Gov. Walker signs 19 bills into law Monday - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Gov. Walker signs 19 bills into law Monday

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Madison (Press Release) - Governor Scott Walker signed nineteen bills into law today at the Wisconsin State Capitol.

Senate Bill 160 - Currently, Wisconsin law prohibits the state or local governments (including special districts) from selling an item to their employees. The bill creates an exception to this prohibition. This bill allows for the state or a local government to make a sale to their employee if the item for sale is at market price or allows for the sale of a surplus or discarded item if similar items are also publicly available for sale. Authored by Senator Terry Moulton (R—Chippewa Falls) and Representative Bob Kulp (R—Stratford), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote. It is Act 65.

Assembly Bill 151 - This bill seeks to address the desire for an expansion of EMS services; community paramedicine.  Services that community paramedics could perform be as simple as going over hospital discharge plans and as complex as providing follow-up wound care.  The scope of what actions one could perform would either come from what is delegated to community EMS from physicians, or from what they are approved for based on the training program they pass. DHS anticipates that because there is a wide spectrum of services there may equally be a wide spectrum of training programs. Authored by Senator TerryMoulton (R—Chippewa Falls) and Representative Amy Loudenbeck (R—Clinton), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote. It is Act 66.

Assembly Bill 479 - AB 479, as amended, makes a number of changes to local government zoning authority, navigable water permits, inverse condemnation proceedings, and the right to display the flag of the United States.  A number of the changes included in this bill address the recent U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Murr v. Wisconsin. Authored by Senator Tom Tiffany (R—Hazelhurst) and Representative Adam Jarchow (R—Balsam Lake), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote. It is Act 67.

Assembly Bill 480 - This bill makes changes to state law relating to vested rights, sewer easements, the electrical wiring code, propane transport, housing impact reports for bills and rules, the authority for challenging tax assessments, and shoreland zoning. Authored by Senator Tom Tiffany (R—Hazelhurst) and Representative Adam Jarchow (R—Balsam Lake), the bill passed the Assembly on a voice vote and was concurred by the Senate on a vote of 25-8. It is Act 68.

Assembly Bill 226 - This bill raises the amount of the money granted by the state’s well compensation grant program, to reimburse indigent property owners to reconstruct, treat, or abandon/cap a contaminated well or connect to a public water supply, from $9,000 to $12,000.  The bill also allows local units of government to pay for contaminated well remediation or abandonment with the ability to recoup the costs through a special assessment or charge to the property owner. It also always local units of governments the flexibility to make low, or no interest loans. Authored by Senator Rob Cowles (R—Green Bay) and Representative Joel Kitchens (R—Sturgeon Bay), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote. It is Act 69.

Senate Bill 173 - This bill provides that a person who possesses or controls property with a hazardous substance in vapor emitted from the soil or groundwater is exempt from the remediation requirements if the person did not cause the discharge, if the discharge originated from another person's property, and if the person agrees to allow DNR or the responsible party for the discharge to enter the property to investigate and remedy the discharge. Authored by Senator Rob Cowles (R—Green Bay) and Representative Andre Jacque (R—De Pere), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote. It is Act 70.

Senate Bill 421 - Under this bill, DNR will be authorized an additional $4.5 million in bonding authority to address water infrastructure projects. This includes drinking and waste water systems in high demand State Parks, such as Peninsula State Park, Devils Lake State Park, Kohler Andrae State Park, and Interstate State Park. Authored by Senator Rob Cowles (R—Green Bay) and Representative Ron Tusler (R—Harrison), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote. It is Act 71.

Assembly Bill 283 - This bill authorizes state chartered banks, credit unions, and other savings institutions to conduct prize-linked savings promotions.  These programs are designed to encourage regular contributions to a savings account by offering entries into a drawing for a prize with each deposit. Authored by Senator Chris Kapenga (R—Delafield) and Representative Robert Stafsholt (R—New Richmond), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote. It is Act 72.

