LRB-4891/1
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2017 - 2018 LEGISLATURE
December 21, 2017 - Introduced by Senators Cowles, Bewley, Larson, Miller,
Risser and Wirch, cosponsored by Representatives Mursau, Mason,
Anderson, Berceau, E. Brooks, Considine, Crowley, Doyle, Edming, Fields,
Hesselbein, Kitchens, Milroy, Novak, Ohnstad, Petryk, Pope, Riemer, Ripp,
Sargent, Shankland, Sinicki, Spreitzer, Subeck, Vruwink and Zepnick.
Referred to Committee on Natural Resources and Energy.
SB648,1,7 1An Act to renumber 16.754 (2); to amend 16.75 (1) (a) 1. and 16.754 (3); to
2repeal and recreate
16.754 (title); and to create 16.24, 16.705 (1b) (e), 16.705
3(10), 16.754 (2) (b) and 20.505 (4) (kc) of the statutes; relating to: establishing
4a Wisconsin conservation corps program, extending the time limit for
5emergency rule procedures, providing exemptions from emergency rule
6procedures, requiring the exercise of rule-making authority, and making an
7appropriation.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill creates a Wisconsin conservation corps (WCC) program to protect,
enhance, and provide access to Wisconsin's natural heritage and encourage and
enable young people to learn the value of work in a natural setting by providing
employment training and career pathways. The bill directs the Department of
Administration to administer and manage the program or to contract with a
nonprofit corporation, or an institution of higher education, that has demonstrated
experience in grant program administration (manager) to manage and administer
the program. The manager then provides grants to organizations that have
experience in natural resources conservation to engage, train, and supervise work
crews to carry out each project. The bill requires DOA to ensure that projects are
equally distributed across technical college districts to the greatest extent possible,

and to ensure that at least one project is located in each technical college district in
each year.
The bill provides that a WCC project must be designed to carry out a specific
goal within a defined period of time, must be focused on the conservation or
enjoyment of natural resources for environmental conservation, and must have a
specific, beneficial, and physical effect. The project must also be eligible for
AmeriCorps education award matching. Environmental conservation projects may
include new trail construction, trail rehabilitation, invasive species management,
bridge and boardwalk construction, reforestation, timber stand improvement,
stream bank stabilization, erosion control, rain garden installation, prairie
restoration, historical site preservation, recreation site maintenance, wild land fire
hazard reduction and fuels management, lake and stream restoration, boundary
marking, fencing, or landscaping.
A project may be sited only on public land in this state. The bill permits local
governments, institutions of higher education, or nonprofit corporations to sponsor
projects. A project application is then submitted to DOA. The application must
identify the proposed project and the sponsor of the project and provide a detailed
plan for the work on the project. In addition, the application must contain an
enumeration of the number of work crews that will work on the project and an
affirmation as to whether the work crew members would be eligible to participate in
a youth corps program administered by the National and Community Service Board
(NCSB), as well as a plan for training the work crew members, providing
transportation to the project work sites, making available individualized
educational opportunities for work crew members suited to the qualifications,
experience, and needs of the members while they are working on the projects; for
assisting work crew members in making full use of all benefits provided under such
a youth corps program if the project qualifies as a youth corps program; and for
visiting a college campus to familiarize the crew members with application and
enrollment procedures, programs, and course offerings.
The bill provides that each work crew member on a WCC project must be
between the ages of 16 and 25, and at least 50 percent of the work crew members on
each project must have no postsecondary education and have a family income of not
more than 200 percent of the federal poverty line on the date of their initial
engagement.
The bill provides that, if the manager determines that an application is an
appropriate WCC project and that work crew members would be eligible under the
program, the manager must submit the application to NCSB for funding. The
manager must also submit the application to DOA for a grant. DOA may award a
grant for the project if the sponsor provides funding for the project in an amount that
is at least 50 percent of the amount of the grant. The bill also limits the
adminstrative costs associated with the grant to 10 percent of the grant amount.
The bill requires each sponsor of a WCC project to do both of the following: upon
completion of the project, erect a permanent plaque at each work site identifying the
site as a WCC project; and submit a report to DOA identifying the number of work

