On Thursday, November 21, Governor Evers signed Assembly Bill 117 into law, effectively making it 2019 Wisconsin Act 38.

In 2015, Act 211 was implemented with the goal of improving the building permit process; however, many municipalities across the state began requiring home builders and contractors to submit a building permit both electronically and on paper. The purpose of Wisconsin Act 38 is to clarify the duplication that had been occurring in many municipalities.

The Wisconsin Builders Association was the driving force behind this bill, proactively advocating for it since March of this year. The Wisconsin Housing Alliance signed in favor of the bill, which received bipartisan support.

“First and foremost, thank you to Representatives John Jagler and Amanda Stuck, and Senators Devin LeMahieu and Janet  Bewley for taking the lead on this legislation,” said Brad Boycks, Wisconsin Builders Association (WBA) Executive Director. “We are grateful to the many members of the legislature and Governor Evers for seeing the need of this legislation and joining together to pass and sign this bipartisan bill.”

While a municipality can still mandate a building permit be submitted on paper, Act 38 clarifies that a municipality must not require both online and paper forms. If a municipality does mandate paper applications, they must accept any of the following from you:

· A printed copy of the municipality’s own permit application form

· A printed copy of the Department of Safety and Professional Service’s standard electronic permit application

· The standard paper application form that DSPS makes available to the public

“This bill makes a very important change to the way the home building industry has been required by municipalities to do business,” said WBA President, Harvey Kessel. “Enacting this bill makes an important improvement to ensure the building process continues moving forward. This legislation clarifies what our industry needs in order to effectively execute for homeowners across Wisconsin.”

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