Resolution: Demand WI Legislature enable Regional Transit Authorities–for your County Board

Here’s a sample resolution you can provide to your County Board Supervisor for passage through one of the relevant committees dealing with mobility, aging-disability and low-income needs, environment and or “sustainability.”

Please contact to let us know how the resolution is received by your Supervisor, and if they will act upon it.

WHEREAS, In 2009 the Wisconsin Legislature passed legislation included in Act 28, enabling the formation of Regional Transit Authorities, complete with the power of taxation necessary to fund their start-up and operations;

WHEREAS, In 2011, as part of Act 32, the Wisconsin Legislature passed legislation disabling the same Regional Transit Authorities, with no rational explanation or narrative for undoing what had been done two years earlier;

WHEREAS, the Wisconsin Association of Mobility Managers (WAMM) said, introducing their 2016 Legislative Priorities, “Wisconsin is the only Midwest state without enabling legislation to create these authorities. Regional Transit Authorities (RTAs) are a quasi-governmental entity that provides a governance structure for a unified transportation system and has taxing authority, therefor offering a funding alternative to property taxes;”

WHEREAS, WAMM added, “Regional Transit Authorities allow for a regional and comprehensive look at transportation. They encourage connectivity and multimodal approaches since the planning takes place with one body for the whole region. A multimodal and coordinated system improves the mobility, connectedness, and quality of life for those who are unable to drive themselves, particularly older adults, individuals with disabilities and those with low incomes;

WHEREAS, WAMM further noted that “Medical centers, employers, job centers, educational facilities are very often regional in nature; why should transportation be any different? Developing transportation systems requires flexibility to create innovative services that can cross municipal and county borders and account for communities of different sizes. RTAs enable this to be done in a more efficient, effective and sustainable manner;”


Bombarier’s on-board electric-powered railcar. (No overhead wires, a clunky solution). Batteries included, LOL.


WHEREAS, WAMM concluded the 2016 document, “Transportation systems are a part of the infrastructure that helps people get to jobs, medical appointments, and remain active and engaged members of the community and local economy. Where there are strong systems and meaningful mobility choices, there are strong communities. People want to live and work in these communities and are seeking them out; and,

WHEREAS, This County places great importance on our system of mobility for the populations most in need of the services that a Regional Transit Authority could provide our residents, and residents of lower-income counties in our immediate region; and

WHEREAS, This County places high value on the principles of “sustainability,” and

WHEREAS, lack of mobility for low-income workers and retired persons is a factor contributing to their lack of “sustainability,” while Regional Transit would allow easier access to jobs, schools, health care, and basic needs;

THEREFORE, This County calls upon the Wisconsin Legislature to quickly craft and pass Legislation once again enabling Regional Transit Authorities in Wisconsin;

FURTHER, that there be no limitations placed on the number of such Authorities, barring duplication of services or geographic overlap;

FURTHER, that Legislative obstacles to proceeding with near-100% renewable energy power for such RTAs be removed, keeping in mind future tightening of petroleum and natural gas supplies; and,

FURTHER, that agencies and Legislative Committees charged with overseeing transportation needs, make the creation and link-up of these RTAs into one seamless working statewide system a top priority.




Turning Greenfields into Brownfields–Wisconsin under the Walkerists

The dark side of America’s so-called “shale revolution” in oil & gas should frequently be made known — and seen — by all Americans who live an utterly unsustainable life, but are gleeful at being able to motor around on relatively cheap petroleum.

Frac-sand mining in Wisconsin: The oil and gas industry, with the blessings of Wisconsin’s Ubercorporate Governor Walker and the Kochlegislature, looks like this:PreferredSands



2018 – Peak Oil For China –

(   NOYCE !!


80% of the world’s oil wells have peaked.

China is the world’s biggest oil importer, 8 million barrels/day.

By 2030, China will import 2X that amount.

