Assembly to vote on state rules, school testing, underage drinking, burial sites

Assembly to vote on state rules, school testing, underage drinking, burial sites
State Capitol

All Wisconsin administrative rules would be reviewed every nine years under a bill approved by the state Assembly.

Democrats and a broad array of other opponents fear such a move would make it easier to undo consumer, workplace and environmental protections and a host of other regulations. They have branded the measure passed Thursday as a special interest giveaway.

Republican supporters say the bill will ensure that state regulations stay current and relevant.

Americans for Prosperity and Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce are among the backers, arguing the change will protect people from undue regulatory burdens.

The proposal is the latest in a series of moves by the Legislature to rework the rule-making process. It now heads to the Senate.

Bills target Wisconsin’s mandatory school tests, opting out

Wisconsin school districts would be required to inform parents every year of all state or federally mandated tests to be given under a bill passed by the state Assembly.

The Assembly approved the measure Thursday.

The Assembly also passed another bill that would give students in all grades subject to state-mandated testing the option to opt out of taking them.

The measure expands current law which allows parents to opt their children out of taking tests in grades 4, 8 and 9-11. The bill would expand the opt-out option to grades 3-11.

The opt-out provision in state law was never expanded after state testing expanded to additional grades.

Both bills passed on voice votes without debate and now head to the Senate.

Bill targets adults who let teenagers drink in their homes

Adults who let teenagers drink in their homes would be breaking Wisconsin law under a proposal approved by the state Legislature to address a loophole in current law.

The bill sent to Gov. Scott Walker on Thursday addresses the so-called “social host” loophole in state law that was exposed by an appeals court ruling last year.

The court addressed a law that prohibits people who are old enough to drink from allowing people who aren’t 21 to drink alcohol in “premises” they control.

The appeals court narrowly interpreted “premises” to refer only to licensed establishments such as liquor stores or bars.

The bill approved by the Assembly on a xx(equals)xx vote would make clear that the law includes adults who allow underage drinking in their own homes.

Wisconsin Assembly set to pass burial site changes

The state historical director would have to consider evidence for adding land to the state’s burial sites catalog under a bill approved by the Wisconsin Legislature.

Developers need permits to excavate on land listed in the catalog. The bill comes in the wake of a failed proposal that would have allowed quarry owners to excavate Ho-Chunk Nation burial grounds to prove human remains are buried there.

The bill approved by the Assembly Thursday on a voice vote requires the historical director to consider whether evidence of remains exists before cataloguing a site and establishes a process for challenging decisions and removing sites from the list.

It now heads to the Senate.