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In This Edition:

Riparian Rights: If you have a pier, you should be able to keep your pier...

Virtual Charter Schools: Treating all public school students fairly...

New App from DOT: Snow? Construction? What's slowing your commute?  Stay safe and updated with the new 511WI app...

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 Riparian Rights

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The Wisconsin State Assembly voted Thursday to statutorily clarify the circumstances where someone may place a pier in a navigable waterway.  

The legislation creates a general presumption that riparian rights apply to a property owner whose land abuts any navigable waterway, not just natural lakes and rivers, and thus may be able to place a pier.  The bill does not modify current deeds, contracts, or responsibilities under federal law which some utility companies are required to follow.

“For 140 years, Wisconsin courts have recognized that all waterfront property owners have a right to place a pier,” said Tom Larson of the Wisconsin Realtors Association.  “AB 551 creates a statutory protection for waterfront property owners to ensure that courts cannot take those pier rights away.”

The bill also assists parties in real estate transactions by requiring a prospective seller to disclose whether they are aware of written agreements affecting riparian rights related to the property and whether the land under the body of water is owned by a hydroelectric operator.

“If you have a pier, you should be able to keep your pier.  Waterfront usage can substantially impact the value of property,” said Rep. Allen.  “This bill will solidify waterfront property values state-wide.”

Read more in-depth about this issue here.


Assembly passes Virtual Charter Schools Sports Bill

 

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Students who participate in athletics and extracurricular activities grow in ways that are incomparable to that of the classroom. These students are more likely to perform better academically and develop life skills such as time management, social skills, teamwork, and physical fitness. Researchers in 2015 found that student-athletes are more likely to pursue higher education, score higher on standardized achievement tests, earn higher wages, and are more likely to report having positive relationships in life.

So when it came to my attention that over 7,000 Wisconsin students participating in virtual charter schools do not have access to enriching activities like chess club, debate team, forensics and basketball, I became determined to do something about it.

Working with Senators Petrowski and Kapenga, I crafted a bill that extends the privilege of athletics and extra-curricular activities to pupils who attend a virtual charter school. It provides, in part, that school districts must allow virtual charter school pupils residing in a school district to participate in local school district athletics.  The opportunity for participation would be equal – on the same basis, and to the same extent – as a pupil enrolled in a traditional public school.  Students would pay the same fees, meet the same eligibility requirements, and follow the same rules. 

Virtual charter schools are public institutions that allow a pupil to participate in the normal curriculum remotely, online.  With open enrollment, virtual charter school students are often enrolled in a host school district which may be hundreds of miles away from their home.  Therefore, virtual charter school students could not participate even if similar activities were offered by a virtual school. As of this writing, AB 779 has passed the Assembly and is awaiting Senate concurrence. Read the bill here


 511 Wisconsin app keeps you moving

 

511 Wisconsin App 

We see it all:  ice, snow, construction season, crashes.   Navigating Wisconsin roads in any season can be challenging, and an updated app from the Wisconsin DOT is here to help!  Click on the following links to check it out in the Apple App Store or Google Play, or search for "511 Wisconsin."

 


 

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Stay up to date on all things related to the 97th district, and learn about the WI legislature on Rep. Allen's Facebook page!