Senate Bill 132 - Unless a person is certified or registered to use a title by the Institute of Hazardous Materials Management, the American Board of Health Physics, the American Board of Industrial Hygiene, the Board of Certified Safety Professionals, or the National Registry of Radiation Protection Technologists; this bill prohibits a person from using the following title, initials, or trademarks of these professions and their associations:

  • Certified Dangerous Goods Professional (CDGP)
  • Certified Hazardous Materials Manager (CHMM)
  • Certified Hazardous Materials Practitioner (CHMP)
  • Certified Health Physicist (CHP)
  • Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH)
  • Certified Safety Professional (CSP)
  • Registered Radiation Protection Technologist (RRPT)

The bill also prohibits a business from falsely representing services by one of these certified or registered professionals. Under this bill, a city, village, town, or county cannot restrict the use of these professional titles.

Authored by Senator Alberta Darling (R—River Hills) and Representative Warren Petryk (R—Eleva), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote. It is Act 73.

Assembly Bill 234 - AB 234 creates an Interagency Council on Homelessness.  This council is required to meet quarterly and would report to the Governor and Legislature. The council would be able to appoint a state director to coordinate the council and implement cooperation of policies across state agencies. The council would periodically review statewide policies on preventing and ending homelessness. Authored by Senator Alberta Darling (R—River Hills) and Representative Jim Steineke (R—Kaukauna), the bill passed the Senate on a vote of 33-0 and was concurred by the Assembly on a vote of 64-34. It is Act 74.

Assembly Bill 236 – This bill authorizes WHEDA to develop policies and procedures to implement a two-year pilot program giving priority to chronically homeless applicants on the Housing Choice Voucher waiting list. The Housing Choice Voucher Program is the federal government’s (HUD) program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe and sanitary housing in the private market.  Participants are free to choose any housing that meets the requirements of the program and are not limited to subsidized housing projects. Authored by Senator Alberta Darling (R—River Hills) and Representative Treig Pronschinske (R—Mondovi), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a vote of 73-25. It is Act 75.

Assembly Bill 353 - This bill makes several changes to the organization and operation of cooperatives.

  • Current law does not allow for individuals who are not members of a cooperative to be a director. This bill changes this restriction to allow cooperatives to have outside (appointed) directors with voting rights, as long as these directors do not exceed two directors or 20 percent of all directors, whichever is less.  The outside directors have the same voting rights as directors as all other directors.
  • Current law provides there can only be one vote per member. This bill allows a cooperative holding company to base their members' voting power on members' current or recent financial support of the cooperative or use of the cooperative’s services.   
  • Current law does not allow a cooperative to exceed 8 percent annually on any dividend, which is a distribution of profits from a corporation to its shareholders. This bill eliminates that limit.
  • Under current law, when a member makes a financial records request, there is no time limit on how far back that request can go. This bill limits a members' right to examine a cooperative's financial records to 5 years.
  • Under current law, the members of a cooperative may, by a two-thirds vote, authorize the disposition of all or substantially all of a cooperative's fixed assets if appropriate notice is given before a members’ meeting. This bill applies this provision to all assets, not just fixed assets.
  • The legislation simplifies electric co-ops' existing authority to make consumer loans to their members for expenses specifically related to wiring safety, energy efficiency, conservation and emergency back-up generation. These limited types of loans will generally help low-income families make energy efficiency and energy conservation upgrades to their homes, and provides an avenue of assistance to other members to replace unsafe electric wiring.
  • Under the legislation, an electric cooperative may contract with a third party to perform a function permitted of the electric cooperative, including the provision of financing.

Authored by Senator Patrick Testin (R—Stevens Point) and Representative Greg Tauchen (R—Bonduel), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a vote of 74-18. It is Act 76.

