State Assembly will review bills on voter registration, water de - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

State Assembly will review bills on voter registration, water development

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 MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The state Assembly is poised to vote on a pair of bills that would ease water body development regulations and expand property owners' rights.
   One bill would expand legislative oversight on the types of water bodies the Department of Natural Resources can designate as a special natural resource interest area. The proposal also would grant shoreline property owners ownership of the first three feet of the water body and creates a general dredging permit.
   The other measure would prohibit counties from enacting broad development bans, require judges to give laws restricting property owners' use of their land no deference and prohibits locals from regulating repairs and rebuilding of structures in shore land setbacks.
   The Assembly is set to take up both bills Tuesday.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The state Assembly is set to vote on a bill prohibiting government officials from banning live Christmas trees in churches and the state Capitol rotunda.
   National Fire Protection Association guidelines call for banning live Christmas trees in places where 50 people or more gather. But the guidelines also allow limited quantities of combustible vegetation if local fire officials decide adequate safeguards are in place.
   Under the bill, the state and municipal governments would be forbidden from passing any rules or ordinances prohibiting the seasonal placement of Christmas trees in the Capitol rotunda or in a church. Trees in the rotunda and churches would be presumed to be safe during fire inspections.
   The Assembly was scheduled to vote on the bill during a session set to begin Tuesday afternoon.

 MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin residents would soon be able to register to vote online under a bill the Wisconsin Senate is taking up Tuesday.
   The bill has drawn opposition from Democrats, who support online voter registration but oppose some of the bill's other provisions. In particular, Democrats are worried about the elimination of special registration deputies, who help register voters in person leading up to an election.
   The bill's Republican supporters say online registration will solve the need for those deputies. Democrats say the lack of assistance could disenfranchise students, seniors and low-income voters.
   The Senate plans to take up the bill in an 11 a.m. session Tuesday.  If approved in both Senate and Assembly, online registration could be in place by the 2017 spring primary.
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