Legislative Issues

State and local regulations and proposals.

themed_object

An Organization of Professional Property Owners.
Southern Wisconsin Landlords Association
Providing education and assistance to
Racine area real estate investors since 1988
.

A member of The Wisconsin Apartment Association.

Bookmark and Share

Search Listings

 

Our Next Meeting:


SWLA meetings are open to all landlords


Monthly every third Monday

6:00pm Social Time

Light meal

($5.00 per person)

6:30pm Meeting Time

Non Members First meeting FREE

$20 Fee for each subsequent meeting

Applied to membership fee when you join


Regular Meetings


January 15, 2018

CANCELLED


February 19

Chris Mokler

President of WAA

AND

Jeffery Pralle

Director of Legal Affairs WAA

AND

Gary Goyke

Lobbyist WAA


March 19

April 16

May 21

June 18

Meeting Location:

Harbor Lite Yacht Club

559 State Street
Racine, WI 53402
(262) 634-9280

More on meetings

RecentEvents:

“Free landlord training

in Milwaukee”

(NOT the class by Tristen Petit)

The award winning landlord training program operates out of the Department of Neighborhood Services (DNS) downtown location. The goal is to teach landlords fundamental ways to keep illegal activity out of their property. This program was a runner up for the Ford Foundation Harvard Kennedy School of Government Awards program and a 1996 winner of the Innovations In Government award sponsored by the City of Milwaukee Mayor and Common Council.

The class is FREE and held on a regular basis throughout the year at various locations. It is held on evenings and weekends to accommodate virtually anyone's schedule. The class is generally either (1) five hour session in one day or (2) two and a half hour sessions for two nights. Attendees get a free 100 page comprehensive manual and handouts on a variety of legal and business issues related to managing a property.

http://city.milwaukee.gov/

FREE Landlord/Crime Free Multi-Housing Rental Seminar

Presented in partnership by the Kenosha Police Department
& the Kenosha Landlord Association

The nextFREE Landlord/Crime Free Multi-Housing Rental Seminar

To register for an upcoming seminar please contact
the Kenosha Police Department Crime Prevention Unit
watch@kenoshapolice.com

or

(262)-657-3937

The lastest legislative news.

Page Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec past years

9-26-13

SB 179 Passes State Senate This is the report from WisPolitics.com. The Senate has passed legislation making changes to laws governing landlords and tenants 18-15 along party lines. Democrats hammered the legislation on a number of fronts, with Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, arguing it is "tilting the playing field toward the landlord." He said the bill would ease the eviction process and make evictions of tenants more numerous, and argued the bill "makes changes in a way that victims of crimes are treated in the eviction" -- including domestic violence victims. Democrats also criticized provisions they said would override local ordinances, ease the ability to tow vehicles and allow the removal of tenants¡¯ property in eviction cases. They also ripped the process with which the bill moved forward, charging that the Senate Housing Committee ignored amendments properly before it and avoided debate on other measures by passing the bill via paper ballot.

Sen. Frank Lasee, R-De Pere and the bill¡¯s author, said he intended to maintain current protections for crime victims and passed a late amendment with Erpenbach to tweak that section of the bill. "We worked extensively with, and want to protect, crime victims," Lasee said.

 This is the way the bill's debate was reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

 

Landlords would get more leverage and flexibility in their dealings with tenants, under a bill approved by the Senate Tuesday. The Senate passed the bill on an 18-15 party-line vote with all Republicans voting in favor. The Senate also approved proposals to reduce the opportunities for plaintiffs to sue automakers. Proponents of the landlord-tenant bill say it would level the legal playing field between landlords and tenants; opponents say the measure's language would erode tenants' rights and infringe on local control. The bill now goes to the Assembly, which passed similar legislation 57-37 in June.

The measure has the support of the Apartment Association of South Central Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Housing Alliance and the Wisconsin Realtors Association. Opposing the bill are Legal Action of Wisconsin, the City of Madison, Dane County and the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice, among others.

The proposal's lead author, Rep. Duey Stroebel (R-Town of Cedarburg), is himself a landlord -he owns a building on Milwaukee's east side at 2535 N. Stowell Ave. that is valued at $635,500, according to city records. He has said that his proposal doesn't represent a conflict for him because it treats all landlords equally.

Sen. Frank Lasee (R-De Pere) said the bill makes it easier for landlords to deal with problems such as cars left in the wrong stalls without spending time getting parking citations issued. "It's just more difficult to get a police officer who's busy to respond to a person who's parked in the wrong place in a private space," Lasee said.

