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Shift of Funds

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

This weekend, ABATE of Michigan hosted its annual seminar in Saginaw, Michigan. In attendance were two longtime legislative champions for motorcyclist rights. Current Congressman, Tim Walberg and former Congressman Jim Barcia, joined the event.

Congressman Walberg is the Co-Chair of the House Motorcycle Caucus and a leading advocate for motorcyclist rights in Congress. Representative Walberg has championed a number of issues bikers care about, including work against the profiling of bikers and the need to ensure autonomous vehicles can recognize and react to motorcyclists.

Former Congressman Jim Barcia of Michigan fought against federal helmet blackmail efforts in the 1990’s. Along with Congressman Petri of Wisconsin and others, Representative Barcia defeated federal regulations that established a penalty, whereby a certain percentage of a state’s highway funds were shifted to safety programs if the state did not have a universal helmet law. This regulation effectively blackmailed states into enacting helmet laws by holding federal funds hostage. Working hand in hand with the Motorcycle Riders Foundation lobbyist at the time, Wayne Curtain, Congress changed the law and freed states to make helmet law determinations without federal government interference.

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