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Waterways building permitting bill about to wash ashore

A bill Republicans say would streamline the permit process for building projects near navigable waterways has made its way to the Assembly Floor.

Assembly Bill 421, which would add time limits for the state Department of Natural Resources to respond to requests for marine construction, is slated for debate on Tuesday when the Assembly reconvenes.

I’ve covered various forms of this legislation during the past nine months, beginning with a similar proposal from state Rep. Jim Steineke, R-Kaukauna, in June.

I followed up again on the bill in September, but by winter the Republican-controlled Legislature had switched to a more comprehensive form of the bill introduced by Sen. Neal Kedzie, R-Elkhorn.

There was some confusion at the time as to why Kedzie’s bill popped up in December, covering changes already proposed by Steineke. I wrote about Kedzie’s version late last year HERE.

Steineke said his bill had been incorporated into Kedzie’s, though he didn’t completely understand why the Legislature couldn’t move forward with his bill.

At the time, Kedzie said his proposal had been part of a year-long initiative to make changes to the DNR’s permitting process and he wanted his version to go forward instead.

While the Assembly will take up Kedzie’s proposal Tuesday, the state Senate has yet to schedule its version of the same proposal, Senate Bill 326.


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