Week of April 4, 2016

WCA Commends Senator Petrowski and Representative Spiros for New Law Banning Cell Phones in Work Zones

The Wisconsin Counties Association is commending Senator Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon) and Representative John Spiros (R-Marshfield) for their dedication in keeping highway work zones safer with the signing of their bills, SB 135 and AB 198. The bills, prompted by three Wisconsin highway work zone fatalities in 2015, ban the use of "handheld communication devices" in areas labeled as work zones.

"This is a common sense piece of legislation that goes a long way toward promoting a safer highway work zone environment," said WCA Executive Director Mark D. O'Connell. "We appreciate the dedication of Senator Petrowski and Representative Spiros to county highway issues and to the workers that keep Wisconsin moving and our economy thriving."

Read the full media release by the Wisconsin Counties Association here.
Treatment Alternatives and Diversion CY17 Competitive Funding Update

As a result of recent expansions of the Treatment Alternatives and Diversion (TAD) program to over $4 million annually, TAD projects are now operating in approximately half the jurisdictions in the state. TAD projects include a broad spectrum of activities ranging from pretrial diversion at the initial prosecutorial decision making stage, to treatment courts, and alternatives to revocation, all based on local needs and project design requirements.

As required by state statute, the TAD program is funded on a five-year cycle and is scheduled to be awarded to counties and tribes on a competitive basis for calendar year 2017.  There is a potential for further expansion of the TAD program to over $6 million for calendar year 2017 and this competitive process is a critical step in determining the funding distribution for the upcoming five-year cycle.

Learn more by visiting the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) website here.
"Just Fix It" Call To Action Video Narrated by WCA's Mark O'Connell: Sign Up Today!

Transportation is one of the most talked about topics in the state right now, with questions being raised about how our state's infrastructure will be funded, how much borrowing will be done and what major projects will be delayed.

Please take a moment to watch this short video (narrated by WCA Executive Director Mark O'Connell) to see what you can do right from your smartphone right now to get involved in the Just Fix It Wisconsin campaign. It will take just three minutes to help make Just Fix It and the plight of our aging transportation infrastructure all the buzz in the capitol and in your community. This joint outreach effort has been spearheaded by the Transportation Development Association (TDA) and has been joined in the effort by the Wisconsin Counties Association, the Wisconsin Towns Association, the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, CASE, the American Council of Engineering Companies of Wisconsin and others.  
"nEXT Generation Project" Updates Now on WCA Website

UW Extension is in the midst of a major restructuring process.  As a part of this, WCA will post all "nEXT Generation Project" updates directly to our members on a new section of the WCA website. 

Under the header "nEXT Generation Project Updates" you will find all of UW Extension's regular e-mail updates on the progress of the steering committee and the workgroups.

To see all "nEXT Generation Project Updates" from UW-Extension on the WCA website, click here.  
2016 County Health Rankings Released

The 2016 County Health Rankings and Roadmaps have been released, marking the 7th year of this comprehensive report.  To learn what is new in 2016, click here.

The County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program is a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

See a specific state or community in the 2016 County Health Rankings and Roadmaps report here.
LGI To Examine Future of Local Government

The Local Government Institute of Wisconsin announced recently it was starting a 9-month study of the likely scenarios that could play out for local governments over the next 20 years. As we know, recent demographic, economic and political trends are making it more difficult for local governments to operate in a way that is both fiscally sustainable and provides the expected level of services to residents.

How Can You Help?
There will be several opportunities for those who follow the LGI to be involved. The first opportunity will be a survey of local elected officials which will occur in March. Another opportunity will be a full­ day workshop on June 29th in Stevens Point (save the date!). Stay tuned for further details about both.

Learn more about the study and additional information here.
DNR Updates on Vehicle Collisions with Deer and Other Wildlife

Deer-vehicle crashes continue to be a major concern for Wisconsin motorists. The majority of deer-vehicle collisions occur during the months of October and November when deer are most active during the breeding phase.

Many collisions also occur during May and June during spring fawning, when yearling deer are seeking out new home ranges.

Learn more about this important and timely topic, including information on the vehicle-killed deer hotline, by clicking here.
Innovations in American Government Awards Applications Now Being Accepted

Applications are now being accepted until April 15 for the $100,000 Innovations in American Government Awards.
Offered by Harvard Kennedy School's Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, the Innovations Award is the nation's premier award for the public sector. It recognizes programs that demonstrate creative and effective government at its best.
All units of government - federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial - from all policy areas are eligible to apply for recognition.  Applications and additional information are available here at

WCA Associate Members

The role and relationship of government with the private sector has changed in recent years. The creation of the WCA Associate Member Program is one more way WCA is reaching out to bring together the public and private sectors.

WCA Associate Members include:

American Transmission Company, LLC
Discover Mediaworks 
Motorola Solutions, Inc.
Siemens Industry, Inc.
Wipfli LLP

We encourage you to learn more about our WCA Associate Members by clicking here.  For more information about this program please contact WCA Marketing and Events Manager Cheryl Fleck at 866.404.2700.    
WCA Commends Petrowski, Spiros for Cell Phone Ban in Workzones
TAD Competitive Funding Update
"Just Fix It" Call to Action
"nEXT Generation Project" Updates on WCA Website
2016 County Health Rankings and Roadmaps Released
LGI To Examine Future of Local Government
DNR Updates on Vehicle Collisons with Deer
Apply for Innovations in American Government Awards
WCA Associate Members