Skip to comments.COMMENTARY: GOP lawmaker vows to punish Dane County for lucrative union deals
Posted on 09/26/2012 6:59:24 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
Who says government cant get anything done? Union-backed lawmakers in Dane County and the city of Madison didnt waste any time, using a judges suspension of Act 10 to hustle through extensions on expensive union contracts.
One state lawmaker has reacted with equal dispatch.
State Rep. Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, said hell do everything to kill state funding to Dane County in next years 2013-2015 budget.
Nass made the claim in a news release last week within hours of the Dane County Board of Supervisors' 29-8 vote to extend current contracts until 2015.
Dane County supervisors climbed through a window opened for them while the courts decide whether theyll stay Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas ruling that Gov. Scott Walkers public employee union reforms commonly known as Act 10 are unconstitutional.
The Madison city government followed Dane County by renegotiating contracts with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 60 over the weekend, extending its public-sector union contracts into 2015.
In his statement, Nass said that by not using the tools available to it in Act 10, Dane County was risking a fiscal and financial crisis down the road.
The consequences of that crisis should be Dane Countys alone, wrote Nasss office.
But does Nass even have the power to carry out the threat?
He does not have a seat on the powerful budget-writing Joint Finance Committee now, and its unclear if hell have one in the next Legislature. That would make general floor debate Nass only opportunity to introduce an amendment.
Nass staffers say theyll work with members of the Joint Finance Committee to achieve their goal, focusing on the states shared-revenue formula. That formula has been a windfall to Madison and Dane County, because it calculates state aid on the basis of community spending versus the income of its population and property value. Cities, such as Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha, which have lower property values than Madison, are disadvantaged in the competition for state subsidies of government services.
Nass believes that, by not using Act 10, Madison and Dane County have artificially boosted their expenses, giving them an unfair advantage in determining their amount of shared revenue from the state.
The issue here is expenditures in the shared-revenue formula, said Mike Mikalsen, a spokesman for Nass. Communities that used Act 10 not only have they gotten their costs under control for the past two years, theyve also shown they are spending less. This will cause the formula to dictate that the amount of shared revenue they will need to be less because they are spending less.
Under what Madison and Dane County have done, they will create an unfair advantage in getting shared revenue come budget time, added Mikalsen. They are playing politics to provide for local unions versus the rest of the state, which has complied with Act 10. It is unfair to both local and state taxpayers.
It creates a two-tiered system when it comes to various aid programs. They will end up paying union employees with funding that is supposed to be aiding those seeking help through government programs.
Governors and legislators of both parties have rewritten the shared-revenue formula in the past.
Getting the Joint Finance Committee to go along is no slam dunk. At the moment, Democrats hold a slim 17-16 majority in the state Senate. Having hated Act 10 since its inception, its hard to see Democrats willing to punish communities, who are renegotiating with local unions, even if for some its at the expense of their own constituents.
Veteran political blogger Kevin Binversie is a Wisconsin native. He served in the George W. Bush administration from 2007-2009, worked at the Heritage Foundation and has worked on numerous state Republican campaigns, most recently as research director for Ron Johnson for Senate. Contact him at email@example.com.
Wisconsin ping; Dane County takes advantage of Judge Colas’ suspension in Act 10 to renegotiate contracts — up!
FReep Mail me if you want on, or off, this Wisconsin interest ping list.
-—I suppose Sen. Dale Schultz (RINO, Richland Center) is over in Madison by now, apologizing all over the place and promising to see that nothing like this happens——
Because of Dale Schultz we need to elect 2 new GOP Senators and re-elect all of the rest.
I live in Dane County and if y’all will give me a few days to move my stuff out, I’ll gladly burn it to the ground for ya, LOL! :)
9/21/2012 5:17:00 AM
Need a radical court ruling, just call the Monteman
Theres a reason liberals always file their court cases in Dane County. They know the activist judges there are as culturally biased, morally unprincipled, and politically absurd as they are. They are like three-card Monte con gamers, plying their trade in the courts in Madison.
And so it had to be expected that circuit court judge Juan Colas lets call him judge Monteman, shall we would find Wisconsins much tested and resilient collective bargaining reform law to be unconstitutional, and last Friday he did just that.
Here we go again.
Sections (of the statute) single out and encumber the rights of these employees to choose union membership and representation solely because of that association and therefore infringe upon the rights of free speech and association guaranteed by both the Wisconsin and United States Constitutions, the judge wrote in the decision.
Wow. To the radical Monteman, wanting to balance the budget and require public employees to pay something resembling their fair share of benefits (meaning comparable to what private-sector workers pay) is not only a political affront but a constitutional violation.
Surely we have heard it all now. Trying to be fiscally responsible is not just wrongheaded politics; its a breach of our founders intentions.
Such thinking was sure to galvanize a public-opinion backlash, but the mainstream media was ready, and set out to defend the judge. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, in its story, hastened to say that Monteman did not sign the recall petition against Gov. Scott Walker.
Translation: You can trust this man; he is obviously objective and reasonable.
But judge Monteman is anything but objective and reasonable; like most con artists, he is unscrupulous and irrational. Even a quick read through the decision reveals a morally repellent ethics. The judge sets up his cardboard table in the courtroom, beckons the shilling unions to give him vacuous arguments he can agree with, and zeros in with legalistic hocus pocus on his marks, the people and the public interest of Wisconsin.