Chris Martenson, 8 min

Brace for the oil, food and financial crash of 2018 by Nafeez Ahmed

$120 Oil As Soon As 2018? |

China Study Warns Of Impending Oil Production Peak & World

Wisconsin Association of Mobility Managers on Regional Transit Authorities

Below is Wisconsin Association of Mobility Managers’ 2016 statement favoring re-enabling of Regional Transit Authorities by the Wisco-Legislature.
Obviously, the Legislature did not re-enable RTAs. No bills were even introduced. Transportation-Map-New-England-February-26-2015
mass transit: it’s not rocket science. We HAVE the technology, folks.

A sustainable society is where people people are not subject to conditions that systematically undermine their capacity to meet their needs. (James, S. and T. Lahti, (2004). The Natural Step for Communities: How Cities and Towns can Change to Sustainable Practices. Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers)
Wisconsin is a society where lower-income people ARE subject to a condition systematically undermining their capacity to get to a job, if one can be found; to get to school, get to the doctor, get to places where food needs can be met, etc.
Wisconsin is not a sustainable society, as it stands right now.
Let’s get a movement going to provide means of transportation to ALL our people, regardless of income levels. Let’s jail-break people out of systemic inequality.


When Regional Transit Authorities Were Legalized

In 2009, the Wisconsin Legislature saw fit to pass legislation “Enabling” (making it legal to do so) organization of intergovernmental cooperation in the area of regional mass transit. These Regional Transit Authorities had many of the powers (including levying taxes) that municipalities and counties do.

Here’s a document that shows how the process was done, what the votes were to establish these authorities, and other details.


Note that the “regions” which were created were limited to just these

Dane County Regional
Chippewa Valley (Eau Claire and Chippewa Counties) and
Chequamegon Bay (Ashland-Bayfield Counties)
See .doc file, (Act 28 2009, Section 1488)

The documents do not state whether additional RTAs would be enabled to be created, should government entities in other regions express interest and willingness to proceed.

Clearly, when we force the Legislature to re-enable Regional Transit Authorities, the Bills that are passed should state that there are no limits on the regional authorities that may be formed, so long as they are not overlapping, which would be an inefficient use of The People’s resources.



Ad for a manufacturer of trains that could be used in Wisconsin Regional Transit Authorities. Too bad we couldn’t have had such manufacturing
here in Wisconsin, eh?


Why we can’t have nice things in Wisconsin: WEDC, Walker Economic Development Corruptive

In my humble opinion, no one in Wisconsin has done a better job exposing the corruption and “corporate welfare recipient” status of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) than State Senator Kathleen Vinehout. I’ll drop a few paragraphs of her classic essay on them in “Uppity Wisconsin” and you can click the link below to see the whole sordid story.

Just imagine what your local small start-up businesses struggling to get going, or your County, your School District, your Village, your Township, your City, could do with $472 million of wasted “economic development” money as you read. Senator Vinehout:

“TOTAL (through Aug. 1, 2016) $472.1 million
All of those award amounts are refundable tax credits. This means a company can claim the credit directly against taxes owed. If the company owes little or nothing in taxes and claims the credit, they can receive a payment from the state in the form of a refund.

Owing little or nothing in state taxes is made possible, in part, by changes in tax law for corporations that date back to 2011. Majority legislators passed the Manufacturing and Agriculture Tax Credit that resulted in very low tax liability for some. A recent study released by the Wisconsin Budget Project found most of this credit goes to reducing taxes for millionaires, including “some tax filers with incomes of over $1 million receiving tax cuts of more than $100,000.”

Don’t ever let any Republican politician tell you that “We’re broke” in Wisconsin. Not when we have this kind of money to toss at corporations with no expectation of accountability for it.


