A county may not, in a manner consistent with federal and state statutes and regulations prohibiting supplementation, contractually obligate itself to pay visiting nurse association funds in addition to those received by such a home health care provider through the Medicaid program. 77 Atty. Gen. 287
Veterans affairs. 59.535(1)(1)
Certifications and filings for veterans; no charge. 59.535(1)(b)
No fee shall be charged by any register of deeds, clerk of circuit court or any other public officer, either state, county or local, having custody of statistical records, for the making and certifying of copies, or examining proofs of any public record or instrument, required for or in connection with, the filing of any claim or application with the U.S. department of veterans affairs or any other federal agency, or to any state agency, or to the regularly established agency of any state, for benefits under federal or state laws, by a veteran or by any dependent of a veteran, when certified proof is required in connection with any claim or application for benefits, under federal or state laws, to which such veteran, or a dependent of a veteran, either living or dead, may be required to file, except, that in the counties where the register of deeds or clerk of circuit court is under the fee system and not a fixed salary, the usual fee for such service shall be paid by the county to the proper officer. The provisions of this subsection shall supersede any provision of law in conflict therewith.
The board may furnish upon the petition of 5 residents of any municipality in their county an appropriate metal marker for the grave of each soldier, sailor or marine who served with honor in the U.S. armed forces, buried within the municipality.
The petitioners shall state in the petition the names of the soldiers, sailors or marines buried in the municipality.
(3) War records.
The board may appropriate money for the collection, publication or distribution of war records.
(4) Service officer and commission.
The board may appropriate funds for the execution of the duties of the county veterans service officer and the county veterans service commission.
History: 1995 a. 201
; 2005 a. 22
Public protection and safety. 59.54(1)
The board may purchase, equip, operate and maintain ambulances and contract for ambulance service with one or more providers for conveyance of the sick or injured and make reasonable charges for the use thereof.
(2) Rescue equipment.
The board may appropriate money for the purchase of boats and other equipment necessary for the rescue of human beings and the recovery of human bodies from waters of which the county has jurisdiction under s. 2.04
and charge a reasonable fee for the use of such boats and other equipment.
(3) Radio service for fire protection.
The board may appropriate money for the purpose of providing radio service for fire protection in the county, in the manner prescribed by the board.
(4) Rural naming or numbering system.
The board may establish a rural naming or numbering system in towns for the purpose of aiding in fire protection, emergency services, and civil defense, and appropriate and expend money therefor, under which:
Each rural road, home, business, farm or other establishment, may be assigned a name or number.
The names or numbers may be displayed on uniform signs posted on rural roads and intersections, and at each home, business, farm or other establishment.
(4m) Rural naming or numbering system; town cooperation.
The rural naming or numbering system under sub. (4)
may be carried out in cooperation with any town or towns in the county.
(5) Emergency services for hearing and speech impaired persons.
In any county having a population of 200,000 or more the board shall install in the sheriff's department a teletypewriter which shall be available to receive calls from hearing and speech impaired persons seeking emergency services. In cities having a population of 30,000 or more which are not contained in a county having a population of 200,000 or more, the city shall install a teletypewriter for the purposes of this subsection in either the police or fire department. If 2 or more cities having a population of 30,000 or more are contained in one county, the board shall install the teletypewriter in the sheriff's department and no teletypewriter shall be required in the cities.
(6) Peace and order.
The board may enact and enforce ordinances to preserve the public peace and good order within the county including, but not limited by enumeration, ordinances prohibiting conduct that is the same as or similar to conduct that is prohibited by ss. 947.01 (1)
, and provide a forfeiture for a violation of the ordinances.
(7) Police powers over certain U.S. lands and structures.
In counties in which the United States has built a structure extending into a lake or river, the board may by ordinance regulate the use of such a structure by the public consistent with reasonable safety requirements, but nothing contained in the ordinance shall permit any interference with the operations of the United States, its agents, employees or representatives in connection with the structure. The ordinance may also provide that any person who violates the ordinance shall forfeit to the county an amount not to exceed $100 for each offense, plus costs, and in default of payment shall be imprisoned for not more than 30 days. Arrests for violation of the ordinance may be made by the sheriff or by any peace officer of the municipality wherein the structure is located.
(8) Local emergency planning committees. 59.54(8)(a)(a)
The board shall do all of the following:
Control all expenditures by the committee that is created under this paragraph.
Within the availability of state funds, take all actions that are necessary to ensure that the committee created under this paragraph properly executes the duties of a local emergency planning committee under 42 USC 11000
and under ss. 323.60
At least annually, submit to the division of emergency management in the department of military affairs a list of the members of the local emergency planning committee appointed by the county board under this paragraph, including the agency, organization or profession that each member represents.
