2017-18, No.6
February 6, 2017

In this Issue:

Replacing Lead Service Laterals

Governor to Release State Budget Feb. 8

DOR Property Tax Guides

In the News

Join Us for League Lobby Day

Recently Introduced Legislation

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


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Cowles to Introduce Bill Allowing Water Utilities to Use Rate Payer Revenue to Create Financial Assistance Programs for Replacing Lead Service Laterals  

Last week, Sen. Rob Cowles (R-Green Bay) announced he would introduce a bill, LRB-1934, making it lawful for a water utility to provide financial assistance for the removal of private lead service lines as long as the municipality passes an ordinance allowing the water utility to provide such financial assistance. 

The League believes this bill is a step in the right direction for helping municipalities address the need for property owners to replace lead service laterals as the utility replaces its lead water mains. Ideally, we would prefer that the bill also required the PSC to approve utility rate increases necessary to help fund financial assistance programs for replacing private lead service laterals. However, the ideal bill may not be politically feasible. Consequently, we support Sen. Cowles' bill.

Action Step: Contact your state legislators and urge them to call Sen. Cowles' office and sign on as a co-sponsor of LRB-1934.

After you contact your legislators, help us create a buzz. Click here to tweet your support for the proposal.  
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.
DOR Updates Property Tax Guides for Municipal Officials

Last week, the Department of Revenue released updated versions of the following property tax guides, which are posted on the department's web site: 

In the News

Bill would let utilities offer grants or loans to replace private lead service lines
"The proposal would leave it to municipalities and utilities to decide how much assistance to provide, but Green Bay Water Utility General Manager Nancy Quirk said utilities are limited by the fact that they can't easily raise rates to fund financing programs, an issue the bill doesn't address.

Curt Witynski, assistant director of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, said the bill could help. But municipalities want water utilities to be able to get approval from the PSC for rate increases to fund financing programs, he said." Read the full article here.

Lobby Day Feb. 15 
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 21 , Requirements for Law Enforcement Dogs that Bite a PersonThis bill makes changes to the requirements for law enforcement dogs that have bitten a person. The bill eliminates the requirements that a law enforcement dog that has bitten a person be examined by a veterinarian and that the dog be confined. The bill requires the law enforcement agency to make the dog available for examination at 
any reasonable time and, if the dog exhibits abnormal behavior, to notify the local health department.  Introduced by Sen. Cowles (R-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.