March 28, 2022 | Number 62
Down to Four

The Legislature's Legislative Session has concluded and of the over 85 proposals the League lobbied on this legislative cycle, we are down to four that are waiting to be sent to the Governor for his action.

Two Bills with League Support

AB-874 EMS Services. The League added its voice to the many communities and EMS and firefighter organizations urging the Governor to sign AB 874 into law. AB 874 creates a process that would enable municipalities to recover a greater amount of the cost they incur when providing ambulance services to Medicaid patients. Currently only a portion of each Medicaid call is reimbursed by the Medicaid program, creating significant budgeting challenges for municipal EMS departments serving a high percentage of Medicaid patients. Nearly 80% of the emergency medical services in Wisconsin are owned, operated, or supported by city, village, and town governments. Many of these municipal EMS departments serve varying percentages of Medicaid patients. This bill offers valuable help for funding a vital local government service. We urge the Governor to sign AB 874 into law.  By Rep. Loudenbeck (R-Clinton). The League Supports this bill.

SB 900 - Great Lakes and Commercial Rivers Historic Fill. Several communities along the Great Lakes are very interested in turning over contaminated and blighted previous industrial areas into vibrant public/private partnerships that increase the amount of safe and remediated public access while promoting the best and highest use of properties along our Great Lakes. Communities need a way to increase the certainty associated with parcels on historic fill and clarify title to those properties. By signing SB 900, The Governor has an opportunity to make transformational changes in industrial and manufacturing communities along our Great Lake coasts by remediating contamination and removing blight allowing improvements to be positively felt by residents and visitors for generations to come. By Senator Stroebel (R-Saukville). The League supports this bill.
 Two Bills the League Opposes

AB-152 Building Plans. AB 152 creates an exemption from the examination requirement for certain building plans and plumbing plans and modifies other aspects of the building plan review process. While we recognize the frustration by the development community over delays in obtaining approvals from DSPS, a critically important job of municipalities is to ensure development in communities is done in as safe of a manner as possible. While the League would like to address the backlog in permitting, there are better ways to resolve the delays people are experiencing. Legislators could place a timeline in statutes and provide penalties if the department can’t meet statutory deadlines. We believe that AB 152 could create unsafe conditions and leaves other safer legislative options for addressing agency delays unconsidered. By Rep. Jessie Rodriguez (R-Oak Creek). The League opposes this bill.

SB 117, PFC Modifications. This bill changes the statutory provisions governing a Police and Fire Commission in a first class-city and creates new statutory provisions that apply to a second class city with a population of 200,000 or more. Milwaukee is currently the only first-class city in the state. Although 15 second class cities currently exist in the state, Madison is the only second-class city with a population of 200,000 or more. The League joins our two largest cities in opposing this bill that has the Legislature interfering into appointments made to the Police & Fire Commission, a quintessentially local matter. SB 117 passed the Senate on a 22-11 partisan vote and was concurred in by the Assembly. By Senator Wanggaard (R-Racine). The League opposes this bill.

TAKE ACTION! Please amplify the League's message on these legislative proposals. You can contact the Governor's office using this form or call 608-266-1212 and leave a message for the Governor.
Wisconsin Elections Commission Clerk Communication

After the U.S. Supreme Court decision on March 23, in the case Wisconsin Legislature, et al. v. Wisconsin Elections Commission, et al., which was the appeal of the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision to adopt the Governor’s maps as the new Assembly and Senate district maps for decennial redistricting purposes, WEC released this communication to clerks.

It is WEC’s understanding that no maps for the state assembly and senate are in effect for the 2022 fall elections until further action is taken by the Wisconsin Supreme Court. WEC staff will provide more information once it is available. To review current clerk communications see the WEC website.
State ARPA Grant Applications Open

Workforce Innovation Grants - Round 2 Application Still Open: A dozen regional projects are set to receive up to $60 million dollars in Workforce Innovation Grants. These grants will help provide long-term solutions to Wisconsin's workforce challenges for communities across the state. 

Round 2 funding will make available up to $40.5 million to promote local and regional solutions to ongoing workforce challenges, with grants ranging from $250,000 up to $10 million. Applications opened on February 22, and will close on April 15. 

If your community is interested, join the upcoming WI Dept. of Workforce Development webinar on Thursday, Mar. 31, 10 a.m - 11 a.m. Register here

More information about the program and the next round of funding is available on the Workforce Innovation Grant Program website.

