Madison – Today the Wisconsin State Assembly and Wisconsin State Senate voted to pass three bills authored by Representative John Spiros (R-Marshfield).

Assembly Bill 308, passed in the Assembly today, would make a minor change to the Council on Worker’s Compensation in Wisconsin to ensure the Council accurately represents the makeup of Wisconsin’s workforce. Currently all 5 members of the council representing employees are members of organized labor, despite the fact that only 8% of workers are members of organized labor. There is no representation from small businesses. This bill would ensure the number of seats on the Council filled by organized labor is proportionate with the percentage of state employees who are members of organized labor. The legislation guarantees organized labor at least two seats on the Council at all times. The bill gives small businesses a seat at the table and requires that at least one of the seats held by representatives of employers should be an owner of or representative of small business.

“Worker’s Compensation is an important program in Wisconsin for both workers and employers,” said Rep. Spiros. “Unfortunately, the current makeup of the Council doesn’t represent the workforce in Wisconsin, and employees in most industries are completely unrepresented. This bill seeks to fix that.”

Assembly Bill 314, passed in the Senate today, will allow someone to possess and hunt with a loaded firearm, crossbow, or bow from a stationery vehicle as long as they are on a part of the vehicle or piece of equipment that is elevated from the ground or the rest of the vehicle. Currently individuals with disabilities are able to do this with specialized permits, but others aren’t. This bill will benefit older individuals and those with mobility issues who aren’t classified as disabled.

“So many people in our state enjoy hunting, but the process of climbing a deer stand can be really challenging or dangerous for some,” Rep. Spiros said. “This bill is meant to give everyone the opportunity to hunt safely.”

Assembly Bill 342, passed in the Senate today, would increase the penalty for theft of a commercial vehicle, and will increase the penalty for theft where the property is valued at over $100,000.

“Cargo theft has become a serious and costly problem in Wisconsin and across the country,” said Rep. Spiros. “In addition to the actual dollar amount lost from the cost of the vehicle and goods, there are other costs and victims of commercial vehicle theft as well.

“It negatively impacts employees who may be at risk of personal injury during a theft, retailers who lose merchandise, shipping companies who lose the value of their vehicle or the cost of downtime until it is returned, and consumers who pay more for merchandise to make up for cargo theft. This is a crime that is costly to everyone.”

Assembly Bills 314 and 342 have already passed on the Assembly floor and will be sent to the Governor to be signed into law. Assembly Bill 308 will be taken up in the Senate before being presented to the Governor for his signature.

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