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National Agriculture Week: Recognize the Farmers Who Feed You PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Smith, State Senator District 31   
Wednesday, 23 March 2022 15:10

farm-familySen. Jeff Smith writes about farmers’ contributions to our state and how the legislature must support them.

Can Wisconsin government ever become functional again? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wisconsin Examiner Republish   
Friday, 18 March 2022 15:43

evers-2019-sosWisconsinites are becoming increasingly frustrated by politicians in Madison who seem more interested in partisan bickering than the people back home.

Gov. Evers Takes Action on 15 Bills PDF Print E-mail
Written by GBP Staff   
Friday, 18 March 2022 14:45

evers-budget-signMostly housekeeping acts signed on Friday, March 18.

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today took action on 15 bills, including:

Senate Bill 312, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 192:

  • Requires local governments to make a good faith effort to appoint a physician assistant and/or advance practice registered nurse to the local board of health if the local government is unable to find a willing physician and/or nurse to appoint to the local board of health.

Senate Bill 335, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 193:

  • Authorizes the Department of Natural Resources, upon request, to transfer up to 15 sturgeon carcasses to Sturgeon for Tomorrow Inc., so that the organization may raffle them off as part of a fundraiser and use the proceeds to promote sturgeon management, conduct sturgeon habitat management, promote sturgeon reintroduction, or further sturgeon research.

Senate Bill 341, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 194:

  • Creates a five-year statute of limitations (formally a statute of repose) for actions against licensed real estate appraisers.

Senate Bill 344, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 195:

  • Modifies the requirements to obtain an optional interior designer registration;
  • Makes various changes to the scope of practice of interior design;
  • Modifies requirements for interior design firms; and
  • Generally transfers oversight of interior designers from the Department of Safety and Professional Services to the amended Board of Architects, Landscape Architects, Professional Engineers, Designers, Professional Land Surveyors, and Registered Interior Designers.

Senate Bill 533, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 196:

  • Authorizes a housing authority created by a first-class city to undertake certain mixed developments and increases the bidding threshold for those housing authority projects.

Senate Bill 812, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 197:

  • Defines battery-powered, alarmed electric security fences; and
  • Prohibits local units of government from regulating such fences, if the fence is not on residential property.

Senate Bill 835, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 198:

  • Modifies certain restrictions on local land use, including limiting annexations and boundary agreements for newly incorporated cities and villages, allowing annexation of territory across county lines, limiting municipal extraterritorial land division and zoning powers, prohibiting condemnation on certain blighted properties, and modifying requirements relating to interim ordinances to freeze extraterritorial zoning.

Senate Bill 865, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 199:

  • Establishes basic requirements for homeowners' associations so that the owners, or prospective owners, of property within these associations can obtain information on an association's covenants and actions.

Senate Bill 867, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 200:

  • Makes changes to county shoreland zoning ordinances and vegetative buffer zone requirements.

Senate Bill 893, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 201:

  • Creates a procedure for any interest in a farm implement to be transferred without probate to a designated beneficiary on the death of the sole owner or the last to die of multiple owners of that farm implement.

Senate Bill 969, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 202:

  • Allows the Oneida Nation to erect signs in the highway right-of-way that the Oneida Reservation is a Purple Heart Reservation.

Assembly Bill 653, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 203:

  • Allows pawnbrokers to use electronic communications with customers who consent to receive email or text communications.

Assembly Bill 722, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 204:

  • Allows parties in family actions to agree to certain items prior to obtaining a judgement.

Assembly Bill 723, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 205:

  • Creates a procedure for de novo review of court commissioner decisions in family actions.

Assembly Bill 775, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 206:

  • Provides funds to conduct planning and design services and prepare a design report for the construction of a new engineering building at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
March Forth to Earth Day Friday Climate Actions PDF Print E-mail
Written by Building Unity WI, Tim Cordon   
Friday, 18 March 2022 14:16

earth-dayAnnouncing March Forth to Earth Day in cities and towns all across Wisconsin, local action started on March 4th and continuing each and every Friday through Earth Day.

10 Bills to Promote Public Safety, Support Crime Victims and Survivors PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Friday, 18 March 2022 10:09

gb-policeNew laws will assist local law enforcement agencies with purchasing body cameras, require annual reporting on the use of no-knock warrants. $50 million investment in community safety across the state announced.

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers signed 10 bills on Thursday to promote public safety and support crime victims, survivors, and their families.

tony-evers“We’re continuing our work to keep our kids, our families, and our communities safe. The bills I’m signing today will assist local law enforcement agencies with purchasing body cameras, require annual reporting on the use of no-knock warrants, and better protect and support crime victims, their families, and people in our care to help build a safer, fairer Wisconsin for everyone,” said Gov. Evers.

In addition to signing today’s bills, earlier this week, Gov. Evers announced a more than $50 million investment in community safety across the state, including nearly $19 million for local and tribal law enforcement agencies and funding to help alleviate the pandemic-related backlog of criminal cases through additional public defender and assistant district attorney support. With this funding, the governor is making investments throughout the criminal justice system aimed at keeping Wisconsinites safe. Additionally, in October 2021, the governor announced a $45 million investment in community-based violence prevention efforts and support for crime victims and survivors, bringing Gov. Evers’ total investment in violence prevention and public safety to more than $100 million.

