December 7, 2023
By Lane Kimble
MADISON, Wis. — It took all of 60 seconds.
But in that brief period of time – including a few short comments, the stroke of a pen, and some handshakes – WTBA members could finally let out a sigh of relief and smile.
Wednesday morning, Gov. Tony Evers signed Senate Bill 270 into law.
The bill streamlines utility delay compensation for contractors, guaranteeing they’ll be made whole in a timely manner directly through WisDOT.
It also establishes a clear appeals process and requires a program report to the Legislature to ensure it’s working as designed.
WTBA President JR Ramthun, Past President Jeff Peterson, Treasurer Dan Weinkauf, Steve Nachreiner, and Chris Cape joined Steve Baas and Elise Nelson for the signing in the governor’s office.
Peterson says work on the bill goes back at least five years. This past summer, Peterson mentioned he never thought he’d see it actually become law.
WTBA redoubled its efforts in 2023, guiding in-person visits with lawmakers, presenting contractor testimony during public hearings, and building a strong coalition of support with utilities and the Department of Transportation.
Bill co-author Rep. David Steffen (R-Green Bay) told WTBA this fall that compelling, personal testimony was key to helping lawmakers understand the importance of the bill.