Wisconsin Amish families face eviction over smoke/CO2 detectors - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Amish families in Wisconsin face eviction over smoke/CO2 detectors

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EAU CLAIRE (WKOW) -- A judge will hear cases this week involving four Wisconsin Amish families who refuse to get certain building permits, on grounds that complying would require them to install electronic equipment, according to the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram.

State law requires all new homes have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, but the Amish don't use electronic devices. They consider them considering modern conveniences that violate their religion.

The cases are set for a scheduling conference Wednesday in Eau Claire County.

Two of the families are from the town of Bridge Creek and the other two are from the town of Fairchild. They face possible eviction or $52,000 in accumulated fines. County officials say they don't want that, but that they're required to enforce housing codes uniformly.

In response , state Rep. Kathy Bernier has introduced a bill that would exempt one and two-family homes with no electricity from laws requiring smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. The Republican from Lake Hallie said she hopes the bill will pass in the next session early enough to prevent the families from being evicted or fined.

However, county planning and development official says smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are especially needed in Amish houses because residents heat their homes with wood.

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