Senate to vote on constitutional convention, tougher penalties for crimes, drunken driving

Senate to vote on constitutional convention, tougher penalties for crimes, drunken driving

The state Senate has approved a call for a convention of states to add a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The Senate approved a Republican resolution Tuesday calling for a convention 19-14. The Assembly approved the resolution in June. The Senate’s action solidifies Wisconsin’s call; Gov. Scott Walker plays no role in approving legislative resolutions.

It takes 34 states to trigger a convention. Wisconsin is now the 28th state to call for one.

The Senate approved a second GOP resolution 19-14 pledging that Wisconsin’s convention delegation follow rules from the Assembly of State Legislature that require delegates to stick to the purpose for which the states called the convention. The Wisconsin Assembly approved that resolution in June as well.

The Senate also approved a stand-alone bill prohibiting Wisconsin delegates from working on anything outside the scope of the convention on a 19-14 vote. That measure now goes to Walker.

Wisconsin Senate set to pass tougher penalties for crimes

Fifteen-year-olds could work as lifeguards in Wisconsin under a bill supported by Wisconsin Dells water parks and the state’s tourism industry.

The measure approved Tuesday by the state Assembly would lower the minimum age to work as a lifeguard from 16 to 15. Under the proposal, 15-year-olds would have to successfully complete a life-saving course and an adult would have to be on the premises at the same time.

No one has registered in opposition to the bipartisan measure. It’s supported by the American Red Cross, Wisconsin’s tourism industry, the Wisconsin Alliance of YMCAs and the Wisconsin Restaurant Association.

The aquatics director of Wilderness Resorts told lawmakers that it would increase the number of potential workers at water parks in the Dells.

It passed 78-14 and now heads to the Senate.

Bills toughening drunken driving law up for vote

Two bills toughening Wisconsin’s drunken driving laws have overwhelmingly passed the state Senate.

One bill calls for permanently revoking a person’s license after a fourth drunken driving offense or after a second offense in conjunction with other related vehicular offenses. The Senate passed the bill 33-0 Tuesday, sending it on to the state Assembly.

The other bill would prohibit repeat offenders and first-time offenders with a blood alcohol percentage of 0.15 or greater from driving any vehicle without an ignition interlock. State law already requires all offenders to use an interlock when their license is reinstated. The bill’s supporters worry offenders will drive someone else’s car.

The Senate passed the bill on a voice vote Tuesday. The Assembly passed it in May. It now goes to Gov. Scott Walker.

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