Democrats said the proposal went too far, with Sen. Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) saying that the current law isn't difficult for landlords like her to follow. "It's clear today that we are rolling back tenants' rights," Taylor said.

The bill would:

Allow landlords to dispose of evicted tenants' property if the landlord has notified the tenants that he or she could do so. Last year, 3,571 eviction actions were filed in circuit court in Wisconsin. [NOTE: This is an incorrect figure; the fiscal estimate for AB 183 where this first appeared was updated to show 28,533 eviction actions were filed in Wisconsin in 2012. Of those filed, there were 3,571 eviction actions that were contested; the balance were uncontested.] 

 Allow landlords to evict tenants if a crime is committed on the rental property, even if the tenant couldn't have prevented the crime. There is an exception in the bill for cases in which crimes involve sexual abuse, domestic abuse or stalking. 

 Require courts to hand over apartments to landlords immediately once the court has ruled with the landlord. 

 Allow vehicles on private property to be towed without a parking citation issued by a local traffic officer, as long as local law enforcement is notified. An Assembly amendment dropped a bill provision weakening a requirement in current law that landlords disclose any potentially dangerous housing code violation to prospective tenants. [NOTE: If you are interested in watching a recording of the floor debate, you can find it on WisconsinEye at this link: http://www.wiseye.org/Programming/VideoArchive/EventDetail.aspx?evhdid=7998]

 

 Sen. Frank Lasee Served Eviction Papers by Protesters at Wisconsin Capitol A Republican lawmaker was served with a five-day eviction notice Friday, courtesy of about a dozen Wisconsin citizens opposed to a landlord-tenant bill he cosponsored that critics say tips the law in favor of landlords. "We¡¯ve been asking the tenants of the building to remove infestation of corporate lobbyists since February of 2011," said Carl Gibson, a Madison resident and frequent critic who often protests the current Republican administration. "They are renting space in our house."

 

The eviction notice to Sen. Frank Lasee, R-De Pere, comes three days after the tenant-landlord bill was passed along party lines by the Senate, 18-15. The bill now moves to the Assembly, which approved a similar measure over the summer. The measure has the support of the Apartment Association of South Central Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Housing Alliance and the Wisconsin Realtors Association. The bill was opposed by the city of Madison, Dane County, Legal Action of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice.

According to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, the bill would: 

 Allow landlords to dispose of evicted tenants' property if the landlord has notified the tenants that he or she could do so. Last year, 3,571 eviction actions were filed in circuit court in Wisconsin. 

 Allow landlords to evict tenants if a crime is committed on the rental property, even if the tenant couldn't have prevented the crime. There is an exception in the bill for cases in which crimes involve sexual abuse, domestic abuse or stalking. 

 Require courts to hand over control of apartments to landlords immediately once the court has ruled for the landlord. 

 Allow vehicles on private property to be towed without a parking citation issued by a local traffic officer, as long as local law enforcement is notified. An Assembly amendment dropped a bill provision weakening a requirement in current law that landlords disclose any potentially dangerous housing code violation to prospective tenants.

 

Public Hearing on CCAP Restriction Bill Reveals Bill to be Amended This report from Channel3000 in Madison gives a good summary of the public hearing on AB 253 held on September 12, 2013.

A new bill about Wisconsin's online court records and who can see them is getting so much backlash; its author announced Thursday he's drastically changing it. Rep. Evan Goyke, D-Milwaukee, said changes to the bill concerning the state's consolidated court automation programs are less about restrictions and more about helping the innocent. At Thursday's public hearing, Goyke retracted three of the bill's five parts. Instead, he's focused on the one part that would give people a chance to wipe their online record clean. The way CCAP works now is simple. A person's civil and criminal cases are filed online. The information is free and open to the public.

 What's up for debate at the Assembly Judiciary Committee hearing has to do with a line that references a case's dismissal in CCAP.

In Tracy Olkwitz's case, a judge dismissed two sexual assault charges against her, but she said the 20-year-old claim keeps haunting her. "Imagine what it's like sitting in a job interview and you're blindsided by being asked, 'what happened back in 1993,'" said Olkwitz. Olkwitz, Goyke and five other Democrats support a bill that would allow a person to request case information be removed from CCAP if they're found not guilty. The bill also applies to civil cases, evictions and restraining orders. "I am on the sex-offender list," said Olkwitz. "I'm on the unofficial one that your neighbors use, the people you work with use, the 18-year-old kid down the road, and I'm stuck on it and I didn't even do it." 

 "There still ought to be publicly available information about what happens in our court system," said Wisconsin's Freedom of Information Council President Bill Leuders. "People ought to be able to find out what our courts are doing," said Leuders. "You shouldn't shield from public view every case in which a prosecutor doesn't win."

