Senator Frank Lasee (R-De Pere) and I introduced
Senate Bill 639, "The Affordable Rental Housing Act of
Senate Bill 640, "The Development Property Modernization Act
of 2017." The Senate Insurance, Housing, and Real Estate
Committee held public hearings on these two bills, this week.
Senate Bill 639:
Senate Bill 639 is designed to make it easier
for landlords to provide Wisconsinites with quality, clean,
safe, and affordable housing. Furthermore, this legislation
affords owners of historic properties with greater autonomy by
allowing them to use materials, during the repair and
replacement process, that are substantially similar to the
original. Original materials are often very costly, do not have
the same warranties, and are difficult to obtain.
In an effort to establish greater statewide
rental housing inspection uniformity, Senate Bill 639 maintains
that municipalities are authorized to conduct inspections upon a
complaint. What is more, if a complaint is made, a record
related to said inspection must be completed.
Under this bill, municipalities cannot use
aesthetics as a consideration for rental housing inspections.
Some municipalities throughout the state have conducted rental
housing inspections because they disliked the color of paint
used on interior walls. Tenants have every right to personalize
their living space, unfettered from government interference.
Senate Bill 640:
"The Development Property Modernization Act of
2017" seeks to lower the cost of new development by limiting the use of impact and park fees, requiring
housing affordability audits, incentivizing higher density and
more affordable housing. This all-encompassing legislation makes
much-needed changes to Wisconsin State Statutes, and seeks to
create greater statewide development unifromity.
Senate Bill 640 codifies in State Statutes the
Wisconsin Court of Appeals decision Apartment Association of
South Central Wisconsin v. City of Madison (2006), which
prohibits inclusionary zoning as a form of rent control. Under
this provision, political subdivisions would be prohibited from
requiring a certain number of percentage of new housing units
(rented or sold), to be "affordable," as deemed by the city.
Testifying before the Senate Insurance, Housing and Real
Estate Committee, on Senate Bills 639 and 640.
According to the non-partisan Wisconsin
Legislative Reference Bureau, more than 90% of
the bills that have been signed into law this session have been
bipartisan. I make it a priority to reach out to my colleagues
on the other side of the aisle for input and feedback, prior to
introducing legislation. For example, the two dark store bills
that I have authored with Senators Duey Stroebel and Roger Roth,
have 59 and 65 cosponsors, respectively. What is
more, Assembly Minority Leader, Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) is a
steadfast supporter of these proposals and has worked
assiduously to ensure they are passed and signed into law.
2017-18 Wisconsin State
My office still has an abundance of 2017-18
Wisconsin State Blue Books available. If you are interested in
receiving a copy of this publication, please contact my office.
Published biennially since 1853, the
Wisconsin State Blue Book is the oldest publication in
Wisconsin. Initially, the Wisconsin State Blue Book
served as a manual for the State Assembly, a pocket-size volume
of less than one-hundred pages, and designed for legislators to
have information about state government at their fingertips.
According to the Wisconsin Legislative Reference
Bureau, the principal authors of this venerable publication,
"Over the decades, the Blue Book evolved in size, scope,
and purpose. The Blue Book's many iterations were caused
by the increased availability of information about state
government and the public." By 2015, the Blue Book
exceeded one-thousand pages and was laden with dense statistical
information that history buffs and political junkies would find
engrossing; every day citizens, conversely, would find this
information uninteresting. The newly-revised State of
Wisconsin Blue Book is designed to provide non-political
junkies with enthralling content about Wisconsin history and
Recognizing that the Blue Book was
becoming too lengthy and dense, the Wisconsin Legislative
Reference Bureau undertook a Herculean effort: revamping this
esteemed repository of information about Wisconsin and its
history. The 2017-18 State of Wisconsin Blue Book is
intended to serve as an introduction to state and local
government, not the primary source for information regarding
these entities. More substantive and timely information about
state government can be accessed through the Internet than could
ever be accessed by a team of researchers tasked with penning a
book. Recognizing this, the 2017-18 State of Wisconsin Blue
Book contains biographies of legislators, descriptions of
executive and judicial agencies, and statistics pertaining to
Wisconsin government and elections. It does not, however,
reproduce information that is archaic, or can be easily obtained
and accurately elsewhere.
As denoted earlier, if you are interested in
obtaining a copy of the 2017-18 Wisconsin State Blue Book,
please contact my office with your name and address. My staff
and I will make it a priority to ensure that your copy arrives
in a timely manner.
In the district
Last week, I was honored to receive Invest
Ozaukee County's "Invest in Action Award" for a
commitment to creating a positive difference in Ozaukee County
and promoting healthy living throughout the community.
Receiving the 2017 Invest Ozaukee County "Invest in
If you are interested in meeting with me to discuss legislative
issues or need assistance with case work, I am available to meet
with you one-on-one in the district. You can schedule a time to
meet with me by contacting my office:
Rep.Rob.Brooks@legis.wisconsin.gov or (608) 267-2370.