Assembly to send to Gov. Walker bill that would help homeowners pay to replace lead pipes

MADISON — The Wisconsin Assembly is set to vote on a bill designed to help homeowners pay for replacing lead pipes from the street into the house.

The bill up for a final vote Thursday allows public water utilities and local governments to provide grants, loans or both to property owners to help them replace portions of water pipes containing lead.

Some fear the proposal would lead to higher water bills if utilities put money toward replacing pipes. But supporters say it will help make it possible for homeowners to afford replacing lead pipes.

The Assembly version differs from the Senate proposal by changing the percentage of total cost the local governments could cover.

Bill sponsor Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt says he expects the Assembly version to also pass the Senate.