Appropriate funds for the operation of the committee that is created under par. (a)
Implement programs and undertake activities which are designed to prepare the county to cope with emergencies involving the accidental release of hazardous substances and which are consistent with, but in addition to, the minimum requirements of s. 323.60
and 42 USC 11000
(9) County telecommunication terminal.
Every county in the state shall have a telecommunication terminal installed in a county law enforcement agency which is interconnected with the department of transportation and other county, municipal and governmental law enforcement agencies in the TIME (Transaction Information for Management of Enforcement) system. This subsection shall not preclude the connection and participation in the system of any governmental law enforcement agency and the requirements of this subsection shall be effective even though there are additions, deletions or modifications in the system.
(10) Neighborhood watch sign approval.
The board may approve the placement, by a town board, of a neighborhood watch sign under s. 60.23 (17m)
within the right-of-way of a county trunk highway.
(11) Safety at sporting events.
The board may enact and enforce an ordinance to prohibit conduct which is the same as conduct prohibited by s. 167.32
and provide a forfeiture for a violation of the ordinance.
(12) County-tribal law enforcement programs.
Pursuant to adoption of a resolution, a board may enter into an agreement and seek funding under s. 165.90
(13) Arming sheriffs.
The board of any county may furnish its sheriff, undersheriff and deputy sheriffs with the necessary arms, ammunition, gas bombs and gas sticks for the carrying out of their respective duties, such arms, ammunition, gas bombs and gas sticks to remain the property of the county.
(14) Courthouse and jail; restrictions. 59.54(14)(a)(a)
A county shall provide a courthouse, fireproof offices and other necessary buildings at the county seat and keep them in good repair. A county shall provide a jail or enter into a cooperative agreement under s. 302.44
for the cooperative establishment and use of a jail. The jail and rehabilitation facilities as extensions of the jail need not be at the county seat and may be located outside of the county under a cooperative agreement under s. 302.44
No jail may be constructed until the construction plans and specifications are approved by the department of corrections.
When the courthouse from any cause becomes unsafe, inconvenient or unfit for holding court, the board shall provide some other convenient building at the county seat for that purpose temporarily, and this building shall then be considered the courthouse for the time being.
The construction of any courthouse shall be in accordance with plans and specifications that are accompanied by the certificate of the circuit judge in whose circuit the building is to be erected, to the effect that after consultation with competent experts the judge is advised and believes that the courtrooms provided for will possess proper acoustical properties. The fee for this advice shall be paid by the county upon the judge's certificate.
Repairs which amount substantially to a reconstruction of a courthouse shall be governed by the same restrictions that apply to new construction, so far as practicable.
The personnel who are required to comply with ss. 302.41
shall be provided at county expense.
A county may establish extensions of the jail, which need not be at the county seat, to serve as places of temporary confinement. No person may be detained in such an extension for more than 24 consecutive hours, except that a court may order that a person subject to imprisonment under s. 23.33 (13) (b) 2.
or 350.11 (3) (a) 2.
be imprisoned for more than 24 consecutive hours in such an extension. Jail extensions shall be subject to plans and specifications approval by the department of corrections and shall conform to other requirements imposed by law on jails, except that cells may be designed and used for multiple occupancy.
(15) Annual inspection.
At least once each year the board of each county, or a committee thereof, shall visit, inspect and examine each jail maintained by the county, as to health, cleanliness and discipline, and the keeper of the jail shall lay before the board or the committee a calendar setting forth the name, age and cause of committal of each prisoner. If it appears to the board or committee that any provisions of law have been violated or neglected, the board or the committee shall immediately give notice of the violation to the district attorney of the county.
(16) Contract with U.S. for custody of federal prisoners.
The board may authorize the sheriff or superintendent of the house of correction to contract with the United States to keep in the county jail or house of correction any person legally committed under U.S. authority, but not for a term exceeding 18 months.
Safety and patrol.
The board may appropriate money to citizens' safety committees or to county safety commissions or councils for highway safety and patrol.
Highway commissioner term.
The board may enact an ordinance establishing the term of service of a highway commissioner elected under s. 83.01 (1) (a)
Highway safety coordinator.
The board chairperson, or the county executive or county administrator in a county having such an officer, may appoint a county highway safety coordinator who shall serve as a member of the county traffic safety commission under s. 83.013 (1) (a)
(18) Civil air patrol.
The board may appropriate funds or donate property and equipment to civil air patrol units in the county for the purpose of enabling such civil air patrol units to perform their assigned missions and duties as prescribed by U.S. air force regulations.
(19) Riding horses, regulation.
