My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Believe it or not, there are other things happening outside of Rona & Riots (incidentally, Rona & Riots was a small eclectic bar on Manhattan’s upper East Side.) Here’s a part:
What were Frostman’s priorities in this budget request? According to his agency’s request for $735 million over the biennium and 1,610 employees, updating technology was not a priority. What were the priorities?
“Full funding of continuing position salaries and fringe benefits.” “Overtime.” “Grants to the UW System, Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS), and the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.” And, of course, the positive things like worker training, economic development, and other normal operations were included. For the 2019-2021 Capital Budget agency request, the only mention of the DWD is as part of a $98.5 million new building and parking garage that would house the DWD and other agencies.
If the technology was known to be so old, why didn’t the DWD make it a priority to request money to update it? Why was the ability to support unemployed Wisconsinites not prioritized over the making sure that 1,610 bureaucrats got their full wages and fringe benefits? Why was money allocated to replace a 55-year old building and not to replace 50-year-old software? Budgets are a statement of priorities and it is clear where the priorities of Evers and his DWD lie — the comfort and financial security of government employees.
Nobody expects perfection from Governor Evers and state government, but at the very least, Wisconsinites deserve a basic level of competence.