E-Update: April 6, 2018 

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Sen. Craig Legislation Signed into Law by Gov. Walker

Dear Friends,

On Tuesday, Governor Walker signed several of my bills into law. Over the coming weeks I will be highlighting these important reforms.

Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform

This week Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform was signed into law. This important reform fixes Wisconsin's civil asset forfeiture law to require a conviction before the government permanently forfeits an individual's property. Under current law, the government can forfeit private property of persons who have never been convicted of any wrongdoing. SB 61 will ensure that only adjudicated guilty persons can have their property forfeited. SB 61 balances individual civil liberties and important tools for law enforcement resulting in a big win for the Bill of Rights.

Click the photo to watch my video on civil asset forfeiture reform

Preventing Taxpayer Funded Abortions

Prohibiting taxpayer funded abortions has been a decades-long federal policy. According to a Harvard/Politico poll Nearly 60% of Americans are opposed to using Medicaid dollars to cover abortion services. My bill barring taxpayer money from covering abortions for public employees aligns our state law with the longstanding federal law. This is an important reform that will protect the conscience of taxpayers.

Dredging Legislation

For years I have worked with my fellow legislators and the WDNR to allow for small scale dredging projects and earlier this week, AB 935 was signed into law by Governor Walker. Specifically, this legislation:

(1) Directs the DNR to create a dredging general permit for “impoundments and associated features” in consultation with lake management and waterway districts
(2) Directs the DNR to define an impoundment for purposes of the general permit
(3) Creates a timeline for the permit to be available within 6 months of publication
(4) Allows for removal of 50 cubic yards per year
a. removal must be to allow navigation from the shoreline to the line of navigation
b. riparian owner must use best management practices established by WDNR
(5) Sets the price for association or group applications at $350.00
(6) Sets the price individual applications no higher than $60.00

This legislation was introduced to assist riparian owners and users alike in our community in being able to utilize and enjoy these great natural resources for boating, kayaking, fishing, hunting and other water-related recreational activities.

Many riparian owners like those in the Fox River-Tichigan Lake waterway in Racine County and in other similar areas across the state are unable to enjoy natural resources because foreign silt buildup is preventing even small crafts like canoes and kayaks from effectively navigating and causing swimmers to get stuck in the muck. Further, the issue of siltation and lack of use of these waterways has a dramatic negative impact on riparian owners’ property values. This legislation will help riparian owners restore these important natural resources to their pristine state, while enabling the WDNR to dictate best management practices for the removal of this silt to ensure it is undertaken in a responsible manner.

Don Houston, President of the Village of Waterford joins Senator Craig and Representative Wichgers for the signing of AB 935

Insurance Legislation

My bill on Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits requires that insurers check the Social Security death master file every six months to ensure that beneficiaries receive timely payments in the event that unclaimed policies exist without the beneficiaries' knowledge. The bill also adopts the national model for best practices for life insurance companies developed by the national association lead by Wisconsin’s Insurance Commission. Wisconsin insurers are already national leaders on consumer protection standards and this new law guarantees those protections in statute.

I thank Governor Walker for signing these important reforms into law.

WI College Savings Program 2018 Tax Deduction Raised

Edvest has announced that the 2018 state tax benefit has been raised to $3,200 – making it even easier to save for college while enjoying significant tax benefits. The updated reduction in taxable income applies to contributions made during the 2018 tax year.

For the 2017 tax year, plan participants have until Tuesday, April 17, 2018 to make contributions to be eligible for a tax benefit of up to $3,140. For more information follow this link.

Foxconn Update

Foxconn will be transformational to the state and local economies. This once-in-a-century opportunity will continue to drive headlines and impact our region for years to come. As the Foxconn development moves closer to becoming fully operational, I will be passing along updates on the progress of the project and related news important to our district and area.

You can check the informational page here, for upcoming informational meetings across the state.

Office Contact Information

Email
Sen.Craig@legis.wisconsin.gov

Phone
(608) 266-5400
Toll free: (800) 334-1442

Fax
(608) 267-6790

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 7882
Madison, WI 53707

Location
Room 104 South
State Capitol
Madison, WI 53708

Senator Craig represents the 28th Senate District which includes parts of Waukesha, Milwaukee, Racine, and Walworth counties.

Website
http://craig.senate.wi.gov/

 

 

State Capitol - Room 104 South | Post Office Box 7882 | Madison, Wisconsin 53708
(800) 334-1442 | Sen.Craig@legis.wisconsin.gov