Monday, May 20, 2013
Did Gov. Scott Walker break a campaign promise when he vowed to keep pork out of the state budget?
Some campaign promises build in a bit of wiggle room. The one made by candidate for governor Scott Walker to “Strip policy and pork projects from the state budget” did not. This unequivocal pledge, posted on Walker’s campaign website, committed the candidate to eschewing both parties’ longstanding practice of using the budget to make policy changes and reward special interests. In April 2011, less than four months into Walker’s term, the truth-testers at PolitiFact Wisconsin branded this a broken promise. It noted that the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau had identified dozens of non-fiscal items in the governor’s budget repair bills and first biennial budget. Walker’s latest executive budget, for 2013-15, included what the Fiscal …
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Gov. Scott Walker wants to tie the technical college's funding to how well it meets performance standards.
One of the provisions in Gov. Scott Walker's budget, which he'll officially unveil on Wednesday, will be changing the funding model for Wisconsin's technical colleges, including Gateway Technical College, according to a story by The Journal Times. Technical colleges receive $83.5 million in state aid and Walker wants to increase that to $88.5 million. However, beginning this year, Walker wants 10 percent of that funding would be tied to the colleges achieving their performance benchmarks and by the year 2020, all of that funding would be tied to meeting those benchmarks. The details around how the funding formula would work still need to be hammered out by the Wisconsin Technical College System. According to the story, Gateway Technical …
Sunday, August 21, 2011
And is Walker changing his tune?
- Dan Bell
Sunday, August 21, 2011
The recall elections are over. Net result? Two seats in the State Senate changed hands - from the incumbent Republicans to the Democrats. What was a 19 to 14 dominant advantage became a slim 17 to 16, with a very tenuous, one vote margin. Given that there is at least one moderate among their Republican ranks, does this spell the end of the ideological blitzkrieg of the Walker regime? Is the fat lady singing? After having picked up two seats in a flurry of recalls, the final two recall elections on August 16went to the Democrats with Bob Wirch (D-Pleasant Prairie) and Jim Holperin (D-Conover) successfully defending their seats. To hear the spin from the right, the recalls were an enormous success and vindication of the direction Walker and …
But do Racine Unified union members want to adapt with the organizations?
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Greenfield hosts more than a dozen school officials from around the state.
A dozen school administrators, board members and parents from around the state spoke Wednesday of the dire fiscal issues their districts are currently facing and will face in the future as the result of the state's school funding policies. The Wisconsin Opportunity to Learn Network-sponsored event, held in the administration offices of the Greenfield School District, gave educational leaders a chance to publicly come clean about the current fiscal concerns they have for their districts as a result of the budgetary policies passed by the legislature and Governor Scott Walker this year. Jim Shaw, the administrator of the Racine Area School District, indicated that his district faces a $25 million deficit this year and a projected $10 …
Sunday, June 26, 2011
But controversial provision that could hurt microbrewers statewide isn't one of them.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Hours before he is slated to sign the 2011-13 state budget into law, Gov. Scott Walker Sunday morning announced that he will make 50 vetoes or partial vetoes in the spending plan approved by the Legislature. "These vetoes remove unnecessary reports and requirements, clarify program implementation timelines, and improve the intended focus of certain programs," the Republican governor said in his budget address and veto message. JSOnline is reporting that Walker will veto one provision that would have allowed bail bondsmen in Wisconsin and another that would have let fired Milwaukee police officers to continue to receive pay while they appealed their dismissals. He also plans to use his vast veto powers to bar public employees from …
Thursday, June 16, 2011
The state Senate voted 19-14 to adopt the 2011-13 state budget over the shouts of protestors.
After hours of emotional debate Thursday, the state Senate approved the state biennial budget, prompting praise by Gov. Scott Walker and vows by opponents to recall supporters. The vote at 10 p.m. was along party lines, 19-14. Immediately after the vote, Walker released a statement, saying, "I am proud of the work done by the Legislature, which passed a budget today that isn’t built on accounting gimmicks, use of one time money for ongoing expenses, or tax increases. "The budget approved by the Legislature is an honest document that balances Wisconsin’s $3.6 billion budget deficit so that our children and grandchildren aren’t saddled with mountains of debt in the future," the governor said. Opponents shouted protests as the roll call vote …
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Wisconsin Supreme Court reinstates controversial Budget Repair bill.
In a blow to Wisconsin's public employee unions, the state Supreme Court late Tuesdayoverturned a lower court's ruling that a committee of Republican lawmakers violated open meetings laws when they approved the budget repair bill that strips workers of most bargaining rights. As of result of the ruling, all of the provisions of the bill will be put into place and previous rulings by Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi, who struck down the legislation, are overturned. In its ruling, the high court said the lower court "exceeded its jurisdiction, invaded the legislature’s constitutional powers...and erred in enjoining the publication and further implementation of the act." Furthermore, the justices wrote, the legislative conference …
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
The Board is considering partnering with an employee benefit management firm to reduce costs and spare staff.
A question loomed in minds of the Racine Unified School District Board of Education members at a special meeting held Tuesday about health care savings opportunities. Was there a way to cut insurance costs -- without cutting the already pared benefits -- to help loosen up enough money so that the district wouldn’t have to make staffing cuts? The short answer was yes, but it may not be enough for the 2011-12 school year. Racine Unified has a $7.5 million hole to plug for the 2011-12 budget and district administrators proposed cutting 125 full-time positions. But they wanted to see if any savings could be earned by partnering with a cost management company to spare some of those jobs. In March, staff gave up health care, wages and insurance …
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Representative Robin Vos says he wants to be sure residents aren't passing on more debt to future generations.
This week the members of the Joint Committee on Finance are taking the first of many important votes on the state’s new two-year spending plan. As the co-chair of the committee, I’m looking forward to balancing the budget the right way, without passing along massive debt to our children, borrowing billions or raising your taxes. Over the past eight years, Democrats balanced the state budget by using accounting tricks and gimmicks, raided segregated funds, borrowed money, raised taxes, or filled the gap with one-time federal stimulus money. Basically, we’ve used a band-aid approach but our financial wounds have only gotten worse and this time, there isn’t a big enough band-aid to fix it. It’s now a $3.6 billion dollar gash to the …