June 7th, 2023 

Contact: Senator Robert Cowles: (608) 266-0484 

Six Cowles Initiatives Passed by Senate Today

MADISON - Senator Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) released the following statement after the State Senate unanimously passed five bills and one joint resolution he authored during today’s floor period:

“Tackling real issues in collaboration with experts in their fields, these initiatives target a broad variety of issues affecting folks,” Senator Cowles said. “From easing military enlistment for high school students, making our airports even safer, and recognizing the work of local historical advocates, these wide-ranging efforts highlight the results we’re delivering for Northeast Wisconsinites. I want to thank my colleagues in the Senate for supporting these bills, and I look forward to their further action in the Assembly.”

Senate Bill 123, authored with Representative Snyder and Senator Pfaff, would allow the Department of Transportation (DOT) to issue regular driver’s licenses to high school graduates providing proof of military enlistment upon application. This bill, drafted at the request of DOT, would assist an estimated 1,200 to 1,500 Wisconsin residents enrolling in specialized instruction at basic training that require a valid ID. Giving these servicemembers regular licenses, rather than the standard-issue probationary licenses for new drivers that expire after three years, would eliminate concerns about license expiration while away from home.

Senate Bill 208, authored with Representatives Murphy and Tusler and Senator Cabral-Guevara, would allow designated airport employees to deter nuisance wildlife with firearms impacting the landing and takeoff of airplanes. After exhausting all routine non-lethal management efforts, SB 208 would give trained airport officials last-resort firearm maneuvers, from airport vehicles and while at night, to protect airplanes, flight crew, and passengers from stray deer, geese, and other wildlife.

The Senate also passed SJR 48, written with Representative Steffen and Brown County’s legislative delegation, honoring October 4th, 2023 as the centennial of the Green Bay & De Pere Antiquarian Society. The Antiquarians have preserved many artifacts and sites of local, state, and national historical importance across Brown County, including Old City Stadium, where the Green Bay Packers won their first six world championships before moving into Lambeau Field in 1957.

Other Cowles bills passed by the Senate this afternoon include:

  • Senate Bill 124, with Representative Snyder and Senator Pfaff, allowing DOT to issue electronic temporary plates in line with best modern practices.
  • Senate Bill 207, with Representatives Tusler and Murphy and Senator Cabral-Guevara, revising outdated statutes to increase eligibility for wildlife control grants for communities, especially in Northeast Wisconsin.
  • Senate Bill 255, with Representative Mursau, eliminating the requirement that any privately-funded wetlands in the DNR’s In-Lieu of Fee Subprogram be open to the public, while also ensuring no net loss of public access to wetlands.