Governor Vetoes Bill Penalizing Cities for Reducing Spending on Police and Fire

Last Friday, Governor Evers vetoed SB 119, a bill the League opposed that would have mandated maintenance of effort on public safety spending. The bill, which would have applied to communities that regularly employ and retain 30 or more law enforcement officers, paid fire department members, or emergency medical responders, would have reduced the amount of shared revenue a municipality receives if the municipality decreased its budget for hiring, training, and retaining law enforcement officers, paid fire department members, or emergency medical responders, as compared with the previous year’s budget. Senator Wanggaard (R-Racine) and Rep. Spiros (R-Marshfield) introduced the bill, which both houses passed by near party line votes. The League asked the Governor to veto SB 119.

Read the Governor's Veto message here.
Read the League's veto request letter here

Governor Signs into Law Two Bills Affecting Municipalities

Last week, Governor Evers signed into law the following two bills impacting municipalities:

  • SB 91 (Act 77), Hydrologic restoration. The bill requires DNR to issue a new general permit relating to hydrologic restoration. The general permit must authorize wetland, stream, and floodplain restoration and management activities that will result in a net improvement in hydrologic connections, conditions, and functions. The League supported this bill, which was introduced by Sen. Cowles (R-Green Bay).

  • SB 120 (Act 75), Law Enforcement Use of Force. This bill, which the League took no position on, does the following:

  1. Creates standards for when an officer may use force and deadly force; 
  2. Creates a duty to report noncompliant use of force; 
  3. Creates a duty to intervene to prevent or stop noncompliant use of force; and  
  4. Creates whistleblower protections for officers who report (or are believed to have reported) noncompliant use of force or intervened to prevent or stop it.

Senator Wanggaard (R-Racine) and Rep. Spiros (R-Marshfield) introduced SB 120. Act 75 takes effect January 1, 2022.

$10 million in ARPA Funds Available to Support Tourism; Local Governments Eligible for Grants

Last week, Gov. Evers announced $10 million of the state's American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds will be used to provide grants to local governments and tourism-entity nonprofits for tourism-related investment projects that help promote, maintain, or bolster Wisconsin's tourism industry and that have a substantial capital component. Grants of up to $3.5 million will be awarded to regional entities through a competitive application process to eligible infrastructure projects such as convention centers, travel infrastructure, public or nonprofit attractions, and more. 

Municipalities interested in receiving more information about the grants, including application, should sign up to receive more information from WEDC, here. 

Video Service Report Form Must be Filed with DOR by August 16

Last week, the Department of Revenue posted on its website Form SL-311, Video Service Provider Report, for municipalities that impose a video service provider fee under Wis. Stat. 66.0420(7).

Each municipality that imposes a video service provider fee must use this form to report whether it imposed a fee in 2020 in order to receive a video service provider aid payment in 2022. The aid payments are designed to hold communities harmless for the recent state mandated reductions in local video service provider fee rates.

  • Form SL-311 is available in My DOR Government Account  
  • Due date – August 16, 2021
  • Municipal clerk must electronically file (e-file) Form SL-311
  • The reported certification is used to confirm qualification for the 2022 video service provider aid payment for Wisconsin municipalities under state law (2019 WI Act 9