Speaker Gard: Keeping Wisconsin Open For Business Lawmakers Unveil Jobs Act Part Two


MADISON…Building upon last session’s successful Job Creation Act, three Republican lawmakers aim to make sure Wisconsin remains “open for business.” On Wednesday, Assembly Speaker John Gard (R-Peshtigo), Representative Jean Hundertmark (R-Clintonville) and Senator Joe Leibham (R-Sheboygan) unveiled the Job Creation Act Part Two. The package contains two bills which will help stimulate job growth and job retention in Wisconsin.

“Republicans will continue to fight to make Wisconsin competitive again,” Gard said, “The biggest way government can help businesses create more and better paying jobs is by getting out of the way.”

Last session, the Legislature overwhelmingly approved the Job Creation Act of 2003. That Act was developed out of discussions with hundreds of employers and workers across the state and includes broad changes in the regulatory environment in Wisconsin. Many of the reforms were modeled on similar measures adopted by the State of Minnesota.

“We took a huge step forward last session in reforming the way government deals with the job creators in this state,” Hundertmark said, “However, we are still losing major employers to other states. These bills are the next logical steps to protect our jobs and our environment.”

Senator Leibham says the Jobs Act Part Two will help build on Wisconsin’s recent surge in job growth.

“Thanks to our collective efforts last session, Wisconsin saw the creation of more than 70,000 new jobs during the past year,” Leibham said, “The Legislature will continue to aggressively work to create an even more positive environment for job retention and new job growth in our state.”

Assembly Bill 277
· Air Permit Challenge – Technical changes to allow a permit holder to challenge and “stay” an emission limitation in an air pollution operation permit pending resolution of the challenge.
· Registration Permits – Clarify that DNR may issue streamlined registration construction permits that do not expire.
· General Permits – Clarify that a general permit may act as a construction permit or an operation permit or both.

· Regulatory Reform Report – Require the Department of Administration to prepare a report on regulatory reform.

Assembly Bill 278
· Junk Science Reform – Under this provision, testimony of experts would be based on sufficient facts or data and would be the product of reliable principles and methods, which would be applied to the facts of the specific case.
· Nuisance & Related Frivolous Lawsuits – Limit the ability of the Attorney General and local units of government to bring public nuisance suits against businesses that are in full compliance with applicable laws.
· Tool & Die Reforms – Allows tool and die manufacturers to place a lien on tools and dies manufactured for a customer.
· Shareholder Liability – Current law imposes personal liability on each shareholder of a corporation, in an amount up to the value of the shares that the shareholder owns, for any amount owed by the corporation to its employees for up to six months of work per employee. This bill eliminates this provision of current law.

Gard said he expected the full Assembly would take up the Jobs Creation Act Part Two as soon as possible because Wisconsin can’t afford to lose any more jobs to government red tape.