New Landlord/Tenant Bill Signed Into Law
On December 7th, Governor Walker signed into law Senate Bill 107 (2011 Wisconsin Act 108), legislation restricts the ability of local units of government to place additional restrictions on landlords. Because many of these restrictions apply to both residential and commercial leases, NAIOP registered in support of the legislation and helped lobby in favor of its passage.
Specifically, the new law prevents local governments from enacting or enforcing any ordinance that placed limitations on landlords from obtaining or using information on tenants or prospective tenants that relates to any of the following categories:
- Monthly household income + Occupation + Rental history + Credit information
- Publicly accessible court records (including arrest and conviction records), and + Social security number of other proof of identity.
In addition, the law prohibits local governments from placing limits on the ability of landlords to show and lease a property during the tenancy of another tenant. Finally, the law prohibits placing additional requirements on resi- dential landlords regarding security deposits earnest money, or pre- or post-tenancy inspections beyond the re- quirements that are established in Wisconsin administrative rules.
The new law goes into effect on December 21, 2011.
Assembly Republicans Introduce New Mining Bill
On December 8, 2011, Assembly Republicans introduced a comprehensive mining bill intended to add greater certainty to the permitting process while maintaining current state environmental standards.
This legislation has been a priority for Governor Walker and legislators because the bill is intended to help expe- dite the permitting process for a new proposed mine near Hurley that is expected to add thousands of jobs and tax revenues to the state and local economies.
According to reports by mining proponents, the mine would create:
- 3000+ construction jobs and a $2 billion short-term economic impact + 2,800 to 5,600 long-term mining jobs with up to a $1.2 billion economic impact + family-sustaining jobs with average pay and benefits equal to $82,000
In addition to the direct mining jobs, experts maintain that the new mine would have a multiplier effect in creating 2 to 3 jobs in other industries in Wisconsin. For example, two of the nation’s premier mining equipment manufactur- ers (P&H Mining and Bucyrus) are located in southeastern Wisconsin. It’s estimated that at least 2,800 jobs would be created as a direct result of the new mine from the transportation, production and packaging of materials.
Tom Larson NAIOP WI LobbyistAs mentioned above, the primary focus of the bill is to improve the permitting process for mines. The bill would establish a shorter approval process (approximately 24 to 30 months, depending upon the nature of the permit) with specific timelines for requesting additional information from the permit applicant and completeness determina- tions by the DNR.
The bill contains the following additional provisions:
- Contested case hearings for iron mining permits would be prohibited, and legal challenges would be al- lowed only after the permit is approved.
- The DNR’s authority to put extra conditions on the mitigation of wetlands would be limited. Currently, the DNR must issue a water quality certification before a federal permit can be issued. In the bill, if the DNR found that mitigation offsets adverse impacts from iron ore mining, the DNR couldn’t impose any additional conditions.
- Half of the net proceeds occupation tax on iron mining would be deposited into the state’s general fund, with the other half going into the investment and local impact fund. Currently, all the net proceeds tax reve- nue, which is garnered from net income of sale of ore or minerals, is put into the investment and local im- pact fund. Most of that money is distributed to counties and municipalities where the mining occurs.
- Permit applicants would be charged a fee equal to the DNR’s costs for evaluating a mining project, but the fee would be capped at $1.1 million.
Public hearings on the bill are being held in various places in Wisconsin over the next several weeks. The legisla- ture could act on the bill during the next floor period which is scheduled to begin on January 17, 2012.