Your attention please, Independence Day-celebrating Wisconsinites. Still LOTS of alarming BS in that last minute add-on to the WI budget.  • July 5, 2015

NOTE:  I removed most links to screenshots featuring specific provisions.  See the full document HERE.
Wisconsin’s Governor has released yet another Orwellian decree.

It asserts that despite the fact that a radical stripping of open records law was tucked into Thursday’s “motion 999” that the changes were “never intended to inhibit transparent gov’t in any way“.

That’s special.

Let’s assume I can pretend that Scott Walker and associated Republican legislators are properly chastised by conservative threats of recalls and coverage of their actions in the national press – let’s assume they will act true to their word on the open record side of things.

We still have the not so little problem of *THE REST OF MOTION 999*.

Last night instead of watching my neighbor blow things up until 2AM, I screen-capped and read the 24 page last-minute addendum and I typed out at least some obvious points to make it more user-friendly and keyword searchable.

Here is a partial list of the doozies:

#5 Letting homeschoolers evaluate themselves for inclusion in public school “interscholastic” sports with no ability of a school board to question the information.

#16 Loss of oversight of federal military property program

#18 Law enforcement officer-involved deaths: deletion of info. from public reports that “would not be subject to disclosure pursuant to the balancing test under the state’s open records laws”

#25 Making it more difficult to form a new state or local general employee union

#27 SEVERAL THINGS: Overhaul of committee governing the state retirement system // Halting surprise audits on a Chippewa Falls Veterans Home

#33 Making it more difficult to declare that lead paint is “lead-bearing paint”

#40 Deletion of all changes for the “needy veterans program“.

#42 (hey: THIS LOOKS BIG)
Allowing a “foreign risk retention group” to sell healthcare insurance (“medical liability insurance”) in Wisconsin

#48 Looks like a forced revamp of the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District

[multiple screenshots. scroll down to #48 HERE]#51 Allows any “business entity” to condemn real estate if it’s for transmitting oil or “related products” in Wisconsin (in accordance with the already business-controlled PSC)

#55 Limiting town or counties on conditional use permits AND limiting imposition of added insurance requirements on pipelines

#56 An employee can “voluntarily” choose to work without a day of rest

#58 Replace any references to a “living wage” with the words “minimum wage” PLUS lots of changes for specific minimum wage scenarios (what a golfing caddie is paid, for example)

[three screenshots of this – – visit the whole thing HERE and scroll down to #58
or link to the full 24 page document]#61 Payday lender authority expansion to MANY FINANCIAL PRODUCTS

#66 Extension of water or sewer service between municipalities
(this coupled with the changes in the Madison Sewer and Water + Contemplating the Waukesha wanting water out of Lake Michigan thing – LOOKS BIG)

#67 Restricting the Milwaukee County Executive from qcquiring property independently on lands zoned as parks in an area of Milwaukee within “Lincoln Memorial Drive, south of East Mason Street,…”
[multiple screenshots – – scroll down to #67 HERE]

 

The budget and this motion will next head to the Assembly. It appears that the Assembly will meet on Wednesday July 8th.

If you, dear reader, could scan this list and then give me any feedback, thoughts, comments on the severity or impact of the changes, I would be very grateful to you.

THANKS in advance.

Bloggers and writers are welcome to “steal my thunder” and start digging and writing on anything in this.


COMMENTS TRANSFERRED FROM ORIGINAL BLOG

  1. Cathy
    July 8, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    I wish they would leave the pension system alone. We worked hard for that money, and paid into the fund. How about we have term limits, and when the powers that be come to the end of their term they leave with nothing and have to get a real job like the rest of us. No pensions, no insurance, nothing.

  2. Claudine
    July 7, 2015 at 4:37 am

    #27 is the Whopper here! It will allow them to “stick it to” the teachers and other public employees yet again, by stealing their retirement funds.

  3. Raven
    July 6, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    But no, the fuss was all over when the closed-records provision (which got all the attention) was so quickly deleted! Now everything’s copacetic, and the watchdogs have settled back down to sleep. Why are you worried about all the *rest* of the insidious provisions left behind, undeleted, still just as ready to go, inserted by the same sets of hands as did the glaring no-no? The news media aren’t. And maybe that was the point — the one big bright flashy thing caught their eyes, so they never looked at the dull little stuff….

    • blue cheddar
      July 6, 2015 at 7:58 pm

      The news media aren’t concerned – and also let us remember that the Wisconsin State Journal laid off a crew of journalists just before the state budget came to this bend in the road. What timing.

