Riders Rights - Updates and Alerts

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12/7/2016

RIDING FREE FROM DC:
Your Weekly Biker Bulletin from Inside the Beltway


Your Motorcycle Riders Foundation team in Washington, D.C. is pleased to provide our members with the latest information and updates on issues that impact the freedom and safety of American street motorcyclists. Count on your MRF to keep you informed about a range of matters that are critical to the advancement of motorcycling and its associated lifestyle. Published weekly when the U.S. Congress is in session.
NEWS FROM THE HILL – A New Committee Chairmanship & Senate Examination of RFS
The coveted House Energy and Commerce committee chairmanship was announced last week week; Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) will be taking the helm after Rep. Fred Upton’s (R-MI) term expired per self-imposed Republican rules. The committee has sweeping jurisdiction over issues like technology (i.e. self-driving vehicles), as well as EPA programs including the Renewable Fuel Standard and other ethanol-related issues. Reps. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) and Joe Barton (R-Texas), had also expressed interest in replacing the outgoing chairman Fred Upton. The new Chairman will take over in January – the MRF intends to meet with him and his staff to detail the 2017 priorities that the Committee has jurisdiction over.
Also last week, the Senate took a close look at several recently published Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports that examined the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS); the EPA program which requires increasing blends of ethanol to be used in the nation’s gasoline supply. The reports stated that despite increasing the use of advanced biofuels such as ethanol, the U.S. is still unlikely to meet the original target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This is because the advanced biofuels are not being produced at high enough levels to make promised changes. The report and the hearing are likely to only further “fuel the fire” surrounding the contentious ethanol debate in Washington, DC. You can review the report and its highlights here: http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-17-94


EXECUTIVE & REGULATORY UPDATES
Flurry of Regulations Before Obama Exit & NHTSA on Distracted Driving
The White House is reviewing as many as 98 final regulations that could be implemented before President-Elect Donald Trump takes office. Though not uncommon for a President to “push through” rules and regulations before he leaves office, many of the rules are considered to be “economically significant," with an estimated economic impact of at least $100 million a year. Republicans in the House and Senate are fighting back saying that they will simply repeal any last-minute regulations shoved through before President Obama leaves office. Though none of the pending regulations are expected to directly affect bikers, they could impact the authority of the EPA to regulate methane emissions from existing oil and gas infrastructure as well as finalize the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management major rule on leases for wind and solar projects on federal land.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released proposed guidelines last week to help address driver distraction caused by mobile and other electronic devices in vehicles. The guidelines are strictly voluntary, but urge manufacturers to consider how they could minimize possible distractions for drivers when they design phones. NHTSA’s activity is the second phase of voluntary guidelines to address driver distraction on U.S. roads. The first phase focused on devices or systems built into the vehicle at the time of manufacture and was published in 2014. You can review the announcement and review the most recent guidelines by clicking on the following link:
http://www.nhtsa.gov/About-NHTSA/Press-Releases/nhtsa_distraction_guidelines_phase2_11232016


SMRO SNAPSHOT – ABATE of IOWA
At September’s Meeting of the Minds, I had a chance to connect with Ron Braaksma with ABATE of Iowa. Many of you who attended MOTM will remember Ron - he was running the revolutionary SMARTrainer; a video game like riding simulator which combines a personal computer, an advanced safety-training program and a video monitor, plus a handlebar, seat, footrests and all the standard controls found on a real motorcycle. The line to test out the SMARTrainer was always a few people deep. I finally got a chance to try it myself and…well let’s say I did not have beginner’s luck. Anyhow, Ron and I got to talking about how it might be fun to bring the SMARTrainer to our nation’s Capitol and let Members of Congress and staffers test it out and get a better appreciation of what it’s like to be on a bike.
Ron and I have been working through the details on this and are tentatively planning to executive our event during our D.C. Lobby Day on Tuesday, May 23. When we recently spoke about details, I got a quick update on some of the latest news concerning ABATE of Iowa which I am happy to share in this week’s SMRO Snapshot:
ABATE of Iowa just wrapped up their IOWA STEAM event on November 11th and 12th last month. They had almost 200 people attend where the main objectives were to “educate and motivate.” The event featured presentations and seminars concerning Share the Road and other safety issues and also included breakout sessions on a variety of topics important to their members. It was a successful event and wrapped up with a Board of Directors Meeting where Rob happily reported that ABATE of Iowa intends to move forward in furthering a positive working relationship with the MRF. Good news all around!
Legislatively, Iowa is likely to see several helmet related bills pop up in 2017; this is typical for the state but luckily, ABATE continues to be successful in defeating them due to a strong working relationship with the Iowa state delegation. The organization also expects to see other motorcycle safety related measures present themselves in next year’s legislative session, but is ready and willing to ensure their members’ voices are heard.
Keeping with the Iowa theme, this week, Senator Joni Ernst, one of the only female riders in Congress, officially became a co-sponsor of the RPM Act; a bill which limits the EPA’s attempt to regulate the amateur racing industry when it comes to modifications made on motorcycles and stock race cars. Her efforts take us one step closer towards final passage.

And a special thanks and shout out to Ron who is committing his time and effort to travel to Washington, DC in May to help drum up excitement for the world of motorcycles by allowing congressional staffers to take a ride on the SMARTrainer; these kinds of activities help to promote bikers and the issues we care about on a national scale.
PRESIDENTIAL TRANSITION NEWS – Secretary of Transportation Named, EPA Next?
Last week, President-Elect Trump officially tapped Elaine Chao to lead the Department of Transportation under his Administration. She will be the top influencer in what priorities DoT, NHTSA, and the Federal Highway Administration pursue over the next 4 years. Ms. Chao served in the George W. Bush Administration as Secretary of Labor and as Deputy Secretary of Transportation. Notably, she is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) which suggests there will be a VERY close working relationship between DoT and the Senate moving forward. It also signals that Trump’s pledge to create a billion-dollar infrastructure plan which will provide money for states to improve highways, roadways and surface transportation programs is a very real possibility in the first year of his Presidency.
Though at the time of this writing nothing had officially been announced, this week rumored potential EPA Administrator picks met with President-Elect Trump. Among the names mentioned were Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt and Kathleen Hartnett White, the director of the Armstrong Center for Energy and the Environment at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. Both are seen as possible contenders for EPA administrator – a position that will greatly determine the polices of the EPA and how aggressive they will be in a Trump Administration. Contrary to rumors, Donald Trump has never suggested abolishing the EPA, but rather simplifying the agency’s mission and ensuring less government overreach. The EPA has been criticized as being emboldened under the Obama Administration. However, as an effect of the possible change in culture under a Trump presidency, other state environmental agencies (California in particular) are vowing to come out ‘swinging’ and taking strong positions where they can - in state environmental initiatives affecting clean air and water. For bikers, this means the possibility of stricter state regulations on air emissions from motorcycles.

