Ron Tusler

Rep. Ron Tusler. 

(The Center Square) – Wisconsin lawmakers are taking the next step in what would be the biggest rewrite of the state’s business laws in decades.

Lawmakers held a hearing at the Capitol Wednesday to discuss the Uniform Limited Partnership Act and Uniform Limited Liability Company Act. The two would modernize Wisconsin’s business statutes, and get the state in line with more than 20 other states' common business laws.

“This is a pretty important piece of legislation,” Tom Nichols, a Wisconsin Institute of Certified Public Accountants member and president and shareholder of Meissner Tierney Fisher & Nichols S.C., told lawmakers Wednesday. “It’s essentially updating two major chapters of the Wisconsin business entity statutes, and making significant changes to three others. So essentially all five of the major business entities are being affected here.”

The Uniform Law Commission, one of the biggest backers of the ULPA and ULLCA, describes the changes as an update that “recognizes modern day uses of limited partnerships by providing greater flexibility and protection to sophisticated groups seeking strongly entrenched, centralized management and persons requiring passive limited partners with little control over the partnership.”

Rep. Ron Tusler, R-Harrison, said the latest update has been in the works for years in Wisconsin.

“As opposed to the typical two-week to one month [drafting] period, with the ULC it is a five year period,” Tusler explained.

Tusler said 23 states have already adopted the uniform business laws, and he’s hopeful Wisconsin will be the 24th.

“The uniformity here is not a federal uniformity,” Sen. Eric Wimberger, R-Green Bay, said. “These are states agreeing to be uniform amongst each other for, I guess, ease of transactions. For a better business climate.”

ULC members say Wisconsin has been studying the proposal for long enough, they say it’s time to pass the legislation.

No one is guessing when that may be, however. Both the Assembly and Senate are done for the summer. Lawmakers are not scheduled to come back for any votes until the last week of September.