  4. Wisconsinisgettingweird
    July 6, 2015 at 12:47 am

    Wild stuff in this including what to pay agricultural workers and then what to charge them for food and housing. Then the weird thing about three nursing home bed transfers with specifics about the population of the county and the population of the adjacent county. (#37)

  5. Nancy Mueller
    July 6, 2015 at 12:09 am

    #27 Would allow all members of the pension governance committee to be Republicans appointed ‘as are members of standing committees’ (majority party) – new way to go after teacher and government employees pensions!! Critical!!

    • lufthase
      July 6, 2015 at 12:29 am

      Yeah #27 is a multi-layered mess…
      a) Kick Attorney General, Public Member, Commissioner of Ins (or experienced actuary), and Sec. of Employee Trust Funds off the Retirement System Committee
      b) Beyond just the Chippewa Valley Veterans Home, the last sentence reads: “Delete the authority of the Governor to direct the LAB to make special examinations of the accounts and financial transactions of ANY dept, agency, or officer.” Somewhat unique that it takes power away from Walker, but who, if anyone, maintains the authority to direct LAB? Just Joint Audit Committee?
      c) Exempts legislative staff and service agencies (like LAB) from public records retention policies.

    • Terri schwartz
      July 6, 2015 at 5:37 am

      This administration has wanted to outsource the WRS since they came to power. To tamper with the country’s best Pension program.

      • Colleen Zietlow
        July 8, 2015 at 1:31 am

        My understanding is that former Governor Tommy Thompson wanted to get his fingers into the retirement pie at one time and judges fined him roughly $2 million for attempting it. Now there are a lot of hand picked people sitting on the bench in Scott Walker’s home. If he’s allowed in, there’s no one to fight for us, the public employees. It will be Enron in the public sector. Wisconsin needs to step up.

  6. Susan Waters
    July 5, 2015 at 11:08 pm

    @#-$++##=/!!!!!!

  7. lufthase
    July 5, 2015 at 10:55 pm

    Thanks for digging into the rest of this. Just went thru a similar exercise myself.
    I would also add…

    #23 – New restrictions on benefits for mentally ill public sector workers
    #27-C – Records of any officer of the Legislature, legislative employee, and legislative service agencies (LAB, LRB, etc) are not considered public records or preserved as such. Keep an eye on this one, make sure it’s removed with the rest of the public records stuff!!
    #33 – Put another way, “Lead Paint, now with 43% more Lead!!”
    #35 – Higher payouts to dentists on Medicaid claims (no mention of fiscal impact; and why raise Medicaid payouts without taking the federal expansion?)
    #37 – DHS to distribute 3 nursing home beds — weird thing is the very specific criteria: (a) licensed capacity of no more than 75… ( c) in a county of population 380k+ and adjacent to a county of population 750k+… This means ONLY Waukesha County; and there are only 5 facilities that would possibly qualify. That’s some nano-managing right there.
    #39 – Freeze all county fees for coroner, death certificate, transportation, etc. Another small incursion on local control, and maybe a little giveaway to funeral homes, etc
    #42 – Is about Medical Malpractice Insurance, not normal health insurance; still probably a giveaway to somebody. Also a resurrection of a bill that couldn’t pass on its own- 2013 AB 808.
    #47 – Prohibits local electrical codes from being more strict than state code (they sure do hate local control)
    #52 – If a telecom company stops using poles/antennas/etc, it’s now the municipality’s responsibility to pay for their removal; telecom company can just walk away at no cost, large-scale legalized littering
    #54 – Seems to extend the term limit of PSC Commissioners by 2 yrs; if appointed to PSC Chair, time spent as Chair doesn’t count against overall term limit as Commissioner;
    #61 – Payday Lender Giveaway Bonanza also allows payday loan shops to conduct any other kind of business on-site. Coming soon: Payday Loan/Liquor Stores. Bank on it.
    #65 – Prohibit local governments from making any requirements on real estate transactions, like removing junk/debris from the yard. Most of the talking-points say this helps “small, growing families” make as-is sales; but I wonder if this is more related to bank-owned nuisance properties

    • blue cheddar
      July 6, 2015 at 12:08 am

      Wow. Thanks for your comment lufthase! I’ll dig into this tonight. It’s all so unseemly but this one seems particularly negligent and downright malevolent coming from supposed state leaders : “Coming soon: Payday Loan/Liquor Stores. Bank on it.”

    • Mondobongo
      July 6, 2015 at 8:58 am

      Sounds like a lot of giveaways in prep for Walker’s announced 13 July presidential run.

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