2019 - 2020 LEGISLATURE
February 20, 2020 - Introduced by Senators Smith,
Ringhand, Bewley, Erpenbach,
Hansen, Johnson and Miller, cosponsored by Representatives Vruwink,
Milroy, Doyle, Anderson, Considine, Emerson, Ohnstad, Pope, Sargent,
Sinicki, Spreitzer, Stubbs and Subeck. Referred to Committee on Utilities
1An Act to repeal
66.0422 (2) (c), 66.0422 (4) and 66.0422 (5); and to amend
196.504 (1) (ac) 3. and 196.504 (2) (a) of the statutes; relating to: broadband
3expansion grants for cities, villages, towns, and counties and
4telecommunications-related construction projects of cities, villages, and towns.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill makes changes to the broadband expansion grant program that affect
cities, villages, towns, and counties (political subdivisions). Under current law, the
PSC administers the program and makes grants to eligible applicants for
constructing broadband infrastructure in underserved areas. The bill allows a
political subdivision to apply for a grant without submitting the application in
partnership with a telecommunications utility or a for-profit or not-for-profit
organization, which is required under current law. The bill also allows a political
subdivision to use a grant for the following purposes, in addition to constructing
broadband infrastructure: 1) planning related to broadband infrastructure
construction, including broadband feasibility reports; and 2) defraying no more than
50 percent of the cost of hiring and employing one broadband director.
The bill also eliminates a requirement for a city, village, or town to prepare a
report before constructing or operating a facility for providing to the public
telecommunications service, cable television or similar video service, or broadband
service. With exceptions, current law requires a city, village, or town to hold a
hearing before enacting an ordinance or adopting a resolution authorizing it to
construct or operate such a facility. In addition, at least 30 days prior to the hearing,
the city, village, or town must prepare and make available to the public a report that
estimates the total costs and revenues for the facility and includes a cost-benefit
analysis of the facility for a period of at least three years. Under this bill, a city,
village, or town is not required to prepare that report.
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:
66.0422 (2) (c) of the statutes is repealed.
66.0422 (4) of the statutes is repealed.
66.0422 (5) of the statutes is repealed.
196.504 (1) (ac) 3. of the statutes is amended to read:
(ac) 3. A political subdivision that submits an application in
6partnership with an eligible applicant under subd. 1. or 2
196.504 (2) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
(a) To make broadband expansion grants to eligible applicants for 9
the purpose of constructing broadband infrastructure in underserved areas 10
designated under par. (d) and to political subdivisions for project planning related
11to such construction, including broadband feasibility reports, or for defraying no
12more than 50 percent of the cost of hiring and employing one broadband director
Grants awarded under this section shall be paid from the appropriations under s. 14
20.155 (3) (r) and (rm).