Madison - Today, Governor Scott Walker signed legislation to assist people
struggling to pay high heating bills as a result of the propane shortage and bitter
cold winter. Under Assembly Bill 770, the Wisconsin Housing and Economic
Development Authority (WHEDA) will administer the emergency heating assistance loan
guarantee program. To be approved for emergency heating assistance, applicants must
have a household income no higher than 200 percent of the median income of their
county, they cannot be eligible for conventional financing, and they must
demonstrate reasonable ability to repay the loan.
"The propane shortage affected residents and business owners all around the state,
and left many with unexpectedly high heating bills that they cannot pay in full,"
said Governor Walker. "This emergency heating assistance loan guarantee program
will help families make ends meet and offers some relief from the burden created by
the propane crisis."
Assembly Bill 770 - creates an emergency heating assistance loan guarantee program.
It will allow families to obtain financing of up to $2,500 through a participating
lender with a guarantee of 50 to 80 percent on original amount borrowed. Assembly
Bill 770 makes financing more affordable by providing a one-time payment of 3.5
percent to reduce the interest rate on the loan. The bill passed the Assembly 94-1
and unanimously passed the Senate; it is Act 175.
In addition, Governor Scott Walker signed the following bills into law, including
one partial veto, and issued one full veto.
Senate Bill 20 - expands the residency requirement for election observers to allow
individuals from the county to serve, as opposed to only the municipality or ward.
The bill passed the Senate 17-16 and the Assembly 56-38; it is Act 147.
Senate Bill 377 - requires that the Election Day registration audit of voter
addresses, which is already conducted under current law, be submitted to the GAB,
published on GAB's website, and included in their annual report to the Legislature.
The bill passed both the Senate and the Assembly on a voice vote; it is Act 148.
Senate Bill 548 - charges the GAB with notifying electors who have not voted in the
last four years that they must re-register. GAB has already begun this process for
municipalities, so tasking them solely with this duty will reduce duplicate mailings
and result in savings for municipalities. The bill passed the Senate on a voice
vote and the Assembly 62-31; it is Act 149.
Senate Bill 640 - makes the Legislative Reference Bureau's suggested changes to the
form for certain residential or construction contracts. The bill passed the Senate
and the Assembly on a voice vote; it is Act 150.
Senate Bill 641 - corrects provisions of statute by supplying omissions and
eliminating defects. The bill passed the Senate and the Assembly on a voice vote;
it is Act 151.
Senate Bill 643 - clarifies language relating to county aid for town bridges and
culverts to state that the petition should include a description of the location and
size of the project. The bill passed the Senate and the Assembly on a voice vote;
it is Act 152.
Senate Bill 655 - modernizes campaign finance laws by allowing electronic filing of
finance reports, as opposed to the need for hard copies, updates contribution limits
which have not been adjusted since 1973, and clarifies that news stories do not
count as contributions or disbursements. The bill passed the Senate 17-16 and the
Assembly 54-37; it is Act 153.
Assembly Bill 19 - requires plaintiffs to disclose claims they have filed or
anticipate filing against asbestos trusts to prevent double dipping. This
legislation does not prevent victims from filing claims and will ensure the solvency
of the asbestos trust. The bill passed the Assembly 55-38 and the Senate 17-16; it
is Act 154.
Assembly Bill 89 - relates to the method of reporting election returns. Creates
efficiencies and cost savings by allowing municipalities with a population of more
than 35,000 to combine election returns for any ward with 20 or fewer returns for
any adjacent ward, subject to limitations. The bill passed the Assembly and the
Senate on a voice vote; it is Act 155.
Assembly Bill 161 - relates to injunctions of state statute. Currently, if an
injunction is issued, appeals are discretionary. This bill states that injunctions
can be immediately appealed as a matter of right. The bill passed the Assembly
60-36 and the Senate 18-14; it is Act 156.
Assembly Bill 288 - relating to municipal and consolidated library funding.
Eliminates inequality in library service by allowing counties to bill adjacent
counties for services provided regardless of whether that county has a consolidated
public library. The bill passed the Assembly and the Senate on a voice vote; it is
Assembly Bill 360 - clarifies rules regarding emergency detention or involuntary
commitment, including changes to the standards of dangerousness the law enforcement
official take into account when considering a commitment and repeals the rule that
an involuntary commitment of an inmate ends on the date of their release on parole
or extended supervision. The bill passed both the Assembly and Senate on a voice
vote; it is Act 158.
