NOTICE! – He’s Back! Almost 50 Bills Signed into Law Recently by Governor Walker

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November 16, 2015

Last week, Governor Walker signed into law almost fifty new bills, many of which affect local government units, schools, and private employers’ human resource departments. My intent over coming days and weeks is to provide a summary of some of the important new laws.

As the title of this blog not so subtly hints, the first bill I want to address is 2015 Wisconsin Bill 79 which amends Wis. Stat. Sec. 985.01 relating to a municipality’s publication of certain legal notices on the internet.

Under current law, certain legal notices are required by statute to be published. Legal notices are generally published in a newspaper likely to give notice in the area or to the persons affected. Current law also allows certain municipalities to opt to post certain legal notices in lieu of publishing the notices in a newspaper, if the municipality meets statutory requirements regarding timing and placement of the notices.

Further, under the law currently the municipality must post the notice in at least three public places likely to give notice to persons affected, and must post a notice that would be published before the act or event requiring notice no later than the time specified for the first newspaper publication or, if the notice would be published after the act or event requiring notice, must post the notice within one week after the act or event.

After the signing of 2015 Wisconsin Act 79, a municipality that opts to post a legal notice in lieu of publication may, instead of posting the notice in three public places, post the notice in one public place and publish the notice on the municipality’s Internet site.

What this really means is that the new law allows all municipalities, including school districts, to post legal notices in one public place and their internet site rather than three public places. Public meetings, hearings, and other notices may now be posted on the municipality’s website and only one public place. The new law does not change the language of the open meeting statute, however, the language of Wis. Stat. Sec. 985 clearly states that “notice” under this section includes any notice of a meeting of public body.

If you have questions about this change to the law please feel free to contact any of the local government attorneys, school law attorneys, or employment law attorneys at Ruder Ware including the author.  Also, be ready for more updates regarding the recent bills signed into law by Governor Walker that affect your municipality, school district, or business.

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This document provides information of a general nature regarding legislative or other legal developments, and is based on the state of the law at the time of the original publication of this article. None of the information contained herein is intended as legal advice or opinion relative to specific matters, facts, situations, or issues, and additional facts and information or future developments may affect the subjects addressed. You should not act upon the information in this document without discussing your specific situation with legal counsel.

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