Senate Bill 298 - The bill will allow for companies to seek benefit corporation status. Choosing benefit corporation status is completely voluntary and has no impact on existing corporations, other corporate forms, taxes or government regulation. A benefit corporation is a type of for-profit corporate entity that also includes a provision aimed at creating a positive impact on society, their workers, and the community in addition to turning a profit as its legally defined goals. Existing Benefit corporations in other states have been able to use their status as a way to recruit and maintain talent. Authored by Senator Patrick Testin (R—Stevens Point) and Representative Ken Skowronski (R—Franklin), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote. It is Act 77.

Assembly Bill 229 - Current law states that a municipality, county, or other local governmental unit may not allow money to mature in a time deposit for longer than three years. A time deposit is an account that lets a local government earn a higher rate of interest for a preset period. This bill eliminates the three-year maturity restriction for a municipality, county, or other local governmental unit on time deposit investments.  This will likely allow municipalities with adequate reserves to invest in longer term time deposit products which typically have a higher rate of return. Authored by Senator Patrick Testin (R—Stevens Point) and Representative Terry Katsma (R—Oosburg), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote. It is Act 78.

Senate Bill 285 - Under this bill, a corporation's board of directors may allow shareholders to participate in a shareholders meeting by means of remote/virtual communication. These shareholders will be considered present and are allowed to vote at the meeting. Authored by Senator Chris Kapenga (R—Delafield) and Representative Adam Jarchow (R—Balsam Lake), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote. It is Act 79.

Senate Bill 221 - Job Access Loans are part of the W-2 program and are short-term no interest loans designed to assist eligible individuals to meet emergency needs that support employment. Currently, the applicant must have either a job or a good faith job offer to be eligible for a Job Access Loan. By creating additional criteria, the bill puts protections in place to ensure that Job Access Loan applicants are able to legally drive and are not at risk of revocation by their probation or parole agent. The bill, as amended adds three new eligibility criteria for Job Access Loans for vehicle repair or purchase: 1) all applicants must have a valid driver’s license and 2) an applicant on probation, parole or extended supervision is required to have prior approval from his or her agent to receive the Job Access Loan. 3) applicant must have auto insurance. Authored by Senator Chris Kapenga (R—Delafield), Representative Amanda Stuck (D—Appleton), and Representative Cody Horlacher (R—Mukwonago), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote. It is Act 80.

Senate Bill 108 - This bill modifies certain existing laws pertaining to continuing education (CE) and reciprocal license requirements for barbers, cosmetologists, aestheticians, electrologists, and manicurists.  In Wisconsin under current law, barbers are licensed by the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS), and cosmetologists, aestheticians, electrologists, and manicurists are licensed by the Cosmetology Examining Board. Authored by Senator Chris Kapenga (R—Delafield) and Representative Dale Kooyenga (R—Brookfield), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote. It is Act 81.

Senate Bill 109 - This bill makes various changes to existing laws pertaining to barbering, cosmetology and related professions.  Under current law, barbers are licensed by the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS), and cosmetologists, aestheticians, electrologists, and manicurists are licensed by the Cosmetology Examining Board. Authored by Senator Chris Kapenga (R—Delafield) and Representative Joel Kleefisch (R—Oconomowoc), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote. It is Act 82.

Assembly 165 - The legislation creates a process for the appointment of delegates for an Article V convention of the United States Constitution, if such a convention were to be called. As amended, the legislature and governor must appoint nine delegates to attend the convention as representatives of the state.  The Speaker of the Assembly appoints three members of the Assembly as delegates; the President of the Senate appoints three members of the Senate as delegates; the Governor appoints one member of the Assembly or Senate as a delegate. The minority party leader of each house of the legislature to appoint a delegate. In addition, each appointing authority must appoint alternate delegates. Thirty-four states need to call for a constitutional convention for one to happen, so far Wisconsin would be the twenty seventh state have passed legislation calling for one. Authored by Senator Chris Kapenga (R—Delafield) and Representative Kathy Bernier (R—Lake Hallie), the bill passed the Senate and was concurred by the Assembly on a vote of 58-37. It is Act 83.

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