldn't even be introducing this bill today."

We were curious about that claim, so we spoke by phone with the director of the UW Madison's Traffic Operations and Safety lab. "Some states who have recently increased their speed limit in a similar way have reported that they have not seen any significant change in traffic crashes on their freeway systems," said David Noyce, the lab's director.

Noyce said about 85 percent of drivers are already operating at a speed above 70 miles per hour. He said a lot of crashes can be chalked up to the variability in speed between faster and slower drivers--and added that raising the posted limit to be more in line with the speed of traffic could cut down on that difference. "It's possible that increasing the posted speed limit will not negatively impact safety but actually improve safety of the roadway system," he said.

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UPDATED Tuesday, August 20, 2013 --- 11:24 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Gov. Scott Walker and his Transportation secretary aren't saying anything yet about a proposal to increase the speed limit in Wisconsin to 70 mph.

Republican Rep. Paul Tittl of Manitowoc unveiled his proposal Tuesday and said he is confident it will pass the Legislature and be signed into law by the end of the year.

Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has already voiced his support for the idea, but Tittl does not yet have a co-sponsor in the Senate.

Illinois became the 35th state on Monday to raise its speed limit to at least 70 mph. All of Wisconsin's other neighbors have 70 mph as their speed limit now.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, August 20, 2013 --- 9:09 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The speed limit in Wisconsin would increase to 70 mph under a proposal being introduced in the state Assembly.

Republican Rep. Paul Tittl of Manitowoc planned to unveil his proposal Tuesday at a Capitol news conference.

Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has already voiced his support for the idea, saying he expected the Legislature to take up the proposal when it comes back into session in September.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn on Monday signed a bill allowing the speed limit to increase on rural interstates there to 70 mph, even though the Illinois State Police and Quinn's transportation chief opposed the increase, arguing higher speeds would translate into more accidents.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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Posted: Saturday, August 17, 2013 --- 9:18 p.m.

RACINE, Wis. (AP) -- Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says he'll back a proposed bill that would raise state speed limits from 65 mph to 70 mph.

A Journal Times of Racine report (http://bit.ly/14VeSms ) says the Rochester Republican mentioned the bill during a luncheon Friday hosted by the conservative group Americans for Prosperity.

Vos says the bill is the idea of state Rep. Paul Tittl, a Manitowoc Republican. Vos says the move would bring Wisconsin in line with its neighboring Midwestern states.

Vos also says several election-related changes will be brought up when legislators return for the fall session in mid-September.

One is a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow recalls only in the case of criminal wrongdoing or malfeasance in office. Another would involve tweaks to failed voter ID legislation.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


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