While Madison is knee-deep in budget-and-tax issues, the dean of the state Legislature has taken up lots of other causes.

The latest bill from Rep. Marlin Schneider, D-Wisconsin Rapids, would make it illegal for farmers to spray irrigation waters onto highways.

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He calls it a hazard for motorists who don't have roofs over their heads and it makes two-wheeled vehicles more prone to skidding or a hydroplane.

Schneider doesn't live far from central Wisconsin's potato farms, which do a lot of irrigating.

His measure would fine landowners $10 for a first offense, up to $1,000 for a third offense.

But some lawmakers call it overkill and they say it could punish residents who spray their lawn sprinklers onto city streets.

Rep. John Steinbrink, D-Pleasant Prairie, says the fines are too high. And he says farmers would never waste irrigation water on purpose.