Lawmaker Seeks Exemption For Amish On Smoke Detectors

Five Amish Families Currently Face Fines Because Of The Issue

B Garret (CC-BY)

A western Wisconsin lawmaker says she’s writing a budget amendment to exempt Amish families from being required to install smoke detectors in their homes.

This is Republican state Rep. Kathy Bernier’s second attempt to spare the Amish from a part of the state’s Uniform Dwelling Code requiring smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in their homes. Bernier said she’s taking a different approach after similar legislation stalled last session.

“I am expecting to do an amendment to the budget, to get it into the budget bill,” said Bernier. “If that doesn’t work I will continue to fight for the rights of our religious communities.”

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In Eau Claire County, five Amish families are facing steep fines and the threat of eviction for failure to obtain building permits, which come with the smoke detector requirement. The families have agreed to sign building permits but said they won’t keep detectors in their homes.