MRF NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
Over the past three weeks, your MRF has been hard at work gearing up to implement two new programs that will hopefully make your lives easier when it comes to being a strong advocate for the biker community and staying on top of new state legislative proposals affecting your right to ride. This week, I’d like to spotlight the federal section on our website houses within the updated Legislative Action Center…
Accessible now on our website under Legislative Action Center and Federal Legislative Issues, you can easily see what bills the MRF is tracking at the national level, identify who your federal Member of Congress is by plugging in your zip code AND you can easily contact your Senators and Congressmen on a variety of issues we are working on including anti-profiling, ethanol, the RPM Act and others. Simply click on the issue you are interested in, fill out the online form with your name, email and home address and an email will be automatically generated for your review. If you like what it says, click “SUBMIT” and it automatically goes to your Member of Congress and Senators letting them know how you feel about an issue. Easy Peasy. And most importantly, effective. This week we tried out the new program in an effort to get more co-sponsors on our motorcycle anti-profiling bill. Within 24 hours, we had 780 emails go out to Congress in support of our bill. And all it took was a couple of clicks.
If you had a chance to participate, let me know what you thought. We’d like to use this more and more as an easy way to get in touch with our legislators to let them know how we feel about an issue. If you have any feedback on how to improve the program going forward, let me know!
Your Friend in Washington,

Megan Ekstrom
Vice-President of Government Affairs & Public Relations
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation


12/6/2016
We are running out of time on this.
Yes, this is only a congressional resolution, but this is where we find out how much support a real bill will get if we get one going in the 115th General Assembly. We need our congressmen on board with this one.
I, myself, have contacted Congressman Rodney Davis (13th CD) on several occasions on this but he still hasn't signed on after saying he would.
Tomorrow I will try again.
All you others in the 13th CD call him also (202) 225-2371 DC office. (217) 403-5690

The rest of you call your congressman!

The switchboard ph # is (202) 224-3121 in case you can't find your Illinois Hand Book of Government which has both DC office #'s and their Home Districts.
Please give them a call and politely ask them to sign on.
As of now the only 2 we have on there from Illinois is Darrin LaHood and Mike Bost. We need 16 more on there

To see who is on the bill click on the link then click on details and that can give you co-sponsors who are on board with it.

H.Res. 831: Promoting awareness of motorcycle profiling and encourage collaboration and communication with the motorcycle community and law enforcement officials to prevent instances of profiling.

Bob Myers

 

Our “Blue Dot” tail light lens bills is scheduled to be heard on Wed. March 25th at 10am in room 115 in the Capitol

Below is the link to the Transportation committee members

http://ilga.gov/house/committees/members.asp?CommitteeID=1604&GA=99

Call them all Please. There aren't that many

This next link will give you the electronic witness slips to fill out. Just check the box that says:

Record of Appearance Only

  http://my.ilga.gov/WitnessSlip/Create/90325?committeeHearingId=12622&LegislationId=90325&HCommittees4%2F20%2F2015-page=1&committeeid=0&chamber=H&nodays=30&_=1426981909738&GridCurrentCommittees-page=3

ABATE of Illinois SUPPORTS HB4105 - Short Description:  VEH CD-BLUE DOT TAIL LIGHTS - Rep. Katherine Cloonen - Anthony DeLuca - Synopsis As Introduced
Amends the Illinois Vehicle Code. Provides that motorcycles may be equipped with a blue light or lights located on the rear of the motorcycle as a part of the motorcycle's rear stop lamp or lamps.

Section 12-208 of this Act.

(a-1)

A motorcycle or an An antique vehicle or an expanded-use antique vehicle, including an antique motorcycle, may display a blue light or lights of up to one inch in diameter as part of the vehicle's rear stop lamp or lamps.

 “Blue Dot” Tail Light Lens: This bill will legalize customizing with “Blue Dot” tail light lens. It is a small dime sized area in the tail light lens that has a blue plastic area that bikers like to use as a personal taste, much like vertical license plates, handlebars that are head high to the operator, or a different color of paint that came on the bike originally. They do not interfere with the braking or visibility of a motorcycle.

Bob Myers  Legislative Coordinator                                         
ABATE of Illinois, Inc. 
(618) 917-4919


Everyone: Please get it out to ALL that you know (friends, family, neighbors,) to CALL their legislators both Illinois House and Senate, The Director of Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources, Wayne Rosenthal, and the Illinois Governor, Bruce Rauner, That the Off-Highway people have been promised a state owned place to ride for years.
We have been patient far too long as it is and we want this park that has been promised to us.
The Sierra Club type groups and the Hunting groups have been attacking those I am asking you to call and now it is our turn to counter them and flood them with our calls and letters for this park.

Talking Points are:
(1) This Off-Road Park will bring more money to the area and state than hunting ever thought about bring to this area in Brown County and the State coffers.
(2) This park will bring riders into Illinois/Brown County from all across the country for a park this big.
(3) This park will bring business to Brown County including but not limited to Motels/lodging, gas stations, Off-Road Vehicle dealerships and repair shops, Restaurants, and Sporting Goods & Outdoor Apparel type businesses. 
(4) We accepted the $15 fee on our off-road vehicles to get state owned land to ride on.
(5) There are
473,698  acres in Illinois that are used for Hunting, Fishing, Horseback Riding, Hiking, Bird/Butterfly Watching, Running/Walking but not 1 ACRE for OFF ROAD usage
(6) And if we don't get this park we will PASS a bill that will do away with the fee,------  No Land - NO FEE (TAX).


