Tag Archives: Robert Brooks

As we await Gov. Evers’ budget, WASB GR staff is working with lawmakers on legislation

Ahead of Gov. Evers’ anticipated introduction of his proposed 2019-21 state budget on Thursday (Feb. 28), we thought this would be a good time to let you know about just a few of the non-budget advocacy activities the WASB Government Relations Team has been engaged with.

Method for Giving Notice of Special Board Meetings – We’ve been working with Rep. Rick Gundrum (R-Slinger) and Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon) on draft legislation to modernize the statutory procedures for providing notice of special school board meetings.  The language would mirror a similar change made last session which updated the statutes relating to giving notice of special city council meetings.  We expect this draft bill will be circulated for co-signers in the coming weeks. Continue reading As we await Gov. Evers’ budget, WASB GR staff is working with lawmakers on legislation

Unfunded Mandate Update: Competitive Bidding & Construction Notices

The Senate version of a bill (Senate Bill 236) that would require school districts to use the competitive bidding process on certain school construction projects has been scheduled for a public hearing Tuesday, Oct. 3rd and committee vote Thursday, Oct. 5th in the Senate Local Government Committee. The bill is authored by state Sen. Duey Stroebel  and state Rep. Robert Brooks (R’s-Saukville).

The WASB testified in opposition to the Assembly version (Assembly Bill 307) in July.  Our position was  determined based on support for local control and noted that the bill would limit or eliminate local board discretion and flexibility  to use various project delivery methods for school construction. Continue reading Unfunded Mandate Update: Competitive Bidding & Construction Notices

New Twist to Proposed Competitive Bidding Mandate on Schools

An interesting wrinkle has developed on the competitive bidding front.   Last Thursday (July 13), one day after a public hearing was held on Assembly Bill 307, a bill mandating that schools use competitive sealed bidding for school construction projects, (see previous post), a “DOT Reform” bill draft (LRB 3884/1) was circulated by Sen. Chris Kapenga (R-Pewaukee) and Rep. Joe Sanfelippo (R-New Berlin) and others.  Included in that “DOT reform” package,  is language authorizing cities, villages, towns, counties and technical colleges to use “alternative project delivery methods,” including: “Design-Build”; “Design-Build-Finance”; “Construction Manager-General Contractor” and “Fixed-price variable-scope” delivery methods.

Under current law, a school board may utilize such alternative project delivery methods if it wishes, so long as it has not voluntarily adopted a local board policy requiring competitive bidding.  However, if AB 307 becomes law and competitive bidding becomes mandatory for all school districts, specific authorization would be needed for schools to use these alternative project delivery methods.

Continue reading New Twist to Proposed Competitive Bidding Mandate on Schools

Competitive Bidding Bill Scheduled for July 12 Hearing

A bill requiring school districts to utilize competitive bidding for school construction projects has been scheduled for a public hearing  before the Assembly Committee on Local Government, chaired by Rep. Ed Brooks (R-Reedsburg). The hearing will be held:

Wednesday, July 12
11:00 AM 
Room 400 Northeast, State Capitol Continue reading Competitive Bidding Bill Scheduled for July 12 Hearing

Bills to Counter Property Tax Reduction Strategies Generate Day-Long Testimony

Local government leaders from across the state testified in the state Capitol June 29 in support of a pair of proposals (Assembly Bill 386 and Assembly Bill 387–see also previous post) that would change how “big box” stores and certain national pharmacy chains are assessed for property tax purposes in Wisconsin.

Speaking before the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, local government officials argued the bills would ensure businesses aren’t getting special treatment, and are paying their fair share of taxes. Continue reading Bills to Counter Property Tax Reduction Strategies Generate Day-Long Testimony

June 29 Hearing Set for “Dark Store” and “Walgreens Reversal” Bills

The Assembly Ways and Means Committee will hold a public hearing on two bills aimed at curbing corporate strategies that could erode the property tax base of school districts and communities throughout the state.

The hearing on Assembly Bill 386 (the so-called “Dark Store” bill) and Assembly Bill 387 (reversing the 2008 Walgreens v. City of Madison decision) is scheduled for 10:00AM on Thursday, June 29, in room 328 Northwest, State Capitol.  The WASB supports both bills. Continue reading June 29 Hearing Set for “Dark Store” and “Walgreens Reversal” Bills

Bill Would Subject School Construction Projects to Competitive Bidding

rbrooks.jpgWisconsin statutes require certain local units of government (counties, cities, villages, and towns) to engage in competitive bidding when the estimated cost of a public works or construction project exceeds a specified dollar amount.  The use of the competitive bidding process for such projects by school boards, however, is a local decision.

Now, a newly-introduced bill—Assembly Bill 307, authored by state Rep. Robert Brooks (R-Saukville, pictured) and state Sen. Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville)—would mandate that all school boards must comply with state competitive bidding requirements where the estimated cost of a public works project  exceeds $75,000. Continue reading Bill Would Subject School Construction Projects to Competitive Bidding