On Tuesday, September 5, the City of Oconomowoc Common Council voted to repeal Section 9.23 of the Municipal Code titled Fair Housing. This action was requested as the existing 1968 ordinance contained outdated and discriminatory language.
Concerns with the wording of the ordinance were raised. Our City Attorney reviewed it along with Wisconsin State Statues that would apply and determined the following:
Section 9.23 of the Municipal Code, adopted in 1968, was consistent with s. 101.22 of the Wisconsin Statutes in effect at that time, and contained exceptions that mirrored the state law, and are now considered offensive.
The Wisconsin Legislature repealed and recreated the Fair Housing Law through the enactment of s. 106.50 Wisconsin statutes, which removed the offensive exceptions.
s. 106.50 Wisconsin statutes provides comprehensive regulation of law pertaining to open and fair housing, including investigation of complaints and administrative enforcement for violations of law.
Based upon the legislature’s creation of s. 106.50 Wisconsin Statutes, the State, not the City, provides administration and enforcement of Fair Housing Law. Accordingly, since the State has pre-empted local regulation of these issues, there is no purpose served by a local ordinance.
In simple language, the State of Wisconsin made changes to their statute that the City did not recognize until this time. All the Fair Housing protections remain in place for residents of not only the City of Oconomowoc but the entire State of Wisconsin.
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