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Local Governments and School Districts

  • Legislative Changes Affecting Local Government Units

    Posted on February 8, 2016, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Local Governments and School Districts

    On Thursday, February 4th Governor Walker signed 21 bills into law at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison.  Many of these laws addressed transportation, hunting, and other miscellaneous issues.  Two of these bills however directly affect municipalities and I want to briefly describe them in this blog. The first is Assembly Bill 439 which change…   

  • EEOC Releases Proposed Guidelines on Retaliation

    Posted on January 29, 2016, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Local Governments and School Districts

    We recently posted a blog to our Employment Blog that might be of interest to this group.   

  • Will Fair Share Go Away?

    Posted on January 15, 2016, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Local Governments and School Districts

    On Monday, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case filed by several teachers in California that were seeking to eliminate the requirement of paying fair share dues to the California Teachers Association.  The case centered around the free speech rights of the teachers and the argument that the payment of fair share dues shoul…   

  • Beware of Governmental E-mail Meetings

    Posted on January 6, 2016, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Local Governments and School Districts

    A Wisconsin circuit court recently suspended proceedings against former city council members for violating Wisconsin’s Open Meetings Law.  The individuals were accused of conducting governmental business during their prior term of office through e-mail communications between themselves.  The e-mails directly suggested that the city council reconsid…   

  • Town’s TIF Participation Expanded

    Posted on December 1, 2015, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Local Governments and School Districts

    On November 11, 2015, Governor Walker signed 2015 Wisconsin Act 96 which authorizes towns to participate in multijurisdictional tax incremental financing districts. Wisconsin Statute Section 66.1105(18)(c) was amended to read “Any town which may create a tax incremental district under this section or Section 60.85 may be part of a multijurisdictio…   

  • No Petition Required for Recertification

    Posted on August 27, 2015, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Local Governments and School Districts

    The Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission (WERC) has announced that employers will not be required to file a recertification election petition if they are seeking recertification in the fall.  A recent Circuit Court decision from Milwaukee County (which is under appeal) held that unions currently representing local government employees were not…   

  • Shoreland Zoning Limited

    Posted on August 11, 2015, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Local Governments and School Districts

    As many of you may know, on July 12, 2015, Governor Walker signed the Budget Bill (Act 55) into law.  While there were many notable changes that have received a great deal of attention, one particular change has passed unnoticed.  Prior to the passage of the Budget Bill, municipalities had the ability to regulate shorelands more aggressively by se…   

  • Milwaukee’s Ordinance on Residency Remains Enforceable

    Posted on July 23, 2015, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Local Governments and School Districts

    The Wisconsin Court of Appeals ruled on July 21, 2015, that the City of Milwaukee’s ordinance requiring all city employees to live within the City of Milwaukee remains enforceable and is not superseded by a state statute abolishing local residency requirements.  The statute, Wis. Stat. §66.0502, became effective July 2, 2013, and prohibits local go…   

  • Initial Certification of General Employee Elections Require 51% of All Eligible to Vote

    Posted on July 22, 2015, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Local Governments and School Districts

    With the Budget Bill from the 2015 Legislature now in effect, it should be noted a change was made in how election results are determined for newly represented general municipal employees.  2015 Wisconsin Act 55 (the Budget Bill) provides that in elections conducted after July 13, 2015, general municipal employee unions seeking initial certificatio…   

  • 2016 WRS Contribution Rates

    Posted on July 9, 2015, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Local Governments and School Districts

    The Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) recently set the 2016 Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) required contribution rates for employers and employees.  Most employers and employees will see a slight decrease in rates.   For general and teacher employees the WRS contribution rates will be 6.6% for both the employer and the employee…   

  • Disclosing Notes Under Wisconsin’s Public Records Law

    Posted on June 15, 2015, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Local Governments and School Districts

    The Wisconsin Court of Appeals recently clarified when notes are subject to disclosure under Wisconsin’s Public Records law.  In The Voice of Wisconsin Rapids, LLC, et. al. v. Wisconsin Public School District, et. al., 2014 AP 2015 (Ct. App., 2015), the appellate court affirmed the circuit court’s finding that employee notes from a school district’…   

  • Closed Session Public Meetings

    Posted on May 4, 2015, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Local Governments and School Districts

    It was recently reported that following a municipality’s convening its public meeting into closed session, some of the body’s members objected to a portion of their discussion because that portion was not adequately stated in the agenda and closed session notice. The notice for the closed session stated that discussion would be held over the strate…   

  • Right to Work for Public Sector Employees?

    Posted on March 11, 2015, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Local Governments and School Districts

    Wisconsin has become a right to work state this week. It is clear that the legislation signed by the Governor does not apply to public sector employees such as public safety and transit employees. Local governments will still be required to negotiate over fair share dues for these bargaining units. A case before the United States Supreme Co…   

  • What's in Your Wallet? Vested Rights and Employee Health Insurance

    Posted on February 19, 2015, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Local Governments and School Districts

    Does anyone remember a TV credit card commercial where a medieval Viking turns directly toward the camera and asks the rhetorical question: “What’s in your wallet?” An analogous question may come into focus when reviewing a collective bargaining agreement’s language, specifically those provisions dealing with employee health insurance and retiree b…   

  • New Ways of Finding Revenue at the Fire Department

    Posted on February 3, 2015, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Local Governments and School Districts

    Very recently, a staff arbitrator from the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission sided with the City of Green Bay (City) and dismissed a grievance filed by the Firefighter’s Union giving the City the go ahead to develop a program with a local hospital. Under the program, the City’s Fire Department would direct EMT/paramedics to do non-e…