Please support change to Wisconsin Law Enforcement Memorial Specialty Plates!

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The Harsh Reality
After a hard days work, most of us expect to return home to our loved ones safely. That's not always true for law enforcement officers. In 2016, 83 officers died in the line of duty nationally. As of August, 2017, 85 officers. Losing just one life is one too many.

Wanting to Help
I wanted to support our officers and found a way through Wisconsin's DOT specialty plates. Wisconsin offers specialty plates as a way to raise money for dozens of charitable causes. Over $12 million has already been raised through this program in past years, $1.2 million every year and 150,000 fundraising plates have already been issued here.

When I purchased my law enforcement memorial plates I was surprised to learn that this particular plate was not among those that raised money for a cause. When I asked Wisconsin's DOT about this, I learned this plate was passed to express support for family members of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty; however it was not created to raise money for an organization. So I asked if we could change this so it could. I was told the Wisconsin Legislature would need to create bills in both the Assembly and Senate to change it and Governor Walker would need to sign it.

If there ever was a cause worth fighting for, what more noble a cause than to fight for those who fight for us? But before I could even begin this process, the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Memorial, Inc. (WLEM) needed to be contacted and asked. After receiving support from them I sought support from Representative David Steffen. He had other bills supportive of law enforcement and I thought he might be receptive to this request. He was! He drew up Assembly Bill 381 and soon after we held our first public hearing on August 29th. AB 381 asks that the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Memorial specialty plate join with many other fundraising plates Wisconsin offers that help raise money for their charitable causes.

How can you help? It's easy, by simply signing this petition!
The next step is to find a Senator to sponsor and another to co-sponsor this bill on the Senate side. After that there will be another public hearing and more committee meetings. If all goes well we will finally reach the Governor's desk for his signature. Time is short so please sign this petition today and tell all your friends! And if you want to help more, please consider getting a set of these specialty plates for your car too.

Another very helpful way you can help is by either writing or calling your state Senator or Representative. If you need help finding them, click here. Thank you.

Throughout this process we need to show that the people of Wisconsin support this bill and change. The more people who sign this petition, the louder and stronger our voices will be. I will take this petition to the hearing, to the Senators, to the Governor and say we all support this good effort!

Money Raised
These specialty plates will raise money for two related funds serving similar causes and will be split 50/50 between them; the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Memorial, Inc. and the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. 100% of the money raised will be used in Wisconsin. AB 381 originally asked that these plates raise $10 for every specialty plate sold. After the first public hearing an Amendment was added to raise that amount to $25. The new amount is more consistent with the other two dozen specialty plates Wisconsin offers and will help these causes do much more for our heroes. The amount might still change, but it's unlikely, depending on how things develop once we have a sponsor on the Senate side.

Who is the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Memorial, Inc.?
The Wisconsin Law Enforcement Memorial, Inc. was founded to offer support to families of fallen officers and to remember and honor Wisconsin Law Enforcement Officers killed in the line of duty. WLEM also built and maintains a beautiful memorial on the Capitol Square as well as holds memorial services on the Capitol Square annually during Police Appreciation Week .

Who is the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund?
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial is centered in the 400 block of E Street, NW, Washington, DC and is the nation’s monument to law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. Dedicated on October 15, 1991, the Memorial honors federal, state and local law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the safety and protection of our nation and its people.

Please join me in supporting this noble effort by signing this petition. Your signature will join with hopefully thousands more who will speak loudly that we all support this positive and helpful change that supports our heroes, their families and the memorial.

Supporters
Click here to see the many organizations supporting this effort.

Learn More
Fox News did an interesting story covering this. Below is their news story and link.
FOX 11 Investigates: Wisconsin Law Enforcement Memorial license plate plan

Thank you.

Steve Fitzsimmons
Madison, WI



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