Harsdorf Bills Focused on Jobs and Economy Enacted

Legislation to spur worker training, ATV production signed into law

(Wisconsin State Capitol – Madison) – A number of bills authored by State Senator Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls) were recently signed into law by the Governor following the completion of the State Legislature’s fall session. These pieces of legislation continue to focus on encouraging job creation and economic development, as well as reforming government. Two of the bills were included in the workforce development package that was the emphasis of the State Legislature’s fall agenda and seek to bolster Wisconsin’s apprenticeship programs.

“I have heard from a number of individuals involved in apprenticeship efforts in our area on the value of expanding these opportunities for hands-on skills training,” Harsdorf stated. “These initiatives build on our efforts to address the skills gap and insure that workers are positioned to succeed in the workforce and fill available jobs.”

One of the proposals authored by Senator Harsdorf included in the workforce development package and signed into law provides additional funding for the Youth Apprenticeship program, which matches high school students with employers to provide on-the-job training and technical college-level instruction. The second encourages participation in the Wisconsin Apprenticeship program by apprentices, employers, or other sponsors by providing financial assistance to those that complete their apprenticeship. Both bills were passed with broad, bipartisan support in the State Legislature.

Another bill that was recently enacted was legislation Senator Harsdorf authored with Representative Erik Severson to update Wisconsin’s definitions of ATVs and UTVs. Current definitions of ATVs and UTVs in state law were not consistent with current manufacturing designs and technological advances, such as electrical motors and non-pneumatic or airless tires.

“Updating state definitions of ATVs and UTVs are vital to enable manufacturers to respond to demands for innovative products,” continued Harsdorf. “These changes seek to help ensure the job security of Wisconsinites employed in the production and manufacture of ATVs and UTVs and their components, as well as keeping Wisconsin competitive for tourism opportunities involving motorized recreation.”

The signing of another bill proposed by Senator Harsdorf streamlines the payment of county medical examiners by removing an outdated requirement in state law that these officials must be paid semi-monthly. This reform was brought to Senator Harsdorf’s attention by a county official in western Wisconsin and eliminates an unnecessary mandate on counties that will allow medical examiners to be included in regular payroll systems along with other employees.

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