crew members who enrolled at a postsecondary institution upon completion of the
project and their status on the first anniversary of completion of the project.
The bill permits DOA to retain its manager and permits other state agencies
to engage a WCC crew on a project without complying with state procurement laws,
including requirements for public notice to and competitive solicitation of
contractors and limitations on the circumstances when contractual services may be
obtained.
Finally, the bill requires DOA to submit an annual report to the legislature
identifying the projects that were completed in each year or that are in the process
of completion as of the end of that year.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
SB648,1 1Section 1. 16.24 of the statutes is created to read:
SB648,3,6 216.24 Wisconsin conservation corps. (1) Establishment of program.
3There is established the Wisconsin conservation corps program. The purpose of the
4program is to protect, enhance, and provide access to Wisconsin's natural heritage
5and encourage and enable young people to learn the value of work in a natural setting
6by providing employment training and career pathways.
SB648,3,7 7(2) Definitions. In this section:
SB648,3,98 (a) “College campus" means any university, college, and technical college
9campus.
SB648,3,1110 (b) “Local government" has the meaning given for “local governmental unit" in
11s. 16.97 (7).
SB648,3,1512 (c) “Nonprofit corporation" means a nonstock, nonprofit corporation described
13under section 501 (c) (3) or (4) of the Internal Revenue Code that is exempt from the
14federal income tax under section 501 (a) of that code and organized under the laws
15of this state.
SB648,4,316 (d) “Project" means a planned undertaking of the Wisconsin conservation corps
17for a sponsor to carry out a specific goal within a defined period of time that is focused

1on the conservation or enjoyment of natural resources for environmental
2conservation, that will have a specific, beneficial, and physical effect, and that is
3eligible for AmeriCorps education award matching.
SB648,4,54 (e) “Sponsor" means a local government, university, college, technical college,
5or nonprofit corporation that proposes to undertake a project.
SB648,4,66 (f) “Youth corps program" has the meaning given in s. 16.22 (1) (dm).
SB648,4,9 7(3) Administration. The department is the policy-making body of the
8Wisconsin conservation corps program. The department shall promulgate rules
9consistent with this section for the operation of the program.
SB648,4,22 10(4) Management and services. The department may administer and manage
11the Wisconsin conservation corps program or contract with a nonprofit corporation,
12or an institution of higher education, that has demonstrated experience in grant
13program administration to administer and manage the Wisconsin conservation
14corps program. The manager shall submit all project applications to the department
15for approval and shall facilitate the awarding of grants to applicants. An application
16is eligible for approval if the applicant has demonstrated experience in natural
17resources conservation and youth training or employment. An applicant shall retain
18all work crew members under sub. (7), except that an applicant shall enroll any work
19crew members who are participants in a youth corps program. The applicant shall
20also train and supervise all work crews, provide educational programming for work
21crews, and provide outreach and other communications services in accordance with
22this section and the rules and directives of the department.
SB648,5,3 23(5) Project application; approval. (a) Each project is subject to review and
24approval by the department prior to commencement of work on the project. The
25manager may submit an application to the department for approval of a proposed

1project. Applications requesting a grant under sub. (8) (c) may be submitted directly
2to the department. An application shall be in the form prescribed by the department
3and shall include all of the following:
SB648,5,54 1. An identification of the project and the sponsor of the project, together with
5a detailed plan for the work to be performed on the project.
SB648,5,96 2. An enumeration of the number of work crews that will work on the project,
7an affirmation as to whether work crew members would be eligible to participate in
8a youth corps program, and an affirmation that the work crew members will satisfy
9the requirements under sub. (7).
SB648,5,1510 3. A plan for training the work crew members, providing transportation to each
11project work site, and making available individualized educational opportunities for
12work crew members suited to the qualifications, experience, and needs of the
13members while they are working on the project, and for assisting work crew members
14who are participating in a youth corps program in making full use of all benefits
15provided under the program.
SB648,5,1916 4. A plan for the crew members to visit a college campus, at least once every
173 months while they are employed or enrolled to work on a project in order to
18familiarize them with application and enrollment procedures, programs, and course
19offerings.
SB648,5,2320 (b) The department shall approve applications for projects that are located in
21at least one of each of the technical college districts in each year. To the greatest
22extent practicable, the department shall ensure that projects are equally distributed
23across technical college districts.
SB648,6,5 24(6) Scope of projects. (a) Environmental conservation projects may include
25new trail construction, trail rehabilitation, invasive species management, bridge

