Emergency rules now in effect
Under s. 227.24, Stats., state agencies may promulgate rules without complying with the usual rule-making procedures. Using this special procedure to issue emergency rules, an agency must find that either the preservation of the public peace, health, safety or welfare necessitates its action in bypassing normal rule-making procedures.
Emergency rules are published in the official state newspaper, which is currently the Wisconsin State Journal. Emergency rules are in effect for 150 days and can be extended up to an additional 120 days with no single extension to exceed 60 days.
Occasionally the Legislature grants emergency rule authority to an agency with a longer effective period than 150 days or allows an agency to adopt an emergency rule without requiring a finding of emergency.
Extension of the effective period of an emergency rule is granted at the discretion of the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules under s. 227.24 (2), Stats.
Notice of all emergency rules which are in effect must be printed in the Wisconsin Administrative Register. This notice will contain a brief description of the emergency rule, the agency finding of emergency or a statement of exemption from a finding of emergency, date of publication, the effective and expiration dates, any extension of the effective period of the emergency rule and information regarding public hearings on the emergency rule.
Copies of emergency rule orders can be obtained from the promulgating agency. The text of current emergency rules can be viewed at www.legis.state.wi.us/rsb/code.
(Financial Assistance for Businesses & Communities, Chs. Comm 105—)
Rules were adopted creating ch. Comm 129, relating to technology commercialization programs.
Finding of Emergency
The Department of Commerce finds that an emergency exists within the state of Wisconsin and that adoption of a rule is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public health, safety and welfare. A statement of the facts constituting the emergency is as follows.
1. In accordance with sections 560.205 (3) and 560.275 (7), Stats., the department has the responsibility to promulgate rules to administer an Early Stage Business Investment Program and a Technology Commercialization Grant and Loan Program.
2. Section 560.205 (1) and (2), Stats., makes available certain tax benefits for investors in early stage businesses for tax years beginning after December 31, 2004.
3. Section 560.275 (2), Stats., makes available grant and loan program funds appropriated as of July 1, 2004.
4. The department, being the agency with primary authority for economic development in the state, recognizes that there is a verified need to assist the development of high growth early stage technology businesses. Wisconsin has historically ranked low in the development of new start-ups and in the attraction of risk capital.
5. The department recognizes that promulgating this emergency rule will alleviate the need for investors to defer investments into qualified new businesses while they wait for the promulgation of the permanent rule. Such a circumstance would effectively halt new investment into early stage high tech companies in Wisconsin, a result that would be contrary to the intent of the legislation.
6. In addition, the department recognizes that without promulgating this emergency rule, the department would likely be unable to fully utilize the funds made available to benefit early stage businesses.
7. Finally, the department recognizes that without promulgating this emergency rule, Wisconsin's early stage businesses would be unable to compete fairly to attract much-needed risk capital and federal research dollars to Wisconsin.
Publication Date:   December 2, 2004
Effective Date:   December 2, 2004
Expiration Date:   May 1, 2005
Hearing Date:   January 12, 2005
Elections Board
Rules adopted creating s. ElBd 1.395, relating to the use of funds in a federal campaign committee that has been converted to a state campaign committee and relating to the use of those converted funds whose contribution to the federal committee would not have been in compliance with Wisconsin law if the contribution had been made directly to a state campaign committee.
Finding of Emergency
The Elections Board finds that an emergency exists in the recent change in federal law that permits the transfer of the funds in a federal candidate campaign committee's account to the candidate's state campaign committee account and finds that a rule is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety or welfare. A statement of the facts constituting the emergency is as follows:
Since the Bi-Partisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BICRA), transfers of funds from a federal campaign committee to a state campaign committee had not been authorized under federal law. In November, 2004, Congress amended the Federal Election Campaign Act, (H.R. 4818, s.532(3) and 532(4), to permit the transfer of a federal candidate's campaign committee's funds to the candidate's state campaign committee, if state law permitted, and subject to the state law's requirements and restrictions.
