2017-18, No.4
January 23, 2017

In this Issue:

Bills League is Working on

League Staff Testifying at Informational Hearings

Bus System Costs

Sprinkler Requirements in Multifamily Dwellings

LFB Informational Papers

Join Us for League Lobby Day

Recently Introduced Legislation

Public Hearings
League of Wisconsin Municipalities
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Bills the League is Working with Legislators to Introduce  

The League is currently working with legislators on drafting and introducing the following bills: 

-- Dark Store (Sen. Roth (R-Appleton) and Rep. Rob. Brooks (R-Saukville).
-- Overturning the Walgreens v. City of Madison decision relating to assessing the value of retail pharmacies for property tax purposes.  Sen. Stroebel (R-Saukville) and Rep. Rob Brooks.)
-- Increasing the competitive bidding threshold for public construction contracts from $25,000 to $100,000.  (Rep. Rob Brooks) 
-- Restoring to municipalities the ability to prohibit cell towers in residential zoning districts. (Rep. Allen (R-Waukesha), Sen. Cowles (R-Green Bay), and Rep. Jim Ott (R-Mequon).
--Making the official bond requirements for municipal officers permissive rather than mandatory. (Sen. Stroebel and Rep. Rob Brooks.)
League Staff Invited By Assembly Committees to Testify at Informational Hearings this Week

At 10:00 on Tuesday, January 24, League staff will present the League's Legislative Agenda to the Assembly Committee on Local Government.  Rep. Ed Brooks (R-Reedsburg), the committee chair, has also invited the Wisconsin Counties Association and the Wisconsin Towns Association to address the committee that same day.

On Thursday, January 26, at 10:00, the Assembly Committee on Ways and Means will hold the first of several planned informational hearings on the state and local tax structure.  Curt Witynski has been invited to speak to the committee about the role the property tax, including the personal property tax, plays in funding municipal services. 

We'll provide some same day coverage via the League's Facebook page.  WisconsinEye is also scheduled to tape Tuesday's Local Govt hearing. 
Legislator to Introduce Bill Requiring that Bus System Operating Costs be Covered in Part by Rider Fares

Last week, Rep. Scott Allen (R-Waukesha) began circulating for co-sponsors a bill he plans to introduce, LRB-1383, that requires public bus systems to meet progressively higher minimum farebox thresholds as a condition of qualifying for mass transit operating assistance.  In 2018 the required percentage would be 18%.  In 2019 the percentage would be 20%, and in 2020 it would be 22%. By 2021 the minimum rider fare contribution would be 25%.  
DSPS Proposing to Rollback Fire Sprinkler Requirements for Multifamily Dwellings 

Last week, Department of Safety and Professional Services staff informed the advisory Commercial Building Code Council that department staff believe 2011 Act 21 and a recent AG opinion interpreting the scope of Act 21 require the Department to abide by statutory standards relating to when sprinklers are required in multifamily dwellings rather than administrative rules. While the current Commercial Building Code requires all multifamily dwellings to have fire sprinklers, DSPS staff believes that Act 21 now requires it to abide by the standards set forth in Wis. Stats. Chapter 101, which sets the trigger for when sprinklers are required at 21 dwelling units. 

For more information, see page 8, item 8 of the agenda for the January 19 meeting of the Commercial Building Code Council, which is posted on the DSPS website, here.
Informational Papers on Shared Revenue, General Transportation Aids, and other Topics of Interest to Municipalities Now Available

Last week, the Legislative Fiscal Bureau posted on its web site a series of Informational Papers on a wide variety of topics relating to state and municipal government, including tax incremental financing, municipal finance, and levy limits.  You can view the papers here
Elected Official or Staff? Join the Lobby Team!
As an elected or appointed municipal official, you can advocate for your municipality by joining the League's Lobby Team. Sign up

Team members are invited to the League's Lobby Days, scheduled three or four times during each two-year legislative session. Lobby Day starts at 9:30 a.m. with a briefing on legislative priorities. League staff provide briefing materials as well as League memos for you to use when you meet with your Legislators. After the briefing, everyone goes to the Capitol for their legislative meetings and then reconvenes to report out over lunch.

2017 Lobby Days

February 15, League Lobby Day  
Best Western Premier Park Hotel  (formerly the Inn on the Park), 22 South Carrol Street, Madison

May 10, League Lobby Day & Legislative Luncheon
Monona Terrace , 1 John Nolen Drive, Madison

As part of the team, you'll also be invited to participate in behind the scenes interactive political briefings provided by webinar. 
Recently Introduced Legislation  

AB 27 , Multiple Jurisdiction Health Departments Clean Up Bill. This bill eliminates a provision inserted into state law last session by 2015 Act 175 requiring a governing body of a multiple jurisdiction health department to use either equalized valuation or a per capita determination to establish cost sharing amounts for participating communities. The bill instead requires a governing body for a multiple jurisdiction health department to determine a budget in a manner agreed upon by the governing bodies of the participating entities. (The League worked with the authors of 2015 Act 175, Rep. Rob Brooks (R-Saukville and Sen. Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville), to introduce this corrective legislation at the request of a group of municipalities that have created a multi-municipal
health department that uses a different formula for cost sharing.Comment to League on this bill.

AB 33, Requiring a municipal judge to be a licensed Wisconsin attorney. Introduced by Rep. Kessler (D-Milwaukee). (The League opposes this bill.) Comment to the League on this bill.

AB 38, Limiting the authority of a law enforcement officer to arrest someone for sleeping or camping in a county park, authorizing local ordinances to prohibit overnight sleeping or camping in a county park, and providing a penalty. Introduced by Rep. Kessler (D-Milwaukee). (The League has not yet taken a position on this bill.) Comment to the League on this bill.
Public Hearings  

AB 24 , Prohibits State and Local Governments from Requiring Use of Project Labor Agreements in Public Construction Projects. By Assembly Committee on Labor on Tuesday, January 24 at 10:00 a.m. in room 417 North, State Capitol. (The League has not yet formed a position on this bill).

SB 3Prohibits State and Local Governments from Requiring Use of Project Labor Agreements in Public Construction Projects By Senate Committee on Labor and Regulatory Reform on Wednesday,  January  25 at 9:30 a.m. in room 412 East, State Capitol. (The League has not yet formed a position on this bill).