Since signing the 2019-21 state budget, Gov. Tony Evers has signed several other notable bills into law, including drug step therapy, electric scooters, and design-build legislation. The governor has also vetoed two transportation-related bills.
On July 8, Gov. Evers signed 2019 Act 11, which authorizes electric foot scooters on most roadways, sidewalks, and bike lanes. However, local highway authorities may enact ordinances regulating rental and operation of electric foot scooters. Since the bill signing, several municipalities, including Milwaukee and Madison, have begun exploring e-scooter programs.
On July 9, Gov. Evers signed 2019 Act 12, related to drug step therapy. Under the bill, insurers must establish protocols for making exceptions to step therapy and base their protocols on certain criteria specified in the bill. The Alliance of Health Insurers and other health insurance groups worked with the authors on a compromise substitute amendment, which the Senate and Assembly both approved.
On Aug. 6, Gov. Evers signed 2019 Act 18, related to design-build projects. The bill would require the Department of Transportation (DOT) to maintain an inventory of 50 or more highway project designs in which at least 30 percent of the design work has been finished that could be potential design-build projects, in addition to its current inventory of designs. The design-build bill is part of the DOT reform package circulated in May.
Also on Aug. 6, the governor vetoed two other bills from the DOT reform package. AB 273 would require DOT to keep a list of approved highway subbase materials that will provide equivalent structural properties for highway construction. Contractors would be allowed to review the list and propose whichever approach is lowest cost to bid and construct. The governor’s veto message states that requirements of the bill would be “unnecessary and cumbersome” on DOT. AB 284 would provide bonuses for DOT employees who identify cost savings. The governor’s veto message states his objection to encroaching on the Department of Administration and DOT’s current employee compensation policies.