Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers Takes Action on 48 Bills, Vetoes 5

Governor Tony Evers today signed the following 48 bills.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers Takes Action on 48 Bills, Vetoes 5

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers took action on 48 bills listed below in addition to Assembly Bills 465, 133, and 394, as already announced earlier today. In total, Gov. Evers today acted on 51 bills.

Safe Haven Boxes

Gov. Evers today signed Senate Bill 369, now Wisconsin Act 79, which expands the Safe Haven law to allow for “baby boxes,” devices where a parent can anonymously and safely leave their newborn infant at a hospital, police station, or fire station..

“Expanding safeguards for kids across Wisconsin is a priority for my administration, and this bill provides a solution that will hopefully keep newborns and infants safe from harm,” said Gov. Evers. “I will continue to advocate for initiatives that work to make our communities and families safer, and I look forward to seeing more bipartisan bills like this in the future.”

Senate Bill 369, now Wisconsin Act 79:

  • Adds a method by which a parent may relinquish their newborn under the Safe Haven law by using a “newborn infant safety device” and creates standards for emergency services using that device.

Financial Literacy

Additionally, Gov. Evers also signed Assembly Bill 109, now 2023 Wisconsin Act 60.

Gov. Evers as part of his proposed 2023-25 biennial budget announced his “Do the Math” initiative to provide districts the resources to start or improve financial literacy curriculum and prepare students for financial success. The governor believes financial literacy is something every Wisconsinite needs to be successful—from household budgeting and understanding consumer financing to insurance decisions and retirement planning—and that strong financial literacy curriculum will provide a strong foundation for students’ financial futures.

“We have to make sure our kids have the tools and skills to make smart financial and budgeting decisions to prepare for their future, so ensuring our kids have strong financial literacy is essential to setting them up for success as adults,” said Gov. Evers. “I was proud to propose investments to bolster financial literacy in our biennial budget, and it’s why I’m glad to sign this bill today to make sure every student has a strong foundation for their financial futures.”

Assembly Bill 109, now 2023 Wisconsin Act 60:

  • Requires, starting with the 2028 graduating class, a pupil to complete at least 0.5 credit of personal financial literacy in order to graduate from a school district.

Alcohol Regulation

Among the bills the governor signed today was Senate Bill 268, now Wisconsin Act 73, which makes changes to the state’s alcohol regulation laws and make additional changes to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue’s (DOR) enforcement authority pertaining to tobacco products, vapor products, and the state lottery.

“Across the country, Wisconsin is best known not only for our world-champion dairy but also our world-class breweries, wineries, and distilleries that employ thousands of workers statewide and play a significant role in our statewide economy. Ensuring that our state’s regulations and policies are modernized and updated to meet this ever-evolving industry remains a priority for the safety of consumers, producers, and Wisconsin as a whole,” said Gov. Evers. “I want to share my thanks to all the folks who worked together to get this bipartisan piece of legislation over the finish line, including the folks at the DOR, and I’m glad to be signing this bill today to ensure Wisconsin’s alcohol beverage industry grows and continues working for Wisconsin.”

Senate Bill 268, now Wisconsin Act 73:

  • Creates a dedicated division at DOR for the regulation and enforcement of the alcohol beverage industry;
  • Standardizes rules and expands retail opportunities for breweries, wineries, and distilleries;
  • Allows brewpubs to increase the amount of beer they can produce and distribute;
  • Implements permitting and reporting requirements on common carriers shipping alcohol beverages;
  • Clarifies “public spaces” that are prohibited from selling alcohol without a permit and requires new permits for these venues;
  • Introduces a statewide bartender’s license;
  • Increases the driving while under the influence surcharge and funding for the Safe Ride program;
  • Categorizes hard seltzers and similar alcohol beverages as “fermented malt beverages”;
  • Extends closing hours for bars in Southeastern Wisconsin during the 2024 Republican National Convention;
  • Increases penalties for unlawful possession of cigarettes, adds penalties for transfer of lottery tickets to avoid state taxes or family support, and creates a penalty for the possession of sales suppression devices or software;
  • Bans alcohol vapor or mist machines and requires the DOR to establish a directory of electronic vaping devices;
  • Includes other alcohol regulation and DOR enforcement authority changes;
  • While many of the bill’s alcohol regulation components are effective the first day of the 5th month beginning after the bill’s publication, most other components of the bill are effective the day after publication; and
  • A notable exception to this general construct is the bill’s two-year delayed effective date pertaining to wedding barns or similar establishments.