OFF-Road Park ABATE of ILLINOIS bulletin

Illinois Senate link ------      http://www.ilga.gov/senate/

Illinois House link  ------     
http://www.ilga.gov/house/

Illinois Dept of Natural Resource :  (217) 782-6302

Governors Springfield # : 217-782-0244
Governors Chicago # : 312-814-2121

ALL of us must make these calls and make them now



Bob Myers


 

Tuesday, February 3rd

Everyone: Please get it out to ALL that you know (friends, family, neighbors,) to CALL their legislators both Illinois House and Senate, The Director of Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources, Wayne Rosenthal, and the Illinois Governor, Bruce Rauner, That the Off-Highway people have been promised a state owned place to ride for years.
We have been patient far too long as it is and we want this park that has been promised to us.
The Sierra Club type groups and the Hunting groups have been attacking those I am asking you to call and now it is our turn to counter them and flood them with our calls and letters for this park.

Talking Points are:
(1) This Off-Road Park will bring more money to the area and state than hunting ever thought about bring to this area in Brown County and the State coffers.
(2) This park will bring riders into Illinois/Brown County from all across the country for a park this big.
(3) This park will bring business to Brown County including but not limited to Motels/lodging, gas stations, Off-Road Vehicle dealerships and repair shops, Restaurants, and Sporting Goods & Outdoor Apparel type businesses. 
(4) We accepted the $15 fee on our off-road vehicles to get state owned land to ride on.
(5) There are 473,698  acres in Illinois that are used for Hunting, Fishing, Horseback Riding, Hiking, Bird/Butterfly Watching, Running/Walking but not 1 ACRE for OFF ROAD usage
(6) And if we don't get this park we will PASS a bill that will do away with the fee,------  No Land - NO FEE (TAX).



Illinois Senate link ------     
http://www.ilga.gov/senate/

Illinois House link  ------     
http://www.ilga.gov/house/

Illinois Dept of Natural Resource :  (217) 782-6302

Governors Springfield # : 217-782-0244
Governors Chicago # : 312-814-2121

ALL of us must make these calls and make them now


 

Sun, August 3rd

State OFF-Road park in danger!

We have a situation that needs your immediate attention:
The IDNR Sustainability Act ,that was passed in the 97th G.A., and was totally unfair with "Tax Stamps" on ALL off-road vehicles was re-negotiated in SB2633 this past year.
This bill removed some of the rules on Tax Stamps and did away with them in some cases and allowed family members to ride on their own property and regardless if you lived on it or not.
It also removed mandatory "Tax Stamps" from ohv's on privately owned parks.

This was negotiated with Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources (IDNR) Director Marc Miller and staff, Jay Hall of Halls Cycles in Springfield and AMA District 17 rep, and Assistant State Legislative Coordinator "Hunter" John Harris and myself with State Senator Dave Koehler mediating the process and filling a new bill for us.
The results of this became SB2633 which we lobbied and passed 56-0 in the Senate and 94-13 in the House.

We were also promised land to ride on and in the very near future. This land was 2200 acres in Brown County around the town of Buckhorn just east of Quincy.

Now the hunters and Sierra Club have gotten hold of this news and are out to stop us.
They don't want you to have any state owned property to ride on in Illinois.
We all need to make ph calls to the following people and demand that the state live up to their word and give us this park and the 2 other parks we were promised.

Senator John Sullivan (47)
Springfield office -  (217) 782-2479
Quincy office - (217) 222-2295
Macomb office - (309) 833-5687 Call all 3 offices, Overwhelm them

State Representative Norine Hammond (93)
Springfield office -  (217) 782-0416
Macomb office -  (309) 836-2707, Call both offices

Talking Points:
We negotiated in good faith with the state and we demand that they live up to their promises.
There are another 100,000 acres around this 2,200 acres that the hunters have for their recreation.
Once established, an Off-Road Park will generate tons of money for the IDNR and Brown County.
If not given our land we will fight to have the "Tax Stamp" requirement removed for any and all ohv's used for recreational riding.
 

IDNR Director Marc Miller's ph # is 217-785-0075
Call him and demand that the Illinois Department of Natural Resources live up to its word and give that park to us


Brown County

There will be a County Board Meeting at 7:00 pm at the Brown County Courthouse, Mt. Sterling. We need to overrun the seating and ask that the Board requests the IDNR to establish this park as planned.

Brown County Courthouse 217-773-3421  This was the only # I could find for the Board Members
Call those board members below and remind them of the money that Off-Road bikers can generate for the local economy

Board Members

Chairman: David Ferrill

Vice-Chairman: Mike Yingling
County Clerk: Judy Ham -
County Treasurer: Candy Knight
John Salrin, Bob Hamilton, James Rensch, Corey Anderson, Jed Parn,
Jason Garthaus, and Daniel Sabo

MAKE THOSE CALLS PLEASE
Bob

 

Wed, May 21st

Today, Wed, May 21st Senate bill SB3312, our senate poker run bill passed the House with no discussion
108 - 6- 0.
It will be sent to the Governor for signing. Senate President John Cullerton said he would expedite the bill to the Gov. and ask that he sign it ASAP.


If it hasn't been sent by next Tuesday we will put out the ph #'s for the Governors 2 offices for you to call.


There are lots of biker clubs and organizations and they are just itching to make those calls but we need to wait for now, Giving them some time is the right thing to do at this point.
I only regret not getting this done sooner but sometimes that happens.

Bob Myers
ABATE of Illinois, Inc.


16 May 2014

 

Week in Review

Our Poker Run Bill SB3312 did not get called for a vote.

What they worked on for 12 hrs Thurs was Appropriation Bills, spending money and then trying to find where the money is going to come from.

Hopefully our bill will come out this next week.

The Ethanol/Corn lobby is trying to stir up problems again.

Since the Feds cut out the the subsidies for installing 10,000 blender pumps by 2016 the Corn/Ethanol lobby is wanting subsidies from Illinois for that and also money for R&D (research & development.

WE will not let them have it!

They need to learn from us, If you want it - You pay for it, and we will never agree to blender pumps. We do not want E-10 run through the same piping, pumps, and hoses as e-15.

I was hoping that they would end session early after they vote on our bill so I could stay home but the Ethanol/Corn lobby is going to keep me up there and keep me busy.

