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Stiffer Do Not Call penalties pass Senate

It would cost telemarketers 10 times more to ignore Wisconsin's Do Not Call list under a bill the Senate unanimously passed Tuesday.

The fine would go up from $100 to $1,000.

Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Waunakee, said it would stop at least some telemarketers from ignoring the list -- a growing trend seen by the 1 million Wisconsinites who are on it.

Erpenbach drafted the original no-call law in 2003, and this is the first major change.

It also lets people with cell phones keep telemarketers at bay.

Sen. Judith Robson, D-Beloit, says more folks use cells as their only phones and many companies won't do business with them unless they give out their numbers.

Robson says that's hardly fair to those who have to pay for incoming calls. The new bill would also have included fax machines. Robson said that was dropped, so Republicans would support the bill.

Erpenbach expects the GOP Assembly to pass it before the session ends next month.