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Senate passes amended public defender pay parity bill

Wisconsin public defenders are on pace to receive pay parity with state prosecutors. The state Senate on Tuesday passed an amended version of Senate Bill 468 to provide a pay-progression plan for assistant state public defenders.

The bill would have originally provided the office with $1.4 million for that purpose in 2019-20 and $2.6 million in 2020-21. Sen. Duey Stroebel, R-Saukville, offered an amendment changing the first amount to $468,200 and stipulating that the act wouldn’t take effect until March 1, 2020. The amended version of the bill was passed unanimously and sent to the Assembly.

Among other bills passed by the Senate during its floor session on Tuesday:

  • Senate Bill 47 would make entering a dwelling or certain other places with the intent to commit battery a Class F felony, regardless of whether the intended battery would result in a misdemeanor or felony.
  • Senate Bill 384 would change operating privileges for people convicted of an OWI offense. Under the bill, if a court had ordered an ignition-interlock device for a first offense OWI, the person subject to the order would be prevented from operating vehicles that had not been equipped with such a device. But courts would not be required to order the installation of an ignition-interlock device. The measure would also increase restriction penalties for the devices and require service providers to notify the Wisconsin Department of Transportation if a device has been disconnected no later than three days after such a step has been taken. Finally, it would make someone eligible for a restricted occupational license after 15 days of license suspension, rather than requiring the person to wait as many as 45 days.
  • Senate Bill 512 would establish pre-filing notice requirements for disputes between a condominium association and a unit owner. The bill would allow such a claim to proceed to circuit court after notice was given, as long as the following conditions were met: Neither party had requested a direct negotiation conference, and the parties had failed to resolve their dispute within 10 business days, the negotiation conference hadn’t been held in a timely manner or a party had terminated negotiations.

About Michaela Paukner, mpaukner@wislawjournal.com

Michaela Paukner is the legal reporter for the Wisconsin Law Journal. She can be reached at (414) 225-1825 or by email at mpaukner@wislawjournal.com.

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