I hope to have better news for you by Tuesday.

I have the ONDGO to call the Governors office to sign our bill all printed up and ready to send out to you and also to 4000 Shriner members in Southern Illinois. All I have to do to it is just hit "SEND" and then it is on its way to you to make those calls Stay Ready, Stay Alert, - We will win!!

Bob


 

Obama Calls for Helmet Laws

This week President Obama released his ideal version of a transportation bill. The proposal has a specific provision that would allow the federal government to push a mandatory helmet law, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) reports.

Parking:Buried in the 350 page document is language that would amend current United States code, which provides the motorcycle safety money that would allow “the Secretary [of transportation] or the Secretary’s designee [to] engage in activities with States and State legislators to consider proposals related to motorcycle helmet use laws.”

This provision is unacceptable to the MRF, and it’s safe to say, the United States House of Representatives. Labeled as “Support Activity” in the draft legislation, it’s a thinly veiled stab at a mandatory national helmet law.

The draft is titled “Generating Renewal, Opportunity, and Work with Accelerated Mobility, Efficiency, and Rebuilding of Infrastructure and Communities throughout America,” or GROW AMERICA Act. You can read the whole document here:
http://www.dot.gov/sites/dot.gov/files/docs/DOT_surface_reauth-FINAL.pdf

The draft legislation also has incentive grants for graduated auto licensing.

The MRF urges you to contact your Representative in the House and both of your Senators. You can reach the United States Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121. In addition, the MRF asks that you contact the White House directly and let them know you are not pleased with the helmet use provisions of President Obama’s GROW AMERICA Act. You can reach the White House several different ways from this website: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact.

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation urges you to join your fellow freedom fighters in Washington on May 15th to lobby Congress and help stop this legislation. Please register for the event on the MRF website. If you have any questions about attending this most important day for motorcyclists, please call the MRF Washington D.C. office.

The MRF is committed to preserving your freedoms in every possible way.

 

May 5 - May 9 week in review

SB2633 OFF-HIGHWAY VEHICLE STAMP
Synopsis As Introduced:
Amends the Recreational Trails of Illinois Act. Provides that the fee for an Off-Highway Vehicle Usage Stamp for a vehicle with an engine capacity of over 75 cubic centimeters shall be $15 annually. Provides that the fee for an Off-Highway Vehicle Usage Stamp for a vehicle with an engine capacity of 75 cubic centimeters and below shall be $10 annually. Provides additional exemptions to the requirement of operators of an off-highway vehicle displaying an Off-Highway Vehicle Usage Stamp. Effective immediately, Property owners and their immediate family may ride on their property without a tax stamp whether they live on it or not, tax stamps not needed to ride in privately owned parks, and vehicles in sanctioned races need not have tax stamps.
Has passed both Senate and House.

SB3290 LIABILITY: OFF-ROAD RIDING ; Synopsis As Introduced:
Amends the Premises Liability Act. In a Section concerning off-road riding facilities, exempts owners
or operators from civil and criminal liability arising out of or as a consequence of noise or sound emissions resulting from the use (instead of "normal use") of the off-road riding facility.
This will allow off-road riding facilities to hold concerts and other forms of entertainment.
Has passed both Senate and House

SB3312 POKER RUN - LOCATIONS
This bill has been amended for a 3rd time so the Synopsis will not reflect the current bill, Senate Amendment 3. This allows Poker Runs, Dice Runs, and Marble Runs to buy a $25 permit in the county where the event ends and prizes are awarded. This 1 permit will cover all your stops on that particular event. Each PR, DR, MR will have to have its own permit.
HISTORY - When Land Based Gaming became law in Illinois agents from the Illinois Gaming and Liquor Commission were going around tearing down poker run fliers and fining/threatening bar and restaurant owners with lose of license.
This bill will go to 3rd reading the week of May 12th then to the Governor. We are asking all Leadership to urge the Gov to sign ASAP.
I will put out an ONGO for those Calls to your legislators then another for calls to the Governor!!

Now the BAD NEWS
This week President Obama released his ideal version of a transportation bill. The proposal has a specific provision that would allow the federal government to push a mandatory helmet law, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) reports
 Buried in the 350 page document is language that would amend current United States code, which provides the motorcycle safety money that would allow “the Secretary [of transportation] or the Secretary’s designee [to] engage in activities with States and State legislators to consider proposals related to motorcycle helmet use laws.”
This provision is unacceptable to the MRF. Labeled as “Support Activity” in the draft legislation, it’s a thinly, veiled stab at a mandatory national helmet law. The wording allows the Obama administration to claim that this is not a push for mandatory helmet laws due to how vague the language is. However, the Department of Transportation has never stated or even suggested allowing for rider choice when it comes to motorcycle helmets. Their official stated stance is that mandatory helmet laws are the silver bullet when it comes to motorcycle safety.
The draft is titled “Generating Renewal, Opportunity, and Work with Accelerated Mobility, Efficiency, and Rebuilding of Infrastructure and Communities throughout America,” or GROW AMERICA Act. You can read the whole document here:

GROW AMERICA Act

Grow America Act

ABATE of Illinois and the MRF urges you to contact your Representative in the House and both of your Senators. You can reach the United States Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121. In addition, we also ask that you contact the White House directly and let them know you are not pleased with the helmet use provisions of President Obama’s GROW AMERICA Act. You can reach the White House several different ways from this website:
 

Reach the White House.

