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Senate votes on drunken driving, egg sales, other bills

Published On: Mar 18 2014 06:10:44 AM CDT
Updated On: Mar 18 2014 03:40:48 PM CDT
MADISON, Wis. -

The Wisconsin State Senate votes Tuesday on issues ranging from drunken driving and human trafficking to heroin and egg sales.

Senate passes drunken driving bill

Drunken drivers who injure someone would have to spend at least 30 days in jail under a bill that has passed the Wisconsin state Senate.

Democratic Sen. Tim Carpenter argued that the Legislature didn't do enough this year to combat drunken driving this year and tried unsuccessfully to amend the bill to toughen the law.

Under current law, judges can sentence a drunken driver who injures someone from between 30 days and one year in jail. The bill passed Tuesday would require that the person be sentenced to at least 30 days behind bars.

The bill would also make clear that anyone convicted of drunken driving for a seventh, eighth or ninth time must spend at least three years in prison.

The measure now heads to Gov. Scott Walker.

Senate passes human trafficking bill

Wisconsin's human trafficking laws would be tightened under a bill that has passed the state Senate.

The measure passed on a voice vote Tuesday would also give victims a way to void any crimes they may have committed.

The proposal would allow trafficking victims to ask a judge to vacate or expunge prostitution convictions. The judge could grant the request if he or she gives the prosecutor a chance to respond and determines society won't be harmed.

Current Wisconsin law defines trafficking as recruiting, enticing, harboring or transporting someone against their consent. The bipartisan bill removes the consent element and adds using schemes to control an individual to the definition.

The Assembly passed the bill last month and now it heads to Gov. Scott Walker.

Senate to consider domestic abuse reporting bill

The Wisconsin state Senate has passed a scaled back version of a bill that originally would have required police officers who respond to a domestic abuse call but don't arrest anyone to explain why.

The version approved Tuesday doesn't require that reporting. Instead, it would make the state Department of Administration maintain and provide a system that allows district attorneys to manage and share case-related information.

It would also require the state Department of Justice to make a list of domestic abuse services organizations available to law enforcement agencies.

The bill now heads back to the Assembly, which was scheduled to pass it Thursday.

The original bill was introduced in response to a mass shooting at a Brookfield spa in 2012.

Family members who help felons targeted

Relatives of felons who help them evade police could face steep fines and jail times under a bill that has passed the Wisconsin state Senate.

Current Wisconsin law prohibits a person from aiding or harboring a felon. But the law doesn't apply to the felon's spouse, parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren and siblings.

The bill passed Tuesday on a voice vote in the Senate would apply that prohibition to all those family members. If they aid the felon they could face fines of up to $20,000 and 10 years in prison depending on the severity of the felon's crimes.

The Assembly passed the bill in February on a voice vote. It now goes to Gov. Scott Walker.

Senate passes bill to ease egg sales at markets

Wisconsin farmers would be allowed to sell eggs at farmers' markets without a food processing license under a bill that has passed the state Senate.

The proposal passed Tuesday would set certain criteria for those looking to sell eggs from chickens on their farm. Eggs would need to be stored at or below 41 degrees prior to sale. Producers would also have to have less than 150 birds in their flocks and would need to label the packaging with a statement that the eggs are ungraded.

Egg packaging would have to show the date of packaging, and eggs couldn't be sold more than 30 days after packaging.

The Assembly passed the bill last month and now it will go to Gov. Scott Walker.

Senate passes heroin bill

The Wisconsin Senate has passed a bill targeting heroin use in Wisconsin.

The bill approved Tuesday has already passed the Assembly with bipartisan support and now heads to Gov. Scott Walker.

It would require state health officials to create regional opiate treatment centers in underserved areas.

A vote on a second bill was delayed until next month. That bill would require the state Department of Corrections to set up a formal system of quick sanctions short of prison for substance abusers who violate their parole or probation.

The bills are sponsored by Republican Rep. John Nygren, whose daughter has struggled with heroin use.

Four other Nygren-sponsored bills addressing heroin use have already passed the Legislature and are awaiting Walker's signature.

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