Governor Walker signed over 100 bills in the last two weeks. Many of the bills passed both houses of the State Legislature in the final days of session, in mid-March. You can find a full list of the bills Governor Walker signed on the Governor’s website.
- Assembly Bill 344– requires property owners to disclose to potential buyers if there is a dam on the property.
- Assembly Bill 494– provides an incentive for waste haulers to participate in waste removal at the request of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) by allowing the DNR to waive the tipping fee for haulers that remove materials from a site that is under investigation for violation to the state’s solid waste laws, or is no longer in operation.
Economic Development, Business, Financial
- Assembly Bill 226– allows more businesses to benefit from worker training partnerships with Wisconsin Technical Colleges by expanding the eligibility. This bill also allows the Wisconsin Technical College System Board to award a grant to a district board for assistance with market expansion or business diversification.
- Assembly Bill 444– exempts some solid waste residuals from tipping fees at recycling facilities, provides relief for disposal facility when an individual defaults.
- Senate Bill 498– protects Wisconsin small businesses from unnecessary legal costs due to “patent trolls”, by requiring patent infringement allegations include specific information about the basis of the claim, including the number of the patent allegedly being infringed and how the allegations relate to a product, service, process, or technology of the business.
- Assembly Bill 532– changes the name of the Wisconsin Higher Education Grants (WHEG) and the Wisconsin Tuition Grants (WTG) to Wisconsin Grants, to clarify the grants are from the state of Wisconsin and are taxpayer funded.
- Assembly Bill 124– addresses the increasing hazard of distracted driving by expanding the inattentive driving law to include; engaging in, or being occupied with, an activity other than driving the vehicle that reasonably appears to interfere with the person’s ability to drive the vehicle, prohibits a driver from directly observing any electronic device within the vehicle that is activated and is providing entertainment primarily by visual means
- Assembly Bill 409– increases public confidence in cases of death involving a law enforcement officer. Requires investigators provide a complete report to the county district attorney (DA), which is released to the public if the DA declines to prosecute. Expands rights of victims of officer-involved incidents.
- Assembly Bill 441– expands the offenses that are reported to the sex offender registry, expands the information available to the public and makes certain information available to police chiefs and sheriffs about sex offenders.
- Assembly Bill 536– protects the privacy of law-abiding citizens by prohibiting law enforcement from tracking the location of a cell phone without a warrant, unless the tracking will help prevent or mitigate a death or serious injury.
- Assembly Bill 556– allows law enforcement to perform strip searches of individuals who are arrested or taken into custody, if they will be imprisoned in a jail or lockup facility with one or more other people. Juveniles may only be strip searched if they are taken into custody for a felony or certain battery or weapon-related misdemeanor.
- Senate Bill 150– allows local governments to prosecute second and subsequent offenses of marijuana possession, in some cases, if the district attorney declines.
- Senate Bill 648 – helps counties and municipalities control the costs of housing prisoners by allowing them to house prisoners in bordering counties, even if the county is out-of state, to save money.
Health and Human Services
- Assembly Bill 270– makes it easier for some health care professionals to volunteer at free clinics, by expanding the providers covered by the State’s risk pool and entitled to representation by the Attorney General’s office, in the case of a lawsuit.
- Assembly Bill 552– replaces Wisconsin’s decades-old definition of dentistry with the definition developed by the American Dental Association.
- Senate Bill 212– makes it easier for Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) in other states to move to Wisconsin, by creating a bridge training program for individuals who have received less than 120 hours of CNA training in another state.
- Senate Bill 251– helps nursing homes better control costs associated with prescription drugs. The bill gives the nursing home the ability to develop therapeutic interchange procedures, which is the process of changing from one drug to a similar drug, which currently occurs in hospitals.
- Senate Bill 311– allows the Dentistry Examining Board (DEB) to issue a certificate to a dental hygienist in order for them to administer nitrous oxide inhalation analgesia. The dentist must be on-site and available while the nitrous oxide is being administered.
- Senate Bill 325– closes loopholes in the law banning dangerous synthetic drugs. Under the bill, the controlled substance classification is based on the description of the chemical structure of the prohibited or restricted substance and puts law enforcement ahead of the black market of these drugs.
- Senate Bill 518– clarifies that podiatrists, chiropractors, dentists, and optometrists must inform patients about the availability of reasonable alternate modes of treatment and about the benefits and risks of these treatments.
- Senate Bill 553– allows the Department of Health Services to appoint a person, who is 18 years or older, at a camp lasting at least three days to administer medication to campers or staff members.
- Assembly Bill 410– allows a manufactured home community to keep its “legal nonconforming use” status, regardless of what happens to the legal nonconforming use status of the individual homes within the community. Under this bill, the loss of nonconforming status of individual homes will not risk other residents’ right to live in the manufactured home community or the owner’s ability to continue the business.
- Assembly Bill 803– promotes safety for workers in the right-of-way by requiring all employers and employees performing work on a public utility project have a substance abuse prevention program in place. Also applies the “move over or slow down” law to public utility vehicles that are displaying flashing warning lights.
- Senate Bill 617– Creates a uniform, statewide Commercial Building Code, providing architects, builders, contractors and inspectors with needed consistency and predictability on building codes and regulations.
- Assembly Bill 746– limits civil liability for agricultural tourism providers by including them under the Recreational Use Law, which protects landowners from liability when they open their property to specific recreational activities.
- Senate Bill 509– provides flexibility to Wisconsin’s agricultural industry by updating state laws to reflect modern industry standards, and helps maintain the level of public safety and condition of infrastructure in the state.
- Assembly Bill 589– streamlines regulations; allows Milwaukee to enter into an agreement with DATCP to issue licenses to retail food establishments at any time during the year, also allows Milwaukee to enter into an agreement with DHS to issue licenses to restaurants or bed and breakfast establishments at any time during the year.
- Assembly Bill 173 – establishes special vehicle registration plates associated with Wisconsin Trout Unlimited. A portion of fees for the plates will support Wisconsin Trout Unlimited.
- Senate Bill 75– reduces the regulatory burden for individuals operating three-vehicle combinations (including recreational vehicles and trailers) to travel between states, by allowing length of up to 70 feet, without a permit.
- Senate Bill 250– allows certain licensed beer or wine judging and tasting events to be held at local fairs, without a licensed bartender present.
- Senate Bill 547– provides flexibility for industries and municipalities to meet water quality standards for phosphorus discharge.