(2/13/14) The Wisconsin Assembly has a full agenda this afternoon.
One bill up for a vote would make it a crime for couples to transfer custody of a child to a non-relative out-of-state, unless there's an interstate agreement on the child's placement. The bill is in response to a Reuters news series last year about child custody transfers which officials never get to review. Reuters said a Manitowoc County couple adopted a girl from Liberia, and later posted an ad on the Internet to find new parents. The Wisconsin couple was never told that the child's new parents from Illinois had kids taken away from them in the past, due to those parents' violent tendencies.
The Assembly will also vote on requiring police to get search warrants in most cases, before tracking people with their cell-phone signals. Another bill would end the long-time practice of letting family members protect relatives wanted for felony crimes. The Assembly could also give final legislative approval to make hospitals give tests to newborns for congenital heart disease. Another bill would let anyone -- not just relatives -- invest in a child's college savings account in the Ed-Vest program. Other bills would force those who perform weddings to be at least 18 -- allow farmers to sell eggs from their own chickens at farmers' markets without a state license -- and exempting rubber duck races from state laws against gambling. On top of all that, the new Menominee tribal chair will deliver the annual "State of the Tribes" address.