Senator Kapenga's E-Update
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Protecting Your First Amendment Rights

On Tuesday, the Senate was in session to pass legislation that reforms the process for conducting John Doe investigations. As current law allows prosecutors to wield incredible power to investigate people in secret for any reason, and continue investigating until they find reason to charge them, it creates the potential for the adversarial judicial process to change into an almost purely prosecutorial process.

Senate Bill 43 is about transparency and accountability, and it is our job to protect the rights of citizens against abusive prosecutors. It is important to note that this bill preserves an important tool for law enforcement, but restricts it to crimes where it is truly needed to compel testimony. Furthermore, this is not about limiting prosecution of crimes. It only limits the use of this secretive process to certain crimes while expanding protections for the uncharged. No current crimes are made legal and no special prosecution-exempt class is created.

As always, please let me know if you have any comments or concerns regarding these, or any other, pieces of legislation. You can call me at my office at (608) 266-9174 or email me at

Public Benefit and Regulatory Reform Committee Hearing

On Wednesday, the Senate Committee on Public Benefit and Regulatory Reform held a public hearing on two pieces of legislation and an executive session on three other bills.

During the public hearing, we heard testimony on Senate Bills 283 and 333.

Senate Bill 283 (known as the "Growler Bill") would allow Class A license holders, such as grocery stores, to sell growlers. I joined my legislative colleague, Representative Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan), in testifying in favor of this legislation as I am the Senate author.
Senate Bill 333 prorates initial licensing fees for occupational licenses. This bill provides fairness to individuals seeking professional licenses from having to pay full license fees for shorter periods of time. Furthermore, it improves our business climate and provides cost relief for working professionals.

Following the public hearing, the committee took executive action on Senate Bills 136, 178, and 251.

Senate Bill 136 
will help ensure that FoodShare benefits are going to those individuals who actually need them most. It is important to note that individuals who have honestly lost their cards and need a replacement will not lose their benefits. This bill is solely focused on catching those individuals who are trying to defraud the system. The bill was recommended for passage by a vote of 3-2.

Senate Bill 178 creates an exemption from lead inspection requirements for sampling or testing during certain lead-safe renovations. In other words, if a company is operating in a lead-safe manner during renovations, this bill would exempt them from having to do a full lead inspection, as they are already operating at the highest regulatory standard. The bill was recommended for passage by a vote of 3-2.

Senate Bill 251 is a legislative fix to bring state statute in line with the terms of the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission. The bill was recommended for passage by a vote of 5-0.

Today in History

1746 - The College of New Jersey (present-day Princeton University) receives its charter.
1836 - Sam Houston is inaugurated as president of the Republic of Texas.
1939 - At Ebbets Field, the Brooklyn Dodgers defeat the Philadelphia Eagles 23-14 in the first pro-football game to be shown on television. 
1962 - John F. Kennedy announces a blockade of Cuba in response to the discovery of Soviet missile sites on the island.
1968 - Apollo 7, the first manned Apollo mission, returns safely to Earth.
Connect with Chris

(608) 266-9174
(800) 863-8883

33rd Senate District
15 South
State Capitol
P.O. Box 7882
Madison, WI 53708
Local Events
Waukesha Farmers' Market
Saturday, October 24
8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Riverfront Plaza

Delafield Farmers' Market
Saturday, October 24
8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Main Street, Delafield

Pumpkin Fest
Saturday, October 24
10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Reformation Lutheran Church
Copyright © 2015 Senator Chris Kapenga, All rights reserved.

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