Government Affairs

The Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association legislative team is actively working both at the state and federal level for reasonable transportation regulations and equitable taxation of commercial motor vehicles. The association supports highway safety programs, educating the media and the general public about the importance of the trucking industry, and informing members about the critical issues of the day.  If you are a current WMCA member and have a question or concern about state or federal law, please contact WMCA President Neal Kedzie (nkedzie@witruck.org) or WMCA Vice President Dan Johnson (djohnson@witruck.org).

What Have We Done For You Lately?

Northeast Wisconsin Heroes Award

On June 19, 2020, Dana Rau with Schneider Transportation was awarded the Northeast Wisconsin Heroes Award. Wisconsin Motor Carriers, Kim Conradt was present in Appleton, WI alongside Congressman Mike Gallagher and
Tammy Grunert, Schneider Transportation manager. Congressman Gallagher represents Wisconsin’s 8th District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Call on Washington

ATA’s Call on Washington program is an opportunity to meet directly with Members of Congress, key congressional staff, federal regulators, fellow industry leaders, as well as ATA staff to discuss in person legislation and regulations affecting the trucking industry. In sum, no other program provides such direct interaction with so many significant government and industry contacts.

For more information on our Washington D.C trip in 2021 please visit the page here. We have our dates set for 2021 soon.

2019 Wisconsin Act 27

On November 20, 2019 WMCA Vice President Dan Johnson was present during a bi-partisan bill signing that requires educational training on the recognition and prevention of human trafficking for commercial truck drivers.

“Human trafficking impacts all of Wisconsin’s 72 counties, and truck drivers can play a critical role in reducing and preventing this crime,” said Gov. Evers. “Truck drivers are on the front line of this issue as they not only reach every corner of our state, but often travel across state lines. By ensuring that they are vigilant and have the knowledge and training to recognize human trafficking, we can protect vulnerable individuals from continued exploitation.”

Heavy Truck Registration Fee Increase Defeated

The Governor proposed raising registration fees for heavy, commercial motor vehicles by about 27%, which would have resulted in a fee increase (on average) of $690 per truck owned by a company.  The WMCA worked alongside other like-minded trade associations to effectively kills this provision in the Governor’s budget.

Tolling and Vehicle Tax Study Defeated

The Legislature inserted a provision in the budget to spend $2.5 million for a DOT study on mileage-based fees and tolling which the WMCA government relations team had strongly opposed.  The WMCA legislative team contacted the Governor’s office specifically requesting the provision be struck from the budget, which ultimately was done.

Also, there will be no fuel tax increase or inflationary increases to the fuel tax, as originally requested by the Governor.  While the WMCA does support a modest increase in the fuel tax, there is no general support for such an increase in the Legislature at this time.

WMCA Legislative Day

On March 6, 2019 WMCA President Neal Kedzie and thirteen WMCA members consisting of trucking executives, allied trucking members met with legislators at the Capitol after attending WMC’s Business Day’s morning sessions. While at the Capital, they discussed the transportation budget, DOT audit, fuel tax, tolling, and more with  Rep. Thiesfeldt (author of AB22 Human Trafficking – Trucker CDL Education), Rep. Kulp (ch. Transportation) & Rep. Spiros (v.c. Transporation), Sen. Dan Feyen, Asst. Majority Leader, Sen. Petrowski (ch. Transportation) & Sen. Marklein (v.c. Transportation & Joint Finance Committee member)

Call on Washington

ATA’s Call on Washington program is an opportunity to meet directly with Members of Congress, key congressional staff, federal regulators, fellow industry leaders, as well as ATA staff to discuss in person legislation and regulations affecting the trucking industry. In sum, no other program provides such direct interaction with so many significant government and industry contacts.

This year’s Call on Washinton took place on May 8-9, 2018, where we had eleven WMCA members in attendance. Below is a snapshots of our time spent in D.C.! 2019’s Call on Washington will be taking place May 7-8. For more information check our events page here.

WMCA Legislative Day

On February 28, 2018 WMCA President Neal Kedzie and thirteen WMCA members consisting of trucking executives, allied trucking members met with legislators at the Capitol after attending WMC’s Business Day’s morning sessions. While at the Capital, they discussed the transportation budget, DOT audit, fuel tax, tolling, and more with Rep. Steineke, DOT Sec. Ross, Sen. Petrowski, Ch. Senate Transportation Committee, Rep. August, Rich Zipperer, Chief of Staff  for Gov. Walker.

WMCA Takes a Stand Against Massive Tax Increase on Trucks

As the Wisconsin Legislature struggles to pass its version of the 2015-17 budget due to disagreements on the transportation portion of the budget, a remarkably bad idea to significantly raise taxes on the trucking industry surfaced. The Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association believes the proposal would harm trucking businesses, consumers and Wisconsin’s economy. At issue was a proposed tax on trucks of 2.85 cents-per-mile on commercial trucks weighing 59,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) or more. The only class of trucks in this weight category is semi-trucks.

