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State Senate passes garbage hauler protection bill, two others Tuesday

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The Wisconsin Senate agreed Tuesday to protect garbage haulers on the roads, by making it illegal to drive recklessly near sanitation trucks.

Senators voted 31-1 to double the fines for those violations.

West Bend Republican Glenn Grothman voted no, and Senate President Mike Ellis did not vote. The measure was expected to be voted on by the Assembly Tuesday afternoon.

Assembly Republican John Jagler of Watertown proposed the bill, after a sanitation worker in his district was seriously hurt by a reckless driver in January while picking up trash.

Also Tuesday, senators voted 30-3 in favor of letting dentists charge more for certain services not covered by insurance contracts. The bill prohibits insurers from making dentists charge less for certain services to patients in certain networks.

It would require contracts to be changed – something the state’s largest business group opposed. Republicans Grothman, Leah Vukmir, and Paul Farrow voted no.

The bill now goes to Governor Scott Walker after the Assembly passed it earlier. Also, Walker is about to get another bill to expand the definitions of illegal food stamp trafficking in Wisconsin.

The measure puts the state in line with existing federal rules. The bill passed 28-5 after being approved by the Assembly. Five Democrats voted no – Tim Cullen, Nikiya Harris, Mark Miller, Fred Risser, and Lena Taylor.