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Monday, September 1, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 77.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
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Renters up; Public employees union down

UP: Renters. A new Dane County law goes into effect, requiring that landlords tell tenants at least 60 days in advance when they won't be renewing a lease and give the reasons for nonrenewal. Brenda Konkel, executive director of the Tenant Resource Center, praises the new law on her blog: "Rents are on the rise, landlords can be very choosy about who they rent to, and many longer-term renters have been surprised when the landlord tells them that, many times after 5, 10 or more years, they will not be renewing the lease."

DOWN: Public employee unions. Lobbying by public employee unions, gutted by restrictions approved in 2011, has plunged. The Wisconsin Education Association Council, the teachers union, used to consistently rank first or second in lobbying in Wisconsin but has fallen to 40th, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. In the first half of 2011, the group spent $2.1 million lobbying. In the first six months of this year, it spent $84,000 -- a 96% drop. This year's top three lobbying groups are the Wisconsin Insurance Alliance, the Wisconsin Hospital Association and Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce.

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