The News: The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) released a statement in response to a newly proposed City of Milwaukee ordinance that will regulate food trucks in the city and downtown area.
The Quote: WILL Deputy Counsel, Lucas Vebber, stated, “The City of Milwaukee’s Common Council is pushing new restrictions on small business owners across the city. This proposed ordinance—specifically targeting food trucks—limits hours of sale while allowing brick and mortar restaurants to stay open. The ordinance also creates the opportunity for special carve outs for the politically connected. WILL is proud to support small business owners opposing these anti-competitive restrictions. If this ordinance is enacted, we would consider all legal options to stop these anti-competitive restrictions.”
Additional Background: The City of Milwaukee’s Common Council is considering an ordinance to, among other things, ban food trucks from being within 50 feet of brick & mortar restaurants. The newly proposed ordinance would also prevent food trucks from operating between the hours of 1 AM and 6 AM in the downtown Milwaukee zone, and establish a “seniority” system to limit access for food trucks in a second zone. Under the ordinance, City Council can waive some restrictions at any time. While this creates additional flexibility, it also creates opportunities for furthering aldermanic privilege practices—which only benefit the politically connected.
The common council plans to hold public hearings on the proposed ordinance today and Thursday, with potential for a full vote later this month.