Update: Wisconsin Senate okays ban on banning Christmas trees

MADISON — The Wisconsin Senate has approved a bill prohibiting government officials from banning natural Christmas trees from churches and the state Capitol despite the fire risk.

National Fire Protection Association guidelines call for banning natural Christmas trees in places where 50 or more people gather, but they provide some exceptions if adequate safeguards are in place. The bill's author, Republican Rep. Jesse Kremer, says the rules have caused confusion among local fire officials.

Under the bill, municipal governments and the state would be forbidden from passing any rules or ordinances prohibiting the seasonal placement of Christmas trees in the Capitol rotunda or in a church.

The bill cleared the Assembly in early February. The Senate passed the bill 25-7 on Tuesday. It now goes to Gov. Scott Walker.