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Governor Scott Walker signs 58 bills into law

Governor Scott Walker

Governor Scott Walker

MADISON — Governor Scott Walker signed 58 bills into law Tuesday, March 1st at the Capitol in Madison.

Senate Bill 344 – establishes a new procedure in laws regarding adverse possession and adverse use whereby a record title holder may interrupt an adverse possession or use and may restart the period of adverse possession or use.  Authored by Senator Chris Kapenga (R – Delafield) and Representative David Craig (R – Big Bend), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 200.

Senate Bill 407 – as amended, requires every state agency to submit proposals to reduce its state operations budget by a total of 5 percent and to maintain its state operations budget at current levels.  The proposals will be included with the agencies’ biennial budget requests, which are submitted to the Department of Administration (DOA), and will now also be submitted in a report to the Governor and to the Legislature.  The Secretary of Administration and the Director of the Legislative Fiscal Bureau must approve each agency’s base funding level.  Authored by Senator Chris Kapenga (R – Delafield) and Representative Rob Hutton (R – Brookfield), the bill passed the Senate with a vote of 19-13 and was concurred by the Assembly with a vote of 61-33.  It is Act 201.

Senate Bill 408 – limits the liability that may be imputed to a parent, or other adult who sponsors a person under the age of 18 in obtaining a motor vehicle operator’s license.  Liability imputed to the parents or adult sponsors for damages caused by the minor’s negligent or willful misconduct is limited to the higher of: a total of $300,000 for all parents or adult sponsors to all parties arising from any one accident, or the limits of any insurance coverage provided to the minor under the parent’s or adult sponsor’s applicable insurance policies.  Authored by Senator Chris Kapenga (R – Delafield) and Representative Mike Kuglitsch (R – New Berlin), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 202. 

Senate Bill 422 – clarifies that under Wisconsin law, a franchisor is not the employer of a franchisee’s employees for unemployment insurance, worker’s compensation, and certain equal rights provisions.  This bill ensures Wisconsin franchisors are not unfairly liable for the actions of franchisees, will prevent frivolous lawsuits, and encourages franchisees to act responsibly.  Authored by Senator Chris Kapenga (R – Delafield) and Representative Mike Kuglitsch (R – New Berlin), the bill passed the Senate with a vote of 19-13 and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 203.

Senate Bill 545 – makes changes to the requirements that apply if residual contamination remains on a property after a hazardous substance cleanup is completed.  Authored by Senator Robert Cowles (R – Green Bay) and Representative Paul Tittl (R – Manitowoc), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 204.

Senate Bill 567 – creates procedures for when water quality variances must be reviewed.  Authored by Senator Robert Cowles (R – Green Bay) and Representative Amy Loudenbeck (R – Clinton), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 205.

Senate Bill 248 – removes the requirement that a person who is arrested or otherwise detained or taken into custody can be searched only if they are going to be held in jail with other people for at least 12 hours.  Authored by Senator Sheila Harsdorf (R – River Falls) and Representative Joel Kleefisch (R – Oconomowoc), the bill passed the Senate with a vote of 19-14 and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 206.

Senate Bill 318 – removes unused or outdated horse-racing provisions, and amends statutes to reflect current practices at local fairs including: changing the deadline for filing financial reports from December 31 to January 31 of the following year to accommodate several of the state’s local fairs that have a year-end closing date of December 31; removing provisions in current law requiring the Department of Administration (DOA) to audit the financial reports; giving the fair the authority to limit the number of fairs an exhibitor may participate in and be eligible to receive an award from; removing outdated language giving the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) and the Northern Wisconsin State Fair jurisdiction presiding over the other county and local fairs and leaving the jurisdiction with the local county fair and agricultural societies; and removing the limit on the amount of entry fees that may be charged to an exhibitor.  Authored by Senator Sheila Harsdorf (R – River Falls) and Representative Keith Ripp (R – Lodi), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 207.

Senate Bill 511 – creates a Distance Learning Authorization (DLA) Board that is attached to the Higher Educational Aids Board and consists of the following members: President of the University of Wisconsin System or his or her designee, President of the Technical College System Board or his or her designee, President of the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities or his or her designee, the executive secretary of the Educational Approval Board (EAB), one person representing Wisconsin tribal colleges.  Authored by Senator Sheila Harsdorf (R – River Falls) and Representative Joan Ballweg (R – Markesan), the bill passed the Senate with a vote of 30-2 and was concurred by the Assembly with a vote of 98-0.  It is Act 208.

