Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Senate Passes Unclaimed Property Bill; Assembly to Concur on Thursday

The State Senate met for their final regular session floor period of the 2017-18 legislative session on Tuesday. After some deal-making during the day, the Assembly and Senate agreed to meet in extraordinary session on Thursday to take up modified versions of the child tax credit, juvenile corrections and school safety bills that address issues raised by the Senate.

Changes to Unclaimed Property Program: The Senate voted 18-14 to pass Assembly Bill 773, which substantially weakens the Department of Revenue’s (DOR) ability to conduct third-party audits related to unclaimed property. The proceeds from these audits go to the Common School Fund. DOR will no longer be able to contract with third-party auditors to conduct audits of entities located in Wisconsin. This will result in less revenue going into the Common School Fund. This bill was previously passed by the Assembly but the Senate adopted an amendment related to court procedures, so the bill must be concurred in by the Assembly with that change before it can become law . It is included in the Extraordinary session agenda for Thursday.

White Space Technology: The Senate passed Assembly Joint Resolution 100 on a voice vote, which encourages the use of television white space technology to increase access to broadband Internet.

UW Merit Scholarship: The Senate voted 22-10 to pass Assembly Bill 804, which creates a merit scholarship program at UW funded by the Normal School Fund. The bill gives the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands authority to sell lands from any of their trust funds to another of the board’s trust funds for the appraised value of the land. This bill can now be signed into law.

Telecommuter Forward: The Senate passed Assembly Bill 917 on a voice vote, which creates a process for Wisconsin communities to become certified as a Telecommuter Forward! Community. In order to become certified, communities must demonstrate their commitment to promoting the availability of telecommuting options. This bill can now be signed to law.

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