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MMA Update: MRF Releases 2014 Legislative Agenda

Thursday, October 17, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MMA Update: MRF Releases 2014 Legislative Agenda 

At the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) Annual Conference, the Meeting of the Minds, Executive and Legislative Directors of State's Motorcycle Rights Organizations from around the country met to discuss the 2014 MRF Legislative Agenda.  This session was attended by the Massachusetts Motorcycle Association, who concurred with the agenda and would like our members to be aware of it.  The MRF published the attached release which details not only the issues, but the States' alignment with it.


MRF E-MAIL NEWS Motorcycle Riders Foundation
236 Massachusetts Ave. NE | Suite 510 | Washington, DC 20002-4980
202-546-0983 (voice) | 202-546-0986 (fax) | http://www.mrf.org/  

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation Legislative Strategy Agenda for 2013-2014

At the recent 2013 Motorcycle Rid ers Foundations (MRF) Meeting of the Minds held September in Columbus, Ohio a Legislative Strategy Session was hosted by the MRF's Legislative Committee.  As has been done for the past several years, the MRF requested that it be attended by Sustaining State Motorcyclists Rights Organizations (SSMRO) Legislative and/or Executive Officers. The goal is to set the MRF's Federal Legislative Agenda for the coming Meeting of the Minds "to" Meeting of the Minds cycle.

Our Sustaining SMRO partners responded once again and the Legislative Committee was extremely pleased at how aligned and clear the direction from our SSMRO partners was, additionally together we added some meaningful agenda items this years' agenda.   This level of alignment will allow for a solid and focused Strategic Action plan to be developed, disseminated, and effectively employed.  The session this year again saw it moderated by MRF Vice President, Jay Jackson, and supported by MRF President, Kirk "Hardtail" Willard, and MRF Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs, Jeff Hennie.

We continued the practice instituted three years ago where we utilized the one vote per organization policy and those votes were again recorded.  Shown below in the order raised by our SSMROs is our upcoming Federal Legislative Strategy Agenda followed by the recorded vote percentages on each.  Where "consent" is listed it is on legislative issues that were brought up by those in attendance from SMRO or MRF Leadership and once initial discussion was held and a position explained no further discussion ensued regarding stated position and no vote was called for. 

* MAP 21 Upcoming Reauthorization (the Highway Bill) 
To include Motorcycle 2010 Grant Funding (the MRF to pursue the current levels of funding along with a request to tighten up language for qualification  and use), continuation of the NHTSA Lobbying Ban, pursue reinstatement of the Motorcycle Advisory Council (MAC) to advise the FHWA, oppose any motorcycling related federal blackmails or federal sanctions contained in the highway bill; closely monitor for any action that would negatively impact motorcycles, motorcycling, and motorcyclists; seek to include HR1861 language to ban motorcycle specific roadblock grant funding

100% Favor, 0% Oppose

* SAE Motorcycle Roadside Sound Test
The MRF to NOT promote the use of the SAE Sound Test as a National enforcement standard, those that voted monitor is due to the fact that it has not come up federally and is considered by them a state by state issue at this time

94% Favor, 0% Oppose, 6% Monitor

* Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

MRF to pursue reintroduction of the HR 1253 bill which requires health insurance companies to disclose the list of "source of injury" exclusions in the policies they issue; monitor means watch HIPAA and other emerging healthcare law closely for motorcyclist specific discrimination; those opposing were split between dropping this as an agenda item and continuing pursuit of a HIPAA "fix"

0% Favor, 12% Oppose, 88% Monitor

* NHTSA Checkpoint Grant Program
The MRF to carry out a full effort to cut off specified use funding for this motorcycle based discriminatory practice, work with States to exchange information on passing anti-checkpoint laws, HR1861 introduced to accomplish this

100% Favor, 0% Oppose

* Crash Causation Study
MRF to allow the current study to take its' course and respond accordingly, disappointed with the reduced scope, pursue no additional funding Monitor and report on MSF alternate Naturalistic Study

No Vote

* EPA Mandatory Stamping of Exhaust
MRF to strongly oppose any federal standard proposing stamping and certifying motorcycle exhaust systems, work to prevent any federal legislation mirroring that California SB435

