State Senate passes bill to crack down on catalytic converter thefts, approves abortion bills

NOW: State Senate passes bill to crack down on catalytic converter thefts, approves abortion bills

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle unanimously passed legislation to crack down on catalytic converter thefts as they continue to be a hot item to steal and sell.  

In a rare bipartisan vote, 31-0, the State Senate passed a bill that would require people to show proof they own a catalytic converter before selling it to a car dealer.  

Stealing these car parts continues to be popular across the country because the small amount of precious metal they contain is worth more than gold.  

Senator Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) had some reservations about the bill because it could result in thieves selling catalytic converters in bordering states, but she added it's a step the right direction.  

"This isn't going to be the answerbut I am at least glad we say to the individuals who take the scraps that we need you to be a part of the team with law enforcement," Taylor said.  

The proposal would require sellers to show an ID and proof of ownership before a car dealer pays for the part.  

Abortion Bills Approved 

Republicans continued their efforts to pass a host of abortion bills Wednesday, some that have already been vetoed by Gov. Tony Evers in previous years. All of the proposals passed on a party line vote, 20-11.  

Some proposals include banning abortions for reasons such as sex, race or disability and requiring doctors to give parents information about their unborn child's congenital condition.  

Another approved by Republicans would require doctors to tell women opting for a medically-induced abortion that it could be reversed. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist and the American Medical Association have said there's no evidence to that claim.  

During debate on the bill, Senate Minority Leader Janet Bewley (D-Mason) read testimony from an emergency room physician who called the measure dangerous because it could cause life-threatening hemorrhaging.  

"Requiring doctors to offer medical therapy that lacks evidence-based science is unethical at best, and harmful at worse," Bewley said. "We cannot allow political interference to compromise the care of our patients."  

The bill author, Senate President Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield), defended the proposal, saying it can "empower women" by giving them more options.  

"I think it's really important that we inform and empower women in their decision," Kapenga said.  

A third bill that passed is designed to cut funding to abortion providers by preventing the state's ability to certify them under the Medicaid program.  

All the proposals head to the Assembly for final approval. If they pass, it's likely they'll face a veto from Gov. Evers.  

"What's happening today with these anti-choice bills is also deeply cynical, and that's because we know none of these bills are going to become law," said Democrat Sen. Kelda Roys.  

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