Gov. Walker signed several bills into law on Friday, July 5, 2013. Please contact a member of the Hamilton Consulting team if you require further information on any of the laws below.
Assembly Bill 20 – relating to the notice and degree requirements for the examination to practice as a certified public accountant. This bill broadens the qualifying institutions to include any institution of higher education that is accredited by an accrediting agency that is recognized by the Secretary of the federal Department of Education. This bill replaces the current notice requirements in newspapers with the requirement that the Accounting Examining Board give public notice of an examination to become a certified public accountant at least 30 days before the date of the examination. Assembly Bill 20 passed the Assembly and Senate on voice votes. Assembly Bill 20 is Act 21.
Assembly Bill 58 – relates to bank service corporations and credit union service organizations. This bill gives the banking industry more access to important bank services. Assembly Bill 58 passed the Assembly and Senate on voice votes. Assembly Bill 58 is Act 22.
Assembly Bill 77 – relates to reports by the Dwelling Code Council on the one- and two-family dwelling code. This bill requires the council to prepare a report containing these reviews and recommendations once every six years and requires that the first report be completed no later than one year after this bill becomes law. This bill also requires DSPS to assist the council in preparing the report. Assembly Bill 77 passed the Assembly and Senate on voice votes. Assembly Bill 77 is Act 23.
Assembly Bill 81 – relates to contracting with residential contractors. This bill prohibits a contractor from promising to pay or rebate all or any portion of a property insurance deductible as an incentive for entering into certain contracts with a “consumer,” which the bill defines as an owner or possessor of residential property containing a one-family or two-family dwelling. Assembly Bill 81 passed the Assembly and Senate on voice votes. Assembly Bill 81 is Act 24.
Assembly Bill 106 – relates to municipal utility customer information. This bill protects the private customer information obtained by public utilities. Assembly Bill 106 passed the Assembly and Senate on voice votes. Assembly Bill 106 is Act 25.
Assembly Bill 109 – relates to fees for dental services. This bill prohibits insurers that cover dental and related services under a limited-scope policy from setting or limiting fees for dental or related services that are not covered by the policy. The bill also prohibits a third-party administrator or provider network that covers dental services from requiring dentists to charge set fees for services that are not covered. Assembly Bill 109 passed the Assembly on a vote of 89–8 and the Senate on a vote of 30–30. Assembly Bill 109 is Act 26.
Assembly Bill 112 – relates to telecommunications systems installed on tower sites under the management and control of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the suspension of portions of a rule of the Department of Natural Resources. This bill authorizes the DNR to enter into a lease of a departmental radio tower or a lookout/fire tower site with a private person or a governmental entity for the purpose of installing a commercial or noncommercial telecommunications system. Assembly Bill 112 passed the Assembly and Senate on voice votes. Assembly Bill 112 is Act 27.
Assembly Bill 214 – relates to ex parte communications in contested cases before the Public Service Commission. This bill modified current law as it related to ex parte communications by or to a Public Service Commission official or employee, other than the hearing examiner or PSC commissioners, in contested cases before the commission. Ex parte communications are those made without the knowledge of all parties. This bill creates an additional exception for ex parte communication in a contested case before the commission by or to any commission official or employee other than the hearing examiner or the PSC commissioners. Assembly Bill 214 passed the Assembly and Senate on voice votes. Assembly Bill 214 is Act 28.
Senate Bill 11 – relates to the Department of Transportation’s initial costs of production for special registration plates supporting the Lions Clubs of Wisconsin and supporting motorcycle safety. This bill reduces the amount of special plate revenue that goes to the Department of Transportation for initial production costs related to special plates designed for the Lions Club of Wisconsin and motorcycle safety.
Generally, when a special group fundraising license plate is created, the department retains special group revenue until initial production costs are recouped. The amount of revenue to be recouped for initial production costs of each special group plate is set legislatively when the plate is created. The reduced amounts reflect the actual costs incurred by the department for initial production. Senate Bill 11 passed the Senate on a vote of 32-0, and the Assembly concurred on a voice vote. Senate Bill 11 is Act 29.
Senate Bill 41 – relates to the designation and marking of a specified highway route in the counties of Rock, Dane, Jefferson, Dodge, and Fond du Lac as the Rock River Trail Scenic and Historic Route. The bill states the designation’s purpose is to increase public appreciation of the scenic nature and historical significance of the Rock River. The Department of Transportation may not expend state or federal funds to erect or maintain the route markings. Senate Bill 41 passed the Senate and Assembly on voice votes. Senate Bill 41 is Act 30.
Senate Bill 62 – relates to proof of motor vehicle liability insurance. This legislation is an example of a law being updated to take advantage of new technology because it allows people to have more flexibility when complying with mandatory motor vehicle liability insurance. Currently, Motorists are required to hold motor vehicle liability insurance and to provide proof of liability insurance upon request of a law enforcement officer. This bill allows proof of insurance to be provided to law enforcement officers via an electronic device such as a smartphone. If the proof is presented in an electronic format, the bill prohibits the officer, or other person to whom the proof of insurance is presented, from viewing any other content on the electronic device. This bill has no state fiscal impact. Senate Bill 62 passed the Senate and Assembly on voice votes. Senate Bill 62 is Act 31.