 Other opponents argued for transparency and maintained that limited access to CCAP could be a problem for victims trying to track their cases.

 In all, 21 people testified about the bill that could change a system that's been open to everyone for 14 years. Goyke said instead of drafting a new bill, he's going to submit an amendment. It's a shorter process that won't likely require another public hearing. He hopes to introduce the bill in the upcoming October legislative session. One of the most contentious parts of the bill included creating a separate CCAP-like database that was only open to certain people, such as journalists, judges and law-enforcement officials. But that proved messy and expensive.

[NOTE: Chris Mokler and Dale Hicks both spoke in opposition to the bill at the hearing.]

 

 

9-11-13

News From the Legislature!!

SB 179 Amended and Recommended for Passage by Senate Insurance and Housing Committee.  Possible vote by the State Senate near the end of the month.

The State Senate Committee on Insurance and Housing, chaired by Senator Frank Lasee, recommended Senate Substitute Amendment 1 to SB 179 (various landlord-tenant changes) on Monday afternoon, September 9th.  This is the same version of the bill with the substitute that I included with last week's report.  The substitute amendment was offered by Senators Lasee, Luther Olsen and Dale Schultz, the three Republican members of the committee.  There were six amendments to Sen. Lasee's substitute offered by Senator Jon Erpenbach.  These are substantially the same as the ones Sen. Erpenbach offered to the original bill back in July.  All votes on the amendments and to the substitute amendment and the bill were 3-2.  Although the names of the persons casting those votes have not yet been reported, I think it is safe to assume the votes were divided by party lines.  I will check on this when the information is available. 

Here's a link to the bill history, which will also allow you to access Senate Substitute Amendment 1: https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2013/proposals/sb179 

Having the bill voted out of committee means the bill is now available for a vote by the full Senate.  If this version is adopted, it will be necessary for the Assembly to act on the bill again.  The Wisconsin State Assembly is not in session until October 7th.  We'll be watching closely and reporting to you all developments. 

 

CCAP Restriction Bill to Have Public Hearing on Thursday Assembly Bill 253, the Assembly version of the bill that would create a two-tiered system for the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access database, (which most people refer to as CCAP) will have a public hearing on Thursday, September 12th.  The hearing will be by the Assembly Judiciary Committee scheduled to start at 1:05 p.m. in Room 300 Northeast of the State Capitol.  The public hearing will be held after the committee votes on six drunk driving bills that had public hearings in August.  I assume the discussion on those bills might be lengthy, but could be done by about 1:30 or 2:00 p.m.  It is hard to predict how long this may last.  You might want to check out WisconsinEye, which is likely to cover the hearing. 

At this point it looks like Chris Mokler and Dale Hicks will represent us in opposition to the bill at the hearing.  WRHLC has also indicated its opposition to the bill through the Government Accountability Board's lobbying database.  (Other landlord groups have also registered against the bill.)  

As a reminder, AB 253 is similar to a proposal put forward a few years ago by Rep. Marlin Schneider.  It would require the Director of State Courts to maintain a database in which a number of professions ¨C including landlords ¨C would still have access to the current case information.  The other tier for the general public would have less information about cases.   

There's a section in the bill that requires anyone who obtains information off of WCCA to inform the person who is the subject of the information if that person is denied housing (or employment or any public accommodation).  There's a $1,000 forfeiture for failing to inform the person under this section. 

Here's a link to the bill history, so that you can look at the activity on the bill: https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2013/proposals/ab253

 

9-3-13 

Update on SB 179/AB 183 Relating to Landlord-Tenant Law Near the end of last week, Senator Frank Lasee, who chairs the State Senate Committee on Insurance and Housing, circulated a revised draft of SB 179 (companion to AB 183, which has already passed the Assembly).  What he had drafted is a proposed substitute amendment that incorporates all the adopted amendments, plus Sen. Lasee's and Sen. Olsen's proposed amendments that I wrote about last update.  To the best of my knowledge, the draft does not incorporate the amendments offered in July by Sen. Erpenbach.  

It is Sen. Lasee's intention to have his committee vote on this substitute amendment this week!!  No formal notice has yet been sent out about this committee meeting. I am led to believe it will be on Thursday, but will keep you all informed. 

I have attached a copy of this proposed substitute amendment to this report on the WAA website for you to look at. (Note:  Unfortunately, copying in the amendment itself would result in the loss of formatting, including the underlining of new material and strikethroughs of material to be deleted.)  You can also contact Kristy at the WAA office or myself for a PDF of it.

Page Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec past years