A bill designed to help Wisconsin homeowners pay for replacing lead pipes has cleared the state Assembly, but it now must go back to the Senate for another vote after Republicans lowered the benefit available.
The measure passed Thursday would allow public water utilities and local governments to provide grants, loans or both to property owners to help them replace portions of water pipes going from the house to street containing lead.
The Senate version allowed for up to two-thirds of the cost to be covered. The Assembly version lowered that to one half.
Democratic critics say weakening the bill put people's health at risk by making it more difficult to pay for replacing lead pipes.
Bill sponsor Rep. Jesse Kremer says he anticipates the Senate will pass the bill next year.