MADISON– Representative John Spiros (R-Marshfield) and Senator Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) released the following statement in response to Governor Evers’ veto of 2021 Senate Bill 703:
“It is astonishing that the Governor vetoed an apolitical bill that would have made Wisconsin roads safer,” said Rep. Spiros. “Traffic fatalities are rising nationwide, yet the Governor put his ignorance and lack of common sense on full display, choosing to instead veto a bill that had no registered opposition. Not only did this bill pass the Assembly unanimously, I discussed the importance of the bill with the Secretary-designee of DWD and the Governor himself, in addition to both the Worker’s Compensation Advisory Council and the Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council. Moving forward, when accidents and fatalities continue to rise, we can all remember that Governor Evers chose to play politics instead of prioritizing safety.”
“When Rep. Spiros brought this bill idea to me, I discussed it with some of my local employers including Schneider National and I quickly learned that this is not only common-sense, but is crucial for Wisconsin’s supply chain,” said Sen. Cowles. “Not a single person, including DWD, registered or testified against the bills at either hearing and no lobbying principals, which includes labor groups, registered against the bill online. The Governor’s ill-informed veto failed to consider the ongoing supply chain issues, will cause a delay in semi safety upgrades that can protect the motoring public, and may impede Wisconsin truckers’ choices of how they’d like to work.”
2021 Senate Bill 703 would have eliminated a motor carrier’s use of safety improvements as a consideration in determining a driver’s classification as an independent contractor or employee under state law. Concerns have been raised about whether companies speaking to independent contractors about safety and the potential installation of safety technologies on trucks could lead to the misclassification of drivers as employees rather than independent contractors. The changes made in this bill would have allowed motor carriers to have conversations with drivers about safety, as well as proceed with the use of safety technologies without facing the unappealing choice between enhancing safety and protections for drivers or misclassifying drivers as employees.