act197Act 197

State of Wisconsin
Office of the Governor

May 18, 2000

To the Honorable Members of the Assembly:

I have approved Assembly Bill 796 as 1999 Wisconsin Act 197 and have deposited it in the Office of the Secretary of State. I have exercised the partial veto in Sections 4m, 10e, 10s, 13d, 13h, 13p, 13t, 21, 25g, 25r and 26m.

Assembly Bill 796 makes various changes to the governance of the State Fair Park and expands the board to 13 members, including 4 legislators. The bill also exempts the State Fair Park from various requirements associated with building program oversight and approval by the Governor, Legislature, State Building Commission and Department of Administration. Assembly Bill 796 authorizes the State Fair Park Board to establish a nonprofit corporation to raise funds and operate the fairgrounds under contract with the board. The bill also includes minority group and women hiring and contracting goals associated with State Fair Park construction and renovation projects.

These changes anticipate the fundamental restructuring I and others envision for the State Fair Park. My administration is continuing to revise the State Fair Park's master plan to help fully realize the State Fair Park's potential. Redevelopment of the fairgrounds is not a discrete construction project. Implementation of this plan is expected to take several years and consist of multiple construction and renovation projects of various size and scope. That's why, the State Fair Park needs maximum flexibility in implementing the ultimate vision included in these redevelopment plans.

Section 10e establishes new membership for the State Fair Park Board. I am partially vetoing the requirement that a member be recommended by the Mayor of West Allis because it unnecessarily narrows the field of potential board members. However, as I review appointments to the board, I will consult with the Mayor of West Allis. The Mayor will have significant input on this appointment.

Sections 4m, 10s, 13d, 13h, 13t and 26m direct the Department of Administration, in consultation with the State Fair Park Board, to ensure that contractors, as a condition of receiving a contract, seek to achieve a project employment goal of 25 percent minority group members and 5 percent women. Identical numerical goals are set for the aggregate value of contracts awarded to minority and women-owned businesses for construction, professional services related to construction and facility development work. This section also requires that an independent person be hired by the Department of Administration to monitor compliance with, and efforts toward reaching, these goals.

I am vetoing sections 4m, 13d and 13t and partially vetoing sections 10s, 13h and 26m to remove requirements associated with goals for awarding the aggregate value of contracts to minority and women-owned businesses and for the hiring of an independent monitor because they unreasonably limit the ability of the department and the State Fair Park to initiate and complete various construction projects in a timely manner.

Sections 21 and 26m authorize the State Fair Park Board to permit a private person to construct a building, structure or facility in the State Fair Park under a lease agreement with the board. The board is required to develop policies that encourage that these private persons have a 25 percent employment and contracting goal for minority group members and businesses and a 5 percent employment and contracting goal for women and women-owned businesses. The board is also required to apply these contracting goals to contracts made under individual lease agreements and to the aggregate value of all contracts made by private persons in lease agreements with the board. I am partially vetoing these sections to remove the contracting goals for private persons because it sets a poor precedent for regulating actions by private business. While I concur that hiring goals are desirable for these lease agreements, additional restrictions are unreasonable and place unnecessary limits on private business actions.

Sections 13p and 26m extend minority and women hiring and contracting goals included in the bill to projects below $100,000. I am vetoing this provision because it unnecessarily increases administrative burdens associated with small construction and renovation projects. This veto will make minority and women hiring for State Fair Park consistent with state policy. From a legal perspective, State Fair Park is owned by the State and should be treated like any other State property. Under current law the Department of Administration must attempt to ensure that 5 percent of the total amount expended annually for State construction contracts be awarded to minority business. However, I request that the Department of Administration and the State Fair Park implement processes to ensure that there is maximum participation by minority and women employes and businesses in small construction projects.

Under current law, the Department of Administration must attempt to ensure that 5 percent of the total amount expended annually for state construction contracts be awarded to minority businesses. I request that the department and the State Fair Park make every effort to move beyond that goal in ensuring maximum participation in construction and related contracts by minority and women-owned businesses. While my vetoes retain a requirement that the Department of Administration report on the state's progress toward reaching the minority and women hiring goals in the bill, I also request that both agencies make complete and regular reports related to minority and women contracting associated with State Fair Park projects.

Sections 25g, 25r and 26m cross-reference the minority contracting requirements in the bill with Department of Commerce requirements associated with certifying and listing minority businesses. I am vetoing this provision because my partial vetoes in sections 13h and 21 make this cross-reference unnecessary.

Assembly Bill 796 increases the autonomy of the State Fair Park Board in response to recommendations of the State Fair Park Strategic Development Commission. These changes are aimed at assisting the State Fair Park with increasing private participation in redeveloping the park to better showcase Wisconsin agriculture and enhance the Park as a recreation and entertainment destination.
Sincerely,
Tommy G. Thompson
Governor
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