May 18, 2020 - League of Wisconsin Municipalities - COVID-19 Update #35
COVID-19 Coronavirus Update
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Emergency Orders-Plans - Local

This  Attorney General's opinion  addresses the following questions: whether the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision in Wisconsin Legislature v. Palm controls local powers; whether that decision’s discussion of criminal penalties should be considered by local authorities; whether that decision’s specific focus on certain DHS powers related to staying at home, travel, and closing businesses should be considered by local authorities; and whether there are any other substantive limits on local powers implied by the Palm decision. 5/15/20 

Wisconsin Local Government Authority to Issue Local Stay-in-Place Orders  by The Local Solutions Support Center 5/14/20
League's Legal Electronic Newsletter - "the League-EL"

May 13, 2020
By Maria Davis, Assistant Legal Counsel, League of Wisconsin Municipalities
For the League Attorney's FAQs on the May 13, 2020 Wisconsin Supreme Court decision click here .

Please note that additional clarification will be issued by the League's Attorneys and will be provided via this newsletter and our website as soon as possible.
We appreciate your patience!
The League’s attorneys are fielding an unusually large number of inquiries while, at the same time, needing to dedicate a substantial amount of their time to meetings and participating in training sessions for local officials. Consequently, you may experience a delay in response to legal inquiries. We appreciate your patience and will respond to your inquiry as soon as we can. Claire Silverman and Maria Davis
In the News

Explained: How Wisconsin officials could address budget shortfalls
As the economic fallout stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect Wisconsin, state officials are caught in a holding pattern while they wait to decide when and how to adjust funding levels. 

Depending on how state leaders decide to act, doing so could impact previously anticipated revenues for schools, local governments and a host of others over the remaining year of Wisconsin's $81 billion biennial spending plan. 

But the question of when additional moves could occur is a tricky one to answer.  Read the article... Click here to comment on the article on the League's Facebook page...

Wisconsin communities going without coronavirus restrictions as cases continue to rise
A growing number of communities in Wisconsin don't have any restrictions in place to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, as cases in the state continue to increase. 

At least 17 communities had issued new orders that were similar to the statewide safer-at-home order struck down by the state Supreme Court on Wednesday. But by Friday evening, at least eight had dropped them.  Read the article...

Tony Evers' proposal to replace stay-at-home order rejected by GOP lawmaker with veto power
Nass' comments come a day after Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Nass' co-chairwoman Rep. Jo Ballweg said they don't see a need to adopt any new guidelines for the state, despite repeatedly saying previously they were suing to block Evers' order to be able to work with him on a new plan.

"As a Republican, I believe in local control," Vos said Thursday.

Now, cities and counties are left to come up with their own rules — putting in place a patchwork of regulations in some cases varying widely between n eighboring counties.

Implementation of the City of River Falls “Crushing COVID-19: A guide to recovery” will follow guidance and direction from the State of Wisconsin and public health officials throughout its response and recovery to the COVID-19 pandemic. The state’s Badger Bounce Back plan serves as a framework for this guide.  Review the plan... (Please note that the plan is being updated.)
League COVID-19 Virtual Roundtable Conference Calls
This call is for City/Village Officials,
including mgrs./adm. & Staff Only

NOTE - Schedule change to Thursday!

Tuesday, May 19 - 4:00-5:00 p.m.
CDBG Funding
David J. Pawlisch | Bureau Director
Department of Administration
Division of Energy, Housing, and Community Resources

Join Zoom Meeting

Or Dial 312 626 6799

Meeting ID: 943 2945 2289
Password: 990365

Thursday, May 21 - 9:00-10 a.m.
WisDOT Secretary Craig Thompson

Join Zoom Meeting

Or Dial 312 626 6799

Meeting ID: 919 6078 3036
Password: 990365

If you aren't able to connect or have a question after participating, please contact Jerry Deschane at email .

We will schedule additional calls as needed. Notice and call-in information will be provided on the League's website and in these Special Edition newsletters, which will also be sent as needed.
You are INVITED!

Question & Answer Town Hall webinar on Local Redistricting
Wednesday, May 20 th 1:00pm – 2:00pm
Legislative Technology Services Bureau, the Legislative Reference Bureau, and the UW Applied Population Lab

The town hall will conclude the 2020 Local Redistricting Training Webinar Series, and will be followed by a Local Redistricting Pilot that will begin on June 1 s t . We encourage any and all interested counties and municipalities to register and participate in the pilot to prepare for actual redistricting in 2021.