The board may provide by ordinance for the regulation, prohibition and licensing of horses kept for the purpose of riding, whether by private owners for their own use or by commercial stables, riding academies or clubs for hire; for the licensing and regulation of owners of riding horses and the regulation, prohibition and licensing of commercial stables keeping horses for riding purposes for hire. The board may revoke the license of any owner of a horse kept for the purpose of riding for violation of such ordinance after the filing of charges and notice and hearing thereon. Such ordinance may provide that the chairperson of the board, when the board is not in session, shall be authorized to issue such license or to suspend such license of any person violating such ordinance; such issuance of license or the suspension of such license to be acted on by the board at its next meeting. Such ordinance may impose a forfeiture not to exceed $100 for each violation or, in default of payment thereof, imprisonment for not more than 30 days. Such ordinances may not apply within cities, villages and towns that have enacted ordinances regulating the same subject matter.
(20) Dogs running at large.
The board may enact ordinances regulating the keeping, apprehension, impounding and destruction of dogs outside the corporate limits of any city or village, but such ordinances shall not conflict with ss. 174.01
, and such ordinances may not apply in any town that has enacted an ordinance under s. 60.23 (30)
(21) County disposition of dead animals.
The board may remove any dead animal, for burial or disposition at public expense, found upon public or private property within the county, or may contract for such removal and burial or other disposition with any private rendering plant, but the cost of such removal or disposition may be recovered by the county from the owner of the carcass, if the owner is known. The board may delegate powers and duties under this subsection to any political subdivision.
(22) Power to prohibit certain conduct.
The board may enact and enforce ordinances, and provide forfeitures for violations of those ordinances, that prohibit conduct which is the same as or similar to that prohibited by chs. 941
, except as provided in s. 59.55 (6)
, and by s. 167.31 (2)
, subject to rules promulgated under s. 167.31 (4m)
(23) Public assistance; false representation.
The board may enact and enforce an ordinance to prohibit conduct that is the same as or similar to conduct that is prohibited by s. 49.95 (1)
and provide a forfeiture for a violation of the ordinance.
(24) Worthless payments issued to a county; underpayments and overpayments.
The board may enact and enforce an ordinance that is the same as or similar to s. 20.905
to do any of the following:
Impose on and collect charges from any person who issues a worthless payment to a county office or agency.
Permit a county office or agency to retain certain overpayments of fees, licenses and similar charges and waive certain underpayments.
(25) Possession of marijuana.
The board may enact and enforce an ordinance to prohibit the possession of 25 grams or less of marijuana, as defined in s. 961.01 (14)
, subject to the exceptions in s. 961.41 (3g) (intro.)
, and provide a forfeiture for a violation of the ordinance; except that any person who is charged with possession of more than 25 grams of marijuana, or who is charged with possession of any amount of marijuana following a conviction for possession of marijuana, in this state shall not be prosecuted under this subsection. Any ordinance enacted under this subsection applies in every municipality within the county.
(25g) Possession of a synthetic cannabinoid.
The board may enact and enforce an ordinance to prohibit the possession of any controlled substance specified in s. 961.14 (4) (tb)
, and provide a forfeiture for a violation of the ordinance, except that any person who is charged with possession of a controlled substance specified in s. 961.14 (4) (tb)
following a conviction for possession of a controlled substance in this state shall not be prosecuted under this subsection. Any ordinance enacted under this subsection applies in every municipality within the county.
(25m) Drug paraphernalia.
The board may enact an ordinance to prohibit conduct that is the same as that prohibited by s. 961.573 (1)
, 961.574 (1)
, or 961.575 (1)
and provide a forfeiture for violation of the ordinance. The board may enforce an ordinance enacted under this subsection in any municipality within the county.
(26) Farm safety.
The board may appropriate money for or sponsor, or both, farm safety education, training or information programs.
(27) Religious organizations; contract powers. 59.54(27)(b)
General purpose and authority.
The purpose of this subsection is to allow the board to contract with, or award grants to, religious organizations, under any program administered by the county dealing with delinquency and crime prevention or the rehabilitation of offenders, on the same basis as any other nongovernmental provider, without impairing the religious character of such organizations and without diminishing the religious freedom of beneficiaries of assistance funded under such program.
Nondiscrimination against religious organizations.
If the board is authorized to contract with a nongovernmental entity, or is authorized to award grants to a nongovernmental entity, religious organizations are eligible, on the same basis as any other private organization, to be contractors and grantees under any program administered by the board so long as the programs are implemented consistently with the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution
and article I, section 18, of the Wisconsin constitution
. Except as provided in par. (L)
, the board may not discriminate against an organization that is or applies to be a contractor or grantee on the basis that the organization does or does not have a religious character or because of the specific religious nature of the organization.
