2017 - 2018 LEGISLATURE
May 19, 2017 - Introduced by Representatives August, Felzkowski, Sanfelippo,
Spiros, Tusler, Kuglitsch, Murphy, Schraa, R. Brooks, Hutton and Knodl,
cosponsored by Senators Nass, Tiffany, Feyen, Craig and LeMahieu.
Referred to Committee on State Affairs.
1An Act to repeal
24.09 (2), 24.11 (1) (c), 24.59 (3), 24.605 and 24.61 (2) (cm); to
24.09 (1) (b) and 24.09 (1) (c); to renumber and amend
24.09 (1) 3
(a), 24.09 (1) (bm) and 24.09 (1) (d); to amend
20.285 (1) (rm) (title), 20.507 (1) 4
(h), 20.866 (2) (ta), 23.0917 (3) (br) 2., 23.0917 (3) (bt) 2., 24.01 (1), 24.01 (4), 5
24.01 (5), 24.01 (7), 24.01 (9), 24.01 (10), 24.09 (title), 24.10 (1), 24.10 (2), 24.59 6
(1), 36.49 (title) and 36.49 (3); and to create
23.0917 (3) (br) 3., 23.0917 (3) (bt) 7
3., 23.0917 (3) (bu), 23.0917 (3) (dm) 9., 23.1989, 28.12, 36.49 (4) and 59.52 (6) 8
(f) of the statutes; relating to: sale of public lands owned by the Board of
9Commissioners of Public Lands to the state; county management of certain
10state lands; merit scholarships for certain University of Wisconsin System
11students; the obligation of moneys for land acquisition under the Warren
1Knowles-Gaylord Nelson Stewardship 2000 Program; and making an
2appropriation (at the request of the state treasurer).
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill allows the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands to sell all
properties under its jurisdiction to the state and, if BCPL does so, requires the
Department of Natural Resources to purchase those lands under the Warren
Knowles-Gaylord Nelson Stewardship 2000 Program. The bill also allows counties
to elect to manage these lands. The bill reduces the amounts DNR must set aside
under the land acquisition subprogram of the stewardship program for DNR to
acquire land and to provide grants to counties and for grants to nonprofit
conservation organizations. The bill also requires the Board of Regents of the
University of Wisconsin System to award merit scholarships to certain students.
Sale of public lands. Under current law, BCPL manages the common school
fund, the normal school fund, the university fund, and the agricultural college fund
(trust funds). The trust funds were established from the proceeds of the sale of most
of the land granted to this state by the federal government at the time of statehood.
BCPL manages the remaining lands granted by the federal government to this state
and also administers a state trust fund loan program under which it makes loans,
from moneys belonging to the trust funds, to school districts, local governments, and
certain other public entities for certain public purposes.
Under this bill, if BCPL determines that the sale of all lands under its
jurisdiction will not breach its duty as trustee, BCPL may sell all properties under
its jurisdiction to the state. If BCPL sells this property, the bill requires DNR to
purchase it and to pay for the purchase in annual installments.
Under current law, the state may incur public debt for certain conservation
activities under the stewardship program, which is administered by DNR. The state
may bond for various conservation activities under the program, one of which is land
acquisition. This bill requires DNR, beginning in fiscal year 2017-18 and ending in
fiscal year 2026-27, to set aside $10,000,000 each fiscal year under the stewardship
program, which may be obligated for the purpose of making the annual installment
payments for the purchase of BCPL land. Under the bill, DNR is required to use
those amounts to make installment payments of no more than $10,000,000 each
fiscal year until the total amount paid equals the appraised value of the land, except
no payments may be made after fiscal year 2026-27.
Beginning in fiscal year 2017-18 and ending in fiscal year 2019-20, this bill
reduces from $9,000,000 to $2,000,000 the amount that may be obligated for DNR
land acquisition and for grants to counties for land acquisition, and reduces from
$7,000,000 to $4,000,000 the amount that may be obligated as grants to nonprofit
conservation organizations for land acquisition.
County management of DNR land. The bill authorizes a county board to
manage, maintain, and improve any of the land DNR acquires from BCPL that is
located in that county. Under the bill, if the county board adopts a resolution within
six months after the effective date of this bill stating its intent to manage, maintain,
and improve any such land, including a description of the land, and provides notice
of the resolution to DNR, and if DNR provides notice to the county that it has
acquired the land, then the county is required to, and DNR is required to allow the
county to, manage, maintain, and improve the land (department land).
