April 17, 2017          No. 16

2017-18, No.16
April 17, 2017

In this Issue:

Public Hearing Tomorrow on Lead Water Service Bill

League testifies in Support of Modernizing Process for Notifying Alders of Special Council Meetings

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
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Public Hearing Tomorrow on Lead Water Service Lateral Bill 

The Assembly Committee on Energy and Utilities is holding a public hearing tomorrow, April 18, at 12:00 noon on AB 78, the Leading with Lead Act. 

The League strongly supports the bill, which enables municipalities and municipal water utilities to elect to create financial assistance programs to assist property owners needing to replace their lead service lines. Rep.Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac), the Assembly author of the bill, has introduced a substitute amendment that adds a PSC approval process and makes a few other changes to the bill.  

The Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy unanimously recommended passage of the same version of the Leading on Lead Act On March 29th. The bill, SB 48, was scheduled for a Senate floor vote last week, but leadership pulled it from consideration at the last minute due to concerns raised by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce about the potential cost to industries of helping supplement lead service lateral replacement for homeowners.
Action Step:  Local officials supportive of the bill are urged to attend the hearing on Tuesday. If you are unable to attend the hearing, then please contact members of the Assembly Energy and Utilities Committee and urge them to recommend passage of AB 78. Committee member email addresses are posted here.

Read the League's testimony on SB 48, the Senate companion to AB 78, here.

After you contact your local officials, please click here to tweet your support.
League Testifies in Support of Modernizing Methods by which Mayors may Call Special Meetings 

Last week, League Assistant Director Curt Witynski testified at a public hearing in support of SB 94, legislation the League worked with legislators to introduce creating more flexibility for how mayors may inform council members about special meetings of the common council. 

The bill deletes a current law provision requiring that notice of a special meeting be delivered in writing either personally or to the council member's usual abode and replaces it with language allowing a mayor to inform council members in a manner likely to give each member notice of the meeting. This could include notice by phone call, texting, email or in writing. The bill retains the current requirement that the mayor must provide council members notice at least six hours before the special meeting.  
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 them of the event focuses on the critical role that municipal infrastructure plays in growing the state's economy.
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 received 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. 

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 May 10 Municipal Government and Utility Day here!
In the News
Transportation Shakeup Leaves Local Governments Wondering What's Next
The decision by state lawmakers to set aside Gov. Scott Walker's transportation budget has left county, city and town government leaders wondering what's next, especially since they would have been among the biggest winners in the governor's proposal. While local governments may still see increased transportation funding, Wisconsin League of Municipalities Executive Director Jerry Deschane said his members realize the budget is a work in progress.  Read the article on WPR here...

Join the Lobby Team 
May 10: Municipal Government & Utility Day (Lobby Day & Legislative Luncheon)

Municipal Government & Utility Day 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 218, Exemptions from Dog Licenses. Under this bill, an owner of a dog is not required to pay an annual dog license fee if the dog is trained to provide specific physical or therapeutic functions under the control of a handler or if a medical professional has determined that the dog provides 
a benefit to a person with a disability. Rep. Doyle (D-Onalaska). 
The League is neutral on this bill.  

AB 223,  Offering a Job to Induce a Person not to run for State or Local Elective Office.
This bill prohibits a state or local public official or candidate to offer employment to another individual in order to induce the individual not to seek election to the same office held by the official or sought by the candidate. The bill also prohibits an individual from accepting any such offer.  By Rep. Genrich (R-Green Bay) The League is neutral on this bill. Comment to the League on this bill

AB 226/ SB 168Local assistance for remediating contaminated wells and failing wastewater treatment systems.  This bill provides that a city, village, town, or county may remediate a contaminated private well, fill and seal a contaminated well, or rehabilitate, replace, or abandon a failing private on-site wastewater treatment system, in agreement with the owner of the well or wastewater treatment system, or may make a low-interest or interest-free loan to the owner of a contaminated well or failing  wastewater treatment system for these purposes. Under the bill, if a city, village, town, or county takes any of these actions or provides a loan for these purposes, it may recover the costs of the action or collect the loan repayment as a special charge or special assessment. By Rep. Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay). 
The League is neutral on this bill . Comment to the League on this bill.

