Wisconsin’s proposed budget includes a measure that could continue a trend of the state eroding local control for municipalities. Jesse Russell reports.
The new budget proposed by Wisconsin’s Republican Governor Scott Walker includes a measure that would prevent local governments from placing residency requirements on local employees. Mayors and town managers protested the decision out of concern that first responders need to be close-by. Many also expressed that town employees have a “shared destiny” with the residents of their communities. Larry Arft is City Manager in Beloit, Wis.
[Arft]: “Don’t forget, public works employees are also first responders. Winter storm events, summer rain storms, wind storms, we have people on call for our utilities. 24/7 somebody has to be on call and they need to be there in a few minutes.”
This wouldn’t be the first time in recent years that the state of Wisconsin has taken decision making tool s out of the hands of local governments. In 2011, the GOP-controlled legislature passed a law that prevents cities and towns from passing family and medical leave ordinances. In 2005, then Democratic Governor Jim Doyle made a deal with the GOP-controlled legislature to ban local governments from enacting minimum wage ...