Assembly Bill 396 - requires that special voting deputies be present at adult family
homes, community-based residential facilities, and residential care apartment
complexes when there is absentee voting. The bill passed the Assembly 56-38 and the
Senate 17-16; it is Act 159.
Assembly Bill 420 - requires that nomination paper, recall, and referendum petitions
include the legibly printed name as well as the signature of the signer, along with
the address and date of signing. The bill passed the Assembly 53-38 and the Senate
on a voice vote; it is Act 160.
Assembly Bill 435 - clarifies the admission process and review of petitions on
behalf of minors aged 14 or older who are voluntarily participating in inpatient
treatment for mental illness, developmental disability, alcoholism, or drug abuse.
The bill passed both the Assembly and Senate on a voice vote; it is Act 161.
Assembly Bill 558 - adds clarifying language relating to carrying a firearm in
public buildings. The bill passed both the Assembly and Senate on a voice vote; it
is Act 162.
Assembly Bill 559 - removes out-of-date statutory language relating to the
Department of Transportation including the requirement that the Department submit
documentation about the security interest in a vehicle to the register of deeds.
Also replaces a special group license plate for female veterans with special group
license plates for female veterans in each of the five branches of the U.S. Armed
Forces. The bill passed the Assembly and was concurred by the Senate on a voice
vote; it is Act 163.
Assembly Bill 560 - requires a 12-person jury in all criminal cases and removes the
requirement that the clerk of court keep the names of notaries public in the
register of officials. The bill passed both the Assembly and Senate on a voice
vote; it is Act 164.
Assembly Bill 561 - corrects errors in existing statute. The bill passed both the
Assembly and Senate on a voice vote; it is Act 165.
Assembly Bill 562 - corrects errors in existing statute. The bill passed both the
Assembly and Senate on a voice vote; it is Act 166.
Assembly Bill 563 - corrects errors in existing statute relating to the statute of
limitations for repeated sexual assault of a child and the suspension of licenses
for those with felonies or misdemeanors who carry concealed weapons. The bill
passed both the Assembly and Senate on a voice vote; it is Act 167.
Assembly Bill 564 - corrects errors in existing statute. The bill passed both the
Assembly and Senate on a voice vote; it is Act 168.
Assembly Bill 565 - repeals the schedule of elections that is stated within the
subchapter II of Chapter 10, Wisconsin Statutes, as according to GAB, local clerks
use the election calendar provided by the Board. The bill passed both the Assembly
and Senate on a voice vote; it is Act 169.
Assembly Bill 566 - suggested by the Department of Children and Families, this bill
clarifies statutes related to children. The bill passed both the Assembly and
Senate on a voice vote; it is Act 170.
Assembly Bill 567 - clarifies statutes relating to public records access and removes
out-of-date references. The bill passed both the Assembly and Senate on a voice
vote; it is Act 171.
Assembly Bill 568 - clarifies laws relating to the publication and effective date of
administrative rules. The bill passed both the Assembly and the Senate on a voice
vote; it is Act 172.
Assembly Bill 569 - corrects errors in existing statute. The bill passed both the
Assembly and Senate on a voice vote; it is Act 173.
Assembly Bill 606 - changes the number of required signatures of electors to not
less than 100 and not more than 200 for candidates for alderperson in smaller
cities. The bill passed the Assembly and the Senate on a voice vote; it is Act 174.
Senate Bill 324 - Governor Walker signed Senate Bill 324 pertaining to early voting,
with a partial veto of Sections 1 and 2. With the changes from the partial veto,
early voting is not limited to 45 total hours per week for statewide elections, but
maintains the requirement for more uniform voting hours across the state: Monday
through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., similar to uniform voting hours on the
actual election day. Governor Walker also vetoed the provision requiring
municipalities to provide compensation to individuals who assist with in-person
absentee voting, and eliminated the appropriation as it would create a new state
expenditure for a function historically handled by local governments. The bill
passed the Senate 17-16 and the Assembly 56-38; it is Act 146.
Senate Bill 628 - Governor Walker issued a veto of Senate Bill 628 in its entirety.
Due to the way raffles are conducted and regulated, the changes proposed in the bill
threatened the exclusive rights of the Indian tribes to conduct Class III gaming.