March 17, 2015
Contact: Rep. Steineke: 608-266-2418

Assembly Approves Bill to Increase Speed Limit to 70 MPH on Freeways

Madison . . . The state Assembly has approved a bill that increases the speed limit on Wisconsin freeways and expressways to 70 miles per hour. Representative Jim Steineke (R – Kaukauna) voted in favor of the proposal, Assembly Bill 27.

“Raising the speed limit is long-overdue here in Wisconsin,” said Rep. Steineke. “This is a change that’s good for business and tourism. It also keeps safety as the first priority by giving the Department of Transportation (DOT) authority to raise the speed limit on roads only where it’s appropriate.”

The speed limit change won’t take effect until the DOT posts the limit by official traffic signs. Traditionally, Wisconsin drivers drove 70 mph on certain roads until 1973 when the federal government forced states to lower the speed limit due to fuel shortages nationwide. After the federal regulations were lifted in 1995, states were free to alter their speed regulations. Wisconsin is now the only state in the Midwest with a speed limit of 65 mph. As more people are commuting further, raising the speed limit saves drivers time.

The state Assembly also passed Assembly Bill 56 and Assembly Bill (AB) 80.

AB 56 promotes transparency and improves high school education in Wisconsin. The bill requires the UW System to identify high schools that graduated students requiring remedial math and English courses at a UW System school. According to data provided by the UW Board of Regents, one in five students enrolling within the UW System requires remedial classes in math or English in order to be fully prepared for the rigors of college. Information detailing what high schools these college freshmen attended is not currently required to be reported to the legislature.

AB 80 allows government agencies to update administrative rules more quickly and efficiently. Currently, any change in administrative code must go through a lengthy process with multiple hearings and reviews. This legislation streamlines that process and allows for state agencies to continuously review their own regulations and remove any outdated ones while ensuring proper legislative oversight.