Senate Bill 47 – changes the time requirement for responding to an absentee ballot request from “24 hours” to “one business day.”  Authored by Senator Sheila Harsdorf (R – River Falls) and Representative Cody Horlacher (R – Mukwonago), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 209.

Senate Bill 381 – increases the size of a small All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) from 90 to 130 CC, creates a definition of small Utility Terrain Vehicles (UTV) not more than 200 CC, and requires a safety course for kids ages 12-16 operating a small UTV.   Authored by Senator Sheila Harsdorf (R – River Falls) and Representative Adam Jarchow (R – Balsam Lake), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 210.

Senate Bill 458 – provides that in order for a person to obtain a building permit, the individual must have a certificate of financial responsibility from the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) proving that he or she has a policy of general liability insurance.  The bill also mandates that the building permit form must include a space in which a person applying for a permit can enter the number and expiration date of the certificate of financial responsibility.  Political subdivisions are also required to submit to DSPS an annual report that includes the names of every person to whom a permit was issued.  Authored by Senator Luther Olsen (R – Ripon) and Representative John Jagler (R – Watertown), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 211.

Senate Bill 640 – modifies several education related policy areas included in the 2015-17 Budget including: modifying an exception to a civics exam requirement for students with Individualized Education Programs; changes requirements created in the budget relating to independent financial audits of private schools participating in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, the Racine Parental Choice Program, or the statewide parental choice program; and changes the requirements created in the budget relating to how the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) determines school and school district performance for purposes of the school and school district accountability reports.  Authored by Senator Luther Olsen (R – Ripon) and Representative Joel Kitchens (R – Sturgeon Bay), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly with a vote of 75-18.  It is Act 212.

Senate Bill 382 – as amended, requires the Department of Transportation (DOT) to erect and maintain several directional signs for the Iola Car Show.  Authored by Senator Luther Olsen (R – Ripon) and Representative Kevin Petersen (R – Waupaca), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 213.

Senate Bill 313 – allows county clerks to send copies of zoning ordinances, amendments, or notices to town clerks via e-mail rather than certified mail.  The bill provides that if the town clerk does not confirm receipt of e-mailed materials within two business days, the county clerk must submit the materials to the town clerk by certified mail.  Authored by Senator Luther Olsen (R – Ripon) and Representative Scott Krug (R – Nekoosa), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 214.

Senate Bill 687 – modifies statutes governing Long Term Care (LTC) districts and Managed Care Organizations (MCO).  The bill provides that an LTC district with a contract to operate as an MCO may create a nonstock, nonprofit corporation or a service insurance corporation, which may assume the contract to operate as an MCO, subject to the approval of both the Department of Health Services (DHS) and the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance.  Authored by Senator Howard Marklein (R – Spring Green) and Representative Scott Krug (R – Nekoosa), the bill passed the Senate with a vote of 32-0 and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 215.

Senate Bill 440 – makes several technical updates to tax statutes and provides the Secretary of the Department of Revenue (DOR) the power to suspend an accessor’s certification.  Authored by Senator Howard Marklein (R – Spring Green) and Representative Todd Novak (R – Dodgeville), the bill passed the Senate with a vote of 33-0 and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 216.

Senate Bill 532 – revises provisions in the statutes concerning educational requirements to become a CPA; makes changes to administrative rules promulgated by the Accounting Examining Board; and requires the board to study the feasibility of establishing continuing education requirements for CPAs.  Authored by Senator Howard Marklein (R – Spring Green) and Representative Dale Kooyenga (R – Brookfield), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 217.

Senate Bill 503 – cites to the Internal Revenue Code for the definition of economic substance and requires the Department of Revenue (DOR) to issue a subpoena, and the taxpayer must fail to comply in good faith with the subpoena, before DOR can institute the statutory penalty for failure to produce documents.  Authored by Senator Howard Marklein (R – Spring Green) and Representative John Macco (R – Ledgeview), the bill passed the Senate with a vote of 19-13 and was concurred by the Assembly with a vote of 60-34.  It is Act 218.

