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Thursday, March 4, 2010

 11:52 AM 

Assembly Dems tout small business regulatory bill

Assembly Democrats held a press conference prior to their floor session this morning to tout three bills they say continue to "advance Wisconsin's business interests."

The featured bill on the agenda today was AB 767, which would change the composition of the Small Business Regulatory Review Board create a new Office of the Small Business Advocate within the Department of Commerce. Its authors said the bill would create a stronger voice for small businesses in the state regulatory process.

"Obviously, we expect businesses to follow our environmental laws, our worker protection laws. We're not changing that," said Rep. Peter Barca, D-Kenosha. "What we are changing is we're saying help them to comply, and if there's minor violations ... work with them."

Democrats also showcased SB 190 -- which Rep. Bob Turner of Racine said would prevent automatic extensions of business property leases without written notice -- and SB 399, which Rep. Donna Seidel of Wausau said would build on recent efforts to expand bonding for capital projects by local governments.

Seidel said the bill allows local economic development groups to act as a conduit for tax exempt bonding, and said California has seen billions in investment from a similar program over the last 20 years.

"Small, local units of government throughout the state many times are not even aware of how to tap into the market, or they simply lack the infrastructure in their own areas or the expertise to do so," Seidel said.

The Assembly is now in partisan caucus after passing several opening resolutions.

Listen to the press conference here.


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