The remaining 45 bills signed by the governor include:

Senate Bill 60, now 2023 Wisconsin Act 43:

  • Expands the current law exemption from the payment of title fees when a vehicle is transferred from a decedent to a surviving spouse or domestic partner to include the transfer of a vehicle from a decedent to an immediate family member.

Senate Bill 123, now 2023 Wisconsin Act 44:

  • Allows members of the U.S. armed forces to be exempt from the probationary license requirement.

Senate Bill 124, now Wisconsin Act 45:

  • Eliminates WisDOT’s statutory obligation to issue physical temporary license plates; and
  • Allows the department to require electronic issuance of temporary plates.

Senate Bill 270, now Wisconsin Act 46:

  • Creates a new claims and payment process for road builders harmed by delays in utility work.

Senate Bill 166, now Wisconsin Act 47:

  • Clarifies the offenses over which courts-martial have primary jurisdiction, specifies the limits of punishment under the Wisconsin Code of Military Justice (WCMJ);
  • Directs the adjutant general to prescribe rules of procedure for courts-martial arising under WCMJ
  • Codifies offenses related to retaliation, sexual harassment, and engaging in prohibited sexual activity with a recruit or trainee to reflect the inclusion of those offenses in the federal Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ)
  • Modifies the elements of sexual assault to reflect changes to the elements of that offense under UCMJ; and
  • Removes certain gender-specific language from WCMJ.

Senate Bill 167, now Wisconsin Act 48:

  • Requires the adjutant general to submit an annual report to the governor and the appropriate standing committees of the Wisconsin State Legislature on various topics related to sexual assault and sexual harassment reported by members of the Wisconsin National Guard; and
  • Requires the Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs (DMA) to submit a report to the appropriate standing committees of the Legislature describing any substantive changes to the federal UCMJ during the prior federal fiscal year.

Senate Bill 168, now Wisconsin Act 49:

  • Requires DMA to establish and maintain a case management system that allows the National Guard to track and manage casework related to misconduct within the National Guard.

Senate Bill 207, now Wisconsin Act 50:

  • Modifies eligibility requirements for the wildlife control grant, administered by the DNR, to include any city, village or town with a population density of not less than 125 persons per square mile.

Senate Bill 208, now Wisconsin Act 51:

  • Adds an exemption from certain state prohibitions on the use of firearms for designated military or public-use airport personnel for the purposes of nuisance wildlife management.

Assembly Bill 335, now 2023 Wisconsin Act 52:

  • Specifies that if a candidate is convicted of certain election crimes, a court must order the dissolution of the candidate’s committee and the return of unencumbered campaign funds; and
  • Requires the court to appoint a new treasurer for the committee to carry this out.

Senate Bill 283, now Wisconsin Act 53:

  • Requires that a municipality retain video records of election night proceedings for 22 months if the municipality opts to broadcast proceedings on election night.

Senate Bill 433, now Wisconsin Act 54:

  • Modifies current law such that the requirement that presidential primary absentee ballots be sent at least 47 days in advance only apply to military and overseas voters; and
  • All other voters would be sent the presidential primary absentee ballot at least 21 days in advance.

Senate Bill 196, now Wisconsin Act 55:

  • Ratifies and enters Wisconsin into the Counseling Compact, allowing professional counselors to practice in other compact states, and out-of-state professional counselors from compact member states to practice in Wisconsin.

Senate Bill 197, now Wisconsin Act 56:

  • Ratifies and enters Wisconsin into the Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Interstate Compact, providing the ability of speech-language pathologists or audiologists to become eligible to practice in other compact states.

Senate Bill 35, now 2023 Wisconsin Act 57:

  • Creates an option for a driver’s license applicant to identify, by name, residential address, phone number, and relationship, an emergency contact held by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) and accessible to local law enforcement in an emergency.

Assembly Bill 36, now 2023 Wisconsin Act 58:

  • Creates a six-month time limit for the state crime laboratories to process sexual assault kits and an expedited 60-day timeline under certain circumstances.

Assembly Bill 49, now 2023 Wisconsin Act 59:

  • Exempts vehicles with disabled license plates or tags from time restrictions and parking fines applicable to parking spaces on University of Wisconsin (UW) System campuses.

Assembly Bill 166, now 2023 Wisconsin Act 61:

  • Expands the definition of “sexual contact” for the purposes of crimes against children and sexual assault and provides a penalty.

Senate Bill 85, now 2023 Wisconsin Act 62:

  • Provides that email is allowable for providing required notices for operations of the board of a public inland lake protection and rehabilitation district. 