Because of Congress' action in November, 2004, money which had not been available to a state committee under BICRA, and which might not have qualified for use for political purposes in a state campaign because of its source or because of other noncompliance with state law, could now be transferred to a state committee, if state law permitted. Wisconsin law, under the Board's current rule, ElBd 1.39, Wis. Adm. Code, allows for conversion of federal campaign committees, and their funds, to a state campaign committee without regard to the source of those funds and without regard to contribution limitations.
Restricting the use of such money to that money which has been contributed to the candidate's federal committee, under circumstances in which the contribution would have complied with Wisconsin law if it had been given directly to the Wisconsin campaign committee, is found to be in the public interest.
Publication Date:   February 3, 2005
Effective Date:   February 3, 2005*
Expiration Date:   July 3, 2005
* On February 9, 2005, the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules suspended this emergency rule.
Rules were adopted creating ch. Ins 14, Wis. Adm. Code, relating to vehicle protection plans.
Finding of Emergency
The Commissioner of Insurance finds that an emergency exists and that the attached rule is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety, or welfare. Facts constituting the emergency are as follows:
The statute requiring these changes is effective on December 1, 2004. The length of the rulemaking process has not permitted OCI to finish promulgating the rule. This emergency implementation will allow vehicle protection businesses to start getting registered and selling their products. Many of these products are promoted as safety related such as glass etching, the “club," vehicle entry warning sirens and others. Consumer would then be able obtain the promoted safety benefits of these products as soon as the legislature permitted them.
Publication Date:   December 10, 2004
Effective Date:   December 10, 2004
Expiration Date:   May 9, 2005
Natural Resources
(Fish, Game, etc., Chs. NR 1-)
Rules were adopted revising s. NR 20.33 (5) (c), relating to the closure of sturgeon spearing on the Lake Winnebago system.
Finding of emergency
The Department of Natural Resources find that an emergency exists and a rule is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public health, safety or welfare. The facts constituting this emergency are:
During the 2004 sturgeon spearing on Lake Winnebago, spearers harvested a record 1,303 sturgeon on opening day, exceeding the season harvest cap for adult female sturgeon. the spearing season lasted only two days and resulted in an overall harvest of 1,854 sturgeon. The total harvest included 822 males, 348 juvenile females, and 684 adult females, 509 of which came on opening day, exceeding the harvest cap of 425. Population reduction due to overharvest of lake sturgeon could take years to reverse given the life history of lake sturgeon.
Publication Date:   February 2, 2005
Effective Date:   February 2, 2005
Expiration Date:   July 2, 2005
Hearing Date:   February 23, 2005
Natural Resources
(Environmental Protection - Water Regulation, Chs. NR 300—)
Rules adopted revising ch. NR 326, relating to regulation of piers, wharves, boat shelters, boat hoists, boat lifts and swim rafts in navigable waterways.
Finding of emergency
The emergency rule procedure, pursuant to s. 227.24, Stats., is necessary and justified in establishing rules to protect the public health, safety and welfare. The Wisconsin Legislature recently enacted 2003 Wisconsin Act 118, to streamline the regulatory process for activities in public trust waters. The state has an affirmative duty to administer the new law in a manner consistent with the public trust responsibilities of the State of Wisconsin under Article IX, Section I of the Wisconsin Constitution.
2003 Act 118 identifies certain activities that may be undertaken in public trust waters exempt from a permit, or under a general permit. Certain activities may not be undertaken in waters that are defined as “areas of special natural resource interest" or at other locations where the activity would cause detrimental impacts on public rights and interests in navigable waters. Without emergency rules to aid in administering the new law, the following severe problems will occur:
Until general permits are created by rule, any activity which is not exempt requires an individual permit with an automatic 30-day public notice. The required 30-day comment period will unnecessarily delay hundreds of construction projects that otherwise could go ahead with specified conditions for protecting lakes and streams (for example, all new riprap and culvert applications currently require public notices).
Unclear wording of exemptions currently puts property owners, contractors and consultants at risk of violation. Without clear procedures and standards established by emergency rule, many more people may request exemption determinations, slowing the decisions on individual permit applications.
Links to Admin. Code and Statutes in this Register are to current versions, which may not be the version that was referred to in the original published document.