Assembly Bill 75 is the budget bill for Wisconsin. The trial lawyers and their friends know that much of what they want could never stand politically on its own, so they have buried their political wish list inside the crucial budget bill.
NAMIC, our trade association partners Wisconsin Insurance Alliance and the Wisconsin Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, and many others in the business and civic communities have worked the past months to keep the spotlight on this tactic. Those of you who responded to the alert that came out after the bill was introduced are to be thanked for helping raise awareness of the problem.
Unfortunately, the politicians have been willing to ignore the public outcry about the trial lawyers agenda. When the bill was debated in a committee controlled by leadership, bipartisan amendments to remove the trial lawyers agenda were defeated. The bill has now moved to the floor of the Assembly.
The good news is, unlike the committee that heard the bill, there are enough pro-jobs and economic-growth Democrats and Republicans that it is possible for positive floor amendments to pass.
THE IMPORTANT FACT, HOWEVER, IS THAT IN ORDER FOR THIS COALITION TO MATERIALIZE AND OVERCOME PRESSURE FROM LEADERSHIP, THE LEGISLATORS HAVE TO HEAR FROM THEIR CONSTITUENTS.
THE BILL WILL BE DEBATED VERY SOON. IT IS TIME TO CALL YOUR LEGISLATOR AND URGE SUPPORT FOR AMENDMENTS THAT STRIP THE TRIAL LAWYERS AGENDA FROM THE BUDGET BILL.
A face-to-face conversation is a stronger tactic, especially for those who personally know their legislator and will be able to see her or him over the weekend. Those who do not have a personal or professional relationship with his/her legislator, please type in your address at www.legis.wisconsin.gov, and you will be directed to your senator or assemblyman with the office telephone number:
Call the office. It is likely you will not able to reach your legislator immediately, so leave a short message, such as:
Hello, this is ______. I work for ______ Mutual Insurance in _____. My address and telephone number are: ____.
I'm asking Senator/Assemblyman _____ to support amendments to AB 75 that remove the provisions in the bill that will increase insurance costs and the cost of doing business for Wisconsin’s employers and farmers.
Don't worry about anyone arguing with you; your goal is not to win a debate with a trial lawyer but to let the legislator know what you, a constituent, is thinking.
If legislators don't hear from you, they think you don't care.
NAMIC will work closely on this issue with the Wisconsin Insurance Alliance and the Wisconsin Association of Mutual Insurance Companies.
Direct questions to NAMIC State Affairs Manager Mark Johnston, or call 314-800-8205.
Posted: Thursday, June 04, 2009 12:00:00 AM. Modified: Friday, June 05, 2009 8:26:23 AM.
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