Senate Bill 105, now 2023 Wisconsin Act 63:

  • Requires the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to enter into an agreement with interested snowmobile clubs to allow the clubs to erect signs that advertise nearby businesses along snowmobile trails on state land.

Senate Bill 109, now 2023 Wisconsin Act 64:

  • Allows for the operation of all-terrain or utility terrain vehicles owned by or under contract with an electric cooperative or municipality on interstates, highways, and freeways for purposes directly related to the function of the electric cooperative or if the operator is engaged in an emergency.

Senate Bill 140, now Wisconsin Act 65:

  • Eliminates the cost-share requirement for dam removal projects.

Senate Bill 159, now Wisconsin Act 66:

  • Requires the DNR to create a biennial work plan that establishes priorities and goals for habitat work and measures progress on established priorities and goals.

Senate Bill 239, now Wisconsin Act 67:

  • Changes the administration of nonprofit all-terrain and utility terrain aid grants for the procurement of communications equipment from the Off-Road Vehicle Council to the Division of Public Safety and Resource Protection within DNR.

Senate Bill 248, now Wisconsin Act 68:

  • Specifies that the county of residence for an individual who is placed in a facility by a county department, agency of a county department, or care management organization remains the county in which the individual resided immediately before the placement.

Senate Bill 249, now Wisconsin Act 69:

  • Designates and marks the entirety of State Trunk Highway 80 as the “Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm Memorial Highway.”

Senate Bill 251, now Wisconsin Act 70:

  • Updates membership of the Council on Veterans Programs by removing inactive groups and adding members who are veterans service coordinators in Wisconsin’s Technical College System, the UW System, and an institution belonging to the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.

Senate Bill 263, now Wisconsin Act 71:

  • Allows the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) to designate, by rule, additional drugs covered by the SeniorCare program to be dispensed in amounts up to 100-day supplies; and
  • Directs DHS to seek and implement any federal waivers or amendments necessary to implement the provisions of the bill.

Senate Bill 267, now Wisconsin Act 72:

  • Creates planning and operational grants for schools and nonprofit organizations interested in creating and operating a recovery school for students in recovery from a substance use disorder.

Senate Bill 280, now Wisconsin Act 74:

  • Authorizes the placement of signs to inform motorists of the territorial boundaries of Tribal reservation and trust lands within the highway right-of-way.

Senate Bill 290, now Wisconsin Act 75:

  • Establishes regulations for third-party food delivery services.

Senate Bill 324, now Wisconsin Act 76:

  • Prohibits a building code from limiting the use of a refrigerant that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has designated as an acceptable alternative.

Senate Bill 325, now Wisconsin Act 77:

  • Modifies the statutory definition of broadband “unserved,” removes the term “underserved,” and adjusts the criteria by which the Wisconsin Public Service Commission may award grants under the Broadband Expansion Grant Program, including the addition of a procedure that would allow certain internet service providers to challenge the awarding of a grant.

Senate Bill 362, now Wisconsin Act 78:

  • Allows an employer to consent to having communications related to group health insurance plans, employer-sponsored plans, and other ancillary coverage be provided electronically to plan holders if certain criteria are met.

Senate Bill 380, now Wisconsin Act 80:

  • Makes changes to the Wisconsin Grant program administered by the Higher Educational Aids Board and includes other changes related to financial aid for higher education.

Senate Bill 400, now Wisconsin Act 81:

  • Ratifies and enters Wisconsin into the Physician’s Assistant Licensure Compact, providing the ability for physician’s assistants to become eligible to practice in other compact states.

Senate Bill 419, now Wisconsin Act 82:

  • Modifies the definition of the practicing, fitting, and dealing of hearing aids; and 
  • Requires the creation and issuance of cerumen management certificates to hearing instrument specialists.

Senate Bill 434, now Wisconsin Act 83:

  • Prohibits the Medicaid program from requiring a prescription and prior authorization before reimbursing a provider for the repair of complex rehabilitation technology if the complex rehabilitation technology was previously prescribed and reimbursed through Medicaid.

Senate Bill 440, now Wisconsin Act 84:

  • Requires DHS to design a cremation permit application form.

Senate Bill 527, now Wisconsin Act 85:

  • Directs DHS to award a portion of the federal Community Mental Health Services Block Grant as grants for suicide prevention programming.

In addition to signing the above bills and vetoing Assembly Bill 465 as announced earlier today, Gov. Evers also vetoed five additional bills.

The governor’s veto messages are available below.

Last Update: Dec 06, 2023 3:37 pm CST

Share This Article