Last week, I made my position clear that my vote on the budget is solely dependent on full repeal of prevailing wage for local units of government – all other provisions are negotiable. Since then, it has become clear an effort is underway to draft a compromise package of “reforms” to be included in the budget. These “reforms” would likely include exempting a limited number of entities, tweaking the methodology for collecting wage data, and increasing certain project thresholds. In my eyes, this sort of “reform” is unacceptable, especially since a full repeal enjoys such broad support from the Governor, legislators and Wisconsinites statewide.
Just last week I spoke with several contractors on this issue. While I appreciated their willingness to sit down and share their concerns regarding full repeal with me, it is clear they are currently participating in the negotiations to create a “reform” package. It was made abundantly clear that in the event thresholds were raised, they would simply be advocating for a lowering of thresholds in the future. A “reform” package that does not include full repeal would mislead the taxpayers into thinking the problem has been fixed. Unless we enact full repeal, the state will never have the stability that would benefit every unit of government and ultimately every taxpayer.
Real reform requires full repeal for local units of government. I did not run for the State Senate to make bad policy less bad. I ran to lower the tax burden on the hardworking taxpayers of this great state. I ran to eliminate unnecessary red tape holding our small businesses back. I ran to ensure those essential programs and services that governments provide are done so in the most efficient and effective manner possible. Artificially raising the cost of local capital improvement projects is the antithesis of good government.
As uncomfortable to some as these negotiations may be, I will not back down from my position that this budget must include full repeal for local units of government – anything less maintains the status quo and is therefore unacceptable.
Everything but tech support.