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70 mph speed limit bill passes state Assembly

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The Wisconsin Assembly voted 63-to-32 this afternoon in favor of raising the legal speed limit from 65-miles-an-hour to 70 on rural Interstates. 

The higher speed could eventually be applied to other four-lanes -- but first, the state department of transportation would have to spend up to a year studying the safety ramifications. 

Manitowoc Representative Paul Tittl says the higher speed would help the economy by letting workers spend more time at home. 

Democratic opponents said lawmakers should focus on actual job creation instead. They said the higher speed would lead to more serious crashes, and higher costs for trucking companies. 

Not all Democrats voted no.  Minority Leader Peter Barca, who lives near Interstate-94 at Kenosha, voted yes -- and seven of his other Democrats did the same. 

Only two Republicans defected from their party line -- former chief sheriff's deputy Garey Bies of Sister Bay and freshman John Spiros of Marshfield. 

The bill now goes to the Senate.

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