The board shall allow a religious organization with which the board contracts or to which the board awards a grant to retain its independence from government, including the organization's control over the definition, development, practice, and expression of its religious beliefs.
The board may not require a religious organization to alter its form of internal governance or to remove religious art, icons, scripture, or other symbols to be eligible for a contract or grant.
If the board contracts with, or awards grants to, a religious organization for the provision of crime prevention or offender rehabilitation assistance under a program administered by the board, an individual who is eligible for this assistance shall be informed in writing that assistance of equal value and accessibility is available from a nonreligious provider upon request.
The board shall provide an individual who is otherwise eligible for assistance from an organization described under subd. 1.
with assistance of equal value from a nonreligious provider if the individual objects to the religious character of the organization described under subd. 1.
and requests assistance from a nonreligious provider. The board shall provide such assistance within a reasonable period of time after the date of the objection and shall ensure that it is accessible to the individual.
Nondiscrimination against beneficiaries.
A religious organization may not discriminate against an individual in regard to rendering assistance that is funded under any program administered by the board on the basis of religion, a religious belief or nonbelief, or a refusal to actively participate in a religious practice.
Except as provided in subd. 2.
, any religious organization that contracts with or receives a grant from the board is subject to the same laws and rules as other contractors and grantees regarding accounting, in accord with generally accepted auditing principles, for the use of the funds provided under such programs.
If the religious organization segregates funds provided under programs administered by the board into separate accounts, only the financial assistance provided with those funds shall be subject to audit.
Any party that seeks to enforce its rights under this subsection may bring a civil action for injunctive relief against the entity that allegedly commits the violation.
Limitations on use of funds for certain purposes.
No funds provided directly to religious organizations by the board may be expended for sectarian worship, instruction, or proselytization.
Certification of compliance.
Every religious organization that contracts with or receives a grant from the county board to provide delinquency and crime prevention or offender rehabilitation services to eligible recipients shall certify in writing that it has complied with the requirements of pars. (g)
and submit to the board a copy of this certification and a written description of the policies the organization has adopted to ensure that it has complied with the requirements under pars. (g)
Nothing in this subsection may be construed to preempt any other statute that prohibits or restricts the expenditure of federal or state funds by or the granting of federal or state funds to religious organizations.
History: 1995 a. 201
; 1995 a. 448
; 1997 a. 27
; 2001 a. 16
; 2003 a. 193
; 2005 a. 90
; 2009 a. 42
; 2011 a. 31
A town has initial authority to name town roads under s. 82.03 (7). However, the town's authority is subject to the county's discretionary authority under sub. (4) to establish a road naming and numbering system for the specific purpose of aiding in fire protection, emergency services, and civil defense. A county may cooperate with a town regarding road name changes, but ultimately a county has authority to implement name changes, even if a town does not consent, when the name changes are made under s. 59.54 (4). Liberty Grove Town Board v. Door County Board of Supervisors, 2005 WI App 166
, 284 Wis. 2d 814
, 702 N.W.2d 33
A carefully drawn county ordinance prohibiting the sale of "disposable" bottles and cans would not, on its face, exceed the police power granted in s. 59.07 (64) [now s. 59.54 (6)], and would not constitute an unreasonable burden on interstate commerce, although a careful consideration of relevant factors may result in a finding of unreasonableness on both counts. 60 Atty. Gen. 158.
The authority of county officials to offer rewards for the arrest or conviction of persons violating the criminal law is limited to the circumstances set forth in s. 59.25 (2) [now s. 59.29 (1) (b)]. 63 Atty. Gen. 555.
The power of a county to provide limited rescue functions in connection with an ambulance service and to make reasonable charges is discussed. 65 Atty. Gen. 87.
Section 59.07 (64) [now s. 59.54 (6)] does not authorize county boards to proscribe deer shining. 68 Atty. Gen. 81.
A county board has authority under s. 59.07 (64) [now s. 59.54 (6)] to enact an ordinance prohibiting trespass that is similar to and consistent with s. 943.13. 69 Atty. Gen. 92.
A local emergency planning committee created by a county board pursuant to s. 59.07 (146) [now s. 59.54 (8)] is in many respects treated like other county committees. The county board has authority to appropriate funds for the committee and the county's relationship to the committee is the same as the county's relationship to other county bodies created under this section, with the exception that the county must be consistent with the authority exercised by the state emergency response commission. The county corporation counsel should provide legal advice and assistance to a LEPC. If a LEPC or its members are sued, the attorney general represents them, and the state would pay the judgment if the requirements of s. 895.46 have been satisfied. 78 Atty. Gen. 27