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WISCONSIN — Gov. Tony Evers today took action on six bills. The governor signed the following bills: 

Senate Bill 120, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 75:  

  • Creates standards for when an officer may use force and deadly force; 
  • Creates a duty to report noncompliant use of force; 
  • Creates a duty to intervene to prevent or stop noncompliant use of force; and  
  • Creates whistleblower protections for officers who report (or are believed to have reported) noncompliant use of force or intervened to prevent or stop it.

“I am glad to sign this bipartisan bill today that provides clear use of force standards and clear requirements for reporting and intervening in noncompliant use of force incidents,” said Gov. Evers. “This is another step forward in creating a more equitable, just, and safer Wisconsin for every community and to ensure accountability and transparency in our law enforcement systems. That said, our work is far from done and we must continue to strive towards meaningful change to address the systemic injustice that plagues our state and country.”

Senate Bill 17, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 76:  

  • Increases penalties for crimes committed against an elder person; 
  • Increases the penalty for sexual assault of an elder person; 
  • Creates a crime of physical abuse of an elder person; 
  • Creates a procedure for a court to freeze or seize a defendant’s assets if charged with a financial exploitation crime involving an elder person; and  
  • Allows an elder person seeking a restraining order to appear in court via telephone or live audiovisual means.

“Aging and older Wisconsinites are particularly vulnerable to financial and physical abuse and exploitation, and unfortunately, we are seeing a devastating and concerning rise in these crimes,” said Gov. Evers. “This bill is an important bipartisan action to help put an end to elder abuse and protect some of our most vulnerable loved ones and neighbors.”

Senate Bill 91, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 77:  

  • Requires the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to create a general permit for hydrologic restoration activities, including wetland, stream and floodplain restoration and management, that result in a net improvement in hydrologic connections, conditions, and functions. 

Senate Bill 151, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 78:  

  • Directs the environmental compliance audit program to change the amount of time a regulated entity has to correct violations identified in an audit from 90 days to 60 days generally, 180 days if the entity is a small business stationary source, and 360 days if the entity is a small business stationary source and the corrective action involves a pollution prevention modification; 
  • Eliminates the requirement that an entity must notify the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) no fewer than 30 days before beginning an audit; and  
  • Requires the DNR and Department of Justice (DOJ) to consider whether the entity is a small business stationary source that has committed a minor violation when determining whether to pursue criminal action.

Senate Bill 248, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 79:  

  • Initiates various changes to the state’s electronic waste recycling program including expanding the definition of covered schools to include all public elementary or secondary schools, charter schools, private elementary or secondary schools, and all tribal schools; 
  • Narrows the types of consumer printers covered, by excluding floor-standing printers, automated teller machines and point-of-sale receipt printers; 
  • Raises the threshold for requiring a manufacturer to pay a registration fee; 
  • Requires manufacturers to report the weight of electronics collected from rural counties separately from electronics collected from urban counties; 
  • Requires the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to create a program to provide grants to expand electronics recycling and recovery programs in underserved areas of the state; 
  • Creates an 18-month transition period that runs from July 1, 2022, to December 31, 2023, and after the transition year, a program year would run from January 1 to December 31; and  
  • Increases fees and thresholds by 50 percent during the transition period to account for the additional six months.

In addition to signing the above bills, Gov. Evers today also vetoed Senate Bill 119. The governor’s veto message is available here.

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