2007 - 2008 LEGISLATURE
February 20, 2007 - Introduced by Representatives Gottlieb, Musser, Albers,
Berceau, Bies, Friske, Gronemus, Hahn, Hines, Kerkman, Kleefisch,
Lothian, Montgomery, A. Ott, Suder, Townsend, Travis, Molepske, Vos,
Sinicki and Gunderson, cosponsored by Senators Breske, Coggs, S.
Fitzgerald, Grothman, Kedzie, Lassa, Leibham, Plale, Roessler and
Schultz. Referred to Committee on Transportation.
1An Act to amend
341.14 (6r) (f) 19m. of the statutes; relating to: special
2distinguishing registration plates for persons who have had an immediate
3family member die while in military service.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Under current law, any group or organization may apply to the Department of
Transportation (DOT) for designation as an authorized special group. If the
application is approved, members of the authorized special group may obtain special
distinguishing registration plates for certain vehicles, including automobiles and
motor homes, that are owned or leased by special group members. A fee, in addition
to the regular registration fee for the particular kind of vehicle, is assessed for the
issuance or reissuance of most special plates.
Before October 2, 1998, authorized special groups whose members may obtain
special distinguishing registration plates were specifically enumerated in state law.
Current law provides that specific enumeration in state law of authorized special
groups is limited to those special groups enumerated before October 2, 1998. In 2005
Wisconsin Act 25
(the biennial budget bill), a special group was enumerated for
persons who have had an immediate family member die in combat while serving in
the U.S. armed forces. The design of these special plates, which are colored red,
white, and blue, must include a gold star flag.
Under current federal law, gold star lapel buttons may be furnished to the
widows, parents, and next of kin of members of the armed forces who lost their lives:
1) during World War I, World War II, or during any subsequent period of armed
hostilities in which the United States was engaged before July 1, 1958; 2) after June
30, 1958, while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States, while
engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force, or
while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict in which the
United States was not a belligerent party against an opposing armed force; or 3) after
March 28, 1973, as a result of an international terrorist attack against the United
States or a foreign nation friendly to the United States or as a result of military
operations while serving outside the United States as part of a peacekeeping force.
This bill makes changes to who may obtain these "gold star" special plates by
identifying the special group as persons who have had an immediate family member
die while serving in the U.S. armed forces or in forces incorporated as part of the U.S.
armed forces if the immediate family member meets any of the eligibility criteria
specified under federal law for a gold star lapel button. The bill does not change the
definition under current law for "immediate family member."
For further information see the state fiscal estimate, which will be printed as
an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
AB80, s. 1
341.14 (6r) (f) 19m. of the statutes is amended to read:
(f) 19m. Persons who have had an immediate family member die 3in combat
while serving in the U.S. armed forces
or in forces incorporated as part of
4the U.S. armed forces if the immediate family member meets any of the eligibility
5criteria specified in 10 USC 1126 (a) (1) to (3) for a gold star lapel button
This act takes effect on the first day of the 2nd month beginning after 8