Traveling sales bill passes committee

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Gazette Staff
March 18, 2009

A bill regulating traveling sales crews in Wisconsin has passed one hurdle and now is ready to move to the full Assembly.

The bill would require companies using traveling sales crews to register salespeople with the state and treat the salespeople as employees, not independent contractors. Advocates have been pushing for the bill since a van with teenage traveling salespeople rolled on the Interstate near Milton 10 years ago this month, killing seven.

The Assembly Committee on Jobs, the Economy and Small Business approved the bill Tuesday. The bill was mired in the committee for two years in a row based on opposition from some direct sales groups, but a change in leadership gave advocates hope the bill would pass this year.

Speaker Mike Sheridan said in a statement the Assembly would take swift action on the bill.

"We will take this bill to the floor quickly, to protect young Wisconsin workers and prevent another tragedy," he said.

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