2013 - 2014 LEGISLATURE
February 18, 2014 - Introduced by Senators Moulton,
Petrowski, Gudex, Cowles,
Leibham, Schultz, Harsdorf and Grothman, cosponsored by Representatives
Knudson, Brooks, Schraa, Weatherston, LeMahieu, A. Ott, Kulp, Bies,
Hintz, Loudenbeck, Kahl, Marklein and Knodl. Referred to Committee on
Government Operations, Public Works, and Telecommunications.
1An Act to renumber
101.12 (3) (am) 2. and 101.12 (3) (am) 4.; to renumber and
101.12 (3) (am) 1., 101.12 (3) (am) 3. and 101.12 (3) (am) 5.; to amend
101.02 (15) (j) and 101.19 (1g) (am); and to create
15.407 (18), 101.02 (7r), 4
101.023, 101.12 (3) (bq), 101.12 (3m) (d), 101.12 (3r), 101.12 (4) and 101.14 (4r) 5
of the statutes; relating to: ordinances, variances, and rules relating to the
6constructing or altering of, or adding to, public buildings and buildings that are
7places of employment, the creation of a building code council, and inspections
8of public buildings and buildings that are places of employment, and granting
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
With certain exceptions, current law requires the Department of Safety and
Professional Services (DSPS) to establish reasonable standards or rules for the
construction of public buildings and buildings that are places of employment (public
buildings). Pursuant to this requirement, DSPS has promulgated rules establishing
these construction standards. Also, the rules promulgated by DSPS require that
DSPS review the construction plans for public buildings. In addition to reviewing
new construction projects, the rules require that DSPS review, with limited
exceptions, building projects that involve alterations of, and additions to, existing
This bill prohibits a city, village, or town from enacting or enforcing an
ordinance that establishes minimum standards for the construction or alteration of,
or an addition to, a public building unless that ordinance strictly conforms to the
rules promulgated by DSPS. The bill creates an exception to this prohibition for
ordinances establishing property maintenance codes and for certain ordinances
relating to fire detection, prevention, or suppression (fire safety) for public buildings
that are not multifamily dwellings and that were enacted before May 1, 2013.
Under current law, DSPS must accept the examinations of essential drawings
and specifications (plan examinations) for public buildings that have been performed
by first class cities or by second class cities that meet certain requirements relating
to the competency of the persons performing the plan examinations. A first class city
is one with a population of at least 150,000. A second class city is one with a
population of at least 39,000 but less than 150,000. Also under current law, DSPS
must accept reviews and determinations by first class cities regarding variances for
public buildings if the reviews and determinations are performed in a manner
approved by DSPS. This bill requires that DSPS accept variance reviews and
determinations by second class cities that are certified by DSPS to perform plan
The bill authorizes DSPS to grant a variance from a standard contained in a
rule for a specific project for the construction or alteration of, or an addition to, a
public building if DSPS finds that the requested variance will impose an equivalent
standard that meets the intent of the rule.
This bill creates a building code council (council) in DSPS to advise the DSPS
about issues related to the construction, repair, and maintenance of public buildings.
The council consists of ten members, appointed by the governor for three-year terms.
The membership includes local building inspectors, building contractors, architects,
and persons representing the skilled building trades and the fire fighting profession.
The bill specifies that inspections of construction, alteration and addition
projects for public buildings, other than inspections of the installation of fire safety
devices, must be performed by inspectors who are certified under rules promulgated
by DSPS. The bill requires DSPS to promulgate separate rules establishing
requirements for inspections of fire safety devices that are being installed as part of
For further information see the state and local 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:
15.407 (18) of the statutes is created to read:
15.407 (18) Building code council.
(a) There is created in the department of 2
safety and professional services a building code council consisting of the following 3
members appointed for 3-year terms:
1. Two members representing the skilled building trades, each of whom is 5
actively engaged in his or her trade.
2. Two members representing local building inspectors, each of whom is 7
authorized to do inspections under s. 101.12 (4) and who is employed by a city, village, 8
3. Two members representing the fire services, each of whom is actively 10
engaged in fire service work and at least one of whom is a fire chief.
