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Walker Signs 46 New Bills Into Law

Measure Blocking County Executives From Also Serving In Legislature Is Now On The Books

Parth Shah/WPR

Gov. Scott Walker signed 46 bills into law on Monday afternoon, including ones that prevent county executives from concurrently serving as legislators, expand libaries’ legal options for collecting fines, and create uniform restrictions on where violent sex offenders can live.

Walker signed the bills privately in the state Capitol.

The county executives bill was a particularly controversial piece of legislation. Its enactment means that Democratic Senate candidate Mark Harris would have to quit his $102,834 job as Winnebago County executive if he’s elected. In the Senate, he would make $50,950.

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Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald had said Harris’ candidacy prompted the bill. Fitzgerald has said he’s concerned about a county executive drawing two salaries from taxpayers, and about the conflicts of interest that would arise from holding two positions.

Democrats and some Republicans have criticized the bill as partisan politics. Democrats say it’s clearly aimed at keeping Harris from running for an open Senate seat this fall.

Meanwhile, the library bill creates exceptions to privacy laws protecting borrowers’ identities so that libraries can report them to collection agencies and police.

According to the Wisconsin Library Association, people fail to return $3 million worth of taxpayer-owned library materials each year.

Another bill Walker signed Monday creates statewide regulations barring violent sex offenders from living within 1,500 feet of any school, day care, youth center, church or public park.

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