Bills to Watch: Snowmobile Trail Funding, State Park Admission
AB-692 / SB-623
Snowmobile trail funding
This bill increases the segregated snowmobile trail and area assistance by $3 million per fiscal year to increase funding for snowmobile-trail maintenance and related projects. The bill also increases spending authority so that the Department of Natural Resources can appropriate funds that currently exist in the snowmobile program. The Assembly Committee on Forestry, Parks and Outdoor Recreation held a hearing on the bill Jan. 7, and the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy held a hearing on it Jan. 8.
AB-252 / SB-212
State park admission waiver
This bill would provide free passes to state parks and natural areas to Wisconsin fourth-graders and their families. Rep. Joel Kitchens is a co-sponsor of the bill. The Assembly Committee on Forestry, Parks and Outdoor Recreation held a hearing on the bill Jan. 7, and the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy held a hearing on it Jan. 8.
Limits on payday loans
Senator André Jacque is introducing a bill that would limit interest rates on payday loans to 36 percent. In a memo introducing the bill, Jacque said payday loans in Wisconsin come with an average annual interest rate of 486 percent, and they trap thousands of Wisconsin residents each year in an endless cycle of debt through their predatory lending practices. The bill is circulating for co-sponsorship until Jan. 13.