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2017 Special Session
2017 - 2018 LEGISLATURE
Local government broadband grants and construction and operation of
telecommunications and similar facilities
Preliminary Draft - Not Ready For Introduction
February 21, 2018 - Introduced by Senators Vinehout, Ringhand and Carpenter,
cosponsored by Representatives Vruwink, Anderson, Spreitzer, Novak,
Subeck, Brostoff, Pope, Berceau and Considine. Referred to Committee on
Elections and Utilities.
SB845,1,4 1An Act to repeal 66.0422 (2) (c), 66.0422 (4) and 66.0422 (5); and to amend
2196.504 (1) (ac) 3. of the statutes; relating to: broadband expansion grant to
3cities, villages, towns, and counties and ordinances and resolutions regarding
4telecommunications, cable, video, or broadband service facilities.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill eliminates a requirement for a city, village, or town (local government)
to prepare a report before holding a public hearing on a proposed ordinance or
resolution authorizing the local government to construct or operate facilities for
providing telecommunications service, cable television or similar video service, or
broadband service to the public. With exceptions, current law prohibits a local
government from enacting an ordinance or adopting a resolution authorizing the
local government to construct or operate such a facility unless the local government
gives notice and holds a public hearing on the proposed ordinance or resolution. In
addition, at least 30 days prior to the hearing, current law requires the local
government to prepare and make available to the public a report that estimates the
total costs and revenues for the facility and includes a cost-benefit analysis of the

facility for a period of at least three years. Under this bill, a local government is not
required to prepare that report.
The bill also allows a local government or county to apply for a broadband
expansion grant without submitting the application in partnership with another
applicant. Under current law, the Public Service Commission makes the grants to
eligible applicants for constructing broadband facilities in underserved areas.
Current law specifies that telecommunications utilities and for-profit and
not-for-profit organizations are eligible applicants. However, under current law, a
local government or county is an eligible applicant only if the local government or
county applies for a grant in partnership with a telecommunications utility or
for-profit or not-for-profit organization. This bill allows a local government or
county to apply for a grant on its own.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
SB845,1 1Section 1. 66.0422 (2) (c) of the statutes is repealed.
SB845,2 2Section 2. 66.0422 (4) of the statutes is repealed.
SB845,3 3Section 3. 66.0422 (5) of the statutes is repealed.
SB845,4 4Section 4. 196.504 (1) (ac) 3. of the statutes, as affected by 2017 Wisconsin Act
, is amended to read:
SB845,2,76 196.504 (1) (ac) 3. A political subdivision that submits an application in
7partnership with an eligible applicant under subd. 1. or 2
SB845,2,88 (End)