MAKE THOSE CALLS PLEASE!!
Hope to see you on the road but please use some good judgment.
Here in the Alton/Madison County area we have LOST 4 bikers in 2 weeks and there are others down south of here that I know about also. It is really Heart Breaking!
Remember - Slow Down - Ride Responsible - Hydrate with Water. Even 1 death less than last year is a victory for someone!
Last year we had a spike in deaths again and we do not need a repeat
This week President Obama released his ideal version of a transportation bill. The proposal has a specific provision that would allow the federal government to push a mandatory helmet law, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) reports
 

Buried in the 350 page document is language that would amend current United States code, which provides the motorcycle safety money that would allow “the Secretary [of transportation] or the Secretary’s designee [to] engage in activities with States and State legislators to consider proposals related to motorcycle helmet use laws.”
This provision is unacceptable to the MRF. Labeled as “Support Activity” in the draft legislation, it’s a thinly, veiled stab at a mandatory national helmet law. The wording allows the Obama administration to claim that this is not a push for mandatory helmet laws due to how vague the language is. However, the Department of Transportation has never stated or even suggested allowing for rider choice when it comes to motorcycle helmets. Their official stated stance is that mandatory helmet laws are the silver bullet when it comes to motorcycle safety.
The draft is titled “Generating Renewal, Opportunity, and Work with Accelerated Mobility, Efficiency, and Rebuilding of Infrastructure and Communities throughout America,” or GROW AMERICA Act. You can read the whole document here:

Grow America Act

ABATE of Illinois and the MRF urges you to contact your Representative in the House and both of your Senators. You can reach the United States Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121. In addition, we also ask that you contact the White House directly and let them know you are not pleased with the helmet use provisions of President Obama’s GROW AMERICA Act. You can reach the White House several different ways from this website:


Contact your Representive.

MAKE THOSE CALLS PLEASE!!

In the Alton/Madison County area we have had 4 deaths in the last 2 weeks and there have been more down south of here
Last year we had a spike in deaths and even 1 less death this year is a victory for someone!
Ride Safe, Slow Down, Ride Responsible, and "Look Twice and Save Your Own Life"
Bob

Top of Page


 

April 28th -May1 week in review

SB2633 and SB3290 both went through their committees with no problems at all.
Todd and I knew there would be no problem with them passing so I didn't put an ONDGO out as they do cost money and it would have been good money wasted but now we will ask for the calling of the Illinois House members and asking them to SUPPORT BOTH SB2633 and SB3290

SB2633 (Koehler) (Walsh) OFF-HIGHWAY VEHICLE STAMP Amends the Recreational Trails of Illinois Act. Provides that the fee for an Off-Highway Vehicle Usage Stamp for a vehicle with an engine capacity of over 75 cubic centimeters shall be $15 annually. Provides that the fee for an Off-Highway Vehicle Usage Stamp for a vehicle with an engine capacity of 75 cubic centimeters and below shall be $10 annually. Provides additional exemptions to the requirement of operators of an off-highway vehicle displaying an Off-Highway Vehicle Usage Stamp. Effective immediately.
Talking Points: This bill corrects unfair language that would have required us to buy a tax stamp to ride on property we own but do not live on and also to ride at a Privately Owned
Off-Road Park. This new bill will also let our immediate family to also ride on our property without a Tax Stamp. We will also be getting state owned land to ride on in the near future which will also promote more tourism from other state off-road enthusiasts which will create more revenue for the state.
SB3290 (McGuire) (Mautino) LIABILITY: OFF-ROAD RIDING Amends the Premises Liability Act. In a Section concerning off-road riding facilities, exempts owners or operators from civil and criminal liability arising out of or as a consequence of noise or sound emissions resulting from the use (instead of "normal use") of the off-road riding facility.
Talking Points: This will help protect all types of Off-Highway tracks including but not limited to Dirt Tracks for motorcycles, cars, snowmobiles, Drag Strips, and NASCAR type tracks from over zealous neighbors who move next to any race track then complain on noises. It will also allow other functions such as concerts and other activities to be held and that will help generate more tax revenue/tourism back to the state.
This link is for the Illinois House members http://www.ilga.gov/house/ Make your calls to your House Legislators - Make 1 call for BOTH bills

SB3312 (Forby) (Brauer) POKER RUN - LOCATIONS Amends the Charitable Games Act. Provides that the Department of Revenue shall issue a charitable games license only for the conduct of a poker run to a non-profit organization that the Department determines is organized for the sole purpose of providing financial assistance to an identified individual or group of individuals suffering extreme financial hardship as a result of an illness, disability, accident, or disaster. Further provides that any organization applying for a license to conduct a poker run shall list the name and address of each predetermined location and that any premises that is listed as a predetermined location of a poker run shall not be required to obtain a providers' license for such poker run so long as the provider does not charge any fee or seek any other compensation for the use of the premises. Effective immediately. The Revenue and Finance Committee was supposed to hear this bill yesterday (Thursday) was cancelled so House Sponsor Rep. Rich Brauer couldn't move it. This cancellation sets us back 1 more week.
We were looking at having this bill sent to the Governor for signing next week but that will not happen now. We are now looking at the week of May 12th for the bill to hit the House Floor for a final vote. Below is the committee for the House Revenue and Finance Committee,
http://www.ilga.gov/house/committees/members.asp?CommitteeID=1263&GA=98 EVERYBODY needs to call these members particularly Chairman John Bradly and ask them to please get this bill moved ASAP so that we can go on in life and do what our Illinois State Bikers do best, Help those that need a "Friendly Hand".

HB4223 (Brauer) (Forby) POKER RUNS-RAFFLES ACT Amends the Raffles Act and the Charitable Games Act. Provides for the regulation of poker runs as raffles rather than as charitable games events. Provides that poker runs shall be licensed by the governing body with jurisdiction over the key location and the license granted by the key location shall cover the entire poker run. Amends the Criminal Code of 2012 to make corresponding changes. Effective immediately.
Unfortunately Senator Forby had a serious health issue in his family early this week and was not in session to present this bill.
Cullerton Meeting
On April 28th I had a set-down with Senate President John Cullerton and my first topic with him was on our Poker Run bills.
He knew there were 2 bills, 1 from each chamber and wanted to know which we were actually going to send to the Governor and I said that the senate bill was further along and that would be the one most likely and the house version we were amending as a back up in case we needed it later if something unforeseen happened.
I told him how important this bill was to the mc world and to those charities and individuals that depend on our world for help.
I asked him if he would EXPEDITE the bill to the Governor and ask for him to sign ASAP. President Cullerton said he would do that.

Sunday is our 24th annual Safety and Awareness Rally and we need as many bikers as we can possibly get. We will have other legislative guests scheduled to ride and some legislative assistants riding with us as well.
Not to give up names but one of the Leather Vest recipients is one of OUR OWN!!
Be there to Congratulate Him or Her???

We have 2 Senate Bills headed to House Committees.

