Lawmakers are expected to wrap up their fall calendar today without reaching consensus on OWI reforms.
The Senate is scheduled to take up legislation today that would increase penalties for drunk drivers, but the bill differs from a version passed out of the Assembly earlier this fall. The primary obstacle right now appears to be how to pay for the reforms.
John Vose with MADD Wisconsin says the will seems to be there among lawmakers to pass a bill, but debate continues on financing the stricter penalties. Potential solutions to the funding question include raising taxes on liquor and beer, or higher fees for repeat offenders.
While it is doubtful lawmakers in both chambers will strike an agreement today, Vose says it will be disappointing if they don’t reach a deal by next spring. Especially since Governor Doyle and legislative leaders had indicated this was a key priority.