DNR Begins PFAS Rulemaking
The Department of Natural Resources has begun the process of promulgating three rules regulating PFAS in groundwater, surface water and drinking water. Governor Evers has approved all three scope statements and the Joint Committee for the Review of Administrative Rules ordered DNR Secretary-Designee Preston Cole to hold a preliminary public hearing on each scope statement.

Based on initial compliance cost estimates prepared by DNR for the scope statements, local governments and industry stand to incur millions of dollars in compliance costs. In order to comply with drinking water standards, DNR estimates that a municipal wastewater treatment facility could be facing costs up to $25 million per facility.

Following the public hearings, the rules will need to be approved by the Natural Resources Board and ultimately be reviewed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor, a process that could take more than two years. The League will monitor these rules and continue to advocate against unnecessarily costly or burdensome regulation.

Legislature Announces October Floor Dates
Last week, Wispolitics.com reported: “The state Assembly will be on the floor Oct. 10 with meeting dates for November TBD, according to the office of Majority Leader Jim Steineke, R-Kaukauna."

Meanhwile, “The office of Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, last week asked senators to keep open Oct. 8 and Nov. 5 for floor dates.”

The few number of dates the Legislature will be on the floor this fall reflects the  slow pace of legislation  under divided government in the 2019-20 session. Split party control of the Capitol has greatly slowed the pace of legislative activity in the 2019-20 legislative session and it appears unlikely the pace will pick up anytime soon.
In the News

Wondering about Opportunity Zones - watch this video for a good explanation of what they are and find out more about the new Opportunity Zone Fund that the C ity of Racine is working to establish with partners. It will be available soon to all Wisconsin Opportunity Zones. Have questions about how your municipality can access the fund? Email William Martin, Racine's Chief Innovation Officer at William.Martin@cityofracine.org

More on the Opportunity Zone Fund mentioned above from the Racine Journal Times story:
On Thursday, Mason and Terese Caro, chief lending officer at Legacy Redevelopment Corporation, announced that the City of Racine is close to becoming the first Wisconsin community to set up an opportunity fund to connect investors with opportunity zone redevelopment projects and assure they receive tax benefits. (The fund is available for all opportunity zones in the state!)

“We want to fuel the future by taking a leadership position,” said William Martin, the city’s chief innovation officer and the organizer of the Smart Cities conference.

Caro said the fund, called the “Forward Wisconsin Opportunity Fund,” is about 85% complete and it will be set up well before the Federal Government’s deadline on Dec. 31. Read the story...

Your municipality is Smart
A panel discussion with real life examples of what it means to be a Smart Municipality with the Department Heads in the City of Racine Police & Fire Department, Racine's Clerk, the IT Department and the Library and Public Works Department. You may be surprised at some of the examples. Watch the video on the League's Facebook page. Read the story about the Partnerships the Smart City work has fostered in Racine...

Business group joins Milwaukee County, municipalities in seeking sales tax increase in 2020
Supporters of an increase in the Milwaukee County sales tax — including the area’s largest business-lobbying group — are seeking approval from the Wisconsin Legislature to hold a referendum in April on implementing a 1-percentage-point tax increase to support local government capital projects and reduce property taxes.

“We would like to get it on the spring (2020) ballot,” Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce president Tim Sheehy told the Milwaukee Business Journal. Read the story...

#LocalGovMatters Podcast - Want to learn more about re vocation, parole and supervised release? Listen to the latest #LocalGovMatters podcast here...
Be Inspired!
Register now for the League's 121st Annual Conference.
October 23-25 in Green Bay. 
Details and Registration here

No new bills affecting municipalities were introduced last week.

SB 50, Body cameras on law enforcement officers and the retention and release of body camera data. By Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety on Tuesday, September 17, at 10:00 a.m. in room 411 South. The League has not yet taken a position on this bill.

SB 266/ AB 300, Requiring municipalities to pay health insurance premiums for survivors of a law enforcement officer who dies in the line of duty. By Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety and Assembly Committee on Insurance on Tuesday, September 17, at 1:00 p.m. in room 411 South. The League is neutral on this bill.

SB 214, Making numerous changes to municipal court procedures and powers. By Senate Committee on Insurance, Financial Services, Government Oversight and Courts on Thursday, September 19, at 12:30 p.m. in room 300 Southeast. The League switched from neutral to support after changes were made to the bill at our request
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