For more information on the training webinar series, or to register for the Q&A Town Hall or the Pilot, please visit:
The League's next Local Gov 101 Webinar is May 29!
Participants who opt for the online webinar version have the option to take the course all in one day or mix and match the four different modules during any of our offered webinar dates over a 12 month period following their registration. In addition to the online training, participants will have the option of receiving a hard copy workbook or a USB version.  Details and Registration
Gov. Evers Announces Grant Program for Ethnically Diverse Micro-Businesses
Gov. Tony Evers announced today that one thousand ethnically diverse micro-businesses that have suffered losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be eligible to receive grants of $2,000 each under a new state program. Learn more on the WEDC website here...

Reminder - REOPEN GUIDELINES by industry or type of business from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC)
"With input from national and state health and industry experts and in partnership with the  Wisconsin Department of Health Services , the  Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) , the  Wisconsin Department of Tourism  and our regional economic development partners, WEDC has compiled a series of industry-specific documents to help you get back to business while taking the necessary precautions to maximize safety. Following these guidelines will help us all get Wisconsin’s economy back on track.

You are encouraged to bookmark this page and check back regularly for updates to guidelines and the addition of new industry documents."

Click here to share the Guidelines from the League's Facebook page to your own or your municipalities page.
Reminder - Wisconsin Park and Recreation Association Monitoring Pool Closures
WPRA has created an  online document  to monitor pool closures across the state, as of Monday, May 11th, 65 agencies have provided data. Pool closures are based on many factors including government restrictions, financial projections, public perception and above all the health and safety of Wisconsin communities. On a poll of 42 agencies conducted May 1st, half had not yet decided whether or not they will be opening at all this Summer, approximately 25% intend to make that decision this month (in May). 
Reminder - League's Best Practices for Virtual Meetings Webinar Available
The League’s free May 6, 2020 webinar discussing best practices for virtual meetings will help you review the basic open meeting requirements as they apply in a virtual meeting, along with etiquette, communication tips and a discussion of various software platforms.

Thank you to our panelists! Sarah Edgerton, CIO, Director of Information Technology, City of Madison, Nathan Thiel, Village Administrator, Village of Pleasant Prairie, and Jim Healy, Village Administrator, Village of Richfield.
The archived webinar is available  here .
Frequently Asked Questions f rom the League's past COVID-19 Newsletters have been updated and c an be accessed here .
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Information on FEMA, including templates for tracking expenses are on the League's State and Federal Assistance Resource Page .
Coronavirus Aid, Relief, & Economic Security
Information on State and Federal Assistance including FEMA and the CARES Act is on the League's COVID-19 website here .
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
Information on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) is on the League's website on the Employees page here.
If you don't find what you need or if you have resources to contribute,
please email Jerry Deschane.
Reminder - Now might be the time to access Additional Resources through UniverCity

"The state of local government is up in the air with all the uncertainty of COVID-19. Wouldn't it be nice to have a partner helping you think through how your locality will bounce back? It could mean a revised economic development plan, or an improved mechanism for communicating with citizens or localities, or rethinking how county services will be offered, or how to think differently about tourism in this uncertain time. 
UniverCity Year is a flexible three-year partnership where local governments pitch ideas to UW-Madison, and they match you with courses and resources on campus that help you think through your approach to those issues. It could be COVID-19 response, or affordable housing, or water quality/nutrient management, or parks/recreation. We are willing to be flexible to adapt to this new reality, so your projects don't have to be fully formed. If you'd like to talk more about your options or questions, reach out to Gavin Luter, , Managing Director of the Program. 

To see deliverables for projects in places like Monona, Brodhead, Durand, Monroe, and Stockholm, see
The application is HERE ."
Reminder - Wondering what municipalities across the United States are doing?

Mayor's Innovation Project Live City Response Feed

"Our live city response feed provides you with a curated list from around the country, making it quick and easy to access the most relevant ideas for city leaders. Submit your own innovative policies here ." To see the city responses so far: 
The University of Wisconsin-Madison Communication Collaborative for COVID-19 Response has developed 10 essential steps to limit the spread of COVID-19. They reflect the overall need for maintaining a physical distance from each other, washing you hands and staying home: Read the article...
Webinars and Training
League’s Local Government 101 program now offered as webinars

The League’s 1-day workshop provides a basic framework for governing to both new city and village officials and those who want to brush up on their knowledge of local governance. 
You’ll learn about city and village powers including municipal home rule, hear about how to recognize and avoid conflicts of interest, go home with a quick tutorial on municipal budgeting as well as how to run a meeting and finish with an overview on managing public works projects. In addition, you’ll have that age-old question answered: “what is a walking quorum anyway?”

