Advocacy is one of the most valuable items the Wisconsin Bankers Association engages in on behalf of its membership. As a banker, your priority is your customers. As your strategic business partner, WBA’s priority is to ensure there are no legislative, regulatory, or judicial obstacles barring you from serving your customers to the best of your abilities. 

Key legislative leaders rely on the WBA advocacy team’s expertise and consult with them in determining how new legislation will affect the industry. WBA has earned legislative success over the years by building positive, long-lasting relationships with both state and federal lawmakers. The Wisconsin Bankers Association continues to be a proven leader in legislative advocacy on behalf of all Wisconsin banks.  

Below are five new laws that will impact the banking industry from the most recent legislative session.  

Legislation Name Description Authors
Wisconsin Act 125 Online Notary Public | The act consolidates statutes related to notaries public and notarial acts into one chapter and adopts provisions found in the Uniform Law Commission’s Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts from 2018 (RULONA 2018), which authorizes the remote notarization of documents. 
  • Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon) 
  • Rep. Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan) 
Wisconsin Act 185 State Government Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic | The act saved small businesses nearly $250 million in taxes that could have been applied to the forgivable portion of PPP loans. 
  • Committee on Assembly Organization 
  • Rep. Robin Vos, Speaker (R-Racine) 
  • Rep. Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna) 
  • Co-Sponsored by Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, Majority Leader (R-Juneau) 
Wisconsin Act 65 P.O.D Accounts | The new act relates to P.O.D. accounts and loan obligations to financial institutions; the duty of a bank to make payment on a lost, destroyed, or stolen cashier's check, teller's check, or certified check; providing temporary authority to act as a mortgage loan originator while a license application is pending; property subject to garnishment or tax levy in possession of a financial institution; entities that provide to financial institutions electronic data processing services; loans to state banks by a Federal Home Loan Bank; and consolidating the Banking Review Board and Savings Institutions Review Board in the Department of Financial Institutions. 
  • Rep. Terry Katsma (R-Oostburg) 
  • Sen. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) 
Wisconsin Act 68 Regulating Hemp | The act modifies state law in accordance with the 2018 Farm Bill and makes numerous other changes regarding hemp-related activities in Wisconsin. The act also clarifies the relationship between hemp products and certain cannabidiol (CBD) products, expands and repeals certain requirements of the state’s Controlled Substances Board (CSB), and sets a threshold level of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for purposes of certain offenses that prohibit a restricted controlled substance in a person’s blood. 
  • Sen. Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point) 
  • Rep. Tony Kurtz (R-Wonewoc) 
Wisconsin Act 161 Money Laundering | Under prior law, Wisconsin did not have a specific crime prohibiting money laundering. Instead, actions that may have constituted money laundering under federal criminal law were generally prosecuted under the state crimes of theft or receiving stolen property. 
  • Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, Majority Leader (R-Juneau) 
  • Rep. Rob Hutton (R-Brookfield) 

Watch for the full 2019-2020 Session Summary in the upcoming weeks. 

Semmann is WBA executive vice president and chief operations officer.