Gov. Walker: Signs six bills into law

Contact: Cullen Werwie, 608-267-7303

Madison—Yesterday Governor Walker signed Assembly Bill (AB) 319, AB 113, AB 273 Senate Bill (SB) 117, SB 224 and SB 259 into law. They were signed at the executive residence around 5:00p.m.

Assembly Bill 319 allows municipal employers to make modifications in compensation and fringe benefits for an additional 90 days without modifying an existing collective bargaining agreement for the purposes of 2011 Act 10.

“It is important to give everyone access to the tools made available through the reforms that were implemented earlier,” said Governor Walker. “Signing this bill will help those units of government who are currently under collectively bargained agreements balance their budgets. I would like to thank State Representative Evan Wynn and Senator Alberta Darling for authoring this bill and working to make it easier for local units of government to balance their budgets.”

This bill passed the Legislature with bipartisan support in both chambers.

“In the state budget, I was able to add a memorandum of understanding, which if the Milwaukee School District had utilized it, would have saved 200 teaching jobs,” State Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) said. “This bill will help protect good paying jobs and protect taxpayers at the same time.”

Assembly Bill 113 changes the boundaries of Marquette and Green Lake Counties. This bill passed both chambers on a voice vote.

“This change simply reflects what county officials have been operating under for more than 150 years,” said Governor Walker. “I would like to thank State Representative Joan Ballweg and Senator Luther Olson for authoring this bill that clarifies the boundaries between these counties.”

Senate Bill 117 allows court cases where the sole defendant is the state, any state board or commission, or any state officer, employee or agent in an official to be heard in a county designated by the plaintiff. Currently, all of these cases must be heard in Dane County unless otherwise specified under state law.

“Giving citizens the ability to redress grievances against state government without having the burden of bringing suit in Dane County is reasonable,” said Governor Walker. “I would like to thank State Senator Leah Vukmir and Representative Bill Kramer for moving forward this bill which will help put the power back in the hands of the people again.”

This bill passed the Legislature with bipartisan support in both chambers.

“Wisconsin has more than 5.6 million citizens, living in 72 counties; yet up until now, an action against the state could only be filed in a single county and heard by judges elected by 480,000 people,” said State Senator Leah Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa). “We believe that a citizen should have the right to challenge the state in a venue of their own choosing, not just Dane County.”

Assembly Bill 273 makes adjustments to state law that makes it easier for residents who have been overcharged for property taxes due to a clerical, arithmetic, transportation or similar error to recover their money.

“This bill ensures that property taxpayers who were assessed more of a property tax than they legally owed, will be made whole again,” said Governor Walker. “State Representative Samantha Kerkman, and Senator Robert Wirch worked hard on this Legislature and I thank them the leadership it took to deliver this bill to my desk.”

This bill received unanimous support in both the State Senate and State Assembly.

It was important that we fixed this problem before homeowners received their property tax bills,” said Senator Wirch (D-Pleasant Prairie). “I am glad that we were able to work together on a bipartisan basis to address the needs of the residents of the 22nd Senate district.”

“Timely, bipartisan, and cooperative efforts on AB 273 mean Twin Lakes residents will not see an error-related increase in their property taxes,” said Rep. Kerkman. “This is what good government looks like.”

Senate Bill 259 creates the Office of County Comptroller for Milwaukee County.

“This bill is supported by Milwaukee County elected officials and will provide another level of accountability to protect taxpayers,” said Governor Walker. “I would like to thank my former colleagues in Milwaukee County, Senators Albert Darling and Lena Taylor, and Representative Karl Van Roy for supporting this legislation.”

This bill received bipartisan support in both chambers.

“This Comptroller Act will restore the people’s trust by restoring fiscal accountability and transparency at the county level,” said Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee). “This new position provides the people with a fiscal watchdog that they elect to advise and work with the county board and executive to make wise decisions for Milwaukee County.”

“I am proud of the bipartisan support for an elected Comptroller for Milwaukee County,” said Sen. Darling. “The across-aisle support makes it clear that this legislation is good, sound policy and makes sense for Milwaukee County.”

Senate Bill 224 allows the village of Shorewood to correct the property tax levy which was caused by an error in reporting.

“This bill helps the residents of the Village of Shorewood,” said Governor Walker. “I would like to thank Representative Samantha Kerkman and Senator Alberta Darling for their work on this legislation.”

This bill was unanimously approved in both chambers of the Legislature.

“I was approached by the Village of Shorewood after they discovered an error in their report to the Department of Revenue which could end up costing taxpayers $2 million,” State Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) said. “Mistakes do happen, but it’s important to note that taxpayers in Shorewood did not make this mistake and shouldn’t be forced to pay for it.”

“With today’s bill signing, the future for the Village of Shorewood gets a little brighter,” said Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee). “The Legislature worked swiftly to protect the state, the village, and the taxpayers from this clerical error.”