Loss of local government control to the State of Wisconsin 2011-2016

Loss of local government control to the State of Wisconsin 2011-2016

Since the Greedy Oligarchs’ Party (GOP) assumed absolutist powers in January of 2011, we have noted a constant stream of legislative enactments inserted into budget bills, unrelated items of legislation, and so forth, into the Statutes which tend to restrict or strangle what is called “Home Rule” in Wisconsin. Some people call it “local control.”  We had requested that one of the most Progressive Wisconsin Assembly Reps do some digging and see just how many of these restrictions upon local control had been made in the frenzied high-speed legislating that goes on under the Capitol Dome these days. After all, ALEC, the Wisc. Manufacturers and Commerce, the Road Builders’ Association, The Bradley Foundation, the Brothers Koch and their Americans For Austerity project — all of these demand that bills be handed to “legislators” to be passed at maximal speed, with limited public input restricted to “Not-Hearings” and “We’re-Not-Listening” sessions.  Here’s the fruits of these Corporate Rulers’ demands:

Legislative Fiscal Bureau
One East Main, Suite 301
Madison, WI 53701
(608) 266-3847

February 4, 2016

TO: Representative Katrina Shankland
Room 119 North, State Capitol

FROM: Bob Lang, Director

SUBJECT: Unfunded Mandates and Items that Would Restrict Local Control

You asked that this office prepare a list of provisions enacted in the 2011-12 and 2013-14 legislative sessions that represent unfunded mandates or that would restrict the authority of local units of government. That list follows. The items on the list with page and line numbers are from either the state’s 2011-13 budget (2011 Act 32) or the 2013-15 budget (2013 Act 20). The page and item numbers refer to this office’s “Comparative Summary of Provisions” published either in August, 2011 (for 2011 Act 32), or in August, 2013 (for 2013 Act 20). For the other items on the list, the 2011 or 2013 act numbers are identified. ’

In addition, the list includes provisions of the 2015-17 budget act (2015 Act 55) that represent unfunded mandates or that restrict the authority of local units of government. The page and item numbers refer to this office’s September, 2015, “Comparative Summary of Provisions — 2015 Act 55.” Other legislative enactments by the 2015 Legislature to date are also provided.

Finally, the list includes bills that represent unfunded mandates that restrict the authority of local units of government that are included on the calendars of the Senate and Assembly for January, 2016, and February, 2016.


Graphic: Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF)


Act 32

Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection

– Working Lands Initiative — Repeal Authority to Enact Local Farmland Preservation Conversion Fees Gage 89, #7)

General Fund Taxes — Regulation of Alcohol Beverages

– Three-Tiered Beer Laws (Page 323, #1)
Natural Resources

– Limits local Regulation of State Licensed Bird Hunting Preserves (Page 497, #6)

Public Instruction

– Revenue Limits -— Base Reduction (Page 540, #5)

– Revenue Limits —— Prior Year Base Revenue Hold Harmless (Page 542, #8)

– Revenue Limits —— School Safety Expenditures (Page 543, #9)

– Revenue Limits —- Above Average Transportation Costs (Page 543, #10)

– Revenue Limits —— School Nurse Compensation Costs (Page 543, #11

– Student Information System (Page 574, #5)

Shared Revenue

– Levy Limit for Counties and Municipalities (Page 624, #1)

– Expenditure of Local Room Tax Revenues in Certain Premier Resort Areas (Page 633, #1)


– Repeal of Regional Transit Authorities (Page 670, #3)

– Bidding Requirements for Highway and Other Public Works Projects (Page 674, #12)

– Method of Bidding Local Projects (Page 676, #13)

– Bidding Requirements for Private Projects G’age 676, #14)

– Borrow and Disposal Sites for Transportation Projects (Page 692, #16)

– Local Government Reimbursement of Outdoor Advertising Sign Condemnation Costs (Page 693, #18)

Wisconsin Technical College System

° District Board Levy Limit (Page 816, #5)

– Fee Remissions for Veterans and Certain Dependents (Page 818, #10)
Workforce Development

– Prevailing Wage (Page 830, #17)

Other Acts

General Provisions

– Office of County Comptroller for Milwaukee County (Act 62)

– Prohibit Ordinances that Place Certain Limits or Requirements on Landlords (Act 108)

– Direct Annexations by Unanimous Approval (Act 128)

– Length of Time for Which Zoning Variance Applies (Act 135)

– Prohibiting a Local Government from Imposing a Moratorium on Eviction Actions (Act 143)

– Limiting Municipal Authority to Enact a Development Moratorium Ordinance (Act 144)

