- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 16, 2016

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The state Assembly has approved a bill that would give libraries more power to collect overdue fines.

The measure would create exceptions to privacy laws protecting borrowers’ identities so libraries could report them to collection agencies and police.

Supporters say the bill would create a uniform standard for handling delinquent borrowers. According to the Wisconsin Library Association, right now different municipalities are advising libraries to use different strategies, including assigning librarians to make calls, referring borrowers to collection agencies and contacting police. It’s unclear whether those tactics are legal under the state’s borrower privacy laws.

The Assembly passed the bill on a voice vote with no debate Tuesday. The Senate approved it last week. It now goes to Gov. Scott Walker.

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