LRB-2121/1
MDK/ZDW/FFK:amn
2017 - 2018 LEGISLATURE
March 2, 2017 - Introduced by Representatives Quinn, Petryk, E. Brooks, Tranel,
Ballweg, Bernier, Edming, Felzkowski, Kitchens, Krug, Kulp, Mursau,
Nerison, Novak, Pronschinske, Ripp, Snyder, Spiros, Summerfield,
Tauchen, Tusler, VanderMeer, Zimmerman, Tittl, Skowronski, Nygren,
Horlacher, Schraa, Wachs, Considine, Meyers, Spreitzer and Allen,
cosponsored by Senators Marklein, Testin, Feyen, Lasee, Petrowski, Olsen,
Darling, Ringhand and Tiffany. Referred to Committee on Energy and
Utilities.
AB123,1,12 1An Act to repeal 20.505 (4) (t), 20.505 (4) (tm), 20.505 (4) (tu) and 20.505 (4) (tw);
2to renumber 196.504 (1) (a); to renumber and amend 16.994 (2); to amend
316.994 (1) (intro.) and (a), 16.994 (3) (intro.), 20.155 (1) (q), 20.155 (3) (r), 20.255
4(1) (q), 20.255 (3) (q), 20.255 (3) (qm), 20.255 (3) (r), 20.285 (1) (q), 20.505 (4) (s),
586.07 (2) (a), 118.40 (2r) (e) 2p. a., 196.218 (3) (a) 3. b., 196.218 (5) (a) 10., 196.504
6(2) (a) and 196.504 (2) (c); to repeal and recreate 20.505 (4) (s) and 118.40 (2r)
7(e) 2p. a.; to create 16.994 (2) (b), 24.40 (3), 86.16 (6), 196.504 (1) (ab), 196.504
8(1) (ad), 196.504 (1) (c) and 196.504 (2) (e) of the statutes; and to affect 2015
9Wisconsin Act 55
, section 800d and 2015 Wisconsin Act 55, section 9401 (1f);
10relating to: the information technology block grant program, the broadband
11expansion grant program, waiving certain fees and appraisals, and making
12appropriations.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill makes changes to the following: 1) a broadband grant program
administered by the Public Service Commission; 2) the authority of the Department

of Natural Resources and the Department of Transportation regarding certain fees
relating to the construction of broadband infrastructure; and 3) the Technology for
Educational Achievement program, known as TEACH, which is administered by the
Department of Administration.
Broadband grants
The bill makes changes to funding for grants made by the PSC for projects to
construct broadband infrastructure in underserved areas. Under current law,
$6,000,000 was transferred from the universal service fund (USF) for making the
grants, but current law also limits the total grants made in a fiscal year to
$1,500,000. The bill eliminates that limit. The bill also provides additional funding
for the grants by doing the following: 1) transferring an additional $6,000,000 from
the USF; 2) transferring $5,000,000 from moneys received under a federal program
for assisting schools and libraries in obtaining telecommunications services and
Internet access, which is commonly known as the federal e-rate program; and 3) at
the end of each fiscal year, transferring the unencumbered balances from other
USF-funded appropriations. Also, beginning in fiscal year 2017-18, the bill allows
the PSC to fund its administration of the broadband grant program from
contributions made by telecommunications providers to the USF.
The bill also makes changes to the priorities for the PSC to make the grants.
One of the priorities under current law is for projects that affect areas with no
broadband service providers. The bill repeals that priority and requires that the PSC
give priority to projects in an “unserved area” designated by the PSC, which the bill
defines as an area of this state that is not served by an Internet service provider
offering Internet service that 1) is wired service or fixed wireless service; and 2) is
provided at actual speeds of at least 20 percent of the upload and download speed for
high-speed, switched, broadband telecommunications capability as designated by
the Federal Communications Commission in its annual inquiries regarding
advanced telecommunications capability. Another priority under current law is for
projects that promote “economic development,” which is not defined. This bill defines
“economic development” as development designed to promote job growth or
retention, expand the property tax base, or improve the overall economic vitality of
a town, village, city, county, or region. Also, the bill creates a new priority for projects
that will not result in delaying the provision of broadband service to neighboring
areas. In addition, the bill requires the PSC to consider the following in evaluating
grant applications for proposed projects: 1) the degree to which the projects would
duplicate existing broadband infrastructure; 2) impacts on the ability of individuals
to access health care services from home and the cost of those services; and 3) impacts
on the ability of students to access educational opportunities from home.
DNR and DOT fees
The bill prohibits DNR from requiring any appraisal or charging any fee prior
to granting an easement for the construction of broadband infrastructure in
underserved areas. In addition, the bill prohibits DOT from charging any fee for the
initial issuance of any permit necessary to construct broadband infrastructure in
underserved areas.