Senate Bill 85 – relates to increasing the allowable number of project plan amendments and lengthening the time during which tax increments may be allocated and expenditures for project costs may be made, for Tax Incremental District Number 3 in the city of Wausau. The bill would extend the closure date of Tax Incremental District Number 3 from 2021 to 2031. Additionally, the bill extends the final year during which expenditures related to project costs can be made from 2016 to 2026. Senate Bill 85 also increases the number of allowable amendments that the district can make from four to five. Senate Bill 85 passed the Senate on a vote of 33-0 and the Assembly on a voice vote. Senate Bill 85 is Act 32.
Senate Bill 116 – relates to the remittance transfers under the Uniform Commercial Code Article 4A, relating to funds transfers. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act included amendments to the Electronic Funds Transfer Act affecting UCC Article 4A, which caused the Uniform Laws Committee of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws and the American Law Institute to amend UCC Article 4A. The bill adopts the proposed amendment to UCC Article 4A to revise the language that excluded application of Article 4A for any transaction governed by EFTA. The amendment specifies that UCC Article 4A applies to remittance transfers unless those remittance transfers are electronic funds transfers as defined under EFTA. This will ensure that remittance transfers in the state will continue to be governed by the Uniform Commercial Code. There is no state fiscal impact. Senate Bill 116 passed the Senate and Assembly on voice votes. Senate Bill 116 is Act 33.
Senate Bill 135 – relates to annual or consecutive month permits for vehicles or combinations of vehicles transporting loads near the Wisconsin-Michigan border. Current law allows the Department of Transportation to issue annual or consecutive month permits for vehicles that surpass vehicle size and weight limitations, allowing them to operate on US Highway 2 in Iron County or Ashland County if the vehicle is traveling between Wisconsin and Michigan. These vehicles must conform to highway weight and configuration limits under Michigan law as of April 28, 2004. This bill expands where vehicles with these permits may operate to include Florence County. In addition, the bill specifies that such vehicles must conform to current Michigan law instead of Michigan law from April 28, 2004. Senate Bill 135 will allow for increased forestry business activity between Wisconsin and Michigan. Senate Bill 135 passed the Senate and Assembly on voice votes. Senate Bill 135 is Act 34.
Senate Bill 162 – relates to the operation of certain existing sport shooting ranges. Under current law, any sport shooting range that existed on June 18, 2010, may continue to operate as a sport shooting range at that location, notwithstanding the provisions of a zoning ordinance, if the sport shooting range was a lawful use or a legal nonconforming use under a zoning ordinance in effect on June 18, 2010. This bill modifies the date on which a sport shooting range must have been in existence in order to continue operation, notwithstanding the provisions of a zoning ordinance, from June 16, 2013. There is no anticipated fiscal impact. Senate Bill 162 passed the Senate and Assembly on voice votes. Senate Bill 162 is Act 35.
Senate Bill 200 – relates to various changes in the unemployment insurance law; license revocations based on delinquency in payment of unemployment insurance contributions; granting rule-making authority; providing a penalty; and making an appropriation. This bill will result in savings to the unemployment reserve fund by supporting the UI Advisory Council. Expected savings to the unemployment reserve fund are approximately $11.5 million annually. Senate Bill 200 passed the Senate on a vote of 17 – 15 and the Assembly on a vote of 61 – 35. Senate Bill 200 is Act 36. Governor Walker made a partial veto to Senate Bill 200. A copy of the Governor’s veto message is attached.
Senate Bill 206 – relates to requirements to perform abortions, requiring an ultrasound before informed consent for an abortion, and providing a penalty. This bill improves a woman’s ability to make an informed choice that will protect her physical and mental health now and in the future. Women have a choice as to the ultrasound they receive. Pregnancies that are the result of a sexual assault or incest are excluded from this legislation. Senate Bill 206 passed the Senate on a vote of 17 – 15 and the Assembly on a vote of 56 – 39. Senate Bill 206 is Act 37.
Senate Bill 207 – relates to the incorporations including territory of two towns. This bill ensures that when two towns are attempting to incorporate into a village or city both towns have properly evaluated the decision. This bill, as amended, creates an additional requirement for incorporating town territory for incorporations involving two towns. This step falls immediately after review by the Incorporation Review Board. The bill specifies that upon receiving a petition for incorporation granted by the Incorporation Review Board, the court must verify that the town boards from both of the affected towns have passed a resolution approving the incorporation. If not, the circuit court must dismiss the petition for incorporation. Changes in this bill first apply to incorporation petitions that have been filed with a circuit court, but have not yet been granted by the Incorporation Review Board, on the effective date of the bill. Senate Bill 207 passed the Senate and Assembly on voice votes. Senate Bill 207 is Act 38.