Bills to Watch Dec. 6-13


Room-tax remission

Rep. Joel Kitchens is introducing a bill that would make technical changes to state law that the Door County Tourism Zone Commission has sought for years. 

Taxes are currently collected by zip code. Because multiple municipalities can share a single zip code, it’s difficult to know which municipality should receive those room-tax dollars. This bill would require properties to disclose the address of the property in their room-tax payments. The bill also allows municipalities to fine a lodging facility $500 per day (up to $45,000 per year) if the operator does not remit room tax in a timely fashion. The bill finished circulating for co-sponsorship Dec. 2.


Diaper-changing stations

This bill would require diaper-changing tables to be installed in new and substantially renovated public buildings, with certain exceptions. The bill’s authors believe the policy will help correct existing gender-role imbalances because women’s restrooms typically have a changing station and men’s restrooms often do not. 

“This reality both upholds outmoded gender stereotypes and often forces fathers into the unenviable position of having to change their children’s diapers on dirty floors or bathroom counters, increasing the risk of infection or injuries from falling.” The bill is circulating for co-sponsorship until Dec. 6.


Hydrologic restoration

This bill creates a permit process for restoring an entire hydrologic region. Currently, the Department of Natural Resources has a permit process only for the restoration of wetlands. A hydrologic restoration permit would expand the scope of restoration projects with the intent to better prevent flooding. 

The bill also creates the Hydrologic Restoration and Management Advisory Council to provide input to the department on the new general permit, other policies and programs related to hydrologic restoration, ways to increase intergovernmental cooperation and more. The bill is circulating for co-sponsorship until Dec. 10.