JFC to Take up DNR and DATCP Agency Budgets Tomorrow

The Legislature's budget writing committee continues working on the 2021-2023 state budget when it meets Wednesday, June 2nd. Of particular interest to municipalities, the Committee plans to vote on whether to appropriate state funding to help private property owners replace lead water service lines.

Governor Evers included in his budget one-time funding of $40 million GPR in 2021-22 in a continuing appropriation in the Environmental Improvement Fund (EIF) to provide forgivable loans to private users of public water systems for up to 50% of the cost of replacing lead service laterals. Given the availability of ARPA dollars to the state and local governments, which may be used to help private property owners replace lead service pipes, it is doubtful the Republican led JFC will include a similar provision in its budget.

Read the Legislative Fiscal Bureau's budget paper on lead service line replacement here.

Senate Committee Fails to Recommend Passage of Election Bills League Opposed

Late last week the Senate Committee on Elections, Election Process Reform, and Ethics failed to recommend passage of the following three election bills the League opposes. The vote was 2-3 for each bill.

SB 204, relating to absentee ballot applications, unsolicited mailing or transmission of absentee ballot applications and absentee ballots, canvassing absentee ballots, electronic voter registration. The League opposes this bill.

SB 205, relating to absentee voting in certain residential care facilities and retirement homes. The League opposes this bill.

SB 206, relating to status as an indefinitely confined voter for purposes of receiving absentee ballots automatically. The League opposes this bill.

The Committee voted to recommend passage of SB 214, a bill the League supports, which allows early canvassing of absentee ballots on the Monday before an election. The League supports this bill.

Legislature Begins Lengthy June Floor Session Next Tuesday

On June 8, the Legislature begins a floor session that runs until June 30 or whenever the Legislature passes the 2021-2023 state budget. Two League bills are in good position for both houses to pass during this upcoming floor period. The bills are:

AB 56/SB 76 -- Clarifying that personal property aid payments made to a TID district transfer to the municipality and other taxing jurisdictions after the district closes. The bill has been amended to apply retroactively to TIF districts that have closed between 2018 and whenever the bill is enacted.

AB 168/SB 187 -- Allowing village board members to be hired as employees of the village and earn up to $15,000 annually.

ARPA Update

League staff has prepared an ARPA FAQ responding to question submitted to us by League members.

Read the League's ARPA FAQ here.

Other ARPA Resources
  • Interim Final Rule
  • Factsheet – provides an overview of the aid, further describing allowable and ineligible uses
  • Frequently asked questions – address common questions received by the Treasury
  • Updated Allocation amounts for Counties and Metropolitan cities – 21 Wisconsin municipalities over 50,000 in population.
  • Updated Allocation amounts for non-entitlement municipalities (cities and villages with populations under 50,000) are available here. Note: No community's ARPA payment may exceed 75% of its 2020 budget. Also, each community will receive half of its total allocation sometime in the next month and the other half about 12 months later. (Special thanks to Carrie Nelson for calculating each community's allotment using the U.S. Treasury's formula for calculating non-entitlement community allotments).
TAKE ACTION Please take action to help your taxpayers! 
It's an easy ask. The League is working with Rep. Rob Brooks (R-Saukville) and Sen. Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon) to pass a bill that cleans up two inconsistencies in state laws dealing with the interest municipalities must pay on property tax refunds. The inconsistencies in current law have negative financial impacts on city and village taxpayers.

Your request is to ask your Legislators to sign on to the bill as a co-sponsor. The deadline for Legislators to sign on is TODAY Tuesday, June 1 at 5:00 - so click through to the League's TAKE ACTION Center today!