FOX 47 - Top Stories
The state Assembly plans to end its work for the year with a marathon session where several hot-button issues were to be voted on.
Thursday's final session day was to include votes on bills to limit early voting hours, create sanctions for poor-performing schools, and make more affordable chemotherapy drugs available to cancer patients.
If passed, the bill disallowing early voting on weekends or past 7 p.m. in the two weeks leading up to an election would head to Gov. Scott Walker. So would a measure setting new requirements for people exposed to asbestos who get sick and bring lawsuits.
Other bills up for a vote on Thursday:
Bill would changing mental health governance
Control of the troubled Milwaukee mental health complex would be taken away from the county board under a bill up for a vote in the state Assembly.
The measure up Thursday would transfer power to a group of medical professionals, patients and family members.
The bipartisan proposal comes after six patients died at the facility in 2012.
In addition to creating the new board to run the facility, the bill would also require an extensive audit be done by Dec. 1 that would consider whether the state should take over operations.
Once passed by the Assembly, the measure would then go to Gov. Scott Walker for his consideration.
Bill changing doctor notification law passes
A Wisconsin state law covering information doctors are required to tell patients would be expanded under a bill that has passed the state Assembly.
The Legislature last year changed the law to no longer require doctors to give patients as much information about available alternative treatments.
The bill approved Thursday would expand the "informed consent" law to apply to chiropractors, dentists, podiatrists and optometrists.
The change was made in reaction to a 2012 Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling that said a doctor's "informed consent" duty includes telling a patient about medical tests and treatments that may be appropriate for a patient's symptoms, even if the doctor doesn't believe the patient has the underlying condition or disease.
The bill now goes to Gov. Scott Walker.
Assembly passes domestic abuse bill
A bill designed to help victims of domestic abuse has passed the state Assembly.
The measure approved on a voice vote Thursday would require the state to maintain and provide a system that allows district attorneys to manage and share domestic abuse case-related information.
It would also require the state Department of Justice to make a list of domestic abuse services organizations available to law enforcement agencies.
The Senate passed the bill earlier this week and it now goes to Gov. Scott Walker.
As originally introduced, the bill would have required police officers who respond to a domestic abuse call but don't arrest anyone to explain why. That was introduced in response to a mass shooting at a Brookfield spa in 2012.
Assembly passes asbestos lawsuits bill
A bill opponents say would deny justice to people exposed to asbestos has passed the Wisconsin Assembly.
Veterans are among the most vocal opponents of the measure passed on a party line 55-38 vote Thursday. The bill now heads to Gov. Scott Walker.
The heavily lobbied proposal would require plaintiffs who have suffered from asbestos exposure to reveal how many businesses their attorneys plan to sue. They would also have to go after money from an asbestos trust before they could sue for more in court.
Proponents argue it is needed to prevent filing multiple claims against both trust funds set up to pay victims of asbestos exposure as well as individual businesses.
Democrats argue the changes would make it more difficult for people harmed by asbestos to collect damages.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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