Gov. Scott Walker signed more than 20 bills into law on Thursday morning, including one that would restrict public access at a northern Wisconsin mining site and another that would give landlords more power in disputes with tenants.
The new law on the mining site is less restrictive than an earlier version that would have closed down about 3,200 acres around the proposed site of a northern Wisconsin iron mine. This version would establish a 600-foot barrier around mining roads and mining equipment. It would also give the Department of Natural Resources the power to close off more land if it concludes public safety is at risk. This plan was borne out of an incident this past summer when several protesters descended on a mining test drill site and shouted obscenities at workers.
The landlord-tenant law is just the latest of several passed by Republicans the past two sessions that strengthen the hands of landlords. This one would make it easier for landlords to dispose of any property an evicted tenant leaves behind and let landlords tow parked vehicles without first calling police.
The governor signed the bills in private ceremonies. He has yet to act on other bills, including a controversial plan that would make it easier for school districts to keep Native American mascots.