Governor Walker signs 10 bills, including one that eliminates the Government Accountability Board
MADISON – Governor Scott Walker signed 10 bills into law Wednesday, December 16th at the Capitol — including one that eliminates the Government Accountability Board.
Below you’ll see details on each bill signed into law via the Governor’s Office:
Assembly Bill 387 – repeals and recreates Chapter 11 of the Wisconsin statutes relating to campaign finance. Recent court decisions have struck down key parts of the law, and this bill updates Wisconsin’s statutes to be in line with those decisions so that all parties have clear guidance on campaign finance law. The bill additionally makes changes related to reporting requirements and campaign contribution limits. Authored by Representative Robin Vos (R – Rochester) and Senator Scott Fitzgerald (R – Juneau), the bill passed the Assembly on a voice vote and was concurred in as amended by the Senate on a voice vote. The Assembly then concurred in as amended by a voice vote. It is Act 117.
Assembly Bill 388 – partially vetoed, this bill eliminates the Government Accountability Board (GAB) and creates two new commissions – the Elections Commission, which will administer and supervise elections, and the Ethics Commission, which will administer and supervise ethics, campaign finance, and lobbying regulations. Both commissions will be comprised of members from all sides of the political aisle who will serve five year terms. The integrity of the election process will be protected by the proper checks and balances to the oversight of these new commissions. The Governor exercised a partial veto to ensure that the Governor’s office receives an adequate number of nominations for the commission appointments of county or municipal clerks and former judges. This bill was authored by Representative Dean Knudson (R – Hudson) and Senator Leah Vukmir (R – Wauwatosa). The bill passed by the Assembly by a vote of 58-39. It was concurred in the Senate as amended by a vote of 18-14. Because it was amended in the Senate, the Assembly concurred with those amendments by a vote of 58-37, respectively. It is Act 118.
Assembly Bill 394 – creates a review process for the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) for insurance changes that are usually approved by the Group Insurance Board (GIB). If JFC schedules a meeting to review changes, GIB cannot implement changes until they are approved by JFC. Authored by Representative John Nygren (R – Marinette) and Senator Alberta Darling (R – River Hills), the bill passed the Assembly by a vote of 90-2 and was concurred in as amended, by the Senate by a vote of 32-0. The Assembly then concurred in the amendment by voice vote. It is Act 119.
Assembly Bill 23 – prohibits an individual from bringing action against a financial institution, such as a bank or credit union, regarding an offer for financing unless that offer is in writing, sets forth relevant terms and commitments, is signed with authorized signatures, or is delivered to the party seeking to enforce the offer, promise agreement, or commitment. The bill ultimately prevents frivolous law suits against banks and credit unions. Authored by Representative David Craig (R – Big Bend) and Senator Howard Marklein (R – Spring Green), the bill passed the Assembly on a voice vote and was concurred by the Senate on a voice vote. It is Act 120.
Senate Bill 170 – extends the statute of limitations for second and third degree sexual assault from six years to ten years. This bill allows victims of sexual assault more time to come forward and report the crime, and by extending the statute of limitations, it is more likely that perpetrators of sexual assault will be brought to justice. Authored by Senator Devin LeMahieu (R – Oostburg) and Representative Samantha Kerkman (R – Salem), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly by a vote of 91-1. It is Act 121.
Senate Bill 178 – exempts companies and people performing certain lead-safe renovations from lead inspection requirements, as described in Department of Health Services Chapter 163. The exemption allows for a partial-lead inspection, which is an on-site investigation of one or more painted, varnished, or otherwise coated building components to determine the presence of lead, but not a surface-to-surface investigation. The bill also requires the person performing the partial-lead inspection to disclose it, in writing, to the owner or lessor of the dwelling or premises. Authored by Senator Mary Lazich (R – New Berlin) and Representative Mike Kuglitsch (R – New Berlin), the bill passed the Senate by a vote of 18-14 and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote. It is Act 122.
Senate Bill 158 – makes a number of modifications to existing state law relating to commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) and commercial driver licenses (CDLs) in order to bring Wisconsin into compliance with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations. The bill guarantees a stable regulatory environment for Wisconsin’s motor carriers is maintained, the state’s conformity with federal regulations continues, and above all, ensures that Wisconsin’s motorists remain safe as they travel throughout the state. 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 123.
Senate Bill 224 – replaces various terms that currently refer to official markings on a highway with the term “pavement marking,” which the bill defines as any material or device on the surface of a highway intended to regulate, warn, or guide highway users. Under current law, official markings on a highway are referred to by the terms “mark,” “marking” and “pavement marking,” but are not defined in greater depth. This bill provides clarity and uniformity to existing statutes pertaining to the use of pavement markings on Wisconsin’s roadways. Authored by Senator Jerry Petrowski (R – Marathon) and Representative Janel Brandtjen (R – Menomonee Falls), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote. It is Act 124.
Senate Bill 225 – as amended, the bill allows a municipality or county with an ordinance to establish a golf cart crossing point on a state trunk highway or connecting highway within the limits of a municipality if the following conditions are met: the state trunk highway or connecting highway has a speed limit of 35 miles per hour or less, the highway crossing connects highways designated for golf cart operation, and the municipality provides sufficient funds to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to cover the costs of posting and maintaining highway crossing signs. 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 125.
Senate Bill 227 – provides a sales and use tax exemption for contractors buying materials which will be used in a project for a nonprofit or local government. Under current law, nonprofits and local governments currently have this exemption, but it only applies if they purchase the materials directly. This bill allows the exemption to apply even if the contractor purchases the materials. Authored by Senator Howard Marklein (R – Spring Green) and Representative Bob Kulp (R – Stratford), the bill passed the Senate by a vote of 32-0 and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote. It is Act 126.