The Wisconsin Assembly will today vote on long-needed changes to Wisconsin's Lemon Law. Wisconsin is universally known among automobile, motorcycle, truck, and recreational vehicle manufacturers as having the worst lemon law in the country. The law places unreasonable and unworkable requirements on vehicle manufacturers that allows lawyers like self-proclaimed “Lemon Law King,” Vince Megna, to win exorbitant awards that have no nexus to fairness or the underlying goals of the law. For example, in Marquez v. Mercedes-Benz, a vehicle that cost $56,000 resulted in a $618,000 award, with over $300,000 in attorney fees.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has been the focus of much legislative attention since the Audit Bureau’s report on mismanagement at WEDC came out last month. In addition to items included in the JFC proposed 2013-15 budget, numerous bills have been introduced to make changes at the pseudo-agency.
Wisconsin is a few steps closer to having a state-funded venture capital fund. On June 6, AB 181 was passed by the Assembly and its companion, SB 169 was the subject of a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Economic Development and Local Government. These bills would provide the framework for managing the $25 million in venture capital funding included in the proposed 2013-15 state budget.
AB 181 passed the Assembly 91-2, with overwhelming support from both parties. Only Reps. Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield) and Daniel Riemer (D-Milwaukee) voted against the proposal. The Senate can now take up the Assembly bill or continue work on its own version of the bill. There are some differences between the two proposals.
A new report from the US-China Business Council provides a snapshot of how much trade growth with China has grown since 2003 by state. The report indicates that Wisconsin exports to China grew 256% from 2003 to 2012.
After a marathon hearing that covered three of the biggest policy issues in the budget – medical assistance, K-12 education, and taxes – the Joint Finance Committee finalized its version of the 2013-15 budget.