The Blueprint: Summary of Recently Passed Housing & Development Bill Now Available
ALSO: Jacque & Plumer Advance in Special Election Primaries • GOP Convention Goers Choose Vukmir over Nicholson • California Becomes First State in America to Mandate Solar Panels on New Homes •Badger Institute Report on Fire Departments • From NAHB: November Gubernatorial Races Heating Up
Summary of Recently Passed Housing & Development Bill Now Available
Over the past few months, we talked a great deal about legislation introduced by Representative Rob Brooks to reduce the cost of housing and development in Wisconsin which is now 2017 Wisconsin Act 243.
2017 Wisconsin Act 243 contains a number of wins for housing, ranging from impact fee law (munis must use fees within 8 years down from 10, with refunds going to the builder who builds the home), more flexibilities for bonding for infrastructure paid for by a developer and dedicated to a municipality, forbidding a developer’s agreement from mandating provisions above the Uniform Dwelling Code, along with several other provisions concerning the regulation of stormwater.
A comprehensive summary of 2017 Wisconsin Act 243 has been posted to provide more details on all the provisions contained in the legislation.
If you build or develop subdivisions in Wisconsin, please take some time to click here and read the summary of all of the positive provisions contained in 2017 Wisconsin Act 243.
Jacque & Plumer Advance in Special Election Primaries
On Tuesday, voters who live in the 42nd Assembly District and the 1st Senate District went to the polls to pick a winner in the republican primaries ahead of the special general election in June.
In the 42nd Assembly District Jon Plumer was the runaway winner of the GOP primary where he received over 70% of the vote compared to the other three candidates running. Plumer will now face Democrat Ann Groves Lloyd in the June election.
A much more competitive primary in the 1st Senate District had State Representative Andre Jacque besting first time candidate Alex Renard 52% to 48%. Jacque will now face Democrat Caleb Frostman in the special general election on Tuesday, June 12.
After these candidates face off in the special general election on June 12th, they will then be required to run again in the primary election in August (if necessary) and the November general election.
GOP Convention Goers Choose Vukmir over Nicholson
Last week at the Republican State Convention in Milwaukee, party delegates voted to formally endorse State Senator Leah Vukmir over businessman Kevin Nicholson with nearly 75% of the vote. The formal party endorsement opens up more options for Vukmir in her primary race against Nicholson to face Senator Tammy Baldwin in the November.
After the endorsement, the Vukmir campaign called for Nicholson to drop out of the race and for the party to unite behind Vukmir. Not surprisingly, Nicholson passed on the offer to drop out of the race and his campaigned stated that they will continue to spread their message to voters in the GOP primary, stating that recent public polling showed Nicholson was in good shape to win the GOP primary in August.
Tentatively, we are scheduled to have both Nicholson and Vukmir address the WBA Board of Directors meeting on Wednesday, July 18th.
California Becomes First State in America to Mandate Solar Panels on New Homes
It was recently reported in an article that appeared on The Hill that the State of California will be the first state in the union to mandate the installation of solar panels on all new homes built in California. The measure was approved by the California Energy Commission on a 5-0 vote.
The article went on to report that the estimated cost of the solar panels will add between $8,000 to $12,000 to the price of a new home, while residents will save around $80/month on their utility bills.
Will this spread to other states? Time will tell, but it seems likely that other states will explore this as an option to mandate in upcoming code updates.
In the past, it has been suggested that the Uniform Dwelling Code in Wisconsin mandate that new homes be wired for solar panels, in case a homeowner at a future time would like to add them. One other item that has been discussed in the past when reviewing the electrical code was to mandate the installation of charging stations in garages to accommodate the possibility that a future homeowner has an electric car. These changes were ultimately not passed during the most recent code updates in Wisconsin.
Badger Institute Report on Fire Departments
The Badger Institute recently published a report entitled “Time to Burn: So Few Fires to Fight” that takes a deep dive into the number of fire calls that local fire departments are responding to versus emergency medial service calls.
The report uses Cudahy as an example, where, in 2016, the fire department responded to 2,400 calls in 2016 and only 3% of those calls were in response to a fire while “a whopping 86 percent were for medical calls and most of the rest for traffic accidents, falls in homes, hazardous material spills, false alarms and the like.”
The Badger Institute, which touts “free markets, opportunity, and prosperity,” advocates for taking a look at “big changes—including privatization of fire services” – to respond to the lack of fire-fighting and a way for local units of government to save money as local budgets continue to be cut.
From NAHB: November Gubernatorial Races Heating Up
NAHB's Intergovernmental Affairs staff attended the Democratic Governors Association Candidate Summit in April. More than two dozen gubernatorial hopefuls met with business leaders to discuss challenges and opportunities in each state. The candidates were eager to discuss ways to work together to increase building construction around the country.
In November, gubernatorial elections will be held in 36 states and three territories. Sixteen of the nation's 50 governors are Democrats and 23 of the gubernatorial races are in Republican-held states. These races will have national implications with the 2020 Census. In most states, the legislature redraws congressional districts, while the governor has veto power.
Learn more about November's gubernatorial elections at the National Governors Association.
Anyone wanting to make a contribution to Senator Roth’s campaign via the WBA Builders Direct Fund Conduit can do so using a personal credit card and directing the funds to “State Senator Roger Roth” in the “Special Instructions” box by clicking here.