Busy day for the Legislature - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Busy day for the Legislature

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NORTH CENTRAL WISCONSIN (WAOW) -

Moves made at the State Capitol Tuesday would affect almost every person in Wisconsin. A number of issues kept legislators quite busy.

Everything was on the table from rules regarding school mascot's names, to raising the speed limit, to cutting property taxes.

State lawmakers approved a slew of bills. One, boosting the speed limit on interstates from 65 to 70 miles per hour, which passed in the Assembly despite some concerns.

"I want more input. Transportation, health, our industries are not starting to register against it, we've had some major trucking industries register,” said State Rep. Mandy Wright (D-Wausau).

"We've worked all along with the DOT on this bill. Traffic and safety engineers are gonna be the ones who decide whether this goes to 70 from 65," said State Rep. Paul Tittl (R-Manitowoc).

That measure now heads to the State Senate.

Another issue on the table was the names of school mascots. Right now, if one person finds a name offensive, it would spark a hearing, but under a new bill, a certain number of signatures would be required first.

"If something is offensive, one person, such as happened in Mukwonago, shouldn't be able to go forward and say, that is offensive and should be removed," said State Rep. Steve Nass (R-Whitewater).

Democrats say lawmakers should focus on other things.

"I think that it is basically a divisive issue that had pretty much been put behind us. I would like to see us more focused on other priorities, like jobs, education, healthcare," said Wright.

That measure has passed the Assembly. The Senate stated it would take the bill up next month.

The Senate also passed Gov. Scott Walker's $100 million property tax cut plan. Some Democrats say it was purely created to get the governor re-elected, but Walker says it's about the people in Wisconsin.

In a statement, the governor said, “Our tough, but prudent, decisions mean we can invest in Wisconsin’s priorities, and one of those is holding the line on property taxes in this state."

The Assembly is expected to take that up on Thursday.

Harsher penalties for underage customers in bars took a step forward today too, which would give bar owners the ability to sue those minors who use fake IDs. That was passed by the Senate and is heading to Gov. Walker.

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