Senate Bill 314 – as amended, prohibits individuals from acquiring title to public land by adverse possession and also prohibits public entities and local units of government from adversely possessing privately-owned property.  Authored by Senator Howard Marklein (R – Spring Green) and Representative Robert Brooks (R – Saukville), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 219.

Senate Bill 315 – provides immunity for people acting under a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) approval or exemption from DNR approval from civil liability for a person for damage or injury caused by the placement of certain types of structures in a navigable water or wetland.  This immunity only applies to a person if the structure was placed for the purpose of fish and wildlife habitat creation, protection, or improvement or the structure is a noncommercial net pen that is used to hold and rear fish for stocking into the body of water in which it is located.  Authored by Senator Richard Gudex (R – Fond du Lac) and Representative Rob Swearingen (R – Rhinelander), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 220.

Senate Bill 226 – allows an underage person, without a parent or guardian, to be at an indoor golf and baseball facility that sells beer.  Authored by Senator Julie Lassa (D – Stevens Point) and Representative Joel Kleefisch (R – Oconomowoc), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 221.

Senate Bill 289 – eliminates the requirement for a hunter to wear a back tag while hunting game, and eliminates the requirement for the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to provide a hard copy license to hunters.  Authored by Senator Terry Moulton (R – Chippewa Falls) and Representative Joel Kleefisch (R – Oconomowoc), the bill passed the Senate with a vote of 28-4 and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 222.

Assembly Bill 523 – expands an owner’s right to also allow the owner to replace the structure to the same use as before the building was destroyed.  An owner of a licensed manufactured home may make repairs in excess of 50 percent of the assessed value of the home if damage is caused by natural disaster or vandalism.  Political subdivisions are also restricted from creating zoning ordinances that prohibit the restoration of the nonconforming structure if the structure is restored to the size, the location, and the use that it had before the damage or destruction occurred.  Authored by Representative Joel Kleefisch (R – Oconomowoc) and Senator Frank Lasee (R – De Pere), the bill passed the Assembly on a voice vote and was concurred by the Senate on a voice vote.  It is Act 223.

Assembly Bill 218 – prohibits a parent who abandoned a deceased child from inheriting the child’s estate when the child dies without a will, was not married, and has no children of his or her own.  The bill defines “abandonment” as a parent’s failure to communicate with, care for, and provide maintenance and support for the child without cause for at least one year prior to the child’s death.  Authored by Representative Joel Kleefisch (R – Oconomowoc) and Senator Nikiya Harris Dodd (D – Milwaukee), the bill passed the Assembly on a voice vote and was concurred by the Senate on a voice vote.  It is Act 224.

Assembly Bill 527 – provides that a mentor who dispatches an animal wounded by mentee will not be charged with a crime.  Authored by Representative Joel Kleefisch (R – Oconomowoc) and Senator Terry Moulton (R – Chippewa Falls), the bill passed the Assembly on a voice vote and was concurred by the Senate on a voice vote.  It is Act 225.

Senate Bill 548 – expands the area under the jurisdiction of the Southeastern Wisconsin Fox River Commission for the Illinois Fox River basin throughout Kenosha County to the Wisconsin-Illinois border.  Authored by Senator Mary Lazich (R – New Berlin) and Representative Samantha Kerkman (R –Salem), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 226.

Senate Bill 538 – makes various modifications to the process and requirements for the Department of Transportation (DOT) to designate authorized special groups and issue special plates to group members, which include the following: requires an application for designation as an authorized special group to include at least 500 signatures from Wisconsin residents who affirm their intent to obtain special plates associated with the group, once these plates become available; eliminates the prohibition that DOT may not assist in fundraising efforts; requires the special group application to include a payment to DOT of $15,500 for the Department’s initial costs of production of the special plates; and eliminates the provision that the applicant is entitled to a partial refund based on the number of special plates issued in the first year.  Authored by Senator Mary Lazich (R – New Berlin) and Representative David Murphy (R – Greenville), the bill passed the Senate with a vote of 31-1 and was concurred by the Assembly with a vote of 93-0.  It is Act 227.