Main Street Bounceback Grants - Application Ongoing: To date, the Main Street Bounceback Grants program has provided $10,000 to 2,500 new or existing businesses and non-profit organizations moving into vacant properties in Wisconsin’s downtowns and commercial corridors.

The program is still open to new or existing businesses opening a new location or expanding operations in a vacant commercial space as of January 1, 2021. Grant funds are distributed by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) regional partners. Businesses must apply through the partner organization for the region in which they are located. Applications are open through June 30, 2022.

Additional information about the Main Street Bounce Back Grant is available here.
ICYMI: Treasury ARPA Reporting Webinar for NEUs

U.S. Treasury hosted a webinar for Non-Entitlement Units (NEUs, typically communities under 50,000 in population) on Monday, March 21 related to reporting and compliance under ARPA. You can the webinar here.

To assist recipients with logging into Treasury's Portal, an NEU User Guide has been posted and Treasury has posted a video to assist NEUs with in logging-in to Treasury's Portal, confirming their accounts, and submitting the required agreements and supporting documentation.

Coming Soon: Project and Expenditure Report - The first reporting deadline for NEUs to submit the Project and Expenditure Report is April 30, 2022, and will cover the period between March 3, 2021 and March 31, 2022. The Project and Expenditure Report will become available to complete approximately 30 days before the deadline
(Paywalls may apply)
Rules on absentee ballots unclear
Ambiguous laws put state’s clerks in bind Read the article.

Clerks struggle to find clarity after Supreme Court drop box ruling Read the article.
Reminder: The League's legal memo on absentee ballots is here.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has several options as it considers its next steps in the redistricting case Read the article.

Wisconsin housing affordability at the heart of zoning reform project Read the article.
Click here to like, comment or share this article from the League's LinkedIn page.

The value of Wisconsin properties sold in 2021 increased at the fastest rate in 15 years. It's another sign of a strong housing market. Read the article. Read the Wisconsin Policy Forum Report.

Housing market 'staring into face of perfect storm,' expert warns Read the article.

Wisconsin's clean energy goal's could grow state's economy by $21 billion, but state lags Midwest counterparts Read the article.

Rock County plans to add 100 solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations Read the article.

Campbell approves draft water agreement with La Crosse, assures residents annexation off the table Read the article.

Sheboygan’s local elections are nonpartisan, but Democratic and Republican parties still play a role. Here’s how. Read the article.

Animal fat leaked from Land O' Lakes facility, plugs 2,000 feet of sanitary sewer in Mauston Read the article.

Baraboo drops ownership in jointly held regional airport Read the article

Here's what Appleton's new health officer thinks of the direction of the COVID-19 pandemic, the health of the community and more Read the article.
League Events
2nd Tuesday of every month.
April 12, 2022, 12:00-1:00 via Zoom
Zoom Information for all Roundtable calls.
Cyber Awareness for Municipal Officials
Thursday, April 14, 2022
12:00p.m – 1:30pm 

Where are you at risk in the workplace and at home?
Join us for an entry level discussion of cybersecurity risks to municipal officials at work and home. Learn about what best practices you should be implementing and the vulnerabilities criminals are searching for. This course will provide time for Q&A and discussion of incidents in Wisconsin.  

The League's Building Inspectors Institute
April 20-22, 2022
Lake Lawn Resort, Delavan

Attendees will receive: 12 Commercial Building, 12 UDC Building and 6 UDC HVAC credits

The League's Plumbing Inspectors Institute
April 20-22, 2022
Lake Lawn Resort, Delavan

Sign up now for the League's Popular Local Government 101
Workbook included for ALL participants - print or USB.
Via Zoom:
May 6 - Webinar 
September 9 - Webinar
If you register for the Local Govt 101 webinar, you can participate in any of the Local Govt webinars within a year from your registration. Mix and match the four segments - take them all in one-day or attend when you can.
Webinar Agenda (PDF) (Content is the same but the schedule is different.)

May 13, 2022 – Eau Claire, The Lismore Hotel
June 3, 2022 – Madison Marriott West
September 16, 2022 – Green Bay, Tundra Lodge
In Person Agenda (PDF) (Content is the same but the schedule is different.) 
Email questions or comments to:
Toni Herkert, Government Affairs Director,
Curt Witynski, Deputy Executive Director,