1and boardwalk construction, reforestation, timber stand improvement, stream bank
2stabilization, erosion control, rain garden installation, prairie restoration, historical
3site preservation, recreation site maintenance, wild land fire hazard reduction and
4fuels management, lake and stream restoration, boundary marking, fencing, or
5landscaping.
SB648,6,76 (b) Each project shall be sited on land that is located in this state and owned
7by the federal or state government or a local government.
SB648,6,14 8(7) Work crews. The work crew members on a project shall constitute the
9Wisconsin conservation corps. Each work crew shall have a crew leader. The
10applicant shall determine the size of work crews. Each work crew member on a
11project shall be between the ages of 16 and 25. At least 50 percent of the work crew
12members on each project shall have no postsecondary education and shall have a
13family income of not more than 200 percent of the poverty line, as defined in s. 49.001
14(5), on the date of initial employment or enrollment.
SB648,6,20 15(8) Funding of projects. (a) If the manager determines that a project proposed
16in an application submitted under sub. (5) (a) is an appropriate project and that work
17crew members on the project would be eligible to participate in a youth corps program
18and satisfy the requirements under sub. (7), the manager shall submit the
19application to the national and community service board for a grant under s. 16.22
20(2) (h).
SB648,6,2321 (b) If an application for a grant is approved by the national and community
22service board under s. 16.22 (2) (h), the manager shall accept the grant and shall use
23the grant to assist the applicant and the sponsor in training the work crews.
SB648,7,724 (c) In addition to submitting the application to the national and community
25service board under par. (a), the manager shall also submit the application to the

1department for a grant from the appropriation account under s. 20.505 (1) (ch). The
2department may award a grant for a proposed project in an amount that is no less
3than $25,000 and no more than $75,000, if the sponsor provides funding for the
4project in an amount that is at least 50 percent of the amount of the grant. The
5cumulative amount of adminstrative costs charged by the department, the manager,
6and the sponsor in connection with a grant awarded under this paragraph may not
7exceed 10 percent of the amount of the grant.
SB648,7,13 8(9) Intergovernmental cooperation. The department may, on behalf of the
9manager, an applicant, or a sponsor, enter into a cooperative purchasing agreement
10under s. 16.73 (1). The department may request cooperative assistance from other
11state agencies in carrying out its program responsibilities as provided in s. 20.901
12(1) (a). The department may enter into an intergovernmental service agreement
13under s. 66.0301 on behalf of itself, the manager, an applicant, or a sponsor.
SB648,7,15 14(10) Responsibilities of sponsor. Each sponsor of a Wisconsin conservation
15corps project approved under this section shall do all of the following:
SB648,7,1716 (a) Upon completion of the project, erect a permanent plaque at each project
17work site identifying the site as a Wisconsin conservation corps project.
SB648,7,2518 (b) Submit a report to the department identifying the number of work crew
19members who enrolled at a technical college, a college campus of the University of
20Wisconsin System, or any other postsecondary educational institution upon
21completion of a project in which they were engaged and the status of each such work
22crew member as of the first anniversary after completion of each project, including
23whether the crew member has graduated from high school, has received a
24declaration of equivalency of high school graduation, or is employed and if employed,
25in what capacity.
SB648,8,5
1(11) Annual report. Annually, no later than March 31, the department shall
2submit a report to the chief clerk of each house of the legislature for distribution to
3the legislature under s. 13.172 (2), identifying Wisconsin conservation corps projects
4that were completed in the preceding year or that are in the process of completion
5at the end of that year.
SB648,2 6Section 2. 16.705 (1b) (e) of the statutes is created to read:
SB648,8,77 16.705 (1b) (e) The Wisconsin conservation corps program under s. 16.24 (4).
SB648,3 8Section 3. 16.705 (10) of the statutes is created to read:
SB648,8,119 16.705 (10) Subsections (2) to (9) do not apply to procurements by an agency
10for contractual services to be performed by crew members as a part of a Wisconsin
11conservation corps project.
SB648,4 12Section 4. 16.75 (1) (a) 1. of the statutes is amended to read:
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