Gov. Jim Doyle signed five bills into law on Wednesday, changing state regulations on fertilizer and sentencing for drug offenders.
One Senate bill, introduced by Sens. Lena Taylor, D-Milwaukee, and Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend, and Reps. Tamara Grigsby, D-Milwaukee, and Fred Kessler, D-Milwaukee, will allow individual judges to decide if a person convicted of a non-traffic drug conviction would have his or her driver’s license suspended.
According to Taylor spokesperson Eric Peterson, the new law will allow people to keep working since they will be able to drive to their jobs, keeping individuals out of prison and saving taxpayers’ money.
However, Rep. Scott Suder, R-Abbotsford, who voted against the bill in the Assembly, said he disagreed, arguing the bill was soft on those who commit crime.
“If they didn’t break the law in the first place, they wouldn’t lose their license,” Suder said. “The governor loves being soft on criminals who break the law … and this is another way to do it.”?
A bill passed in the Assembly — introduced by Reps. Spencer Black, D-Madison, and Garey Bies, R-Sister Bay, and Senators Mark Miller, D-Monona, and Robert Cowles, R-Green Bay — restricts the application of lawn fertilizers containing phosphorous to lawns.
“This will help clean up our lakes by reducing phosphorous run off into our waterways,” Black said. “One pound of phosphorous can cause 500 pounds of weed and algae growth … it’s an outstanding amount.”
The bill, which will go into effect one year from now, will prohibit stores from selling fertilizer with phosphorous unless soil tests show the area is low in phosphorous. The fertilizer will also be available for first-year lawns with undeveloped roots, Black added.
The bill was passed by both the Assembly and the Senate unanimously.
Doyle also signed two other Senate bills, one that adds a 10-mile portion of the Brunsweller River to the state’s Wild River System, part of which runs through Ashland County. The other will amend Tax Incremental District in Chippewa Falls, encouraging economic growth in the area.
Finally, Doyle signed an Assembly Bill that will change the restrictions on catch-and-release bass and muskellunge fishing in the area of the state north of Highway 10.?