The Blueprint: UDC Meets & Re-Elects Leadership

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ALSO: New Marquette Law School Poll to be Released this Week: What to Watch For? • new Ads Released in Race for Governor • From NAHB: Bipartisan Group of Senators Seek Fair Resolution of Lumber Trade Dispute


Uniform Dwelling Code Council Meets & Re-Elects Leadership

 uniform dwelling council meets & re-elects WBA members

Recently, the Uniform Dwelling Code Council (UDC Council) met and re-elected WBA members as the chair and vice chair of the council.  Mike Coello was again elected chair and Mary Schroeder was elected to again serve as the council vice-chair.

Other WBA members who currently serve on the UDC Council include Jesse Jerabek, Abe Degnan, Mike Marthaler, and Mark Etrheim. 

The UDC Council received an update from Department of Safety and Professional Services staff members on several recently passed state laws that affect the one- and two-family building code.  Those updates included revised regulations on “rural hunting cabins” and a new state supported system that will allow contractors to show compliance with the state energy code for one- and two-family homes.  Both provisions were contained in the most recently passed state budget bill.

The council also looked to DSPS to begin the process of an administrative rule change to address the following topics:

  • Foundation concrete standards discrepancies covered in SPS 320.24-1

  • Adding an option for inspectors do some limited video inspection on homes in SPS 320.10

  • Technical table changes in SPS 321.03(1) related to sub covering exceptions

  • Finishing work related to the update of the deck code in SPS 321.225

  • Consideration of updated the HVAC code in SPS 323 that has not been updated in several years

The UDC Council declined to look into additional changes dealing with the one- and two-family energy code or to revise current guard rail standards in SPS 321.225 to match that in the IRC (changing Wisconsin code from 24 inches above grade to IRC language of 30 inches above grade).

Finally, the UDC also discussed a recent DSPS memo that stated those contractors wishing to pull a permit to do “repairs” on a dwelling do not need a DSPS credential and that those repairs are not covered under the UDC.  This issue was also covered at the WBA Advocacy Group meeting in July, and members at that meeting had no issues with the current DSPS interpretation of the code.  Following the meeting, the group advocating for this change were asked to provide specific code language change for both the UDC and WBA members to consider before the next UDC meeting, likely sometime before the end of the year.


New Marquette Law School Poll to be Released this Week: What to Watch For?

Today, a new Marquette Law School Poll will be released which should give voters a better idea of where the races for governor, attorney general, and U.S. Senate a month since the primary election are.

Some things to watch for in the next poll:  Governor Walker and the Republican Party of Wisconsin have been aggressive with advertising against Tony Evers talking about teachers who were not fired for various offenses and for a quote Evers made about releasing half of the prison population in Wisconsin.   After millions of dollars have been spent on this effort, will it influence Evers’ image with voters?  Will this cause Walker to move ahead of Evers in the head-to-head poll?

The race for U.S. Senate show a tight race between Senator Baldwin and State Senator Leah Vukmir.  Since the last poll, the Baldwin campaign has tried to define Vukmir as “not for us” in advertising.  Will these negative hits on Vukmir change her image and the head-to-head numbers in the next poll?

Finally, another important number for the race for governor is the right track/wrong track number.  That number has been pretty solid as over 50% in most polling, which should be good news for the incumbent.  If the new right track/wrong track number is again north of 50%, does Governor Walker’s re-election number match that?


New Ads Released in Race for Governor

One issue that used to be talked about a great deal in the late 1990s and early 2000s was the issue of crime.  With crime statistics going down over the last decade, plus both conservatives and liberals working together to look at things like minimum sentences and alternatives to incarceration in some instances, crime has not been used much as a “wedge issue” in Wisconsin elections.  That is likely going to be changing in the race for governor, as the Walker campaign released an ad recently “showing Tony Evers can’t be trusted to keep Wisconsin safe.”

The ad, entitled “Putting Everyone at Risk,” can be viewed here.  This ad comes after Evers was quoted during a Democrat gubernatorial primary debate that a proposed plan from one of his opponents to cut the prison population in half was “a goal that is worth accomplishing.”

In a very different ad, democrat Tony Evers continues his effort to introduce himself to Wisconsinites that may not be familiar with his time serving Wisconsin as the superintendent of public instruction.  Evers latest ad titled “Time” highlights Tony's experience inspiring and educating kids across Wisconsin and prioritizing the important issues facing Wisconsin, including finding a long-term solution to transportation funding, fully funding our public schools, and making health care more accessible and affordable.”

The new Evers’ ad can be viewed by clicking here.

The ads have just begun in what is expected to be close race for governor that will continue right up to Election Day on Tuesday, November 6.


From NAHB: Bipartisan Group of Senators Seek Fair Resolution of Lumber Trade Dispute

In an effort spearheaded by NAHB, a dozen Republican and Democratic members of the U.S. Senate on Sept. 11 sent a joint letter to the Trump administration calling on the U.S. to resume softwood lumber trade negotiations with Canada.

The 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement expired Oct. 12, 2015. As the Senate letter noted, “With no follow on agreement in place and new tariffs being imposed averaging just over 20%, lumber prices have skyrocketed, hitting an all-time high in June of this year.”

Therefore, senators are calling on the U.S. to negotiate with Canada in a renewed effort to reach a new softwood lumber agreement.

At NAHB’s urging, 171 bipartisan members of the House sent a similar letter to the administration in June seeking a resumption of the lumber trade talks.

The Senate letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer does not take sides in this trade dispute. It simply highlights the need to come to an equitable solution that will satisfy all sides.

“It is our hope that in negotiating a new agreement with Canada, you will take into account not only the impact of price fluctuations on the domestic lumber industry, but also on those secondary industries and consumers that rely on softwood lumber for their economic well-being,” the letter stated. “This will ensure the entire United States economy is taken into consideration.”

The following senators signed onto the letter:

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.)
Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.)
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.)
Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.)
Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.)
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.)
Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.)
Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.)
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.)
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)
Sen. Michael Rounds (R-S.D.)

Read the letter.

For more information, contact Alex Strong at 800-368-5242 x8279.


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