If Applying for DOT's new Multi-modal Local Supplement Grant, Tell the Public and your Legislators
We encourage communities applying for the one-time $75 million local government transportation grant program created as part of the 2019-2021 state budget to inform the public and your legislators about your application and the project for which your community seeks funding. The League has prepared a sample press release for communities to use to highlight the local project for which funding is sought. We have also drafted a sample letter to legislators for you to use. Both templates are posted on the League's website here.

The new one-time funding initiative for local governments is called the Multimodal Local Supplement (MLS) grant program. It sets aside $18.4 million for cities and villages, $26 million for counties, and $28.9 million for towns.

Application materials for the MLS grant program are available on DOT's website, here. The MLS program mirrors aspects of the Local Roads Improvement Program (LRIP) but is available for an expanded range of transportation projects.

MLS funding is available for new projects statewide related to:

Transit capital and facility projects
Bicycle and pedestrian accommodations

The minimum project cost for counties, cities, and villages is $250,000. The minimum project cost for towns is $50,000. The maximum grant any project can receive is $3.5 million. The program reimburses local governments up to 90 percent of total eligible costs; the community is responsible for the balance.

The deadline for applications is 5 p.m., Friday, December 6, 2019.

Informational Webinars

DOT will conduct three informational webinars on the Multimodal Local Supplement program on the following dates:

Monday, September 30, 2019: 9:00am to 10:30am
Wednesday, October 2, 2019: 1:00pm to 2:30pm
Thursday, October 10, 2019: 2:00pm to 3:30pm

If you are interested in participating in a MLS Informational Webinar, please select one of the dates and send an email to DOTLocalPrograms@dot.wi.gov stating you will be participating. DOT staff will send specific webinar links to you prior to the date(s).
DOR Publishes 2020 Shared Revenue Estimates
Last week the Department of Revenue posted on its website the 2020 shared revenue estimates for each community in Wisconsin. The estimates provide the Shared Revenue payment amounts each municipality and county will receive for county and municipal aid (shared revenue), expenditure restraint program aid, and utility aid. DOR also electronically mails or physically mails these notices to the municipal clerks. 

View the 2020 shared revenue estimates here.
Rep. Loudenbeck Introducing Legislation Creating Levy Limit Exemption for Joint EMS Costs
Rep. Amy Loudenbeck (R-Clinton) is introducing legislation this week extending the joint fire department levy limit exception to also cover 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 bill, LRB-4191, first applies to a levy that is
imposed in December 2019.

Under the bill, levies to pay for charges assessed by a joint emergency medical services district are exempt from levy limits, but only to the extent that the amount levied to pay for such charges would cause the municipality to exceed the otherwise applicable levy
limit. Also, the exception applies only if the charges assessed by a joint emergency medical services district increase in the current year by an amount equal to or less than the rate of inflation over the preceding year, plus 2 percent, and if the municipality's governing body adopts a resolution in favor of exceeding the otherwise applicable levy limit.

According to Rep. Loudenbeck, this bill is on a fast track to make the Assembly floor in October. A public hearing may be held as soon as this Thursday. The League supports this bill.
Coalition Seeks Restoration of Eminent Domain for Bike and Pedestrian Paths
The League has joined a coalition of groups seeking to restore the ability of local governments to use condemnation to acquire land for bike and pedestrian paths. The 2017 state budget, Act 59, amended the eminent domain statute to prohibit local governments from using condemnation to establish or extend bike paths, recreational trails, and pedestrian paths. The name of the coalition seeking to reverse this change is Paths for People.

Examples Sought of Bike Path Projects Delayed or Halted. Paths for People seeks examples of projects impacted by the 2017 change to the eminent domain law. Please email Curt Witynsk i with examples from your community of bike or pedestrian paths projects that were halted, delayed, or significantly altered as a result of the prohibition on using eminent domain to acquire land for such projects.
In the News

Registration open for 2020 Wisconsin Civics Games; $2K scholarship up for grabs
“We’ve spent a lot of time, as a nation, getting students ready for STEM, but one of our schools’ most important duties is to prepare the next generation to be good citizens, and the Civics Games can play a role in that,” said WNA Foundation President Scott Peterson, editor of the Watertown Daily Times. “This is so important for the future of our nation, to educate our kids about our democracy and get them engaged.”

Not only has Wisconsin seen a decrease in civic education, but municipalities are also reporting historic lows in local civic affairs.

In 2017, three in five Wisconsin municipalities reported an average of 1 or fewer candidates for each village board or city council seat, according to the 2018 State of Wisconsin’s Cities and Villages, a report from the Wisconsin Policy Forum and the League of Wisconsin Municipalities. Read the story...

#LocalGovMatters Podcast - Drones and their use by law enforcement is the focus of the latest Listen to the #LocalGovMatters podcast here... and on your favorite podcast platform.
Be Inspired!
Register now for the League's 121st Annual Conference.
October 23-25 in Green Bay. 
Details and Registration here

SB 401, Limiting the cooperation of state and local law enforcement officers with certain federal immigration enforcement activities. Under the bill, no local government may authorize or permit its law enforcement officers to assist a federal immigration officer in immigration enforcement activities, nor may a sheriff or deputy provide such assistance. By Sen. Larson (D-Milwaukee). The League has not yet taken a position on this bill. Comment to the League on this bill.

SB 402, Prohibiting local governmental from entering into or extending a contract with the federal government to house or
detain non-citizens in a locked detention facility for purposes of civil immigration custody. By Sen. Larson (D-Milwaukee). The League has not yet taken a position on this bill. Comment to the League on this bill.

SB 404/ AB 432, Overweight permits for vehicles or vehicle combinations with six or more axles. Authorizes the Department of Transportation to issue permits for the operation of vehicle combinations that exceed maximum gross weight limitations by not more than 11,000 pounds if the vehicle combination has six or more axles and meets specified weight limits based on the number of axles and distances between axles. The bill provides that the permits may be issued for operation only on state trunk highways and on local highways for a distance up to 15 miles in order to travel to and from a state trunk highway or to reach fuel, food, maintenance, repair, rest, staging, terminal or vehicle assembly facilities, or points of loading or unloading. The permits do not authorize operation of vehicles in excess of special or seasonal weight limits imposed on a highway or weight restrictions on heavy traffic routes. By Sen. Tiffany (R-Minocqua) and Rep. Spiros (R-Marshfield. The League opposes this bill. Comment to the League on this bill.

AB 455, Adjusting group health plan requirements to account for the normal work week of fire fighters. Under the bill, an individual who is employed as a member or officer of a fire department and whose duties include fire fighting or fire fighting training is an “eligible employee” if the individual works on a permanent basis and has a normal work week of at least 42 hours.
By Rep. Sanfelippo (R-New Berlin). The League has not yet taken a position on this bill. Comment to the League on this bill.

As of Monday morning, September 23, no public hearings on municipal bills are scheduled for this week.
If you are a WI city or village official or staff, we want to hear from you! Take the League's Member Survey
(Provide your contact information and we'll include you in a drawing for two $50 gift cards.)