Senate Bill 492 – requires the Department of Instruction (DPI) to operate a one-year pilot program during the 2016-17 school year to test a crime and bullying reporting system.  Authored by Senator Mary Lazich (R – New Berlin) and Representative Ken Skowronski (R – Franklin), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 228.

Senate Bill 391 – requires election officials to attend at least one training session every two years during the period beginning January 1 of each even-numbered year and ending December 31 of each odd-numbered year.  Authored by Senator Mary Lazich (R – New Berlin) and Representative Tyler Vorpagel (R – Plymouth), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 229.

Senate Bill 571 – gives limited authority to the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents to buy, sell, lease, and exchange agricultural land used by UW-Madison without the approval of the Building Commission.  Authored by Senator Jerry Petrowski (R – Marathon) and Representative Keith Ripp (R – Lodi), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 230.

Senate Bill 390 – as amended, specifies the permitting process for local governments to authorize pipelines or hoses transmitting liquid manure within or across the right-of-way of a highway maintained by a local highway authority.  The bill specifies that a permit issued by a local highway authority, authorizing the permittee to lay out or install any manure hose within or across a local highway right-of-way, may also authorize the permittee to temporarily affix to a bridge under the jurisdiction of the highway authority hooks, flanges, fasteners, or other devices to or by which a manure hose may be attached or supported.  Authored by Senator Jerry Petrowski (R – Marathon) and Representative James Edming (R – Glen Flora), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 231.

Senate Bill 448 – makes various changes related to the permissible width of, and other matters pertaining to, implements of husbandry (IoH) and agricultural commercial motor vehicles (Ag CMVs) operated or transported on highways.  Authored by Senator Jerry Petrowski (R – Marathon) and Representative Keith Ripp (R – Lodi), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 232.

Senate Bill 450 – as amended, makes various changes to current law related to the treatment of an animal that is taken into custody as an unclaimed animal or when it is believed to have been used in a crime against animals.  This bill allows local units of government to demand payment or for the person who is providing services for animals to petition the court for payment from the animal’s owner for the custody and care of the animal held in custody.  The bill requires an animal of any age to be treated as an unclaimed animal if the owner of the animal is convicted of a Ch. 951, Stats. crime.  Authored by Senator Jerry Petrowski (R – Marathon) and Representative John Spiros (R – Marshfield), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 233.

Senate Bill 462 – reduces the maximum time for which the operating privilege of an individual, who has failed to pay a monetary judgment, may be suspended by a court under certain circumstances from two years to one year.  Authored by Senator Jerry Petrowski (R – Marathon) and Representative John Spiros (R – Marshfield), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly with a vote of 87-8.  It is Act 234.

Senate Bill 509 – as amended, commences the annual exception from vehicle weight limits for vehicles transporting agricultural crops, which allows these vehicles to be up to 15 percent heavier than is generally allowed, on August 1 of every year.  Authored by Senator Jerry Petrowski (R – Marathon) and Representative John Spiros (R – Marshfield), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 235.

Senate Bill 541 – provides that if the owner of land that adjoins a highway is a town, the town may, with the approval of the public authority maintaining the highway, authorize another person to plant trees, shrubs, or hedges on the land.  Authored by Senator Jerry Petrowski (R – Marathon) and Representative John Spiros (R – Marshfield), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 236.

Senate Bill 302 – makes several changes regarding the powers and duties of cemetery authorities, including: setting guidelines for the transfer of cemetery ownership by defining “heir;” making changes to cemetery authority licensure requirements; making changes to cemetery salesperson licensure requirements; and changing certain penalties.  Authored by Senator Devin LeMahieu (R – Oostburg) and Representative Joe Sanfelippo (R – New Berlin), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 237.

Senate Bill 383 – confers immunity from civil and criminal liability for performing certain body cavity searches.  Under current law, a person may be subjected to a search of his or her body, including a cavity search, when he or she is arrested for any felony, for certain misdemeanors, for any misdemeanor or civil violation if there is probable cause to believe that the person is concealing a weapon or concealing something that would constitute evidence of the offense for which he or she has been detained, or if the person will be held or detained with another person.  Under current law, only a physician, physician assistant, or registered nurse may conduct a body cavity search.  This bill confers immunity from civil or criminal liability to a physician, physician assistant, or registered nurse who performs a body cavity search under the allowed circumstances.  Authored by Senator Devin LeMahieu (R – Oostburg) and Representative Terry Katsma (R – Oostburg), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 238.