(1)  SB2633 (Senator Koehler) (Rep. Frank Mautino) (1) SB2633 OFF-HIGHWAY VEHICLE STAMP
 
Synopsis As Introduced: Amends the Recreational Trails of Illinois Act. Provides that the fee for an Off-Highway Vehicle Usage Stamp for a vehicle with an engine capacity of over 75 cubic centimeters shall be $15 annually. Provides that the fee for an Off-Highway Vehicle Usage Stamp for a vehicle with an engine capacity of 75 cubic centimeters and below shall be $10 annually. Provides additional exemptions to the requirement of operators of an off-highway vehicle displaying an Off-Highway Vehicle Usage Stamp. Effective immediately. http://www.ilga.gov/house/committees/members.asp?committeeID=1260 ------- Call these Transportation Committee members and ask that they vote YEA!

Talking Points: ABATE SUPPORTS SB2633

We negotiated in good faith with the Il. Dept. of Natural Resources with Senator Dave Koehler presiding to get a little more fairness with the Off-Highway $15 Tax Stamp which we did. ABATE of Illinois and Dist. 17 both come away with results they can live with. Property owners and immediate family may ride on their land without a Tax Stamp,whether they live on the land or not and Tax Stamps are not needed on private owned parks.

(2) The 2nd bill is SB3290 (Senator McGuire) (Rep. Lawrence M. Walsh Jr.) SB3290 LIABILITY: OFF-ROAD RIDING

Synopsis As Introduced: Amends the Premises Liability Act. In a Section concerning off-road riding facilities, exempts owners or operators from civil and criminal liability arising out of or as a consequence of noise or sound emissions resulting from the use (instead of "normal use") of the off-road riding facility. http://www.ilga.gov/house/committees/members.asp?committeeID=1192 ------ Call these Judiciary Committee members and ask that they vote YEA!

Talking Points: ABATE SUPPORTS SB3290 This will help protect all types of Off-Highway tracks including but not limited to Dirt Tracks for motorcycles, cars, snowmobiles, Drag Strips, and NASCAR type tracks from over zealous neighbors who move next to any race track then complain on noises. May 4, 2014 is the 24th annual "Awareness and Safety Rally". Please try to attend and bring your friends and neighbors. This is the 2nd most important day that we have as an organization. We hope to have numerous legislators and their assistants that ride that have said they are planning to ride with us that day. At 1 pm sharp we will be leaving the IDOT parking lot at 2300 S. Dirksen Parkway, Springfield at 1 pm for a parade to the Firemen Memorial between the Capitol and Stratton Building.

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Springfield in review 4/7 - 4/11

On Wed 4/09 the 3rd amendment was approved by committee and today 4/10 the senate Poker Run bill, SB3312 passed the Senate floor 53 YEAS - 2 NAYS with 4 NV (not being there to vote). The 2 NAYS ARE friends of ABATE but they just have this thing about gambling, which is fine. Everyone has opinions on different subjects and this was theirs.
We didn't need their votes. If we did it would have been a different story and we would have gotten with them for more discussion over the issue. Now it goes to the House for approval. the only problem is they cancelled Fri the 11th and are out of session the following 2 weeks for spring/Easter break so they don't go back till April 29th and that pushes us back even farther than we need to be. Much is beyond our control.

HB4223 the other Poker Run bill is still in assignments and SB3290 The bill to amend language in the Premises Liability Act and SB2633 the OHV Tax Stamp bill we negotiated some changes in are all still in the same place where they have been for a while.
Its been a long tiring process this year but we will succeed in our bills

Our team in Washington D.C. I am told has been having some success with some congressman on the Ethanol Bill H.R. 875 and maybe with some of the other bills. We will learn more at the B.O.D. when R. O. gives us a report. I hope to see a lot of you at the April 19th meeting.
 

 

ABATE of Illinois SUPPORTS - SB 3312 (as amended)

SB3312 one of our Poker Run bills will come up for 3rd reading this week please call you state senator and ask them for a yes vote.
This bill will take poker runs out of "Charitable Games Act" and put us in the "Raffle Act" and protect all our stops from the Dept of Revenue and Gaming, and Liquor Commissions.     Senate members link below.
http://www.ilga.gov/senate/default.asp
We will still be working to amend the wording on this bill as it moves along.

ABATE of Illinois SUPPORTS - SR 634
Our Senate Ethanol resolution has hit a bump in the road. I was told that the UAW was in opposition to our resolution.
Why they are I don't know but Todd and I are trying to find out.
Those of you who are in the UAW Union would you check around and ask about it and get back with me.
We are trying to protect the current cars they are building and the ones they are driving now!!
below is the link to the Senate Agriculture and Conservation Committee. Call them and ask them to get the bill out of committee and on to the senate floor so all can have input on weather to pass this or not.
America deserves the right to know if E-15 is good or bad!!
http://www.ilga.gov/senate/committees/members.asp?CommitteeID=1202

Then call your state senator from the senate member link and ask that they push the AG committee to put the bill up for consideration (passage to the senate floor).

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Mar 19, 2014

The Agriculture/Conservation Committee was cancelled today as the only bill to be brought up was our ethanol resolution and they didn't think it would be cost/time effective to draw the members just for a resolution. It should come up next week and I will let you know
I was told not to worry as it will be coming up and Senator Dave Koehler, chairman of the Ag/Conservation committee is getting on it as a Chief Co-Sponsor. Senators Willie Delgado and Donnie Trotter are also getting on as co-sponsors.
If you haven't made your calls to the committee members please do so and even if you have call again and ask that they sign on to the bill.
http://www.ilga.gov/senate/committees/members.asp?CommitteeID=1202


Now would also be a good time to call your specific senator and ask them to also sign on as a co-sponsor. The more the better as it could carry more weight with the Illinois congressional delegation.
 
http://www.ilga.gov/senate/default.asp


NO action taken in the senate and the Forby poker run bill is up for 2nd reading ---- no action needed here yet


Pass the word here to all your friends and give them the ph #'s needed to make calls use the below for discussion of resolution.


