2017 - 2018 LEGISLATURE
February 2, 2018 - Introduced by Representatives Quinn, Bernier, E. Brooks,
Kulp, Nerison, Novak, Petryk, Spiros, Summerfield, Swearingen, Tranel,
Tusler, VanderMeer, Zimmerman, Edming, Pronschinske and Mursau,
cosponsored by Senators Marklein, Testin and Olsen. Referred to Committee
on Rural Development and Mining.
1An Act to amend
15.797 (title); and
15.797 (2) and 196.5045 of the 2
statutes; relating to: Telecommuter Forward! community certification and
3creating a Telecommuter Forward! council.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill allows a city, village, town, or county (political subdivision) to apply to
the Public Service Commission for certification as a Telecommuter Forward!
community. The PSC must make the certification if the political subdivision adopts
a resolution that states its support and commitment to promote the availability of
telecommuting options and that provides for a single point of contact for coordinating
telecommuting opportunities. The point of contact must have specified
responsibilities, including the following: 1) coordination and partnership with
telecommuting stakeholders; 2) collaboration with broadband providers and
employers to identify, develop, and market telecommuter-capable broadband
packages; and 3) communication and partnership with broadband providers and
economic development professionals to develop common goals. In addition, the point
of contact must be responsible for promoting telecommuter-friendly workspaces if
such a workspace has been established in the political subdivision at the time it
adopts the resolution. The PSC must prescribe the form and manner for making an
application and a process for public notice and comment. Before approving an
application, the PSC must consider any public comments.
The bill also creates a Telecommuter Forward! council and requires the PSC to
consult with the council in carrying out its duties under the bill. The council consists
of 13 members appointed to three-year terms. The PSC appoints four members, each
of whom represents one of the following: 1) an employer who uses and promotes
telecommuting for its employees; 2) a chamber of commerce; 3) a local economic
development organization; and 4) a regional economic development organization.
Each of the following appoints one of the remaining nine members: 1) the Wisconsin
Economic Development Corporation; 2) the department of workforce development;
3) the department of tourism; 4) an association specified by the PSC that represents
telecommunications providers; 5) an association specified by the PSC that
represents video service providers; 6) a broadband providers stakeholder group
specified by the PSC; 7) the League of Wisconsin Municipalities; 8) the Wisconsin
Counties Association; and 9) the Wisconsin Towns Association.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
15.797 (title) of the statutes is amended to read:
(title) Same; council councils.
15.797 (2) of the statutes is created to read:
15.797 (2) Telecommuter Forward! council.
(a) There is created in the public 5
service commission a Telecommuter Forward! council that consists of the 13 6
members specified in pars. (b) and (c).
(b) The public service commission shall appoint the following members for 8
1. One member representing an employer who uses and promotes 10
telecommuting for its employees.
2. One member representing a chamber of commerce.
3. One member representing a local economic development organization.
4. One member representing a regional economic development organization.
(c) Each of the following shall appoint one member of the council for a 3-year 15
1. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.
2. The department of workforce development.
3. The department of tourism.
4. A state association specified by the public service commission that 4
represents telecommunications providers.
5. A state association specified by the public service commission that 6
represents video service providers.
6. A broadband providers stakeholder group specified by the public service 8
7. The League of Wisconsin Municipalities.
8. The Wisconsin Counties Association.
9. The Wisconsin Towns Association.
196.5045 of the statutes is created to read:
13196.5045 Telecommuter Forward! certification. (1)
In this section, 14
“political subdivision" means a city, village, town, or county.
A political subdivision may apply to the commission for certification as a 16
Telecommuter Forward! community. The commission shall prescribe the form and 17
manner for making an application and a process for public notice and comment on 18
an application. The commission shall approve an application and certify a political 19
subdivision as a Telecommuter Forward! community if the commission determines 20
that the political subdivision has adopted a resolution that complies with sub. (3). 21
Before approving an application, the commission shall consider any public comments 22
made regarding the application. The commission shall consult with the 23
Telecommuter Forward! council in carrying out the commission's duties under this 24
A political subdivision may not be certified as a Telecommuter Forward! 2
community under sub. (2) unless the political subdivision adopts a resolution that 3
does all of the following:
(a) States the political subdivision's support and commitment to promote the 5
availability of telecommuting options.
(b) Provides for a single point of contact for coordinating telecommuting 7
opportunities that has all of the following responsibilities:
1. Coordination and partnership with broadband providers, realtors, economic 9
development professionals, employers, employees, and other telecommuting 10
2. Collaboration with broadband providers and employers to identify, develop, 12
and market telecommuter-capable broadband packages.
3. Communication and partnership with broadband providers and economic 14
development professionals to develop common goals.
4. Promotion of telecommuter-friendly workspaces, such as business 16
incubators with telecommuting spaces, if such a workspace has been established in 17
the political subdivision at the time the political subdivision adopts the resolution.
5. Familiarity with broadband mapping tools and other state-level resources.
6. Maintaining regular communication with the state broadband office.
7. Making regular reports to the governing body of the political subdivision.
(1) Initial appointments.
Notwithstanding the length of terms specified for the 23
members of the Telecommuter Forward! council under section 15.797 (2) (b) and (c) 24
of the statutes, initial appointments to that council shall be made as follows:
(a) The members appointed under section 15.797 (2) (b) 1. and (c) 1., 4., and 7. 2
of the statutes shall be appointed for terms expiring on July 1, 2019.
(b) The members appointed under section 15.797 (2) (b) 2. and (c) 2., 5., and 8. 4
of the statutes shall be appointed for terms expiring on July 1, 2020.
(c) The members appointed under section 15.797 (2) (b) 3. and 4. and (c) 3., 6., 6
and 9. of the statutes shall be appointed for terms expiring on July 1, 2021.