4. Two members representing building contractors, each of whom is actively 12
engaged in on-site construction of public buildings and buildings that are places of 13
5. Two members representing architects, engineers, and designers, each of 15
whom is actively engaged in the design or evaluation of public buildings and 16
buildings that are places of employment.
(b) An employee of the department shall serve as nonvoting secretary of the 18
(c) The council shall meet at least 2 times annually.
(d) Six members of the council shall constitute a quorum. For the purpose of 21
conducting business a majority vote of the council is required, except that at least 8 22
members of the council are required to vote affirmatively to recommend changes in 23
the statutes or rules.
101.02 (7r) of the statutes is created to read:
(a) Notwithstanding sub. (7) (a), no city, village, or town may enact 2
or enforce an ordinance that establishes minimum standards for constructing, 3
altering, or adding to public buildings or buildings that are places of employment 4
unless that ordinance strictly conforms to the applicable rules under sub. (15) (j), 5
except as provided in pars. (b) to (d).
(b) Notwithstanding par. (a), a town, village, or city may enforce an ordinance 7
establishing minimum standards for constructing, altering, or adding to public 8
buildings or buildings that are places of employment that does not strictly conform 9
to the applicable rules under sub. (15) (j) if all of the following apply:
1. The ordinance was enacted before May 1, 2013.
2. The ordinance was published by the town, village, or city in the manner 12
required under s. 60.80, 61.50, or 62.11 (4).
3. The ordinance relates to fire detection, prevention, or suppression 14
components of buildings.
4. The building is not a multifamily dwelling, as defined in s. 101.971 (2).
5. The ordinance is submitted to the department within 60 days after the 17
effective date of this subdivision .... [LRB inserts date].
6. The department determines that the ordinance requires standards that are 19
at least as strict as the rules promulgated by the department.
(c) A town, village, or city may amend an ordinance that is enforceable under 21
par. (b) if all of the following apply:
1. The amendment will not broaden the applicability of the ordinance to any 23
building components that are not subject to the ordinance under par. (b) 3.
2. The amendment will not change the specific subject matter regulated by the 25
3. The town, village, or city submits a copy of the enacted amendment to the 2
department at least 120 days before the effective date of the amendment.
4. The town, village, or city publishes the enacted amendment in the manner 4
required under s. 60.80, 61.50, or 62.11 (4) at least 120 days before the effective date 5
of the amendment.
(d) 1. The department shall maintain a list of the ordinances that are 7
enforceable under par. (b) and of the amendments that are enforceable under par. (c). 8
The list shall be accessible to the public in electronic format, and shall include 9
electronically photographed or scanned copies of the ordinances and amendments.
2. For an amendment submitted to the department under par. (c) 3., the 11
department shall make it accessible as required under subd. 1. within 10 working 12
days after receiving the amendment.
(e) Notwithstanding par. (a), a town, village, or city may enact and enforce an 14
ordinance establishing a property maintenance code that is stricter than rules 15
promulgated by the department under sub. (15) (j).
101.02 (15) (j) of the statutes is amended to read:
(j) The department shall ascertain, fix and order such reasonable 18
standards or rules for the construction, repair and maintenance of places of
19employment and constructing, altering, adding to, repairing, and maintaining 20
public buildings, as shall and places of employment in order to
render them safe.
101.023 of the statutes is created to read:
22101.023 Building code council duties.
The building code council shall 23
review the rules relating to constructing, altering, adding to, repairing, and 24
maintaining public buildings and buildings that are places of employment. The 25
council shall consider and make recommendations to the department pertaining to
these rules and any other matters related to constructing, altering, adding to, 2
repairing, and maintaining public buildings and buildings that are places of 3
employment. In preparing rules under this chapter that relate to public buildings 4
and to buildings that are places of employment, the department shall consult with 5
the building code council.
101.12 (3) (am) 1. of the statutes is renumbered 101.12 (3) (am) and 7
amended to read:
(am) Accept the examination of essential drawings, calculations and 9
specifications in accordance with sub. (1) performed by a 2nd class city in conformity
10with the requirements of this paragraph that is certified pursuant to sub. (3m)