The Wisconsin State Senate is in session Tuesday and taking up issues like asbestos lawsuits and propane loans.

Senate to vote on bill affecting asbestos lawsuits

The Wisconsin state Senate plans to vote on a bill opponents say would slow asbestos-exposure lawsuits.

The measure up for a vote Tuesday would require plaintiffs to reveal how many businesses their attorneys plan to go after. Republican supporters say such a move would prevent lawyers from hiding multiple claims in hopes of maximizing awards.

But opponents, including veterans exposed to asbestos during their service, say the measure is designed to slow cases down in the hopes plaintiffs will die and protect corporations from making payouts.

The Assembly passed the bill last year. If it clears the Senate, it would then head to Gov. Scott Walker for his consideration.

Wisconsin Senate to vote on propane loan program

The Wisconsin Senate is ready to put the finishing touches on a bill that would create a new loan program to offset high propane prices.

The measure calls for the state to guarantee up to $2,500 in loans to purchase propane or other heating supplies and pay down interest. The borrower’s household income couldn’t exceed 200 percent of their county median household income, however.

The Assembly overwhelmingly approved the bill last month. The Senate is set to take it up Tuesday. Approval would send the bill on to Gov. Scott Walker for his signature.

Wisconsin and other Midwestern states have been grappling with a propane shortage spurred by the cold winter, a temporary pipeline closure and heavy propane demand for drying grain last fall.

Wisconsin Senate to vote on driver liability bill

The Wisconsin Senate is scheduled to take up a bill that would limit parents’ liability for young drivers.

Right now children under 18 need a parent or other adult sponsor to sign and verify their driver’s license application. That makes the parents or sponsors liable for the driver’s negligence or willful misconduct. Republican Sen. Glenn Grothman’s bill would limit that liability to a total of $300,000.

The Senate’s judiciary committee, which Grothman chairs, approved the bill on a 3-2 vote last month. The Senate is set to vote on it Tuesday afternoon. Approval would send the bill to the Assembly.

Senate votes to change Milwaukee mental health

The Wisconsin state Senate has approved a bill that would take control of the troubled Milwaukee mental health complex away from the county board and give it to a group of medical professionals, patients and family members.

The bipartisan proposal passed unanimously Tuesday comes after six patients died at the facility in 2012.

Opponents to the bill, including the union that represents nurses and workers at the complex, say control should not be taken away from elected local officials on the Milwaukee County Board.

In addition to creating the new board to run the facility, the bill would also require an extensive audit be done by Dec. 1 that would consider whether the state should take over operations.