Capitol Buzz
September 28, 2020
Additional Submission Period Created for Routes to Recovery Grants; DOA Updates Program Guidance
The Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) has added a new reporting period for filing claims under the Routes to Recovery COVID expenses grant program. Municipalities may now submit claims for reimbursement of COVID expenses from October 5 to October 11. This new submission period is referred to as reporting period 3. The final or 4th reporting period remains November 7 to November 18.

DOA created the Routes to Recovery program using CARES Act dollars to reimburse local governments for their COVID related expenses incurred between March 1, 2020 and November 6, 2020.

According to DOA, the October reporting period was added to give municipalities the opportunity to transfer any remaining balance from their allocation to another unit of government and allow that other governmental unit time to spend the dollars added to their allocation by the transfer.

Program Guidance Updated. Late last week, DOA updated the Routes to Recovery Program Guidance to clarify sections 3.4 and 3.5, relating to eligible payroll expenses.

Many Communities have not yet used their Routes to Recovery Allocation. 222 cities and villages have not yet used their Routes to Recover allocation of federal dollars distributed to the state by the CARES Act to help cover COVID expenses incurred by municipalities. Read the list of 222 municipalities here.
Legislature Announces Symposia Series on Workforce Housing
The Legislative Council is conducting a symposia series on Workforce Housing, which is scheduled to begin October 7. The series will provide a presentation each Wednesday of October at 2 pm available through livestream.

• Week 1: Overview of Workforce Housing in Wisconsin
• Week 2: The Building Blocks of Workforce Housing
• Week 3: The Cost of Workforce Housing Development
• Week 4: Survey of Other States’ Approaches to Workforce Housing.

The symposia will explore underlying issues, such as the cost of building materials and regulations under current law that affect the cost of construction of new, or rehabilitation of existing, affordable workforce housing. Further, the symposia will survey how other states have incentivized or reduced barriers to the development of affordable workforce housing by utilizing tax policy, zoning, and land use regulations. The symposia will consider how other states’ solutions might be tailored to Wisconsin to create affordable housing in both rural and urban parts of the state.