We're adapting and have converted four of the one-day workshops into webinars - with more dates possible. Participants who opt for the online webinar version have the option to take the course all in one day or mix and match the four different modules during any of our offered webinar dates over a 12 month period following their registration. In addition to the online training, participants will have the option of receiving a hard copy workbook or a USB version. The cost of the program is $70 per person. Details and Registration
Local Government Essentials
Programs brought to you by the Local Government Center at UW-Madison Extension

Alcohol Beverage Regulation and Licensing – Part 1
Wednesday, May 20, 2020, 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Under state law, Wisconsin municipalities issue and renew alcohol licenses. New municipal clerks and others looking for a refresher on the basics of alcohol licensing will benefit most from this session. Learn about the different types of licenses, license qualifications, notice requirements, and other statutory requirements as your municipality prepares for the upcoming license renewal period.
Presented by Attorney Carol Nawrocki of the Wisconsin Towns Association and Attorney Claire Silverman of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities.

Alcohol Beverage Regulation and Licensing – Part 2
Wednesday, June 3, 2020, 1:00-2:00 p.m.
Part 2 is intended for both new and continuing officials who want to stay up-to-date with recent changes in the law, current issues, and Wisconsin Department of Revenue resources related to alcohol licensing. In addition to providing these updates, Mr. Quam will be available to answer any questions you submit ahead of time, and if time, those questions posed during the presentation. To submit questions, please email them by Wednesday, May 1, 2020 to .
Presented by Tyler Quam Special Agent-in-Charge at Wisconsin Department of Revenue, Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement Unit.


When Revenues Fall Short – Weathering the COVID-19 Recession
UW Madison Extension’s Local Government Center
June 9, 2020, from 10:00 am to 11:30

Wisconsin municipal governments are already feeling the COVID 19 recession’s impact, and it is likely to get worse before it gets better. Further, Retail and Main Street have taken an economic hit in our current environment. Non-essential businesses have lost sales and workers, and community leaders and economic development professionals are concerned about the future of local business districts. Room taxes and other revenues are significantly off across all sectors. This webinar will provide data and practical information on the potential revenue loss impacts on municipalities and how to anticipate and mitigate those impacts.

We bring together experts from Ehlers, KerberRose, the Wisconsin Policy Forum, and UW Madison Extension’s Community and Economic Development program, each of whom will provide data, practical advice, and potential solutions for local governments to consider as they deal with revenue shortfalls for 2020 and beyond.

Agenda details here .

Upcoming League Conferences and Workshops
Our priority is your safety and well-being. Decisions on whether to hold, cancel or postpone League events will be made with that priority as our number-one concern. 

League's Local Gov 101 Workshops - All spring and summer Local Gov 101 programs are being provided as webinars. Details here .

League's Clerks, Treasurers and Finance Officers - POSTPONED TO 2021! Please mark your calendar for June 9-11, 2021 (yes, that is next year !) at the Tundra Lodge in Green Bay.  

League's Municipal Attorneys Institute has been Rescheduled to September 2-4 at Stone Harbor in Sturgeon Bay! Registration will open in June.

Decisions about the other upcoming programs will also be made with health and safety in mind. We will provide notice in our newsletters and on our website regarding those and future workshops. Details on cancellation policies and more... 
League Handbooks

The following Handbooks are now available as a PDF at a reduced price for email delivery.

  • Handbook for Wisconsin Municipal Officials - PDF Available!
  • Handbook for Wisconsin Police and Fire Commissioners - Completely updated in Jan. 2019.  PDF Available!
  • Municipal Licensing and Regulation of Alcohol Beverages - Completely updated in Sept. 2019. PDF Available!

Physical PRINT copies of ALL Handbooks are also still available but on a delayed weekly shipping basis.    You can order Handbooks online here .
General Resources
COVID-19 is a virus that has not previously infected humans and information about its rate of spread and its effects is still largely unknown, which makes it incredibly important to be highly cautious in dealing with the current situation. 

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services will continue to provide the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19. You are encouraged to monitor the site for updated guidance as the situation continues to evolve.

Want to share relevant and credible information to your Social Media?

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on Facebook & on Twitter (Scroll down to see more recent posts.)

The Wisconsin Dept of Health Services (DHS) on Facebook & on Twitter.

And the League's social media: