2017-18, No.5
January 30, 2017

In this Issue:

Publishing Meeting Minutes on the Web

Notifying Alderpersons about Special Council Meetings

Legislative Audit Bureau Releases Report on State Highway Program

In the News

Governor to Release State Budget Feb. 8

Join Us for League Lobby Day

Recently Introduced Legislation

Public Hearings
League of Wisconsin Municipalities
Ph:  (608) 267-2380
       (800) 991-5502


Like me on Facebook Follow me on Twitter View my profile on LinkedIn
Bill Allows Municipalities to Publish Meeting Minutes on Web instead of Official Newspaper  

The League is working with Rep. Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac) and Sen. Stroebel (R-Saukville) on introducing a bill allowing cities and villages to satisfy the requirement of publishing meeting minutes by posting them on the community's web site and posting a copy in a public place instead of paying for publication in the community's official newspaper.   

Rep. Thiesfeldt is currently seeking co-sponsors for the bill, LRB 0506/2.  

Action Step: Contact your state legislators and urge them to call Rep. Thiesfeldt's office and sign on as a co-sponsor of LRB-0506/2.

Help create a Buzz: After you contact your Legislators, click here to tweet your support of this proposal. 
Bill Would Allow Mayors to Inform Alderpersons of Special Meetings Electronically 

The League is working with Rep. Paul Tittl (R-Manitowoc) on a bill sought by the City of Manitowoc that would allow a mayor to notify council members of a special meeting of the council via whatever manner is most likely to reach each council member (e.g., by phone call, text, or email.)  The bill retains the current requirement for six hours notice of the meeting, but deletes the requirement that notice be delivered in writing either personally or to the council member's usual abode.

Rep. Tittl is seeking co-sponsors for the bill, LRB 0022/1. The League supports this bill.  
Legislative Audit Bureau Releases Report on DOT's State Highway Program 

Last week, the Legislative Audit Bureau released a much anticipated audit report of DOT's state highway program. GOP legislators have been waiting for the report since last fall with hopes that it would recommend efficiencies and cost savings. 

According to the report, DOT budgeted to complete more major highway project work than could be completed with available funding because it did not sufficiently take into account the effects of inflation and unexpected cost increases. The Audit Bureau found DOT could take additional steps to control program costs, including by consistently using its performance measures to manage and improve its operations. The report includes recommendations that will help DOT use its funds more effectively and improve how it manages the planning, engineering, construction, and maintenance of state highways.

In the News

Barrett, Hamilton: Milwaukee needs balanced state approach
In 2015, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue calculated that the amount of state revenue generated in Milwaukee far exceeded the amount of state aid provided to Milwaukee governments. Read the full article
Lobbyist's legislative agenda hits close to home for Baraboo
Baraboo is hardly alone in its struggles with road repairs, tax assessments and cell tower sites.
On Tuesday, the executive director of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities laid out for the City Council his organization's legislative agenda. Several items hit close to home for Baraboo leaders. Read the full article
Governor to Present State Budget to the Legislature on February 8

Governor Walker will make his state budget address to a joint meeting of the Legislature at 4:00 p.m. on February 8.  

Immediately following the Governor's address, the League's Curt Witynski will join representatives from the Wisconsin Counties Association and the Wisconsin Towns Association on WisconsinEye to analyze the Governor's budget recommendations.
Elected Official or Staff? Join the Lobby Team & Advocate for Your Community
As an elected or appointed municipal official, you can advocate for your municipality by joining the League's Lobby Team. Sign up

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  

SB 14 , Setting a goal for local government to purchase a percentage of products and services from businesses located in this state. This bill sets a goal that at least 20 percent of the aggregate value of the annual purchases of products and services by a local government (which includes cities, villages, towns, counties) will be from Wisconsin-based businesses. A further goal is that, in any year, the percentage of the aggregate value of routine  purchases of products and services from Wisconsin-based businesses will not be lower than it was in the previous year. The bill also requires a local governmental unit to annually evaluate its performance in reaching these goals, and make the 
evaluation available to the public, but the political subdivision's governing body may vote to opt out of these requirements. 
Introduced by Sen. Hanson (D-Green Bay) ( The League is neutral on this bill.) Comment to the League on this bill.
Public Hearings  

No hearings on municipal bills are scheduled for this week.