Bill Increases Medicaid Reimbursement for Municipal EMS

The League testified last week alongside City of Waukesha Mayor Reilly and City of Racine Fire Chief Hansen in support of AB 874, enabling municipalities to recover a greater amount of the cost they incur when providing ambulance services to Medicaid patients. (Photo on the League's Facebook page here.)

Currently, only a portion of each Medicaid call is reimbursed by the Medicaid program, which creates significant budgeting challenges for municipal EMS departments serving a high percentage of Medicaid patients. AB 874 establishes a process involving the state and federal governments that allows local EMS systems to obtain supplemental Medicaid reimbursement payments.

Nearly 80% of the emergency medical services in Wisconsin are owned, operated, or supported by city, village, and town governments. Many of these municipal EMS departments serve varying percentages of Medicaid patients. This bill offers valuable help for funding a vital local government service. The League applauds and thanks Rep. Amy Loudenbeck and Sen. Mary Felzkowski and their staff for working with a range of stakeholders to draft this important legislation. For more information see the League joint press release with the Wisconsin Towns Association.

Federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) Resources

STATE RESOURCES: WisDOT invites you to attend an informational webinar focused on a recent solicitation to use Federal Fiscal Year 2022 (FFY22) funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). Interested applicants will learn about program eligibility, application procedures, and other related information.
 
The webinar is Thursday, February 10, 2022, 1:00 PM via YouTube: https://youtu.be/c3Mce_VNu38.
 
Following the presentation, time will be available for Q&As. All questions must be submitted through email; the mailbox will be monitored during the live presentation. The webinar will last approximately 1 hour.
 
If you have any questions you would like answered during the webinar, please send them to: DOTLocalPrograms@dot.wi.gov.
 
FEDERAL RESOURCES: Local Government Guidebook to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is historic in its size – the largest ever investments in broadband, rail and transit, clean energy, and water, just to name a few. The infrastructure law allocates funding to over 350 distinct programs across more than a dozen federal departments and agencies.

This guidebook informs communities on what to apply for, who to contact, and how to get ready to rebuild. The guide includes upcoming key dates and date ranges for key activities, along with planning activities you can be doing now to prepare for these programs coming in 2022 and 2023. 

The League's Federal Legislation Resources (ARPA & BIL) are posted here.

Governor Signs Water Supply Plan Bill

Last Friday, the Governor signed a League supported initiative, SB 488, relating to Water Supply Service Area Plans for Public Water Systems into law as WI Act 126.

The new law continues to require the creation of plans by December 21, 2025 for utilities serving a community with a population of more than 10,000, but only requires DNR approval for water supply service area plans when the plan involves a new or increased diversion or withdrawal from the Great Lakes basin. Act 126 also clarifies that a plan does not create an obligation for any water utility to provide service to the area delineated in the plan and prohibits the PSC from requiring a utility to extend or provide service to an area on the basis of the provisions of a plan. 

This is the fourth bill the League has advocated for this session that lessens administrative oversight and creates regulatory efficiencies for municipal water utilities. Other water utility bills that became law this session include:

  • SB 489/WI Act 112 -  Relating to procedural changes for applications under the Clean Water Fund Program and the Safe Drinking Water Loan Program.
  • AB 300/WI Act 85 - Relating to deadlines for certain Public Service Commission actions after a water public utility application for certificate of authority or approval of lead service line financial assistance is filed. For more information see this summary.
  • AB 302/WI Act 86 - Relating to meter installation or replacement projects by water utilities. For more information see this summary.

PFAS Update

On February 23rd the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board (NRB) will take up staff recommendations to advance three draft PFAS administrative rules including:
 
  • NR 105 Surface Water Quality Criteria Changes - Final EIA
  • NR 140 Groundwater Quality Standards (Cycle 10)         
  • NR 809 Safe Drinking Water Standards   

See the League's comments on all of the rules on our Rulemaking and Regulatory Matters webpage.
 
For each proposed rule, the NRB can choose from the following options:
  • Approve - If NRB approves a rule it has to be approved by the Governor before it is sent to a Legislative standing committee and then to the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules. Each committee has options for review. If the Legislature's review is not completed when the body adjourns, the review is paused and picked up when the Legislature is back in session, likely January 2023.
  • Reject - the timeframe for the revision expires in early March so a rejection by the NRB would require the department to start over from the beginning with a new scope statement for each rule package.
  • Revise - the NRB could choose to ask the department for revisions, but the scope statements expire in early March so this action would essentially require a restart from the beginning as well.  


Reminder: 2023 Urban Nonpoint Source Construction Grant Application Webinar Registration

Urban Nonpoint Source & Storm Water (UNPS & SW) Construction Grant webinar, hosted by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and UW-Madison Division of Extension from 1 – 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 15, 2022. The webinar offers an overview of the Urban Nonpoint Source Construction grant program, what's changed since the last grant cycle and what makes a good construction project.

Register in advance for the webinar here.

UNPS Construction Grant applications for projects beginning in 2023 are now available on the DNR’s grant program webpage.