TEACH program
Under current law, the TEACH program offers telecommunications access to
school districts, private schools, cooperative educational service agencies, technical
college districts, independent charter school authorizers, juvenile correctional
facilities, private and tribal colleges, and public library boards at discounted rates
and by subsidizing the cost of installing data lines and video links. As part of the
TEACH program, DOA awards information technology block grants to school
districts to improve information technology infrastructure. Under current law, the
information technology block grant program ends on July 1, 2017.
This bill delays the sunset of the information technology block grant program
until July 1, 2019. The bill also changes the eligibility criteria for these grants from
a school district that has 13 pupils per square mile to a school district that has 16
pupils per square mile and a membership of 2,500 or less. In addition, the bill
authorizes DOA to award an additional round of information technology block grants
before July 1, 2017. These grants are in addition to any grants a school district may
have already received under the program during the 2015-17 biennium and
therefore do not count towards the maximum amount a school district may receive
in a biennium. The bill also consolidates the appropriations for TEACH contracts
into a single appropriation. Finally, in fiscal year 2016-17, the bill transfers
$7,500,000 of moneys received under the federal e-rate program to the consolidated
appropriation for TEACH contracts.
For further information see the state fiscal estimate, which will be printed as
an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
AB123,1 1Section 1. 16.994 (1) (intro.) and (a) of the statutes are amended to read:
AB123,4,22 16.994 (1) Competitive grants. (intro.) In fiscal years 2015-16 and, 2016-17,
32017-18, and 2018-19, the department may annually award grants on a competitive
4basis to eligible school districts for the purpose of improving information technology
5infrastructure. In awarding grants under this section, the department shall give
6priority to applications for school districts in which the percentage of pupils who
7satisfy the income eligibility criteria under 42 USC 1758 (b) (1) for a free or
8reduced-price lunch is greater than in other applicant school districts. The

1department shall require an applicant for a grant under this section to provide all
2of the following:
AB123,4,53 (a) A description of the specific information technology infrastructure,
4including any equipment, that the applicant intends to purchase with grant
5proceeds.
AB123,2 6Section 2. 16.994 (2) of the statutes is renumbered 16.994 (2) (intro.) and
7amended to read:
AB123,4,98 16.994 (2) Eligible school districts. (intro.) A school district is eligible for
9a grant under this section if the all of the following apply:
AB123,4,11 10(a) The school district's membership in the previous school year divided by the
11school district's area in square miles is 13 16 or less.
AB123,3 12Section 3. 16.994 (2) (b) of the statutes is created to read:
AB123,4,1413 16.994 (2) (b) The school district's membership in the previous school year was
142,500 or less.
AB123,4 15Section 4. 16.994 (3) (intro.) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB123,4,1816 16.994 (3) Maximum awards. (intro.) The total amount the department may
17award to an eligible school district under sub. (1) during the 2015-17 a fiscal
18biennium may not exceed the following:
AB123,5 19Section 5. 20.155 (1) (q) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB123,4,2520 20.155 (1) (q) Universal telecommunications service; broadband service. From
21the universal service fund, the amounts in the schedule for the promotion of
22broadband service and universal telecommunications service for the purposes
23specified in s. 196.218 (5) (a) 1., 4., 8. and, 9., and 10. Notwithstanding s. 20.001 (3)
24(a), the unencumbered balance on June 30 of each year shall be transferred to the
25appropriation account under sub. (3) (r).
AB123,6
1Section 6. 20.155 (3) (r) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB123,5,82 20.155 (3) (r) Broadband expansion grants. From the universal service fund,
3as a continuing appropriation, the amounts in the schedule all moneys transferred
4from the appropriation accounts under sub. (1) (q) and ss. 20.255 (1) (q) and (3) (q),
5(qm), and (r), 20.285 (1) (q), and 20.505 (4) (s), under 2015 Wisconsin Act 55, section
69236 (1v), and under 2017 Wisconsin Act .... (this act), section 36 (1) and (2),
for
7broadband expansion grants under s. 196.504. All moneys transferred under 2015
8Wisconsin Act 55, section 9236 (1v) shall be credited to this appropriation account.
AB123,7 9Section 7. 20.255 (1) (q) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB123,5,1510 20.255 (1) (q) Digital learning collaborative. From the universal service fund,
11the amounts in the schedule for a digital learning collaborative for the statewide web
12academy and for the delivery of digital content and collaborative instruction under
13s. 115.28 (53) and (54). Notwithstanding s. 20.001 (3) (a), the unencumbered balance
14on June 30 of each year shall be transferred to the appropriation account under s.
1520.155 (3) (r).
AB123,8 16Section 8. 20.255 (3) (q) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB123,5,2317 20.255 (3) (q) Periodical and reference information databases; Newsline for the
18Blind.
From the universal service fund, the amounts in the schedule for the
19Newsline for the Blind, provided by the Regional Library for the Blind and Physically
20Handicapped, and to contract for periodical and reference information databases
21under s. 115.28 (26). Notwithstanding s. 20.001 (3) (a), the unencumbered balance
22on June 30 of each year shall be transferred to the appropriation account under s.
2320.155 (3) (r).
AB123,9 24Section 9. 20.255 (3) (qm) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB123,6,4
120.255 (3) (qm) Aid to public library systems. From the universal service fund,
2the amounts in the schedule for state aid to public library systems under s. 43.24.
3Notwithstanding s. 20.001 (3) (a), the unencumbered balance on June 30 of each year
4shall be transferred to the appropriation account under s. 20.155 (3) (r).
AB123,10 5Section 10. 20.255 (3) (r) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB123,6,96 20.255 (3) (r) Library service contracts. From the universal service fund, the
7amounts in the schedule for library service contracts under s. 43.03 (6) and (7).
8Notwithstanding s. 20.001 (3) (a), the unencumbered balance on June 30 of each year
9shall be transferred to the appropriation account under s. 20.155 (3) (r).
AB123,11 10Section 11. 20.285 (1) (q) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB123,6,1511 20.285 (1) (q) Telecommunications services. From the universal service fund,
12the amounts in the schedule to provide telecommunications services as specified in
13s. 196.218 (5) (a) 6. Notwithstanding s. 20.001 (3) (a), the unencumbered balance on
14June 30 of each year shall be transferred to the appropriation account under s. 20.155
15(3) (r).
AB123,12 16Section 12 . 20.505 (4) (s) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB123,7,417 20.505 (4) (s) School districts; telecommunications Telecommunications access
18for educational agencies, infrastructure grants, and teacher training grants.
19Biennially, from the universal service fund, the amounts in the schedule to make
20payments to telecommunications providers under contracts under s. 16.971 (13),
21(14), and (15)
to the extent that the amounts due are not paid from the appropriation
22under sub. (1) (is), to make payments to telecommunications providers under
23contracts under s. 16.971 (16) to the extent that the amounts due are not paid from
24the appropriation under sub. (1) (kL),
to make grants to school district consortia
25under s. 16.997 (7), to make information technology infrastructure grants under s.

