Sen. John Lehman's proposal to pay workers before banks in bankruptcy cases passed a Senate committee Thursday.
The Senate Labor, Elections and Urban Affairs Committee approved the law that would ensure workers get paid all the wages they are due in the event of a business closing or bankruptcy.
Lehman said the bill restores Wisconsin's history of protecting workers' pay when their company goes under. A 1998 provision slipped into the state budget capped workers' claims at $3,000 in a bankruptcy before banks got to collect.
"The Wage Protection Act is based on the simple idea that a day’s work should result in a day’s pay," Lehman said.
The proposal has a decent chance of passing the Democratic-controlled Legislature and getting signed by Gov. Jim Doyle. Republicans had stalled the bill in previous sessions.