Weather Forecast


Lawmakers deny higher fees for vital records

Wisconsinites might not have to pay more to get copies of a birth, death, marriage or divorce record.

The Legislature's Joint Finance Committee voted 13-3 Tuesday to drop Gov. Jim Doyle's proposed fee increase for vital records from the new state budget. It would have helped pay for a federal mandate to computerize four million Wisconsin birth records, and three million death records.

That mandate is part of the Real ID law, the same law that requires driver license applicants to prove they're legal U.S. residents. The state has to spend millions to verify that information.

Doyle was hoping to use the fee hike on vital records for that along with a $10 increase for all drivers' licenses. The finance panel has not acted on the license fee yet.

Tuesday's debate gave Real ID opponents another chance to sound off.

Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, said Wisconsin should join states like Idaho and say no to funding anything that has to do with Real ID.