UPDATE: Senate passes microbead ban, liquor sampling bill
MADISON (AP) – Wisconsin lawmakers were at the Capitol Tuesday, with several bills up for a vote.
Mini-shots of hard alcohol could be offered to sample at Wisconsin liquor and grocery stores under a bill headed to Gov. Scott Walker for his consideration.
The state Senate passed it on a voice vote Tuesday without debate. The bill also easily cleared the Assembly last month on a voice vote.
Retailers with liquor licenses could provide customers with one half-ounce of booze, the equivalent of a third of a shot.
Customers could only have one hard alcohol sample a day.
State law already permits stores to offer beer and wine samples. Supporters of the bill say offering the free mini-shots will help distilleries and other liquor sellers compete with breweries and winemakers.
Similar bills failed in 2012 and 2014.
Wisconsin is joining the nationwide push to ban a key plastic exfoliant in soap, toothpaste and other personal care products out of fear it's leading to water pollution.
The state Senate on Tuesday passed a bill banning the tiny bits of plastic known as microbeads. They are typically found in facial scrubs and toothpaste.
Scientists recently discovered that the particles are flowing by the billions from wastewater treatment plants into the Great Lakes and other water systems.
Major manufacturers have already started substituting microbeads with natural substances including ground-up fruit pits, oatmeal and sea salt.
The bill passed Tuesday on a voice vote would prohibit making personal care products containing microbeads starting in 2018 and disallow selling them starting in 2019.
New York and Illinois already have bans in place.
School Report Cards
There would be no school report cards with results of tests taken by students this spring under a bill that has passed the Wisconsin state Senate.
There is broad support for the proposal passed Tuesday because of concerns related to the troubled implementation of the test and fears that students could fare poorly on it.
This year's test, known as the Badger Exam, is tied to the Common Core academic standards.
The bill passed on a voice vote with no debate. It now heads to the Assembly.
It would ensure that the test results aren't used to measure either a school's performance or be included as a factor in teacher evaluations until next school year.
With no test scores, there would be no report card next fall.
Newsline 9 will update this story with the results of how lawmakers voted.