Correction: Legislature still working on Competitive Bidding Threshold Legislation
I mistakenly reported in this morning's Legislative Bulletin that both the Senate and Assembly had approved the same version of AB 285, which increases the competitive bidding threshold for non-road municipal public construction projects from $25,000 to $50,000.

While it is true that the Senate last week passed an amended version of AB 285, it turns out the Assembly has not yet concurred in the change made by the Senate. The Assembly had an opportunity to do so last Thursday, but chose not to, suggesting that Assembly leadership has issues with the change the Senate made to the bill. We understand that legislators and stakeholders are continuing to work on passing legislation increasing the competitive bidding threshold for non-road municipal public construction contracts from $25,000 to $50,000.

My apologies for any confusion our earlier Legislative Bulletin may have caused. Email Curt Witynski with any questions you may have.
Municipal Bills Sent to Governor for Signing
Last week, both houses of the Legislature passed the following bills affecting municipalities. These bills have also been sent to the Governor for his signature.

SB 266, Requiring municipalities that pay for health insurance premiums for its police officers, police chief, and EMS practitioners to continue to pay the premiums for the surviving spouse and dependent children of a police officer, police chief and EMS practitioner who dies in the line of duty. Requires the state to reimburse municipalities for the cost of extending health insurance. The state's reimbursement is paid out of the shared revenue program. The Governor is reportedly plans to sign this bill this week. The League is neutral on this bill. 

AB 141, Clarifying that property tax payments mailed to the proper official are considered to be received on time if postmarked on or before the due date, regardless of when received. The bill also clarifies that if the due date is a Saturday or Sunday, the current five day grace period ends the following Friday. The League supports this bill.

AB 235, Creating a levy limit exception for communities receiving reduced utility aid payments when a power plant closes. The Senate passed an amended version of this bill last Tuesday and the Assembly concurred in those amendments. The League supports this bill.
Senate Passes Several Bills Affecting Municipalities
Last week, the Senate passed the following bills affecting cities and villages. These bills have been sent to the Assembly for possible action in that house later this session.

SB 60, Clarifying law relating to placement of sexually violent persons (SVP) on supervised release. Provides that when the temporary committee has selected a city, village, or town for the placement of an SVP, the chief executive officer of that city, village, or town, or his or her designee, shall become a member of the temporary committee. The League supports this bill. 

SB 71, Providing state aid payments to counties and municipalities for certain special election costs. The League supports this bill.

SB 203, Authorizing municipalities to allow clerks or other officials/staff to issue operator's (bartenders's) licenses. The League supports this bill.
Assembly Passes Municipal Bills
Last week, the Assembly passed the following bills affecting cities and villages. These bills have been sent to the Senate for possible action in that house later this session.

AB 469 , Creates a $100 nonrefundable income tax credit for volunteer fire fighters, emergency medical responders, and emergency medical services practitioners. The League supports this bill.

AB 471, Requires the Department of Military Affairs to provide grants to Wisconsin public safety answering points (PSAPs) to purchase, upgrade, and maintain Next Generation 911 equipment. Under the bill, the 911 subcommittee must advise DMA on appropriate grant purposes and eligibility criteria for the grants, and DMA must promulgate rules for grant use purposes and eligibility based on those recommendations. The bill expressly prohibits providing grants to more than one PSAP per county. [Note, this bill does not appropriate any money for a Next generation 911 grant program. It merely establishes the ground rules for distributing grants once the state makes funding available.] The League has concerns about prohibiting grants to more than one PSAP in each county.

AB 472 , Expands the levy limit exemption for joint fire departments to also apply to the amount that a municipality levies to pay for charges assessed by a joint emergency medical services district, subject to the same conditions and limitations as currently apply to a joint fire department. The League supports this bill.
Advocate for Your Community
League's Fall Lobby Day is November 6
All municipal officials and staff are invited to participate in the League's fall Lobby Day on November 6. The day begins at 9:30 a.m. with a legislative briefing provided by League staff before walking to the Capitol for legislative meetings. After Capitol visits we reconvene for lunch. The event concludes at 1:30. We'll provide you with handouts and all the information you need to talk with your state legislators about legislation affecting cities and villages.

Register for the November 6 Lobby Day here.
In the News
Know Your Wisconsin: Funding for Wisconsin’s Local Governments
"Budgets across the state are tighter than ever and communities in Wisconsin have been feeling the pressure. The ever-tightening state-imposed budget limits are in part due to state aids that have not increased, and limitations on property tax increases. State levy limits prevent local property taxes from growing beyond the percentage of new buildings built in that community the year before." Watch the video here...
Election security council to hold first public meeting
A new council formed to coordinate election security will hold its first public meeting next week.

The Wisconsin Elections Security Council will advise the state Elections Commission and serve as a meeting point for federal, state and local officials. Members include representatives of the FBI, the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, Gov. Tony Evers' office, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Legislature's elections committees, the Wisconsin County Clerks Association and the Wisconsin Municipal Clerks Association.

The council will meet Wednesday morning in the Madison Municipal Building. It plans to discuss organizational issues and its objectives. Read the article...

( Note: At the League's recommendation, Mike Davis, Middleton City Administrator, is representing cities and villages on the Council.)

Wisconsin kids could run lemonade stands under bill passed
The bill would limit sales to $2,000 of lemonade a year, however. That translates to 8,000 cups at 25 cents each. Children would be barred from selling any potentially hazardous food, such as raw meat and egg salad. Read the article...

Assembly passes bill to help relocate downtown Green Bay coal piles
A bill that would provide the city of Green Bay with state aid to move coal piles from the banks of the Fox River, has passed the Assembly.

The bill had a 69-27 vote Thursday.

The bill would help with the first step in relocating the C. Reiss coal facility from the west bank of the Fox River, just south of Mason Street, to the closed WPS Pulliam Power Plant at the mouth of the Fox River. Read the article...

Wisconsin ranks among bottom of states in securing federal funds
The percentages account for the total amount of federal revenue to the state, most in the form of federal grants, divided by the total amount of state revenue. Federal revenue goes toward services such as health care, education, transportation and infrastructure. Read the article...
Be Inspired!
Register now for the League's 121st Annual Conference
October 23-25 in Green Bay
Details and Registration here

SB 483, Authorizing the creation of multijurisdictional business improvement districts (BIDs), changes to public annual reports for neighborhood improvement districts (NIDs), and changes to certain notifications for both types of districts. By Sen. Kooyenga (R-Brookfield). The League supports this bill. Comment to the League on this bill.

SB 484, Creating a workforce housing tax credit program administered by the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority. The bill also requires the Department of Administration to submit an annual report to the Joint Committee on Finance concerning moneys held by DOA in connection with economic development revolving loan funds funded by federal community development block grants administered by DOA, including all moneys derived from the liquidation and close-out of such a revolving loan fund. By Sen. Testin (R-Stevens Point). The League supports this bill. Comment to the League on this bill.

AB 490, Repeals requirement in levy limit law that a political subdivision transferring responsibility to provide a governmental service to another governmental unit must reduce its allowable levy by the amount saved by the transfer. By Assembly Committee on Local Government on Wednesday, October 16, at 10:00 a.m. in 412 East, State Capitol. The League supports this bill.

AB 365, A llows Milwaukee police to use an automated speed enforcement system (ASES) to identify speed limit violations and allows Milwaukee to enact an ordinance permitting the use of a traffic control photographic system to identify traffic signal (red light) violations. By Assembly Committee on Local Government on Wednesday, October 16, at 10:00 a.m. in 412 East, State Capitol. The League supports this bill.