Once WMCA heard about this super tax, we set out and lobbied to dozens of legislators, both in the senate and the assembly, the governor’s office along with our membership to educate them about the devastating affect this punitive tax would have. Our efforts were statewide and included press releases and op-ed responses throughout Wisconsin.  WMCA President, Neal Kedzie along with some WMCA members were interviewed by several news outlets both in print, on T.V. and radio.

It looked as if the tax was gaining momentum, but with the help of the WMCA and the industry coalition we created we were able to derail the legislation. The WMCA also appreciates the Senate Republicans who publicly announced their opposition to the heavy truck tax proposal and prevented its advancement to the senate.

Thank you to those who responded to our plea, joined our coalition and reached out to legislators. Due to our strength in numbers, we stood as a united front and shut this tax down! However, we must stay vigilante. Keep your eyes out for future legislative alerts.

WMCA Responds to Truck Tax

The WMCA shared our current position on the proposed truck tax increase currently under consideration in the Wisconsin Legislature as it relates to transportation funding in the press releases below. The Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association is strongly opposed to this truck tax proposal. We have been contacting legislators and the press about this issue while working hard out at the Capitol to make sure motor carrier voices are heard.

The WMCA shared our current position on the proposed truck tax increase currently under consideration in the Wisconsin Legislature as it relates to transportation funding in the press releases below. The Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association is strongly opposed to this truck tax proposal. We have been contacting legislators and the press about this issue while working hard out at the Capitol to make sure motor carrier voices are heard.

The Facts On the Ton Per Mile tax:

  • Only four states have this (KY, OR, NY, NM)
  • If modeled after KY .285 cents per mile or equivalent of 20 cents fuel tax at truck running at 7 mpg
  • Future governors and legislatures could increase TPM in future budgets (ie. Oregon proposing 25% increase for their TPM)
  • Targeted only at only one highway user group – semi-trucks. Unfair.
  • Makes WI noncompetitive with other states.
  • Trucking companies operating pennies on the dollar.
  • In most cases trucking companies can’t pass cost along if contracted at a specific freight rate.
  • Will have a big impact on existing distribution centers and stop companies from setting up hubs in WI

 

WMCA Press Releases

Trucking Industry Blasts Massive Tax Increase on Trucks

Motor Carriers Respond to Assembly Leadership Regarding Transportation Funding

Motor Carriers Praise Governor’s ‘No Tax Increase’ Transportation Budget Plan

 

WMCA Op-Ed

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Op-Ed

Call On Washington

ATA welcomed Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association to DC April 16-18, 2017 for our Call on Washington visit. The group held meetings with members of the Wisconsin Congressional Delegation, including Speaker Paul Ryan to discuss trucking industry issues.
ATA at the White House

“Leaders of the American Trucking Associations and members of ATA’s elite team of professional drivers, America’s Road Team, and WMCA’s President Neal Kedzie are scheduled to meet with President Donald Trump at the White House to discuss the trucking industry and health care.

“It is an honor to be invited to the White House and to meet with the president,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “We look forward to telling our story – a story of how trucks move 70% of our nation’s freight safely and efficiently, touching every aspect of our economy, including our health care system. This is a tremendous opportunity for our members and drivers to talk about how the health care debate impacts them and their ability to move America’s goods.”

Joining Spear at the meeting are 10 leading ATA members:

  • ATA Chairman Kevin Burch, president, Jet Express Inc., Dayton, Ohio;
  • Jim Burg, president and CEO, James Burg Trucking Co., Warren, Mich.;
  • David Congdon, CEO, Old Dominion Freight Line, Thomasville, N.C.;
  • Mike Ducker, president and CEO, FedEx Freight, Memphis, Tenn.;
  • Eric Fuller, CEO, U.S. Xpress Inc., Chattanooga, Tenn.;
  • Neal Kedzie, president, Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association, Madison, Wisc.;
  • Rich McArdle, president, UPS Freight, Richmond, Va.;
  • Dennis Nash, CEO, Kenan Advantage Group, North Canton, Ohio;
  • Tonn Ostergard, president and CEO, Crete Carrier Corp., Lincoln, Neb. and
  • John Smith, chairman, CRST International Inc., Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

WMCA’s Legislative/Business Day at the Capitol

On March 1st, 2017 WMCA President Neal Kedzie and twenty WMCA members consisting of trucking executives and allied trucking members as well as WMCA’s lobbyist Marc Bentley met with legislators at the Capitol before attending WMC’s Business day. While at the Capital, they discussed the transportation budget, DOT audit, fuel tax, tolling, and more with Jen Esser, of DOT, Representative Kooyenga and Representative Spiros.

