Saying that check forgery is on the rise, Wisconsin's community bankers are fighting a legislative proposal that would soften punishment for some check-forging offenses.

Current state law treats any check forgery as a felony punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and 10 years in prison. Under a provision supported by Gov. Tommy Thompson, a Republican, a check forgery for less than $1,000 would be classified a misdemeanor, punishable by nine months in jail, at most.

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