Senate Bill 438 – allows employees of a collection agency to work from home, while still being subject to the regulation of the Department of Financial Institutions.  Authored by Senator Devin LeMahieu (R – Oostburg) and Representative Lee Nerison (R – Westby), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 239.

Senate Bill 478 – exempts certain buildings on fairground from having to have automatic fire suppression systems.  The exemption can occur if the building is open to the public only for seasonal or temporary event use for 180 cumulative days or fewer per year and if public access to the building is provided by garage style doors that remain open when the building is open to the public.  Authored by Senator Terry Moulton (R – Chippewa Falls) and Representative Kathleen Bernier (R – Chippewa Falls), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 240.

Senate Bill 372 – authorizes single trip permits for the movement of certain overweight factory-build homes.  Current law imposes size, weight, and load limits on vehicles that travel on the highway, and provides that the Department of Transportation (DOT) may issue permits for the movement of oversize mobile homes, manufactured homes, and modular homes (“factory built”).  This bill authorizes DOT, for the use of state trunk highways, and local highway authorities, for the use of local highways, to issue single trip permits for the movement of overweight factory-built homes that are not less than 16 feet in width.  Authored by Senator Terry Moulton (R – Chippewa Falls) and Representative Bob Kulp (R – Stratford), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 241.

Senate Bill 512 – clarifies which type of license is needed for similar processors making non-dairy products that contain dairy ingredients and would no longer require them to hold both a dairy plant and food processing plant license.  Authored by Senator Terry Moulton (R – Chippewa Falls) and Representative Lee Nerison (R – Westby), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 242.

Senate Bill 513 – modernizes the meat licensing statutes, standardizes and simplifies terminology, repeals obsolete references, and repeals language that is redundant with existing federal and state food labeling laws.  The bill also fully aligns our statute with federal requirements for USDA’s Cooperative Interstate Shipment (CIS) program.  Authored by Senator Terry Moulton (R – Chippewa Falls) and Representative Lee Nerison (R – Westby), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 243.

Senate Bill 514 – makes fine and forfeiture amounts and term of imprisonment of commercial feed penalties consistent with other programs administered by the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP).  Authored by Senator Terry Moulton (R – Chippewa Falls) and Representative Lee Nerison (R – Westby), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 244.

Senate Bill 486 – authorizes a town meeting to direct a town board to increase the number of commissioners on a town sanitary district commission from 3 to 5 if the commission is separate from the town board; authorizes a town meeting to direct a town board to decrease the number of commissioners on a town sanitary district commission from 5 to 3 if the commission is separate from the town board; and restricts the frequency a town meeting can direct the town board to change the number of commissioners to once every two years.  Authored by Senator Steven Nass (R – Whitewater) and Representative Tyler August (R – Lake Geneva), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 245.

Senate Bill 527 – increases the threshold for unclaimed funds that currently require published notice by the county treasurer’s office from $10 to $20 and provides the county treasurer with options regarding publication of legal notices.  Authored by Senator Duey Stroebel (R – Saukville) and Representative Kathleen Bernier (R – Chippewa Falls), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 246.

Senate Bill 392 – prohibits the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) from promulgating or enforcing a rule that requires the owner or operator of any motor vehicle fueling facility to have available to the public a telephone or other means of contacting emergency services.  Authored by Senator Thomas Tiffany (R – Hazelhurst) and Representative Joan Ballweg (R – Markesan), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 247.

Senate Bill 435 – exempts the naturally shed or lawfully taken feathers of grouse, partridge, pheasant, quail, or wild turkey from the current general prohibitions against the sale, purchase, barter, or trade of wild animals.  Authored by Senator Thomas Tiffany (R – Hazelhurst) and Representative Edward Brooks (R – Reedsburg), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 248.

Senate Bill 605 – expands an existing exception to the prohibition in current law on using, or possession with intent to use, a light for shining wild animals between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. from September 15 to December 31 or while hunting while in possession of a firearm, bow and arrow, or crossbow.  The bill also removes wolves from the list of animals that may be hunted while using such a light.  Authored by Senator Thomas Tiffany (R – Hazelhurst) and Representative Terry Katsma (R – Oostburg), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 249.

