Gov. Walker signs bill that allows license to sell tobacco products to be revoked, suspended, not renewed

MILWAUKEE -- Governor Scott Walker on Tuesday, March 22nd signed into law Assembly Bill 628 at Aurora Sinai Medical Center in Milwaukee.  The bill creates a complaint-driven procedure under which a retailer license to sell cigarette and tobacco products may be revoked, suspended or not renewed.

“The bill we’re signing into law today allows cities like Milwaukee to create a local process to deny or revoke a tobacco products retailer license similar to the process currently in place for alcohol licenses,” Governor Walker said.  “This allows municipalities to root out the few bad actors that harbor crime and delinquency in their communities, and ultimately helps to reduce crime, improve neighborhood stability, and promote economic development.”

Assembly Bill 628 – establishes procedures for suspending, revoking, or refusing to renew cigarette or tobacco products retailer licenses under specified circumstances.  Authored by Representative Evan Goyke (D – Milwaukee) and Senator Alberta Darling (R – River Hills), the bill passed the Assembly on a voice vote and was concurred by the Senate on a voice vote.  It is Act 275.

Below is a statement from Rep. Goyke and Senator Darling on this bill signing:

Thanks to a new, bipartisan law the City of Milwaukee may shut down bad actors who are tolerating illegal activities such as drugs and prostitution.

On Tuesday, Governor Scott Walker signed Assembly Bill 628 which gives the City of Milwaukee the ability to not-renew, suspend, or revoke tobacco licenses for businesses with documented nuisance activity such as drug dealing and prostitution. State Senator Alberta Darling says the measure gives the city similar powers to how it already deals with nuisance liquor stores.

“This bill gives local officials a solution to deal with local problems,” Darling said, “I want to thank the Near West Side Partnership for working with Representative Goyke and myself. I fully support their efforts to revitalize Milwaukee.”

The new law is supported by the non-profit Near West Side Partnership. The group includes Aurora Health Care, Harley-Davidson, Potawatomi Business Development Corporation, Marquette University, and MillerCoors. Representative Goyke says the law will be a boost to the entire community.

"The signing of Assembly Bill 628 will help reduce crime and promote economic development in neighborhoods throughout the City of Milwaukee. I am incredibly proud of the hard work and collaboration that went into this bill. I am grateful to Senator Darling for her hard work and dedication to this important issue. It's an exciting day for my neighborhood, my district, and the great City of Milwaukee."

Governor Walker signed the bill at Aurora Sinai Medical Center in Milwaukee.