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Lawmakers vote today on longstanding bills

Wisconsin lawmakers are in session today and bills that have been talked about for years will finally get voted on.

The Assembly is scheduled to vote on a bill designed to get politics out of the DNR, by letting the Natural Resources Board appoint the agency's secretary instead of the governor.

Some Democrats have looked forward to this day since 1995, when former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson started appointing the DNR leader.

Also, today the Assembly will vote on a bill to make TV and computer makers arrange to recycle their products.

That idea is at least four years in the making, suggested by Democrats concerned that high-tech chemicals will ruin the groundwater.

Assembly votes are also scheduled on bills to ban most products with mercury, and prevent journalists from having to disclose confidential sources so whistle-blowers can report on abuses.

Both the Assembly and Senate are scheduled to act on emergency plans to keep meeting in the event of enemy attacks or other natural disasters.

Each legislator would name 3-7 secret successors to serve in their place, if need be, until special elections could be held.

An amendment today would make those names public.

Also, the Senate is due to vote on letting police agencies give non-stop escorts to celebrities and visiting dignitaries and sports teams.

The measure is designed to prevent local police liability when the Green Bay Packers' opponents are bused from a hotel in Appleton to Lambeau Field on game days.