Senator Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield) and Rep. Dan Knodl (R-Germantown) plan to introduce a bill the League, the Towns Association, and the Wisconsin Tavern League support. (Yes, you read that correctly.) The bill, LRB-2011, allows municipal governing bodies to delegate a designated official the authority to issue operator's licenses (aka bartender's licenses).

The bill would give local governments the option to pass an ordinance delegating the issuance of operator's licenses to a municipal official, such as the clerk or an administrator.

Senator Kapenga and Rep. Knodl are currently seeking co-sponsors for the bill.
All municipal officials and staff are invited to participate in the League's Lobby Day on Wednesday, May 22. This is the League's largest lobbying event of the legislative session. It offers the opportunity to interact face-to-face with legislators in the state Capitol and at lunch. The day begins at 9:00 and includes a legislative briefing before walking to the Capitol for legislative meetings. The day ends with lunch at Monona Terrace. Governor Evers has been invited to speak at lunch. Please join us for some or all of the day.
(Use the Public Registration Button)
This event is free for Officials & Staff of League member municipalities.
The Legislature's Joint Committee on Finance holds its final public hearing on the state budget, AB 56/SB 59, on April 24 in Green Bay, at UW Green Bay University Union, Phoenix Room.

TAKE ACTION : If you plan to attend this hearing be sure to testify in support of retaining the many items helpful to municipalities included in Governor Evers' state budget proposal, including:

  • 2% ($15 million) increase in shared revenue funding.
  • Relaxation of property tax levy limits -- allowing communities to increase their levy from the prior year the 2% or net new construction, whichever is greater.
  • Addressing the State's Transportation Funding Shortfall.
  • 10% increase in General Transportation Aids funding.
  • 10% increase in Mass Transit Operation s Aids.
  • Creation of a $10 million Transit Capital Assistance Program.
  • Closing the dark store and Walgreens property tax loopholes.
  • Restoring municipal ability to use eminent domain powers to acquire land for bike and recreation paths.

Written comments can be emailed to the committee at, or sent via U.S. mail to: Joe Malkasian, Room 305 East, State Capitol, Madison, WI 53702.

Click on the button below to read the League's memo to the Joint Finance Committee commenting on Governor Evers' state budget bill.

The League's Local Perspective with Governor Tony Evers
A strong state and local partnership was a central theme of Jerry Deschane's conversation with Governor Tony Evers. In this special edition of the League's the Local Perspective, Jerry and the Governor talk about everything from why the Governor ran for the office, the state budget and the practical, gritty side of policymaking.  Watch the interview.

Lawsuit filed against the City of Eau Claire regarding TIFs
"A lawsuit filed Wednesday against the city of Eau Claire comes from the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty or WILL on behalf of Voters with Facts."

The suit challenges the city's decision to create a tax incremental financing district for the Water Street area. "We want the court to declare that this TIF is invalid," said Tom Kamenick, Deputy Counsel and Litigation Manager for WILL." Read the article...

SHINE Medical 'buys' Janesville property for $1 to build a medical isotope plant
The land is part of a $6.4 million incentive package that Janesville provided to SHINE, including $1.5 million for the property, $1.85 million for the utility and stormwater extensions, and $3 million in forgivable loans. Read the article...

Help bring an end to dark store loophole
"These lawsuits cost municipalities like ours not only in court costs, but more importantly in ongoing tax revenue that the city needs to provide businesses like Walmart, Walgreens, etc., with police support, fire protection and many other necessary services. Because these stores are pursuing and winning cases that take advantage of tax loopholes, they are no longer paying their fair share across the state of Wisconsin and instead have shifted the tax burden to small businesses and homeowners." Read the op-ed by Monona Alderman Andrew Kitslaar...

Janesville City Manager comments on state budget
The Wheeler Report's Gwyn Guenther was at the Joint Finance Hearing in Janesville for the latest #LocalGovMatters. She interviewed City Manager Mark Freitag and local legislators asking questions about funding, dark store and transportation aids.

You can listen to it on your PC or subscribe on your favorite podcast platform. The #LocalGovMatters podcast is brought to you by the League in partnership with the Wheeler Report and the Wisconsin Counties Association.

SB 170, Allowing minors to operate temporary stands without a permit or license. Under the bill, a place used for preparing food for sale at a stand operated by a minor does not need a food processing plant license from DATCP, and a stand operated by a minor does not need a retail food establishment license. In addition,
under the bill, a municipality may not prohibit a minor from operating a stand or require a permit or license for a minor operating a stand. The bill defines a “stand operated by a minor” as a temporary, occasional establishment operated on private property by children under the age of 18 that makes occasional sales, defined under current law as sales of less than $2,000 in a year. By Sen. Kooyenga (R-Brookfield). The League has not taken a position on this bill. Comment to the League on this bill.

AB 177, Restoring municipal power to regulate plastic bag use. This bill deletes sec. 66.0419, restricting municipal authority to ban or regulate "auxiliary containers," also known as plastic bags and containers. By Rep. Shankland (D-Stevens Point). The League supports this bill. Comment to the League on this bill.

AB 56/ SB 59, State Budget Bill. By Joint Committee on Finance, on Wednesday, April 24, from 10:00-5:00 at at UW Green Bay University Union, Phoenix Room. See the League's memo to Joint Finance Committee members on the state budget bill, here.

SB 83, Eliminating the four-liter limit on “Class B” licensees for distilled spirits sales for off-premises consumption in municipalities that, by ordinance, allow such off-premises sales. By Senate Committee on Economic Development, Commerce, and Trade on Tuesday, April 23, at 11:00 a.m. in Room 300 Southeast, State Capitol. The League is neutral on this bill.

AB 117, Prohibiting a municipality from requiring an applicant 
for a building permit for a one-family or two-family dwelling to submit the application in both paper and electronic forms. By Assembly Committee on Housing and Real Estate on Tuesday, April 23, at 10:00 a.m. in Room 400 Northeast, State Capitol. The League is neutral on this bill. 

AB 64, State aids to counties and municipalities for certain special election costs and making an appropriation. By Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections on Tuesday, April 23, at 12:00 noon, in Room 412 East, State Capitol. The League supports this bill.

AB 132, Electric Bikes. By Assembly Committee on Transportation on Tuesday, April 233, in Room 417 North, State Capitol. The League is neutral on this bill.