Natural Resources

– Shoreland Zoning Standards (Act 170)


– Seasonal Weight Limitations for Certain Vehicles Transporting Agricultural Crops (Act 52)

– Seasonal Weight Limits for Certain Vehicles Transporting Manure (Act 279)

Workforce Development

– Pre-emption of Local Medical and Family Leave Ordinances (Act 16)


Act 20

Children and Families

– Child Protective Services Appeals (Page 180, #9)

Financial Institutions

– Municipal Regulation of Residential Mortgage Loans and Real Estate Brokers (Page 265, #11 and Page 315, #11)

General Fund Taxes

– Repeal the Grain Storage Tax (Page 304, #4)

General Provisions

– Local Government Employee Residency Requirements (Page 305, #1)

– Commercial and Non—Cornmercial Radio Broadcast Facilities (Page 308, #5)

– Mobile Tower Siting Regulations (Page 310, #8)

– Prohibit Local Governments from Limiting the Sale of Certain Food and Beverages (Page 314, #9)

– Real Estate Brokers (Page 315, #11)

Natural Resources V

— Uniform Statewide Standards for Commercial Erosion Control (Page 545, #9)

Public Instruction

– Community Service Levy and Expenditures (Fund 80) (Page 566, #8, and Act 306)

Public Service Commission

– Utility Relocation Costs to Accommodate Urban Rail Transit Systems (Page 619, #4)

Shared Revenue and Tax Relief

– County and Municipal Levy Limit -— Adjustment for Certain Fee and Payments in Lieu of Taxes Revenue (Page 674, #3)

Wisconsin Technical College System

– District Board Levy Limit (Page 782, #6, and Act 145)

° Use of Levy for Payments on Noncapital Notes (Page 784, #9)

° Eligibility of Veterans for Tuition and Fee Remissions (Page 785, #11)

– Eligibility of Children and Spouses of Certain Veterans for Tuition and Fee Remission (Page 786, #12)

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Other Acts

General Provisions

– Milwaukee County Governance (Act 14)

– Limitation on Development Regulation Authority (Act 74)

– Restriction of Landlord—Tenant Ordinances (Act 76)

– Create Milwaukee County Mental Health Board (Act 203)

– Limiting Security a Tovsm May Require as a Condition of Plat Approval (Act 280)

– Nonconforming Uses and Manufactured Home Communities (Act 347)

Natural Resources

– Ferrous Mining Law -— Zoning Limits (Act 1)

– Sport Shooting Ranges Grandfathered (Act 35)

– Limiting Crossbow Restrictions (Act 71)

– Sport Shooting Range Immunity (Act 202)
Public Instruction

– Requires Additional Credits in Mathematics and Science for High School Graduation (Act 63)

Public Service Commission

– Municipal Utility Customer Information (Act 25)

– Unpaid Bills of Municipal Utilities (Act 274)


– Alcohol Beverages Identification Scanners (Act 215)

Safety and Professional Services

– Local Building Code Restrictions (Act 270)


– Energy Emergencies and Vehicle Weight Limits (Act 217)

– Operation of Agricultural Vehicles on Highways (Act 377)

Wisconsin Technical College System

– Requires District Boards to Give Veterans and Service Members Priority in Registering for Courses (Act 56)


Act 55

Children and Families

Work Experience Program Drug Testing and Treatment (Page 177, #4, as it relates to the Children First program)

District Attorneys

–Special Prosecutor Appointments (Page 223, #5)

Employment Relations Commission

High—Deductible Health Plan Alternative for Local Protective Service Employees (Page 243, #5)

General Provisions

–New Methods for Towns Contiguous to a Third-Class City to Incorporate (Page 304, #3)

–Energy Savings Performance Contract (Page 307, #4)

–Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District (Page 308, #6)

–Mental Injury Duty Disability Benefits from Retirement Systems of First Class Cities and
Counties With a Population of 500,000 or More (Page 310, #9)

–Extension of Water or Sewer Service Between Municipalities (Page 311, #11)

–Prohibit Local Governments from Imposing Time of Sale Requirements (Page 312, #12)