ABATE of Illinois Supports SR 634
We ask for your support for SR 634 which is a resolution to support the passing of Congressional Bill H.R. 875, which is a full bill in Congress.   H.R. 875 would require “Comprehensive and Independent” Testing” of E-15 by the National Academy of Sciences.     The Il. House version with identical language went 11-0 in committee and PASSED with NO discussion on the House floor .    The testing that the EPA/DOE conducted were on tail pipe emissions, catalytic converters, and emission controls.     Not one Motorcycle or Off-Road Vehicle was tested by the EPA/DOE.  

NO “Comprehensive” Tests were preformed and No motor tear downs and NO inspections of the fuel delivery system were preformed. 

The tests that were preformed on outboard motors by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) in Chicago on E-15 was found to do extensive damage and destroy motors up to  and including 300 hp supercharged boat motors.    What will it do to our motorcycles and cars?     
                                                                                                         
The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) based in Washington, D.C. which covers all small non-road engines, garden tractors, mowers, emergency generators, chainsaws, weed eaters, etc, etc, found that it had negative/detrimental effects and questionable safety issues on those small engines as well.

The Corn and Ethanol Lobby groups have never refuted any of the damaging evidence that ABATE has presented on E15.  

AAA President & CEO Robert L. Darbelnet testified before the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology’s Subcommittee on Environment that regulators and industry should suspend the sale of E15 gasoline until motorists are better protected.                                  AAA highlights the inadequate consumer protections and education efforts to date and expresses support for additional testing by the National Academy of Sciences.     
AAA has 53 million members and cautioned them against using E-15 until issues have been addressed.
                           
There are 14 Auto Manufacturers that have spoken out against E-15 and have warned consumers that their warrantees may be voided if they use it.    
                                                                                       
Below are 14 companies and organizations that have serious concerns and knowledge that using higher blends of ethanol such as E-15 would be detrimental to the American Public.     What they all have in common - They all deal with “internal combustion motors”!
Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers
American Motorcyclist Association
Association of Marina Industries
Association of International Automobile Manufacturers
Boat Owners Association of the United States
Engine Manufacturers Association
International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association
Motorcycle Industry Council                                                                                                                         
Motorcycle Riders Foundation
Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association
National Marine Manufacturers Association
Outdoor Power Equipment Institute
Personal Watercraft Industry Association                                                                                                       
Specialty Vehicle Institute of America
 
ABATE of Illinois is asking the Illinois Senate to vote yes on this resolution requesting that the Illinois Congressional delegation and Illinois US Senators support the passage of H.R. 875 to answer the questions of it being safe for not only for bikers and the people of Illinois but the entire country.                                                                                                                                                   
Ask the U.S. Congress to do what they should have done years before now – Have it tested properly.           
Testing would be done by the “National Academy of Sciences” and financed by the federal Government
The state of Wisconsin also has a similar  joint resolution filed
The state of Florida also repealed their mandate on using Ethano with the passing and signing last year of HB4001

Congressional Bill H.R. 875 has passed through its house committee and is waiting to get called for a vote on the floor. Tell the Illinois Congressional delegation and our US Senators to SUPPORT and Vote YES on H.R. 875.
Everyone deserves the right to know the real truth; E-15 “Is It Good or Is It Bad”

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3-17-14

ABATE of Illinois SUPPORTS SR 634
On Wednesday March 19th in the Senate Agriculture and Conservation Committee at 1pm in room 212 in the capitol our senate resolution SR 634 will be heard. This resolution which asks for the Illinois Senate to request that the Illinois US Congressmen support Congressional Bill H.R. 875 which would require a "Comprehensive" and "Independent" testing of E-15 fuel to see if it is good or bad for our engines.
Tests have lead us to the belief that E-15 is bad for up to 97% of the cars/trucks on the roads today and not 1 motorcycle or off road vehicle was tested for compatibility with this fuel.
The link for the Committee members are below: EVERYONE call these Senators, make History a 2nd time
http://www.ilga.gov/senate/committees/members.asp?CommitteeID=1202

Talking Points are:

(1) There were NO motorcycles or OHVs (Off Highway Vehicles) tested on E-15:
(2) NO motorcycles or OHVs were designed to run off of E-15. Motorcycle manufacturers, the AMA and the Motorcycle Riders Foundation have all spoken out against its use.
(3) There were NO motor tear downs and inspections when it was tested on autos. Tests were only preformed on tailpipe emissions, catalytic converters, and emission controls.
(4) The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) based in Chicago, which represents the boating world, and the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) based in Washington D.C., which cover all small non-road motors, have both stated that the increased level of Ethanol is detrimental to their products and that more testing is needed.
(5) 14 automobile manufacturers have spoken out against E-15.
(6) The AAA has urged their 53 million members not to use E-15 until proper testing and results have been attained.

(7) ABATE of ILLINOIS is NOT being anti-ethanol with this resolution, we just want the facts along with the rest of the country on this fuel .
(8) AMERICA deserves the right to know what this fuel can do to all our internal combustion motors
(9) This is an initiative by ABATE of Illinois, not big oil not big business.

Room 212 has a lot of seating if you want to sit in the hearing.

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3-7-14


The past week in review: (and it was a Great Week along with a Great Lobby Day)
SB2633 (Koehler, Holmes, Sullivan) Off Road sticker bill passed the Senate 56-0 and now on the way to House.
SB3312 (Forby) Poker Run bill Passed executive committee and on to Senate floor. Will amend it again as it goes through the Senate. The Floor vote week of the 19th Hope to get this done by the end of March!! Then off to the Governor for signing.
SR 634 Ethanol resolution now in Agriculture and Conservation Committee. We will have a lot more opposition as the Corn and Ethanol Lobby will have out of state professional speakers in the capitol lobbying against us. EVERYONE needs to make the calls and participate on this. We are set to make HISTORY in the world of MRO’sB4223 (Brauer) still in committee should come out the week of the 19th

When the committees and Final Floor actions are announced I will be putting out the info to make those calls and CALLS we need to make if we want 100% completion!

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2-26-14

Motorcycle Riders Foundation Congratulates ABATE of Illinois

On Wednesday, February 26th ABATE of Illinois made history. They successfully lobbied for a resolution that was passed by the State House of Representatives. The resolution throws the weight of the general assembly behind a federal bill that would conduct a scientific study on the effects of the new blend of fuel known as E15. This new blend is up from the previously approved blend of E10 fuel that contains up to 10% ethanol.

