Special Zoom Call for Municipalities Under 5,000 on the American Rescue Plan -- March 23 at Noon

Tomorrow at noon, the League is hosting a special Zoom meeting on the American Rescue Plan for municipalities under 5,000. Michael Gleeson, a lobbyist for the National League of Cities, will explain what the latest federal COVID relief act means for Wisconsin municipalities, including when your municipality can expect to receive a payment and what your municipality can do with the funds.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 819 6831 8868
Passcode: 783076

Dial In: 312 626 6799
Meeting ID: 819 6831 8868
Passcode: 783076

NLC Wants to Hear Your ARP Questions and Suggestions

The federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act includes unprecedented aid to local governments, including every city and village in Wisconsin. The National League of Cities (NLC) is working with the Department of the Treasury to address the details and provide guidance to municipalities, but NLC needs your help. Please provide NLC with any questions or suggestions that you have about ARP's direct payments to local governments by using the online form on the NLC's webpage here.

Learn more about ARP. NLC is offering weekly webinars each Friday afternoon on ARP. Join NLC for the next meeting in its American Rescue Plan webinar series, by registering here. Register Here
Assembly Committee Recommends Passage of Bill Continuing Personal Property Aid Payments after TIDs Close

The Assembly Ways and Means committee voted unanimously last week to recommend passage of an amended version of AB 56, a League initiated bill making it clear that personal property aid payments made to a TIF district continue after the district closes but transfer to the municipality and other taxing jurisdictions. The committee unanimously recommended approval of an amendment to the bill offered by the bill's author, Rep. Dave Steffen (R-Howard), which the League supported. The amendment makes the treatment of personal property aid payments made to TIDs that close retroactive. Under the amendment, TIDs that closed between 2017 and the date the bill is enacted, would also be covered by the bill.

Read the League's testimony in support of AB 56, here.

League Submits Comments on Proposed Change to MSA Population Threshold

A new proposal from the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) would change the minimum core population threshold for metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) from 50,000 to 100,000, bumping 5 metro areas in Wisconsin into nonmetro status. The shift was recommended by the Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area Standards Review Committee. The League filed comments last week with the OMB urging the agency to continue to utilize the current 100,000 population parameter for determining MSA’s. Read the League's comments here.

PSC Votes to end Utility Disconnection Moratorium

Last week the Public Service Commission (PSC) voted to lift the moratorium on utility disconnections as of April 15. The reduction in COVID-19 cases, the widespread availability of vaccinations, the extension of unemployment benefits, and the federal stimulus dollars going to households, contributed to the PSC's decision to end the moratorium.

Over the last year the PSC has issued several order prohibiting municipalities from disconnecting or refusing service du to nonpayment.

Legislature Indefinitely Suspends Key Aspects of Emergency Rule on Fire Fighting Foam Containing PFAS

Recent actions by the Senate and Assembly have blocked the reinstatement of certain provisions in an emergency rule affecting the discharge of PFAS-containing fire fighting foam for the remainder of the session.
On March 16, the Assembly and Senate voted to send Assembly Bill 13 and Senate Bill 34 back to committee where no action is expected to be taken for the rest of the session. The bills would have codified an action taken by the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules (JCRAR) in December 2020.

Current law prohibits the use or discharge of fire fighting foam containing PFAS unless the use or discharge is part of an emergency fire fighting or fire prevention operation or if the use is for testing purposes as long as the testing facility has implemented appropriate containment, treatment, and disposal or storage measures to prevent discharge of the foam to the environment. Appropriate containment, treatment, and disposal or storage measures may not include discharging the foam into a storm or sanitary sewer. In early December 2020 DNR issued an emergency rule regulating the use and disposal of fire fighting foam. On December 18, the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules (JCRAR) voted to partially suspend DNR's emergency rule.
The move by the Legislature on March 16 ensures that JCRAR's suspension of the provisions will remain in place. As a result, the rule no longer includes provisions that: 1) make it applicable to materials contaminated and mixed with PFAS; 2) define “treatment” which would have required a process for total immobilization, removal or destruction of a contaminant; 3) provide guidelines for treating PFAS contaminants not incinerated using specific numeric standards or treatment indicator parameter action levels; 4) specify how often wastewater samples should be collected; 5) specify how long samples must be retained.


#TakeYourLeggieToWork for a behind-the-scenes tour of the election process
The upcoming Spring election is your opportunity to show your state legislators how it all works. Invite them to observe the process and help them understand the steps that are taken to secure the election. Since the process of elections has come under a national microscope, this is your chance to help inform and influence the debate on the changes Legislators will be considering. Recommendation! Please check in and work with your Clerk before extending the invitation. Details here. 

Adopt the Shared Revenue Resolution!
Thank you to the cities and villages that have adopted or have added the Shared Revenue Resolution to their agenda for consideration. If your municipality isn’t on the list, it is NOT TOO LATE to take action in support of long-term funding for police, fire, parks, etc. We provide a sample resolution > League Shared Revenue Take Action Plan