Alerts and other info from the MRF
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.
Idaho Makes 4
Last week, the Idaho House of Representatives joined their Senate colleagues by passing S. 1292, the motorcyclist profiling bill in the state. When the governor signs the bill, Idaho will officially become the 4th state in the nation with a law on the books regarding motorcyclist profiling.
The MRF wants to congratulate not only the riders in Idaho but the tireless advocates who have fought this battle for several years. After a razor-thin defeat in previous legislative years, the folks in Idaho never gave up and were rewarded with this monumental victory.
We would like to note that Idaho’s success demonstrates that this is a nonpartisan issue. Two states that are usually thought of as “Blue States” (Washington and Maryland) and two states traditionally thought of as “Red States” (Louisiana and Idaho) are now on the record on the topic.
Congratulations again on a hard-fought and well-deserved victory!
Click here to read a news story about the victory in Idaho.
You can read the Idaho profiling legislation here.
Momentum for Infrastructure Bills?
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), sending the massive stimulus legislation to the President’s desk to be signed into law. The $2 trillion coronavirus response bill is the third aid package from Congress is meant to keep businesses and individuals afloat during an unprecedented freeze on the majority of American life. For a variety of reasons, we believe there will likely be more stimulus legislation in the future, and infrastructure investment may be a central component of additional efforts to recover the economy and get people back to work.
Without a doubt, proposals for including sizable infrastructure spending in coronavirus response/economic stimulus bills will receive bipartisan support. There is a strong economic and fiscal basis for stimulus spending on roads, bridges, transit, etc. Infrastructure spending has a high multiplier effect, adding indirect economic value beyond the immediate investment in construction companies and related contractors or materials suppliers. A dollar spent on infrastructure can go further than many other forms of stimulus. State and local governments are also already facing declining revenues due to quarantines, diminished economic activity, and new public health expenditures. Many state constitutions prevent deficit spending, so absent new taxes – an unlikely scenario – they will be stymied in making new investments in stimulus-type programs, such as infrastructure, and may even have to curtail current road-building budgets.
Beyond the scope of infrastructure investment, funding will likely be front-loaded, rather than a typical year-over-year spread. The stimulus of 2009 focused on ‘shovel ready’ projects, which resulted in lots of repaving and maintenance versus large new projects, a similar focus on near-term efforts to quickly create jobs is foreseeable.
We at the MRF will continue to advocate for the priorities of motorcyclists in an infrastructure bill. We will also rely on you to help push your elected officials into remembering motorcyclists when passing these massive legislative packages.
Motorcycle Community Rallies to aid in COVID-19 Relief Around the World
As the COVID-19 National Emergency dominates your daily newsfeed, I wanted to take a moment to share a couple of positive stories of the motorcycle community stepping up to aid in relief efforts. The first story comes out of NYC were a group of riders started Masks for Docs to help get personal protection equipment (PPE) in the hands of our healthcare workers facing a critical supply shortage. You can read the full news story featured in Vice News here. The second article highlights motorcycle manufacturers and a tire manufacturer donating PPE’s, medical supplies, and ventilators to aid in the critical supply shortage. The story also features a few groups in other countries, helping those in quarantine by delivery prescriptions and meals to the elderly in their community. You can read more about those efforts by clicking here.
As schools around the country have shuttered, MRF Vice President Jay Jackson has been volunteering in his own local community in Indiana to hand out bagged meals for students. You can read that story here.
Bikers are some of the best people that I know. The D.C. team is hunkered down and working from home as Congress is closed to the public through March 31st. We will continue to review the massive legislation passed this week and plan to share more of the details with you next week.
About Motorcycle Riders Foundation
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) provides leadership at the federal level for states’ motorcyclists’ rights organizations as well as motorcycle clubs and individual riders. The MRF is chiefly concerned with issues at the national and international levels that impact the freedom and safety of American street motorcyclists. The MRF is committed to being a national advocate for the advancement of motorcycling and its associated lifestyle and works in conjunction with its partners to help educate elected officials and policymakers in Washington and beyond.
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