The bill allows a county to incorporate department land into its comprehensive
county forest land use plan, if one exists, without DNR approval and allows the
county to use county forest administration grants and sustainable forestry grants
obtained under the county forest law for department land. The bill grants a county
board many of the powers with respect to department land that a county board
currently has with respect to county forests, such as regulating the use of the land
by the public, establishing forest plantations, and engaging in silviculture, forest
management, and timber sales. Similar to a current requirement under the county
forest law, the bill requires any timber sale from department land with an estimated
value of $3,000 or more, except for timber that has been damaged by fire, snow, hail,
ice, insects, disease, or wind, to be by sealed bid or public sale after fulfilling a
publication requirement and allows any timber sale with an estimated value below
$3,000 to be made without prior advertising.
The bill authorizes a county board to adopt a resolution stating that the county
no longer intends to manage, maintain, and improve department land and requires
the county board to notify DNR of this resolution as soon as practicable after its
adoption, at which point the county's responsibility to manage, maintain, and
improve the land ends.
Wisconsin Merit scholarships. The bill requires the Board of Regents to
award merit-based annual $5,000 scholarships to students enrolled in two-year or
four-year UW schools who have graduated from an in-state high school or been
granted a high school diploma by the administrator of an in-state home-based
private educational program. The scholarships are called “Wisconsin Merit
scholarships.” The bill requires the Board of Regents to determine student merit
based on performance on standardized college entrance examinations and, if
applicable, cumulative high school grade point averages. Under current law, income
and interest from the normal school fund is appropriated to the Board of Regents to
do the following annually: 1) make need-based grants totaling $100,000 to students
at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies who are members of
underrepresented groups; 2) provide scholarships totaling $100,000 to students
enrolled in the sustainable management degree program through the
UW-Extension; and 3) award the balance to the UW-Stevens Point for
environmental programs. Under the bill, the Board of Regents must provide
$200,000 annually to the UW-Stevens Point for environmental programs and award
the balance in the scholarships required under the bill.
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:
20.285 (1) (rm) (title) of the statutes is amended to read:
(rm) (title) Environmental program grants and scholarships;
3Wisconsin Merit scholarships.
20.507 (1) (h) of the statutes is amended to read:
(h) Trust lands and investments — general program operations.
amounts in the schedule for the general program operations of the board as provided 7
under ss. 24.04, 24.09 (1) (bm)
, 24.53 and 24.62 (1). All amounts deducted from 8
the gross receipts of the appropriate funds as provided under ss. 24.04, 24.09 (1) (bm)
, 24.53 and 24.62 (1) shall be credited to this appropriation account. 10
Notwithstanding s. 20.001 (3) (a), the unencumbered balance at the end of each fiscal 11
year shall be transferred to the trust funds, as defined under s. 24.60 (5). The amount 12
transferred to each trust fund, as defined under s. 24.60 (5), shall bear the same 13
proportion to the total amount transferred to the trust funds that the gross receipts 14
of that trust fund bears to the total gross receipts credited to this appropriation 15
account during that fiscal year.
20.866 (2) (ta) of the statutes is amended to read:
(ta) Natural resources; Warren Knowles-Gaylord Nelson
18stewardship 2000 program.