100% Favor, 0% Oppose

* EPA Sound Emissions User Study
MRF to continue to closely monitor, MRF to oppose federal agencies encouraging state activity-leave it up to the states to determine course of action

100% Favor, 0% Oppose

* Distracted Driving
MRF to oppose ALL forms of distracted driving, and all forms of funding blackmail or withholding of funds for it as related to motorcyclists, watch for motorcyclist specific discrimination language closely

97% Favor, 0% Oppose, 3% Abstain

* Right to Repair
MRF to remove as a Legislative agenda item citing significant progress

100% Favor, 0% Oppose

* Definition of a Motorcycle
MRF to take advantage of any opportunity available to enhance and further clarify the definition of a motorcycle and provide input in any such activity on a Federal level

Consent

* Motorcyclist/Motorcycle Discrimination
MRF to oppose any motorcycle, motorcycling, or motorcyclist based discrimination proposed by the U.S. Congress or any Federal Agency in Washington D.C., direction to seek a legislative vehicle to include motorcyclist anti-profiling language this session

100% Favor, 0% Oppose

* International Motorcycle Cooperation Group (European Union, United Nations, Canada)
MRF to maintain the same level of engagement or increase as needed within budget, approval to share costs with other partners for this lobbying/international meeting attendance, notify SMROs if additional activities outside of budget are deemed necessary

100% Favor, 0% Oppose

* Mandatory Helmet and Apparel laws
MRF to fiercely oppose any mandatory helmet or apparel proposals

100% Favor, 0% Oppose

* E 15 Fuel Blends
MRF to not support the use of E15 fuel or any other alternative renewable fuels without further testing and specific recommendations from motorcycle manufacturers, MRF and SSMROs to pursue passage of HR875

100% Favor, 0% Oppose

* Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)
MRF to pursue inclusion of motorcycles in ongoing ITS efforts

100% Favor, 0% Oppose

* Crash Avoidance versus Safer Crashing
MRF to continue to promote our theme of Crash Avoidance versus Safer Crashing with similar language as contained in the previous Congress House Resolution 1498 that stated "support efforts to retain the ban on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) ability to lobby state legislatures using federal tax dollars and urging NHTSA to focus on crash prevention and rider education"

Consent

* Roadway Design and Engineering
MRF to pursue safer roadway design strategies, include cable barrier research in the discussion

100% Favor, 0% Oppose

* CDC's Involvement in Motorcycling Issues
MRF to pursue limiting of funding of CDC on their involvement in motorcycling safety issues through a relevant appropriations bill, pursue CDC lobby ban, seek to remove language where CDC suggests motorcycle crashes are preventable injury events, MRF to continue to support efforts to refocus the CDC on their mission as stated in the letter from Congressman Petri to the CDC on September 27th, 2013

100% Favor, 0% Oppose

* Private Organizations
MRF to monitor private organizations that oppose the legislative agenda or mission of the MRF, investigate their funding sources to make certain they are not receiving federal monies.

Consent

* Public Organizations
MRF to continue to monitor public organizations for funding sources if in opposition to our legislative agenda or mission of the MRF, develop appropriate strategies if discovered tax payer funding sources are in use

Consent

* Federal Health Care/Affordable Care Act
MRF to continue to closely monitor this federal health care legislation for potential motorcyclist and motorcycling discrimination

100% Favor, 0% Oppose

* Monitor EPA for any activity on motorcycle emissions regulations
MRF to also monitor EPA for motorcycle drive train mandates

100% Favor, 0% Oppose

* Black Box Privacy Protection Act
MRF to support Black Box Protection Act HR2414 to regulate black boxes in motorcycles, seek to clarify the rights of the vehicle owner to ownership of the recorded data

100% Favor, 0% Oppose

* Deficiencies in motorcycle specific trauma and protocol
While the MRF believes strongly in crash prevention and avoidance, if a crash does occur we support development of a motorcycle specific trauma training module and protocol for Emergency Medical Services, Technicians, and 911 Dispatch personnel; the increased training should be required of all new EMT's and also those seeking re-certification

94% Favor, 3% Oppose, 3% Neutral

* Fair Tolling
MRF to research fair tolling concept on federally funded roads and roads supported by federal bonds

Consent

* Federal Agency Motorcycle Design Standards
MRF to oppose non motorcycle manufacturer mandated specific design standards

Consent  

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