It’s illegal to spread the margarine in Wisconsin restaurants and state institutions, with a penalty for violation of at least $100 or jail time or both, but Representative Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield) says the law is not being enforced. “What’s the purpose of having laws on the books that we’re not gonna enforce?”

He says if laws are to be respected, the silly, widely-ignored, obsolete ones must go. That’s why he’s introducing legislation to get rid of the butter bill. Back in the ’60s some Wisconsinites would make “oleo runs” to get cheaper margarine across the border in Minnesota. Kooyenga says “Over time this law has slowly been peeled back a little but, there is still this very archaic law that a lot people aren’t following or don’t even know about of ignorance.”

Kooyenga says the state would save money by serving a cheaper alternative to butter in prisons. As for the state’s $26.5 billion Dairy Industry, Kooyenga says producers don’t seem to be too concerned about the proposal. “They have other concerns such as over-regulation, interestingly enough over-regulation, as opposed to outdated protectionist laws. I’m optimistic that they won’t come out against the bill.”

Kooyenga says the free market will take care of itself.

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:32

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