Senate OKs child labor, fentanyl, lead pipe bills

Senate OKs child labor, fentanyl, lead pipe bills

The state Senate has passed a Republican bill that would further loosen child labor restrictions.

The bill would allow minors to work in businesses owned in whole or in part by their parents or guardians without a child work permit. The bill doesn’t change current limitations on when minors can work or how long, minimum wage requirements or restrictions on hazardous employment.

The Wisconsin Grocers Association supports the measure. No other groups have registered a position on the bill.

The Senate approved the bill on a voice vote Tuesday. The measure now goes to the Assembly.

Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill in June that eliminated work permits for 16- and 17-year-olds, ending a century-old requirement that teenagers obtain a parent’s signature and permit to work.

Senate passes lead pipe replacement bill

A proposal designed to make it easier to replace lead pipes has cleared a hurdle in the Wisconsin Legislature.

The state Senate on Tuesday passed the bill on a unanimous vote. It would allow a public water utility and municipalities to finance property owners’ efforts to replace lead pipes running from the street up to a person’s home.

The bill allows public water utilities and local governments to provide grants, loans or both to property owners to help them replace portions of water pipes containing lead.

Some fear the bill would lead to higher water bills if utilities put money toward replacing pipes.

The measure now heads to the state Assembly. It must pass the Assembly and be signed by Gov. Scott Walker before becoming law.

Senate OKs fentanyl regulations

The Wisconsin Senate has adopted a bill cracking down on deadly opioids known as fentanyl analogs.

The potent drug is being added to heroin, leading to spikes in overdoses across the state. Republican Rep. John Nygren’s daughter, Cassandra Nygren, was charged this month with allegedly providing the fentanyl that killed a pregnant woman.

The Republican-authored bill would add fentanyl analogs to the synthetic opiates category of controlled substances, making it easier for prosecutors to go after manufacturers. Possessing, manufacturing or dealing a fentanyl analog would be a felony.

The Senate approved the bill on a voice vote Tuesday. The Assembly passed it in June but the Senate amended it to include more analog forms. That means the bill must go back to the Assembly.