AB 229/SB 170, Allowing local governments to invest in time deposits without limit on the duration of the investment. Under current law, municipalities are prohibited from investing in certificates of deposit that have a duration of more than three years. This bill eliminates the three-year limit and allows a municipality to invest surplus money in a time deposit in a financial institution regardless of the investment's maturity date. By Rep. Katsma (R-Oostburg) and Sen. Testin (R-Stevens Point). The League supports this bill, which we worked with the authors to have introduced. Comment to the League on this bill. 

AB 236, PILOT program for the chronically homeless. Authorizes Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) to develop policies and procedures for and implement a two-year pilot program that gives priority to chronically homeless individuals and families on the waiting list WHEDA or a public housing agency that contracts with WHEDA maintains under the federal Housing Choice Voucher Program. By Rep. Pronschinske (R-Mondovi). The League has not yet taken a position on this bill. Comment to the League on this bill.

AB 237 , Creates an Annual  Grant for a municipality to connect homeless individuals with permanent employment. Creates a grant program under which the Department of Administration may award a grant of up to $75,000 annually to a municipality for the purpose of connecting homeless individuals with permanent employment. A municipality receiving a grant under the program must itself contribute at least $50,000 for the purpose of the grant. By Rep. Rodriguez  (R-Oak Creek). The League supports this bill. Comment to the League about this bill

AB 246/SB 177, Drainage Districts.  This bill makes various changes to the law relating to drainage districts, including: 1) Under this bill, the owners of a majority of the land proposed to be transferred in a drainage district that is located entirely, or partly, within the boundaries of a 
municipality may petition the board having jurisdiction over the district to transfer jurisdiction of the district, or a part of the district that is located in the municipality, to the municipality. 2) Also under this bill, a municipality may petition the board with jurisdiction over a drain to transfer jurisdiction of the drain or part of the drain to the municipality. 3) Under this bill, if the board has jurisdiction over a district that is located entirely or partially within the corporate limits of a city or village, the board must, 
with an exception, be made up of five members and one of those members must be the chief executive, or his or her designee, of a city or village within which a district is located. By Rep. Sanfelippo (R-New Berlin) and Sen. Wanggaard (R-Racine). The League supports this bill. Comment to the League about this bill.

AB 253/SB 175, Procedures relating to the sale of foreclosed property by a sheriffThis bill expands the process for confirming a foreclosure sale and recording the sheriff's deed for the purchased property that under current law applies only to property located in Milwaukee County to apply to property located anywhere in the state, except that the statewide process provides the clerk of court the option of notifying the register of deeds that a sheriff's deed is available for recording instead of requiring the clerk of court to transmit a sheriff's deed to the register of deeds. This bill also requires  that a notice of a foreclosure sale include the street address of the property to be sold at the sale and the sum of the judgment. By Rep. Ballweg (R-Markesan). The League has not yet taken a position on this bill. Comment to the League about this bill.

SB 176, Prohibiting municipalities from selling or leasing municipal water or sewer utilities to investor-owned utilities. By Sen. Larson (D-Milwaukee). The League has not yet taken a position on this bill.  Comment to the League about this bill.
Public Hearings  

AB 85, Allowing a local public official to serve as an election official. By Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections, Tuesday, April 18 at 10:00 in room 300 Northeast, State Capitol. The League supports this bill. 

AB 78, Allowing Municipal Water Utilities to create Financial Assistance Programs to help homeowners with the cost of replacing lead water service laterals. By Assembly Committee on Energy and Utilities, Tuesday, April 18 at noon in room 225 Northwest. The League supports this bill.