April 24, 2017          No. 17

2017-18, No.17
April 24, 2017

In this Issue:

Multi-Jurisdiction Health Department Bill Signed into Law

ETF Concludes it may Create Self-Insurance Program for Local Governments

Letter from State Legislators on Phosphorus

Municipal Government and Utility Day in the State Capitol May 10

In the News

Join the Lobby Team

Recently Introduced Legislation

Public Hearings
League of Wisconsin Municipalities
Ph:  (608) 267-2380
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Governor Walker Signs Multiple Jurisdiction Health Department Legislation into Law 

This morning Governor Walker signed SB 12 into law, a bill that the League initiated at the request of municipalities participating in the North Shore Health Department. The bill clarifies that when local governments agree to collaborate on combining their health departments, the agreeing parties have full discretion to determine how best to divide the cost of providing the service.
Legislation passed last session, 2015 Act 175, required that a multiple jurisdiction health department use either equalized valuation or a per capita method to determine how to share the cost of the health department between the agreeing local governments. This bill eliminates that requirement. 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. 
ETF Lawyer Concludes that the Group Insurance Board is Authorized to Establish a Self-Funded Health Insurance Program for Local Governments 

In an April 12th five and a half page memo to Employee Trust Funds Secretary Robert Conlin, ETF's general counsel concluded that a 1987 Attorney General opinion does not prohibit the Group Insurance Board (GIB) from establishing a self-insured group health insurance program for local government employers. According to the memo, GIB authority to establish a self-funded health insurance program for local governments is found in the plain language of Chapter 40 of the Wisconsin Statutes, specifically Wis. Stat. sec. 40.03(6)(a)2.  

Read the full memo here
State Legislators
Sending Letter to Wisconsin's Congressional Delegation Asking for Relief from Phosphorus Standards

State Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) is inviting his peers in the state legislature to join him in co-signing a letter asking the Wisconsin Congressional delegation for assistance in seeking relief from the the regulatory burden on municipal wastewater treatment facilities resulting from unreasonable phosphorus water quality standards under the Clean Water Act.  

The League applauds Sen. Marklein for initiating this lobbying effort in response to concerns raised by the Villages of Plain and Benton and other communities in his district struggling to come up with an affordable plan for complying with the state's phosphorus standards.

Read the full letter here.

Click here to Tweet your support of Senator Marklein's request. 
Join us for Municipal Government and Utility Day on May 10 in Madison  

All city and village officials and staff are invited to participate in a half day of advocacy and networking in Madison on May 10. The League is teaming up this year with several other municipal organizations, including Municipal Electric Utilities of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Rural Water Association, MEG -- Water, MEG -- Wastewater, and the Wisconsin Transportation Development Association for the first ever Municipal Government and Utility Day at the state capitol. 

The theme for the day is investing in municipal infrastructure drives the state's economy forward.  

Agenda for May 10:

9:00 -- 10:00 -- Breakfast, Welcome and Review of the Day's Agenda and Goals, and a Presentation by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos -- Monona Terrace Convention Center
10:00-10:30 -- Divide into municipal and utility groups and receive briefings from staff on issues to discuss with legislators -- Monona Terrace Convention Center  

10:30 -- 12:30 -- Participate in meetings with your State Senator and State Representative and/or their staff in the State Capitol
12:30 -- 1:45 -- Lunch with Legislators; presentation by Larry Gigerich, Executive Managing Director, Ginovus, a national economic development consulting firm -- Monona Terrace and Convention Center  

Lunch Only Option. If you are unable to attend the morning events, then please join us for the legislative luncheon. Register for lunch only here

No Cost. There is no cost for municipal officials and staff to attend the luncheon or to participate in any aspect of the Municipal Government and Utility Day at the State Capitol.

Register for the full May 10 Municipal Government and Utility Day here!
In the News
Wisconsin business lobby fights funding plan to remove lead from drinking water 
"Wisconsin's business lobby spoke out publicly Tuesday against a bipartisan legislative proposal to replace thousands of underground pipes that leach toxic lead into drinking water.

Businesses aren't against removing lead water lines that can cause permanent brain damage in children, but the current proposal should be changed to make cities - not water utilities - cover costs that will run in the millions of dollars, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce told a state Assembly committee."  Read more...
Join the Lobby Team 
May 10: Municipal Government & Utility Day (Lobby Day & Legislative Luncheon)

This year's Municipal Government & Utility Day on May 10 is a collaborative effort powered by the League, Municipal Electric Utilities of Wisconsin (MEUW),Wisconsin Rural Water Association (WRWA), Wisconsin Water Association (WWA), The Wisconsin Transportation Development Association, and Municipal Environmental Group Water and Wastewater Divisions.

All city and village officials, as well as municipal utility managers, commissioners, and staff are invited to participate in this lobbying and networking event. Join us for a morning spent on educating and advocating state legislators about municipal needs. There will be special focus on promoting the critical role quality municipal infrastructure plays in advancing the state's economy. The event also includes a lunch with your state legislators.

Registration for May 10 is here.  You can sign up for the Lobby Team here .    
Recently Introduced Legislation  

AB 258 / SB 197 , Prohibiting Carrying a Weapon on a Public Bus.    Current law prohibits a person from carrying a firearm in certain buildings 
owned or leased by the state or a local government if properly posted. This bill allows the state or a local government to post vehicles that are part of a public mass transportation system. By Rep. Subeck (D-Madison) and Sen. Risser (D-Madison). The League supports this bill. Comment to the League about this bill.

SB 190, Increasing minimum retirement age under the WRS and determining final average earnings for the purpose of calculating WRS annuities. By Sen. Stroebel (R-Saukville). The League is neutral on this bill. Comment to the League about this bill.

SB 202, Prohibiting adults from knowingly permitting or failing to take action to prevent the illegal consumption of alcohol beverages by underage persons on Property owned or occupied by the adult. By Sen. Wanggaard. (D-Milwaukee). The League supports this bill. Comment to the League about this bill.
Public Hearings  

SB 89, Various tax administration changes sought by DOR relating to the police and fire protection fee, defining restaurant for purposes of alcohol beverage regulation, lottery ticket couriers, background investigations of persons associated with the lottery. By Senate Committee on Revenue, Financial Institutions and Rural Issues, Tuesday, April 25 at 1:00 in room 330 Southwest, State Capitol. The League is neutral on this bill. 

SB 160, Relating to sales of surplus or discarded items by the state or a political subdivision to employees. By Senate Committee on Government Operations, Technology and Consumer Protection, Wednesday, April 26 at 10:00 in room 330 Southeast. The League supports this bill.