Click Here For More Media

The 2015-16 legislative session has ended with a number of bills of interest being enacted into law. The WMCA is on public record in support of the following new laws:

2015 WI Act 135 – Motor Carrier Intrastate Regulations

Clarifies current law relating to interstate motor carriers, including DOT’s regulatory authority over interstate motor carriers, also applies to motor carriers engaged in intrastate commerce.

2015 WI Act 137 – Transport of Radiological Materials

Requires a DOT permit for carrying radiological materials on state highways with an escort by state police.

2015 WI Act 139 – Yielding to Large CMVs in Roundabouts

Requires any vehicle which is not a large commercial motor vehicle to yield the right of way to any large commercial motor vehicle in a roundabout that may need to deviate from one lane to the other.

2015 WI Act 180 – Workers Compensation Law revisions

This new law allows the state to more aggressively pursue allegations of fraud and caps the amount of money an employee can receive for some injuries. It shortens the statute of limitations for what it deems “traumatic injuries” from twelve to six years. It bars employees or their dependents from getting money if the person was injured on the job because he or she violated the employer’s drug or alcohol policy. It also clarifies that an employer is only liable for the percentage of a permanent disability that was caused while an employee was working for that employer, not for pre-existing damage from prior injuries; codifies that if an injured worker is brought back to work on light duty during their healing period, and are terminated while on light duty for misconduct, they are not eligible for indemnity benefits; and allows the Department of Workforce Development to seek help from the Wisconsin Department of Justice for fraud investigations.

2015 WI Act 361 – Sales Tax on Heavy Trucks

This bill eliminates a “double tax” which is unequally applied to the sale of heavy trucks and trailers sold in Wisconsin. Currently, Wisconsin’s tax code currently allows the federal excise tax (FET) to be applied to the sale of heavy trucks and trailers before sales tax is applied. This essentially creates a tax on a tax. For instance, if a truck costs $100,000, the federal excise tax of 12% is applied, making the sale price of that truck $112,000. Then the sales tax is applied to the sale price of $112,000. Assembly Bill 629 corrects this inequity and requires sales tax be applied on the sale price before FET is added. The bill passed both Houses and is expected to be signed into law by Governor Walker.

2015-17 Wisconsin State Budget

The WMCA worked hard to support the State Energy Office request to extend the funding for the Truck Idling Grant Program another five years in the 2015-17 State Budget.  Some lawmakers sought to neutralize the program, but our efforts – and those of our members – led to the continuation of this economically and environmentally sound program.  The Truck Idling Grant program allowes companies to field test the idling technologies for their fleets before making a purchase decision.  This program also helped the industry address the high cost of fuel and Federal Emissions mandates on the industry. To date, WMCA members have received more than $15 million in grants. The State budget extended the program to 2020 with additional $5 million in funding for the Trucking Industry.    This potentially could provide WMCA members $140,000 annually under the program.

Also in the budget, the WMCA continued to support funding for the Fast Forward Training Grant program. The grant program provides available funds for employer-driven worker training programs for transportation, logistics, and distribution occupations.  These funds can be used to train new drivers, office personnel and Diesel Mechanic’s for WMCA members.  The Budget continued funding for this training program for another $15 million.  Those funds will provide WMCA members with up to $400,000 in training resources.

May, 2015

The Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association supported common-sense legislation that makes a number of revisions to commercial drivers licenses, effectively attempting to mirror federal law in most cases.  The bill was signed into law as 2015 Wisconsin Act 123, and includes the following provisions:

  • Prohibits a person from driving a CMV while using a cellular telephone or other wireless telephone (hand-held), except to report an emergency.
  • Cancels any CDL or endorsement obtained by a person who commits fraud in attempting to obtain said license or endorsement, and the person is prohibited from driving a CMV for one year.
  • Requires a person to submit to a DOT examination if the DOT receives credible information that he/she committed fraud related to the issuance of the CDL.
  • Specifies that driving a motor vehicle while composing or sending a text message and driving a CMV while using a cellular or other wireless phone are “serious traffic violations”.

March, 2015

The Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association supported a legislative initiative to make Wisconsin a ‘Right to Work’ state.  The new law prohibits agreements between employers and labor unions that govern the extent to which an established union can require employees’ membership, payment of union dues, or fees as a condition of employment, either before or after hiring.

November, 2014

The Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association strongly supported a constitutional amendment that would prevent governors and legislators from using the state transportation fund for other uses. The genesis for the amendment came when state elected officials tapped $1.3 billion from the transportation fund to pay for schools and other programs. The amendment was approved on a statewide referendum by a margin of 4 to 1.