With all of the good things this legislature has gotten done, it’s a crying shame that they caved to lobbyists over the interests of Wisconsin consumers on this one.
The sponsor of a bill to repeal Wisconsin’s Unfair Sales Act, which bars retailers from selling products for less than their cost, said lawmakers are not prepared to pass the measure in 2016.
State Sen. Leah Vukmir, speaking to radio host Charlie Sykes on Friday, said she’s “a realist” about the bill’s near-term prospects as lawmakers enter the closing weeks of the 2015-2016 session. Vukmir, R-Wauwatosa, said she’s shifting to “educational mode” to foster support for the bill in future sessions.
“There isn’t enough support in the caucus to repeal” the law, Vukmir said Friday.
The act, also known as the minimum markup law, prevents Wisconsin wholesalers and retailers from selling products at less than cost. It also requires retailers to impose a minimum profit markup on certain products, such as fuel, tobacco and alcoholic beverages.
Wisconsinites will spend millions more than their neighbors on goods because Republican lawmakers can’t overcome their fear of the grocers lobby. What is even more frustrating is that none of the opponents will actually offer a defense of this ridiculous law. Instead, they hide in the shadows and the leadership is too polite to call them out by name.