From the capital improvement fund a sum sufficient for 19
the Warren Knowles-Gaylord Nelson stewardship 2000 program under s. 23.0917. 20
The state may contract public debt in an amount not to exceed
for this program. Except as provided in s. 23.0917 (4g) (b), (4m) (k),
(5), (5g), and (5m), the amounts obligated, as defined in s. 23.0917 (1) (e), under this 2
paragraph may not exceed $46,000,000 in fiscal year 2000-01, may not exceed 3
$46,000,000 in fiscal year 2001-02, may not exceed $60,000,000 in each fiscal year 4
beginning with fiscal year 2002-03 and ending with fiscal year 2009-10, may not 5
exceed $86,000,000 in fiscal year 2010-11, may not exceed $60,000,000 in fiscal year 6
2011-12, may not exceed $60,000,000 in fiscal year 2012-13, may not exceed 7
$47,500,000 in fiscal year 2013-14, may not exceed $54,500,000 in fiscal year 8
2014-15, and may not exceed $33,250,000 in each fiscal year beginning with 2015-16
and ending with fiscal year 2019-20, and may not exceed $10,000,000 in each fiscal
10year beginning with 2020-21 and ending with fiscal year 2026-27
23.0917 (3) (br) 2. of the statutes is amended to read:
(br) 2. For each fiscal year beginning with 2015-16 and ending with
23.0917 (3) (br) 3. of the statutes is created to read:
(br) 3. For each fiscal year beginning with 2017-18 and ending with 16
23.0917 (3) (bt) 2. of the statutes is amended to read:
(bt) 2. For each fiscal year beginning with 2015-16 and ending with
fiscal year 2019-20 2016-17
23.0917 (3) (bt) 3. of the statutes is created to read:
(bt) 3. For each fiscal year beginning with 2017-18 and ending with 22
fiscal year 2019-20, $2,000,000.
23.0917 (3) (bu) of the statutes is created to read:
(bu) In obligating moneys under the subprogram for land 25
acquisition, the department shall set aside $10,000,000 for each fiscal year
beginning with 2017-18 and ending with 2026-27 to be obligated only for the 2
department to make installment payments for the purchase of land under s. 23.1989.
23.0917 (3) (dm) 9. of the statutes is created to read:
(dm) 9. For each fiscal year beginning with 2020-21 and ending 5
with fiscal year 2026-27, $10,000,000.
23.1989 of the statutes is created to read:
723.1989 Acquisition of certain public lands. (1)
Beginning in fiscal year 8
2017-18 and ending in fiscal year 2026-27, from the appropriation under s. 20.866 9
(2) (ta), the department shall set aside $10,000,000 in each fiscal year that may be 10
obligated only to make installment payments for the purchase of land from the board 11
of commissioners of public lands under s. 24.59 (1). For purposes of s. 23.0917, 12
moneys provided from the appropriation under s. 20.866 (2) (ta) shall be treated as 13
moneys obligated under the subprogram under s. 23.0917 (3).
Subject to subs. (2) to (4), if the board of commissioners of public lands 15
sells land under s. 24.59 (1), the department shall purchase the land. The 16
department shall pay for the land purchased under this subsection in installments, 17
as provided in subs. (2) to (4).
Notwithstanding s. 24.11 (1) (b) and except as provided in sub. (4), the 19
department shall make installment payments of $10,000,000 in each fiscal year 20
beginning in fiscal year 2017-18 until the total amount paid under this subsection 21
equals the value of the land established under s. 24.59 (2), except that payments may 22
not be made after the fiscal year 2026-27.
In the fiscal year in which a final installment payment of not more than 24
$10,000,000 is due, from the appropriation under s. 20.866 (2) (ta), the department
shall set aside an amount that shall be obligated only to make the final payment to 2
acquire land from the board of commissioners of public lands under s. 24.59 (1).
In the fiscal year described in sub. (3), the department shall make an 4
installment payment equal to the amount remaining to make the final payment to 5
acquire land from the board of commissioners of public lands under s. 24.59 (1).
If the department acquires land under sub. (1m), the department shall, as 7
soon as practicable, notify all counties from which the department has received 8
notification of a resolution adopted under s. 59.52 (6) (f). Beginning on the date that 9
a county receives this notice from the department, the department shall allow the 10
county to conduct all activities under s. 28.12 necessary to manage, maintain, and 11
improve the land described in the county's resolution under s. 59.52 (6) (f) until the 12
county board adopts a resolution under s. 28.12 (7).
24.01 (1) of the statutes is amended to read:
“Agricultural college lands" embraces all lands granted to the state 15
by an act of congress entitled “An act donating public lands to the several states and 16
territories which may provide colleges for the benefit of agriculture and the mechanic 17
arts," approved July 2, 1862, as well as any land received under s. 24.09 (1) (bm) (3) 18
in exchange for such land.
24.01 (4) of the statutes is amended to read:
“Marathon County lands" embraces all lands acquired by the state 21
pursuant to chapter 22 of the general laws of 1867, as well as any land received under 22
s. 24.09 (1) (bm) (3)
in exchange for such land.
24.01 (5) of the statutes is amended to read: