Governor Scott Walker signs 11 bills into law

MADISON – Governor Scott Walker signed 11 bills into law at the Capitol on April 8.

• Assembly Bill 2 – Clarifies the language of the “acting together” provision of a Wisconsin statute to confirm the holding of the Wisconsin Supreme Court in order to match judicial interpretations in Dawson v. Town of Jackson, thus making the law more clear and efficient.  Authored by Representative Jim Ott (R-Mequon), the bill passed the Assembly on a voice vote and was concurred by the Senate in a voice vote; it is Act 11.

• Assembly Bill 3 – Clarifies statutory language concerning the appeals process in traffic forfeiture cases to reflect judicial interpretation in Village of McFarland v. Zetman (2012), which thereby lessens the potential for loopholes, and therefore, making the law clearer and more efficient.  The bill was authored by Representative Jim Ott (R-Mequon) and was passed by the Assembly on a voice vote and concurred by the Senate via a voice vote; it is Act 12.

• Assembly Bill 4 – Repeals the outdated provision regarding the incorporation of the town of Ledgeview following a ruling by The Wisconsin Court of Appeals in State ex rel. Kuehne v. Burdette (2009), which found that the special condition given to Ledgeview violated a provision in the Wisconsin Constitution.  The bill was passed by the Assembly on a voice vote and concurred on by the Senate via a voice vote.  The bill is Act 13 and was authored by Representative Jim Ott (R-Mequon).

• Assembly Bill 5 – Clarifies language regarding the intimidation of a witness in order to comply with judicial interpretation set forth in State of Wisconsin v. Freer (2010).  The bill specifically defines “causing a complaint, indictment, or information to be sought, causing a complaint to be prosecuted or assisting in the prosecution” as the intimidation of a witness, making the statute clearer and eliminating the potential for loopholes.  Authored by Representative Jim Ott (R-Mequon), the bill was passed by the Assembly on a voice vote and concurred on by the Senate via a voice vote; it is Act 14.

• Assembly Bill 10 – Expands the jurisdiction of courts to act on domestic abuse, child or at-risk adult abuse, or harassment cases and, in certain circumstances, gives courts jurisdiction over a person residing in another state, thus encouraging individuals to seek help from the courts in domestic abuse and harassment cases regardless of the question of jurisdiction.  Authored by Representative Amy Loudenbeck (R-Clinton) and Senator Van H. Wanggaard (R-Racine), the bill was passed by the Assembly on a voice vote and concurred on by the Senate via a voice vote.  The bill is Act 4.

• Assembly Bill 11 – Eliminates the newspaper recycling fee, as well as the minimum percentage of postconsumer waste content in newsprint requirement, which has become a burden to Wisconsin publishers due to the fact that recycled newsprint is either incredibly expensive or simply unavailable.  The removal of this requirement allows newsprint to be utilized to produce more valuable items, such as cereal boxes and cellulose insulation.  The bill was authored by Representative Mary Czaja (R-Irma) and Senator Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls) and was passed by the Assembly on a voice vote and concurred on by the Senate via a voice vote.  The bill is Act 7.

• Assembly Bill 14 – Eliminates unnecessary reporting requirements for raffle license holders.  This allows license holders greater autonomy in conducting their raffles and aids in eliminating red-tape.  The bill was authored by Representative Mike Kuglitsch (R-New Berlin) and Senator Devin LeMahieu (R-Sheboygan) and was passed by the Assembly on a voice vote and concurred on by the Senate via a voice vote; it is Act 6.

• Assembly Bill 16 – Expands awareness of sex trafficking victims, issues related to their victimization, and aid available to support affected individuals by requiring the Department of Justice (DOJ) to design a poster that provides information regarding the national human trafficking resource center hotline.  The poster will be available to print from its internet site and displayed in high-traffic areas such as gas stations, hotels, hospitals and medical centers, court houses, rest areas, and public and private transit stations.  The bill is Act 5 and was passed by the Assembly on a voice vote and concurred on by the Senate via a voice vote; it was authored by Representative Amy Loudenbeck (R-Clinton) and Senator Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon).

• Assembly Bill 17 – Enables small restaurants, taverns, and food carts with five or fewer handlers to revert back to the process of renewing their food safety training certificate that was in place prior to January of this year.  Under current law, in order to operate or manage a restaurant, a person must first obtain a food protection practice (FPP) certificate issued by the Department of Health Services.  This bill grants an exception to the examination requirement for renewal of an FPP certificate, allowing an alternative recertification course approved by DHS.  This bill ultimately preserves high standards in food safety practices while simultaneously reducing the burden on small businesses and entrepreneurs.  Authored by Representative Tyler August (R-Lake Geneva) and Senator Paul Farrow (R-Pewaukee), this bill was passed by the Assembly on a voice vote and was concurred on by Senate via a voice vote.  The bill is Act 9.

• Assembly Bill 18 – Authorizes “Class A” licensed retailers to provide samples of distilled spirits in addition to wine and beer, to promote business growth and job creation in Wisconsin.  This bill is Act 10, and was passed by the Assembly on a voice vote and concurred on by the Senate via a voice vote.  It was authored by Representative Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc) and Senator Terry Moulton (R-Chippewa Falls).

• Senate Bill 37 -Broadens the exceptions of a “Class B” liquor license, which pertains to the sale of beer and wine.  Under current law, a “Class B” license excludes the sale of liquor on premises where another business is conducted.  With the changes in this bill, art studios would be permitted to sell liquor, thus allowing a new and diverse business model to flourish in the state.  Authored by Senator Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls) and Representative Dean Knudson (R-Hudson), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred on by the Assembly via a voice vote. This bill is Act 8.