When the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the waiver that allowed for the sale of E15 they did not study the effects of the blend on the internal components of an engine. In fact, motorcycles are not even on the list of vehicles approved by the EPA to use the new blend. Using the blend in a motorcycle, boat, lawn mower etc could be a violation of federal law as they were not included in the waiver.

The Illinois general assembly resolution supports H.R. 875, a bill in the United States House of Representatives that would halt the sale of E15 until an independent scientific study is conducted on the effects of E15 on motorcycles and every other vehicle. Representative Sensenbrenner (R-WI) sponsored the bill.

“This sends a crystal clear message to Washington. A top corn growing state is telling the EPA to do its homework” Said Jeff Hennie Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs for the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF). He added “The EPA never even considered what the E15 could do to a small air cooled engine or really any other engine except for a handful of passenger vehicles.”

The MRF salutes ABATE of Illinois for their tremendous leadership and bravery. They continue to be one of the models of how a State Motorcycle Rights Organization (SMRO) should work.

 Jeff Hennie, Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs

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12-20-13

December Legislative Report - PDF
prepared for the DEC 14 Board of Directors meeting

The meeting was canceled due to bad weather

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10-17-13

IL State House and Senate resolutions urge Congress to pass H.R. 875 to scientifically determine the effects that E-15 will have on internal combustion engines of all types.
More

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10-12-13

T
here seams to be some confusion out there over a bill that was created with very good intentions and that is HB3694 which would put the "Poker Run Act" into the Raffle Act. If this were to happen we would be left to the mercy of countless municipalities and 102 counties on their thoughts on getting their fingers on money me...ant for other purposes. This would possibly be the 2nd best place as of now.

As of now we are looking to "exempt poker runs from the criminal code definition of gaming". Todd feels this is the most simple answer (Todd is our lobbyist)

Until we make a decision this is where we are at and we hope to end this mess this fall session so we can have a clean start to the new riding season.

I will also be putting out an ONDGO next week on the Ethanol Resolutions that we are going to run this fall session.

KEEP YOUR COMPUTERS ON and YOUR CELL PHONES CHARGED.

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Response on "poker run" issue?
9-27-13

Some folks have asked:
Could this be as simple as not calling our events 'Poker Runs'?

That isn't the problem. It is a game of chance in the Charitable Games Act but not for long. We have legislators on this as we speak and Todd (ABATE Lobbyist) has a meeting with Rep. Bradley who chairs the Revenue committee. It will be fixed this fall session.

All the legislators knew the intent of this bill and we will get what we need. Thanks for inquiring on this and please pass this around to all.
Bob

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Please read the news article then call your US Congressman!!!
9-27-13

ABATE OF Ill urges you to contact your Representative in the United States House and ask them to co-sign this letter to the CDC. The larger the number of co-signers the greater impact it will have. Please contact your Representative at the United States Capitol switchboard which can be reached at (202) 224-3121 and ask them to co-sign the Petri CDC motorcycle letter. The deadline for co-signing this letter is close of business Tuesday, October 8th. Please act fast.

13NR30 - MRF News Release - The Motorcycle Riders Foundation Announces Letter to the CDC from the United States Congress.

Bob Myers

I was told Wed that ABATE of Wisconsin had voted to do a resolution in their state government to support Congressman James Sensenbrenner's bill HR 875 for the "Comprehensive, Independent testing of E-15.

There are other states asking me for our info so as to take it back to their SMRO for the same purpose.

This is one of the reasons that you, ABATE of Illinois, is a Leader in state motorcyclists rights activities.

I will give you in mid October an ONDGO asking you to call all your legislators and ask them to vote Yeah to support our resolution that supports the passage of HR 875.
Bob

Again: we are working on the "Poker Run" act and should have it resolved by Nov 7th if not sooner
Bob

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All: We have had a toe stub on the Poker Run issue
9-25-13

I had a meeting last week with Rep. Rich Brauer, George Tinkham, @ Dept. of Revenue.

The Dept of Revenue told us that there will be rules to the Poker Run act. and they both said that we would come under their jurisdiction and that our businesses/stops would have to buy a license/permit and each stop on the poker run would have to do this as well. Each bar restaurant could only do 1 charity event per month for 8 months a yr.

I replied that the Ill. Dept. of Revenue would be "Stealing" money from "Widows and orphans",

stealing money from little baby's with leukemia,

stealing from 90 Yr olds who lost their homes in fires or floods

stealing money from Charity Organizations.

stealing money from Veterans Organizations.

stealing money from us and the rest of the "not for profit" category.

Besides the above they will also be cutting their tax revenue going to the state

We never saw this coming

We will fix this. We need to exempt this law from the Ill Dept. Of revenue, the Illinois Liquor Commission and the Illinois Gaming Commission We have Todd, Legislators and their staff working on this problem now as I hope to get this taken care of in this fall session. Hang in there

Bob Myers

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20-AUG-2013
Multi-Issue Update / Alert - Includes a Call To Action

ABATE of Illinois SUPPORTS HB 1539- Calls Needed
Non-Police Traffic Control bill which Senator Munoz picked up for us will be heard in the Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday, May 7, at 5 pm in room 212 at the capitol.

Ask your congressman to co-sponsor H.R. 875
To provide for a comprehensive assessment of the scientific and technical research on the implications of the use of mid-level ethanol blends, and for other purposes.

Update: 01-April-2013

The General Assembly was out of session the last week of March and the 1st week of April and this break was really needed.

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Call to Action - HEARING MARCH 20
We SUPPORT - HB 2253 - Rider Safety Training Site Liability Exemption

Call to Action - HEARING MARCH 19
WE OPPOSE SB 52 and the Brady amendment
The Senate Ag committee is going to hear SB 52 on March 19 at 1 pm, rm 212 at the Capitol. SB52 is the ethanol bill that will start the phase out of our E-10.

We do not want this stuff out in the market until we get congress to mandate a comprehensive, independent study of the effects that E-15 will bring to our motorcycles and cars and trucks.

ACT NOW!

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We have 2 new Federal Bills out to support.
Alert 03-MAR-2013
Relates to E-15 fuels

OFF Road Action Alert
New Law - Illinois Dept. Natural Resources

View / Search Bills from previous General Assemblies

 

 

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