Governor Vetoes bills barring health officials from requiring COVID-19 vaccines, closing places of worship

Last week Governor Tony Evers vetoed two bills that would have placed restrictions on state and local public health officers regarding actions they may take to address the ongoing pandemic. 

The first bill, AB 23, would have prohibited the Department of Health Services and local health officers from requiring people to receive a COVID vaccine. The second, AB 24, would have banned local health officers from closing places of worship to control coronavirus outbreaks. 

In a statement, Evers said he vetoed both bills because he objected to provisions that would have taken away existing tools for public health officials to use in the fight against COVID-19.

Both bills passed the Assembly along party lines and the Senate by voice vote. 

Final State Budget Hearing is Wednesday and it is Virtual

The Legislature's Joint Committee on Finance is conducting its final public hearing on the 2021-2023 state budget on Wednesday, April 28th. Registration is closed.

Persons may also email comments on the state budget to the following email address: Budget.Comments@legis.wisconsin.gov

The hearing begins at 10 a.m. and concludes at 5 p.m. Persons testifying will likely be limited to two minutes of testimony.

Action Step: The League urges municipal officials to send comments to the Joint Finance Committee and your state legislators focusing on:

  • Shared Revenue
 
  • Local Transportation Aids
 
  • Payment for Municipal Services Program

  • Levy Limits

Use the state budget comment template prepared by League staff here. In addition to emailing the Joint Finance Committee members at the budget email address above, please also email legislators representing your municipality.

Examples of State Budget comments from League members are also available on our website at https://www.lwm-info.org/1630/State-Biennial-Budget and include:


The League greatly appreciates all who have participated in helping us advocate for municipalities across the state. There is still time to make your voice heard!

Racial Disparities Task Force Law Enforcement Subcommittee
Issues Final Report
 
Last week, the Assembly Speaker's Task Force on Racial Disparities - Subcommittee on Law Enforcement Policies and Standards released its final report with 18 recommendations to change law enforcement practices in Wisconsin to improve racial disparities.
 
The 32-person task force separated into two subcommittees to address racial disparities in Wisconsin - one focusing on law enforcement, the other focusing on education and economic development.
 
The Subcommittee on Law Enforcement Policies and Standards reached consensus on various recommendations that fall within four general categories: (1) use of force by law enforcement; (2) law enforcement oversight and accountability; (3) officer training and standards; and (4) community engagement.

Read the subcommittee's full report here

State Revenue Collections up in March

Last week, the Department of Revenue released revenue collections for March FY2021. According to the release, total GPR collections are up 6.3% (4.3% adjusted) over March FY20, and they are up 8.2% for collections to date over FY2020.

Frequently Asked Questions about ARPA

The National League of Cities has prepared a Frequently Asked Questions page on the American Rescue Plan Act payments for municipalities. (Corrected) https://www.nlc.org/covid-19-pandemic-response/arp-local-relief-frequently-asked-questions/

TAKE ACTION - ADVOCACY OPPORTUNITIES

Adopt the Shared Revenue Resolution!
Thank you to the cities and villages that have adopted or have added the Shared Revenue Resolution to their agenda for consideration. If your municipality isn’t on the list, it is NOT TOO LATE to take action in support of long-term funding for police, fire, parks, etc. We have provided a sample resolution - League Shared Revenue Take Action Plan

Send us your Shared Revenue Stories Please Email Jerry Deschane. He has already gathered stories from quite a few municipalities.