First of all, thank you to all who served as officers in Abate, whether it was on a State, Regional or County level. You commitment has been an integral part of Abate's continuing efforts to preserve our rights. You are Freedom Fighters! To those who volunteered at an event, thank you as well. Can't function without volunteers,either.
On the Legislative front, there has been no movement on our Road Guarding Bill. This bill will expire at the end of the current legislative session, and will have to be re-introduced in the next session, if we are going to move forward with it. I will have to speak with Rep. Green, it's current sponsor to see if he is willing to sponsor it again or if we have to find another sponsor. I must also confer with our COB and Executive Director about it's future. The ear plug(hearing protection) bill, HB548 has passed the House and has been sent to the Senate. As I write this, the info I have on this bill is that it has not been assigned to a Committee yet. Once that occurs, Abate will be testifying in support of the bill. As far as profiling is concerned, there has been no real definitive action on this topic. Discussions have taken place with Reps. Green and McClain, but nothing is happening as of this writing. I will be contacting both Reps. to get something moving. As usual, if any new information, or calls to action come to light , it will be posted on the State website and forwarded to Region Directors.
As you all know (or should know), we are getting a new governor in 2019. We do not know what kind of budget Mr. Dewine will be proposing, but new vigilance must now be in place to make sure our training funds are left intact, and no attempt to raid them or fold them into the General Fund occurs.
The State Legislative Seminar will be held on February 1st & 2nd of 2019 at the Embassy Suites Dublin 5100 Upper Metro Pl. Dublin Oh. 43017 (614)790-9000. With your room, you get free breakfast and a free 2 hour social hour. This applies to ALL who are in the room. When you check in, if you have multiple people in the room, make sure everyone has a room key issued, this gets you into the breakfast and social hour. Keep in mind, there will be fundraising activities on Friday Feb 1 and that we need silent auction items as well. See you there.
It is not too early to start thinking about the 2019 Awareness Rally, and the After Rally Rally. Safety does not take the season off, just as some of us continue riding all year round if possible. Further details will be available closer to the event.
One topic of serious concern in 2019 will be membership. We need to increase our membership numbers to continue the survival of the organization. Everyone needs to be involved in this endeavor-go out and recruit new members. Carry an app with you all the time, in your pocket, glove box or saddlebag. You never know when the chance to give it to a potential member might pop up.
I'm writing this a couple days after the 2019 State Seminar. For the most part, everything went off without too many glitches, outside of some room booking problems, which were able to be corrected. The facility and staff were excellent, and the food was delicious. Thank you to Laura Byers and Daniel Whitt and Cassie and the food serving crew. Friday night's festivities started with the complimentary social hour and progressed to a spirited evening of left, right, center which raised $217 for the PAC fund. Thanks to all who played. Friday night also included much one on one discussion among those who hadn't seen each other in a while, providing fresh perspectives on our various issues. Saturday started with the free breakfast and plenty of coffee. The status of the organization was covered in the morning session, and in the afternoon our presenters gave us a great look at some of the topics SMROs, the AMA, and the MRF are dealing with. I would like to take time to thank our sponsors-AD Farrow, the Reineke Dealerships for the coffee, the Abate foundation for lunch, and Rod Taylor and Abate Legal Services for dinner. Also, thank you to our presenters: Michele Piko and Tyler Fehrman from Motorcycle Ohio, Mike Sayre from the AMA, Jay Jackson from the MRF and Rod Taylor from Abate Legal Services. Congratulations to Rod Taylor for being presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Thanks for all you do, Rod and an excellent and entertaining (as always) presentation! Congrats also to all the Region winners, especially Cindy Balach, who will never be replaced or forgotten. Lastly, to all the attendees, THANK YOU for coming, and to those who helped get it done, a big ass thank you! Planning has already started for next year.
As far as the legislative agenda is concerned, the word is meetings. I have had a meeting with Rep. Green, the sponsor of our Road Guarding bill and other topics, and I had another meeting with Lt. Miller of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Government Affairs. Both these meeting were productive and other meetings will be scheduled with Michelle May with ODOT and more Legislators. Regarding the Road Guarding bill, Rep. Green is willing to reintroduce, and Rep. McClain is going to reintroduce HB548 (last session #), the Hearing Protection bill. As developments occur, information will be passed on. Other issues: E-15, profiling, autonomous vehicles, RPM Act, and other issues will be monitored and dealt with.
The Awareness Rally is rapidly approaching-May 4, 2019. It kicks off May as "Motorcycle Awareness Month in Ohio"; and is the most important event Abate is involved in. It rolls, rain or shine, so pencil in the date and plan on attending and bring ALL your riding friends. The After Rally Party will be at Victorys on S. High St. Be there as well.
Also in May, I will be riding to Washington DC to take part in the MRF's Bikers Inside The Beltway lobbying day. This event involves a opportunity for motorcyclists to gather and in a blitzkrieg, lobby Congress about our concerns. It grows every year, and I'm sure this year's will be the biggest yet. If you have never done this, I heartily recommend the experience.
As always, if anyone has any topics of concern, please bring them to my attention.