FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                  APRIL 14, 2015

CONTACT STATE REPRESENTATVIE MIKE ROHRKASTE                                                (608) 266-5719

 Rep. Rohrkaste Supports Microbead Ban & New Ridesharing Standards

Madison – To further support moving Wisconsin forward, Rep. Mike Rohrkaste (R-Neenah) cast his ballot today on two bills.  The first seeks to ban harmful microbeads from use in consumer products, and the second will standardize rules for ridesharing companies, such as Uber and Lyft.

“Microbeads are a concern for our lakes and streams in Wisconsin, and throughout the Great Lakes region,” said Rep. Rohrkaste. 

Microbeads are small, non-biodegradable plastic particles used in many personal care products that are difficult for water treatment plants to filter out.  As a result, these beads are often released into local water systems.  According to the bill, the first ban would take effect in 2017 by ending the manufacturing of personal care products with microbeads. Products containing microbeads would be prohibited from sale starting in 2018.

Assembly Bill 143 requires ridesharing companies to be licensed with the state, carry up to $1 million in insurance, and conduct background checks on their drivers.  In addition to providing jobs for drivers, recent studies have shown that communities in which ridesharing companies operate have experienced a decrease in drunk driving. 

“Statewide standards for ridesharing companies are a common sense way to make sure that we are protecting Wisconsinites and ensuring that these companies are operating in a safe manner,” states Rep. Rohrkaste. “I am happy that both sides of the aisle could come together on these important pieces of legislation.”

Each bill was approved today with bipartisan support in the Assembly and now heads to the state Senate for consideration.