Capitol dome

Wisconsin would join a majority of other states in allowing the farming of industrial hemp under a bill sent to Gov. Scott Walker.

The Wisconsin Assembly passed the bill unanimously Thursday. It cleared the Senate unanimously Tuesday.

Spokesman Tom Evenson said Walker would review the bill but did not commit to signing it.

The proposal would establish state licenses for farmers who want to grow industrial hemp. People with drug convictions wouldn’t be eligible for the licenses. The plants couldn’t contain more than 0.3 percent THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

At least 30 states have passed legislation allowing hemp farms. Supporters of the Wisconsin bill say hemp has a wide range of uses and farmers should have the option of growing another profitable crop.

  • LEAD PIPE:
  • A bill designed to help Wisconsin homeowners pay for replacing lead pipes has cleared the state Assembly, but it now must go back to the Senate for another vote after Republicans lowered the benefit available.

The measure passed Thursday would allow public water utilities and local governments to provide grants, loans or both to property owners to help them replace portions of water pipes going from the house to street containing lead.

The Senate version allowed for up to two-thirds of the cost to be covered. The Assembly version lowered that to half.

  • WAITING PERIOD:
  • Couples who get divorced would no longer have to wait six months before remarrying under a bill approved by the Assembly.

Under current state law, a person who was a party to a divorce action in Wisconsin or any other state must wait six months after the divorce is granted before remarrying. The bipartisan bill approved Thursday would do away with the waiting period.

The proposal’s author, Republican Rep. Cindi Duchow, said the waiting period penalizes people who get divorced when they’ve broken no laws.

The bill now heads to the state Senate.

  • SUNSET RULES:
  • All Wisconsin administrative rules would be reviewed every nine years under a bill approved by the Assembly.

Democrats and a broad array of other opponents fear such a move would make it easier to undo consumer, workplace and environmental protections and a host of other regulations. They have branded the measure passed Thursday as a special interest giveaway.

Republican supporters say the bill will ensure that state regulations stay current and relevant.

  • CHILD PHOTOS:
  • It would be a crime to solicit nude or sexually explicit photos from a child in Wisconsin under a bill approved by the Assembly.

Under the bill passed Thursday, adults who try to coax children into supplying them with nude or sexually explicit photos would be guilty of a felony punishable by up to 3½ years in prison.

Adults between the ages of 18 and 21 who solicit such photos from children no more than three years younger than them would be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to nine months in jail.

The bill has bipartisan support and now goes to the Senate.

  • CRIME VICTIMS:
  • A constitutional amendment designed to give crime victims more rights has passed the Legislature.

The measure must pass the Legislature again next session before it goes to voters for approval. It would be added to the Wisconsin Constitution only if voters approve it.

The amendment largely duplicates existing crime victim protections but goes further in several areas.

In addition to privacy, victims would have the right to be heard at plea, parole and revocation proceedings, the right to refuse defense attorneys’ interview, deposition or discovery requests and the right to attend all proceedings in their cases.

The Assembly passed it Thursday on a bipartisan 81-10 vote. It cleared the Senate on Tuesday.

  • TEST NOTIFICATION:
  • Wisconsin school districts would be required to inform parents every year of all state or federally mandated tests to be given under a bill passed Thursday by the Assembly.

The Assembly also passed a bill that would give students in all grades subject to state-mandated testing the option not to taking the tests.

— Associated Press

— Associated Press

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