Senate Bill 436 – expands the network to rivers and watersheds by allowing contracts to support stream-based volunteer monitoring programs such as the Water Action Volunteers and Riverine Early Detectors, expands opportunities for county and regional coordination and participation in the Health Lake Initiative, stream and watershed protection, and AIS prevention; and allows the Department of Natural Resources to expand and replace a current grant program that annually reimburses lake organizations for some of the cost of controlling aquatic invasive species if they are operating in compliance with an approved plan.  Authored by Senator Thomas Tiffany (R – Hazelhurst) and Representative Rob Swearingen (R – Rhinelander), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly with a vote of 81-14.  It is Act 250.

Senate Bill 300 – creates an exemption from sales and use tax for music purchased for a commercial juke box.  Authored by Senator Thomas Tiffany (R – Hazelhurst) and Representative Rob Swearingen (R – Rhinelander) the bill passed the Senate with a vote of 29-3 and was concurred by the Assembly with a vote of 98-0.  It is Act 251.

Senate Bill 485 – adds timeshares, future service plans, marketing, trade practices, rental cars, self-service storage facilities, and foreclosure consultants to the list of laws for which the court may impose a supplemental forfeiture for violations perpetrated against the elderly or disabled.  A person who violates the prohibitions laid out in this bill will be subject to a supplemental forfeiture not to exceed $10,000 for that violation.  Authored by Senator Van Wanggaard (R – Racine) and Representative Nancy VanderMeer (R – Tomah), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 252.

Senate Bill 97 – provides that when a judge or circuit court commissioner issues a temporary restraining order or injunction for domestic abuse, child abuse, individual-at-risk, or harassment the judge or circuit court commissioner may order the respondent not to remove, hide, damage, harm, mistreat, or dispose of a household pet.  Authored by Senator Tim Carpenter (D – Milwaukee) and Representative André Jacque (R – De Pere), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 253.

Senate Bill 53 – allows a municipality to make any type of amendment to the project plan of a tax incremental district (TID), or to request an additional five-year extension to the TID’s maximum lifespan at any time during the life of the TID, or both, if during the life of a TID, the annual and total amount of tax increments to be generated over the life of the district are adversely impacted by one or more of the following: an amendment to the provisions of TIF law, a change made by the Department of Revenue (DOR) to the equalized valuation method; and a change made by 2013 Wisconsin Act 145 that increased state aid to technical college districts in order to provide a reduction statewide to the levy for technical college districts.  Authored by the Joint Legislative Council, the bill passed the Senate with a vote of 31-0 and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 254.

Senate Bill 54 – removes the restriction that vacant property may not comprise more than 25 percent of the area within a tax incremental district (TID).  The bill also provides that tax-exempt city-owned property is excluded from the tax increment base of a TID.  Authored by the Joint Legislative Council, the bill passed the Senate with a vote of 33-0 and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 255.

Senate Bill 50 – removes the requirement that any real property within the district that is found suitable for industrial sites and is zoned for industrial use will remain zoned for industrial use for the life of the tax incremental district (TID) for TIDs that are not declared industrial districts.  The bill also reduces the notice requirement for TID amendments from a class 2 notice to a class 1 notice; repeals provisions of the statutes relating to TIFs that DOR identified as obsolete; amends the maximum review period the Joint Review Board has to approve a municipality’s TID resolution from 30 days to 45 days after receiving the resolution; and changes the calculation of the levy limit exception for the year a TID terminates by specifying the municipality’s equalized value for the preceding year excludes the value of any TID value increments.  Authored by the Joint Legislative Council, the bill passed the Senate with a vote of 33-0 and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 256.

Senate Bill 51 – requires a municipality to always convene a standing Joint Review Board (JRB) in order to create a tax incremental district (TID); requires the standing JRB to remain in existence for the entire time any TID exists; requires standing JRB to meet annually to review the political subdivision’s annual report that describes the status of each existing TID to review the performance and status of each existing TID; and repeals the entire statutory process relating to the Department of Revenue’s (DOR’s) review and determination as to whether the money expanded, or debt incurred, by an industry-specific town TID complied with current law.  Authored by the Joint Legislative Council, the bill passed the Senate with a vote of 33-0 and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 257.


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