Between 10am and 3pm on the last day of the legislative session, the WI Assembly passed the following bills. Dozens more controversial proposals have yet to be debated:
SB 395 expands the definition of “homebrewing” for tax exempt purposes and allows home brewers to enter their products in public competitions, tasting and other events.
SB 219 changes penalties in unemployment law for failing to report changes in employment or income.
SB 417 changes penalties in unemployment law regarding availability for work. It also allows for appointment of non state workers to the Department of Workforce Development appeals tribunal.
SB 582 exempts rent-to-own businesses from consumer protection law and does not require them to disclose usurious interest rates.
SB 522 eliminates the Department of Transportation cost-benefit analysis requirement for contracting out road-building engineering services. During a hearing on the bill, the DoT divulged that the department is so woefully understaffed that they hire private contractors to manage all of the department’s other private contractors. Fox in charge of the hen house?
SB 396 allows for the provision of grants to private contractors managing the Department of Agriculture’s livestock registration program. Grant funds will be taken from the Working Lands Initiative funded by a congressional earmark to help farmers conserve their land by purchasing development rights.
SB 407 regulates zinc air button cell batteries.
SB 426 is Sen. Alberta Darling’s welfare fraud bill that gives authority to case workers to cut off benefits of people who they believe to be intentionally violating program rules. Rep. Gary Hebl said of the bill, “We all oppose fraud, but I think we support the US Constitution and the right of due process.” A majority disagreed and voted for the bill.