Senate Bill 627, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 182:

  • Allows one parent to petition a court to change the name of a minor under the age of 14, if the nonpetitioning parent is convicted of certain homicide or sex offenses.

“When an individual commits a horrifying and despicable crime, the impact of their actions have ripple effects throughout the entire community, affecting not only the survivor or victim and their family, but the perpetrator’s own family, too,” said Gov. Evers. “I am glad to be signing Senate Bill 627 that will help protect our kids and ensure they can heal from the harm and trauma caused by a parent’s actions.”

Assembly Bill 329, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 183:

  • Requires the Department of Justice to collect certain information on search warrants and issue an annual report, specifically as it relates to no-knock entry in the execution of a search warrant.

Assembly Bill 333, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 184:

  • Expands the allowable recipients and uses of the Department of Health Services’ crisis program enhancement grants.

Assembly Bill 335, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 185:

  • Creates a grant program, administered by the Department of Justice, to assist local law enforcement agencies with the costs of purchasing officer body cameras.

Assembly Bill 825, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 186:

  • Codifies current practice by requiring state correctional institutions and the Department of Corrections to report on and forward to local law enforcement alleged battery by persons in the department’s care against correctional officers and teachers.

Senate Bill 100, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 187:

  • Expands the special circumstances battery of probation, extended supervision and parole agents, community supervision agents, and aftercare agents to include the family of agents; and
  • Expands the special circumstances battery to tribal officials serving in a similar capacity.

Senate Bill 199, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 188:

  • Makes sexual contact or intercourse by a law enforcement officer with a person detained or in custody second-degree sexual assault in order to create consistency with current law sections for similar conduct by correctional and probation officers.

Senate Bill 408, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 189:

  • Adds catalytic converters to a list of proprietary articles for which scrap dealers must follow certain requirements.

Senate Bill 419, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 190:

  • Incorporates tribal governments into the procedures required when a sexually violent person is released from an institutional commitment to supervised release.

Senate Bill 420, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 191:

  • Adds tribal court officials as victims under the crime of battery or threat to a court officer or law enforcement officer.
Last Updated on Saturday, 19 March 2022 10:36
Zelensky challenges conscience of Congress PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Hill Press   
Thursday, 17 March 2022 12:06

volodymyr-zelensky-ukraineUkrainian President addresses both houses of Congress on the war Wednesday.

LWV Launches Voter Education Tool PDF Print E-mail
Written by League of Women Voters Wisconsin   
Wednesday, 16 March 2022 17:38

voter-us-electionsWebsite provides simple tools to help Wisconsin voters navigate the voting process.

A Rural Blueprint for Our Future PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Smith, State Senator District 31   
Wednesday, 16 March 2022 09:11

farmer-wicornSen. Jeff Smith writes about his Rural Development Plan, a comprehensive package of legislation designed to create opportunities for our rural communities.

Some State Employees to Get Pay Raise PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Monday, 14 March 2022 10:51

wisstatereformatory-allouezPay needed to address effects of the coronavirus pandemic, high vacancy rates, and security staffing needs at Corrections and Health Services institutions.

$20 Million in Grants to Support Healthcare Access in Racine PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Friday, 11 March 2022 18:10

hospital-icuNew Racine Community Health Center will serve as a neighborhood resource for low-income families, underinsured or uninsured individuals, and historically underserved communities.

Last Updated on Friday, 11 March 2022 18:19
Funds to Improve 900 Miles of County Forest Roads PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Friday, 11 March 2022 11:07

road-wi-flood-washoutRoads must meet minimum design standards of a 16-foot surface width and a 20-foot roadway width, and be located within county forests.

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers on Thursday, together with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), announced that more than $300,000 in state funds through the County Forest Road Aids program will help 24 Wisconsin counties maintain and improve public roads in county forests across the state.  

tony-evers“In just three years, we’ve made major headway on fixing our state’s roads and bridges, having already improved more than 1,770 miles of highways and more than 1,250 bridges, and it is critical for our growth as a state that we continue to invest in our state’s transportation infrastructure,” said Gov. Evers. “I’m glad to approve these funds because our county forest roads are a key part of this investment and our future. Our state takes immense pride in our abundant natural resources and these funds are an important tool in ensuring that folks are able to readily access our state’s forests and that communities have the resources to support the critical infrastructure needed to keep them accessible.”  

Administered by WisDOT, the County Forest Road Aids program aims to defray county costs for the improvement and maintenance of public roads within county forests. Funding from fiscal year 2022 will help improve more than 900 miles of public roads within county forests. For example, Marinette County, with 234 miles of eligible county forest roads, will receive the largest payment of $82,134.   

“County forests provide great recreational opportunities across Wisconsin, and maintaining these roads not only helps tourism, but promotes industry and quality of life,” said WisDOT Secretary Craig Thompson. “Thank you to the communities who partner with us to make good investments in our infrastructure.”  

To qualify for the state funding, roads must meet minimum design standards of a 16-foot surface width and a 20-foot roadway width, be located within county forests, be open and used for travel, and cannot be town roads, county, or state highways.   

County Forest Road Aids are separate from the larger General Transportation Aids (GTA) program, and county forest roads are not eligible to receive General Transportation Aid.

A list of counties and the amount of County Forest Road Aids being distributed is available here.

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