Wisconsin Assembly Passes Bill Allowing “Choose Life” License Plates

State   Steven Ertelt   Nov 15, 2013   |   11:06AM    Madison, WI

The Wisconsin Assembly has approved AB 206, a bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Andre Jaque (R- De Pere)  which would allow a “Choose Life” license plate in the state. Choose Life plates typically serve as a source of revenue for pregnancy resource centers, which are allocated a donation for each specialty plate that a pro-life resident purchases.

According to Choose Life America, Inc., Florida was the first state to allow “Choose Life” license plates in 2000. Since 2000, over $16 million has been collected from sale of these plates, and that money has been used for pro-life causes, pregnancy centers, and adoption assistance.

A non-profit organization, Choose Life Wisconsin, Inc., has been set up to handle the sale of these license plates in Wisconsin should the bill pass. Each person choosing to buy one of these plates will pay an additional $15 to the state and $25 that will be given to Choose Life Wisconsin. After the costs associated with making the special plates are paid, the funds given to Choose Life Wisconsin will be dispersed to pregnancy centers around the state.

The state Assembly voted 54-38 to approve the legislation 00 with Democrats attacking Republicans by claiming they are picking sides in the abortion debate and denying women’s health care, even though the funds go to centers that support pregnant women. AP has more on the vote:

Rep. Penny Bernard Schaber, the co-author of a compromise substitute amendment to shift responsibility over special plates to the DOT, also blasted the decision to take up the individual bills instead, saying some Republicans “act as if they’re in middle school and high school.”

Tempers flared at times, with Rep. Josh Zepnick, D-Milwaukee, referring to GOP leadership by their first names and being declared out of order by Speaker Pro Tempore Tyler August.

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Rep. Dean Knudson, R-Hudson, countered the adjournment motion from Dems earlier in the night effectively would have broken off all agreements on the remainder of the calendar.

“I hope when we return in January, we can go back to the way we started last January,” Knudson said.

Dems objected to messaging the bill, but a majority vote sends the bill to the Senate under its special order.

Wisconsin Right to Life supports the Choose Life plate bill, according to an email it sent LifeNews, saying it “will be of great benefit to many pregnant women in Wisconsin.”

Assembly Bill 206 would create a special registration plate displaying the words, “Choose Life.” The proceeds from the sale of the plates would go to organizations that assist pregnant women who choose to carry their children to term,” it said. “Many of the women who seek out these organizations find themselves in extremely difficult situations relating to a variety of circumstances such as financial concerns, relationship concerns and many other factors. Other women are simply seeking information about alternatives to abortion so they can make informed decisions. Assembly 206 can greatly assist women in all of these circumstances.”