–Duties and Powers of the County Executive in Populous Counties (Page 313, #13)

–Limitation on Town and County Conditional Use and Insurance Requirements (Page 314, #14)

–Municipal Public Building Plan Information and Public Plan Rooms (Page 317, #16)
Health Services

Changes to Family Care, IRIS, and Aging and Disability Resource Centers (Page 345, #1)

Funeral and Cemetery Aids (Page 372, #5)

Division of Municipalities Into Election Wards (Page 458, #4)
Natural Resources

Urban Bowhunting (Page 520, #3)

Shoreland Zoning Standards and Ordinances (Page 532, #9)

Areawide Water Quality Management Planning for Dane County (Page 541, #21)
Public Instruction

– Notice of Educational Options (Page 600, #3)

– Participation in Athletics and Extra—Curricular Activities Gage 605, #5)

– Geographic Representation for School Board of Unified School Districts G’age 606, #7)

– Civics Assessment Requirement for High School Graduation (Page 630, #24)

Safety and Professional Services

– Religious Waivers to Certain One— and Two-Family Building Code Provisions (Page 662,


– Iocal Electrical and Multifamily Sprinkler Code Ordinances (Page 664, #17)

Shared Revenue and Tax Relief

– Property Tax Bill Information (Page 688, #2)

– Local Government Lodging (“Room”) Tax (Page 691, #2)

– Public Fire Protection Charges (Page 694, #3)

– Milwaukee County and Provision of Services or Funds for a Rail Fixed-Guideway

Transit System (Page 729, #5)

– Rail Property Exemption from Local Special Assessment (Page 732, #5)

Other Acts

General Provisions

– Exemptions from Licensure and Fees for Disaster Relief Work (Act 84)
Public Instruction

– Requiring Individuals Operating Certain School Lunchrooms to Hold Certificates of

Food Protection Practices (Act 46)

– Requiring a Primary for the Election of School Board Members and Requiring School

Boards to Adopt a Policy for Filling Vacancies (Act 63)

– Operation of Agricultural Vehicles on Highways (Act 15)

– Seasonal Weight Limitations for Certain Utility Vehicles (Act 44)
Wisconsin Technical College System

– Charging Resident Fees to N on—Resident Veterans and their Family Members (Act 21)
ASSEMBLY CALENDAR — January 12, 2016
Local Revenue Options

– Prohibit Local Real Estate Transfer Fees (SB 279)
SENATE CALENDAR — January 12, 2016
General Provisions

– Acquiring Land by Adverse Possession (SB 314)
ASSEMBLY CALENDAR — January 19, 2016
Children and Families

Model Procedures for Investigating Abuse or Neglect (AB 667)

Regulation of Alcohol

Municipal Liquor License Fees (AB 612)
SENATE CALENDAR — January 20, 2016
Implements of Husbandry and Agricultural Commercial Motor Vehicles (SB 448)

Conveying Interests in Local Government Land for Construction of Natural Gas Lines (AB 319)

Fire Suppression Systems at Certain Fairground Buildings (SB 478)

Health Insurance for Survivors of Local EMT, Law Enforcement and Fire Fighters who

die in the Line of Duty (SB 192)

Going Armed with a Switchblade (AB 142)
ASSEMBLY CALENDAR — February 9, 2016

County and Town Zoning Modifications (AB 563)

Government Actions Affecting Rights to Real Property (AB 582)

Restricting a Local Government’s Ability to Prohibit or Restrict a Person from Renting
Out a Residential Dwelling (AB 5 83)

Acquiring Land by Adverse Possession (SB 314)

Implements of Husbandry and Agricultural Commercial Motor Vehicles (SB 448)

Expand Life Savings Skills Instruction Requirement (AB 545)

Eliminate Local Options Regarding Alcohol Beverage Licenses (AB 624)

Replacement of Nonconfonning Structures (AB 523)

County Shoreland Zoning (AB 603)

Christmas Trees in the Rotunda or Church (AB 648)

Workers Compensation Law Changes (AB 724)

Inspection of Certain Residential Dwellings (SB 87)