116.994 and 2017 Wisconsin Act .... (this act), section 35, and to make educational
2technology teacher training grants under s. 16.996. Notwithstanding s. 20.001 (3)
3(b), the unencumbered balance on June 30 of each year shall be transferred to the
4appropriation account under s. 20.155 (3) (r).
AB123,13 5Section 13 . 20.505 (4) (s) of the statutes, as affected by 2017 Wisconsin Act ....
6(this act), section 12, is amended to read:
AB123,7,197 20.505 (4) (s) Telecommunications access for educational agencies,
8infrastructure grants, and teacher training grants.
Biennially, from the universal
9service fund, the amounts in the schedule to make payments to telecommunications
10providers under contracts under s. 16.971 (13), (14), and (15) to the extent that the
11amounts due are not paid from the appropriation under sub. (1) (is), to make
12payments to telecommunications providers under contracts under s. 16.971 (16) to
13the extent that the amounts due are not paid from the appropriation under sub. (1)
14(kL), to make grants to school district consortia under s. 16.997 (7), to make
15information technology infrastructure grants under s. 16.994 and 2017 Wisconsin
16Act .... (this act), section 35
, and to make educational technology teacher training
17grants under s. 16.996. Notwithstanding s. 20.001 (3) (b), the unencumbered balance
18on June 30 of each year shall be transferred to the appropriation account under s.
1920.155 (3) (r).
AB123,14 20Section 14 . 20.505 (4) (s) of the statutes, as affected by 2017 Wisconsin Act ....
21(this act), section 13, is repealed and recreated to read:
AB123,8,722 20.505 (4) (s) Telecommunications access for educational agencies and teacher
23training grants.
Biennially, from the universal service fund, the amounts in the
24schedule to make payments to telecommunications providers under contracts under
25s. 16.971 (13), (14), and (15) to the extent that the amounts due are not paid from the

1appropriation under sub. (1) (is), to make payments to telecommunications providers
2under contracts under s. 16.971 (16) to the extent that the amounts due are not paid
3from the appropriation under sub. (1) (kL), to make grants to school district consortia
4under s. 16.997 (7), and to make educational technology teacher training grants
5under s. 16.996. Notwithstanding s. 20.001 (3) (b), the unencumbered balance on
6June 30 of each year shall be transferred to the appropriation account under s. 20.155
7(3) (r).
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