- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 26, 2016

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Gov. Scott Walker has signed a bill giving more leeway to shoreline property owners to build on bodies of water.

The bill makes a series of changes to regulations governing construction in water bodies, including limiting the types of waters that can be designated as areas of special natural resource interest. Developers must meet stricter permit standards in such areas.

The bill originally created a permit authorizing shoreline property owners to dredge inland lakes and outlying waters, but the Senate removed that provision.

In a statement, Walker said people often find current regulations are overly restrictive. The bill’s supporters say it cuts red tape and strengthens property owner rights. Opponents, including environmental groups, say it will damage water bodies.

Walker signed the bill Tuesday at DeKeyser Construction in Humboldt, Wisconsin.

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