Category Archives: Politics – Wisconsin

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign Beclowns Themselves

Follow the “logic”

The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign has long maintained that the veto power in the hands of the Wisconsin governor is excessive and is contrary to how the legislative process should work in a democracy.

Governors of both political parties have often used their veto power to change the intent of the legislation that lands on their desks and to increase spending.

This amounts to taking powers that properly should reside in the hands of the legislature.

Agreed. So far, so good.

The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign believes that any governor, when he or she is exercising a line-item veto, must veto each item or appropriation in its entirety rather than using “creative editing” to construct a bill, or a section of a bill, that was not the intent of the legislature.

Still good.

The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign recognizes the hypocrisy of Republican officials who only now are aghast at the governor’s veto power when they had no problem with that power when the governor was from their own party.

What’s more, the current proposal from Sen. Dave Craig and Rep. Mike Kuglitsch is only concerned with the governor using the veto power to increase expenditures rather than to alter the meaning of legislation.

For this reason, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign is neither endorsing nor opposing the Craig/Kuglitsch bill.

Wha!?!? So they agree that the veto should be eliminated, but they don’t like Republicans’ hypocrisy and the amendment doesn’t go far enough. Um, why not support the move in the right direction even if it doesn’t go as far as they want? And who cares about the motive? Better government for the wrong reason is still better government.

Veto reform is badly needed

Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News yesterday:

When the Wisconsin Legislature passed the state budget, it already had an irresponsible $500 million spending increase for K-12 education. With a stroke of his pen, Governor Evers used his powerful veto to increase spending by another $87 million. Now some lawmakers are proposing reining in the Wisconsin governor’s ability to use a veto to increase spending.

Governor Evers and his comrades have decried the attempt to curb the governor’s veto power as a partisan endeavor. Perhaps it is. And perhaps it would have been a worthwhile reform when one part controlled the legislative and executive branches. Even so, it often takes the abuse of power to spark reform, and this reform is badly needed.

Wisconsin’s governor has the most powerful veto pen in the nation. Forty-four states give their governor some form of line item veto authority, but they all have restrictions. Wisconsin’s governor has the fewest restrictions. He or she can veto numbers, strike out individual words, edit the meaning of sentences, and even arbitrarily reduce appropriated amounts. Up until 2008, when the voters last reformed the veto power, the governor could even strike out individual letters to create new words.

This vast veto authority gives Wisconsin’s governor an extraordinary amount of power to essentially write legislation by carving up what the Legislature sends to his or her desk. While it is true that the Legislature can override a veto by a twothirds majority, it rarely happens due to the high electoral bar.

There is an argument that governors should not have a line item veto at all. The governors of six states and the president of the United States do not have a line item veto authority. When a bill reaches their desks, they must veto the bill in its entirety or allow it to become law.

Our federal Constitution, which also served as a model for many state constitutions, was predicated on the notion that concentrated power is injurious to liberty. That is why our three branches of government are integrated with a complex system of checks and balances that are meant to assure that no one branch, and certainly no one person, can wield too much power.

While in theory, a line item veto can be overridden as easily as a full veto, the real world disproves that theory. Legislation – particularly a budget – is always the amalgamation of a thousand different compromises. Any final piece of legislation has been put through the grinder of legislative committees, public hearings, and two houses of the legislature. By the time it reaches the governor’s desk, a piece of legislation is a network of interdependent priorities and conditions. When a governor vetoes a part of the legislation, it short circuits the network and undermines the legislature’s intent. Since a partial veto only strikes out a piece of the compromise, there are rarely enough votes behind an individual item in a bill to override the governor’s veto.

The constitutional amendment being circulated by Sen. David Craig and Rep. Mike Kuglitsch does not even approach eliminating the governor’s line item veto. Their amendment would simply prohibit the ability of the governor to use a veto to increase spending. The rationale is simple. No single person in government should have the power to spend $87 million on their own authority.

That is entirely too much power for one person to have over his fellow citizens. Our state constitution explicitly grants the power to appropriate money for precisely the reason that spending decisions should be subject to a rigorous legislative process and not be the subject to the arbitrary whims of a solitary governor.

The process to amend the state’s constitution is, rightly, a lengthy one. The amendment must pass both houses of the legislature in two consecutive sessions. Then the amendment must pass a statewide referendum. Fortunately, the governor is not involved in the amendment process.

Wisconsin’s governor’s veto authority makes him or her too powerful. It was true for Governor Walker. It is true for Governor Evers. It will be true for the next governor. It will be true for the one after that unless we change it. Taking a small step to limit that veto authority is not a partisan issue. It is just a simple reform to make a better government.

Veto reform is badly needed

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a taste:

When the Wisconsin Legislature passed the state budget, it already had an irresponsible $500 million spending increase for K-12 education. With a stroke of his pen, Governor Evers used his powerful veto to increase spending by another $87 million. Now some lawmakers are proposing reining in the Wisconsin governor’s ability to use a veto to increase spending.

Governor Evers and his comrades have decried the attempt to curb the governor’s veto power as a partisan endeavor. Perhaps it is. And perhaps it would have been a worthwhile reform when one part controlled the legislative and executive branches. Even so, it often takes the abuse of power to spark reform, and this reform is badly needed.

[…]

The constitutional amendment being circulated by Sen. David Craig and Rep. Mike Kuglitsch does not even approach eliminating the governor’s line item veto. Their amendment would simply prohibit the ability of the governor to use a veto to increase spending. The rationale is simple. No single person in government should have the power to spend $87 million on their own authority.

That is entirely too much power for one person to have over his fellow citizens. Our state constitution explicitly grants the power to appropriate money for precisely the reason that spending decisions should be subject to a rigorous legislative process and not be the subject to the arbitrary whims of a solitary governor.

The process to amend the state’s constitution is, rightly, a lengthy one. The amendment must pass both houses of the legislature in two consecutive sessions. Then the amendment must pass a statewide referendum. Fortunately, the governor is not involved in the amendment process.

Wisconsin’s governor’s veto authority makes him or her too powerful. It was true for Governor Walker. It is true for Governor Evers. It will be true for the next governor. It will be true for the one after that unless we change it. Taking a small step to limit that veto authority is not a partisan issue. It is just a simple reform to make a better government.

 

Attorney General Asks for Input

While I applaud the effort at transparency, why would he need to solicit comments from the public about opinions? I thought that the AG was supposed to offer legal opinions based on the law – not public opinion.

MADISON, Wis. – Attorney General Josh Kaul today unveiled a new process and website for all Wisconsinites to provide information and perspectives on proposed Attorney General Opinion topics prior to the beginning of the Department of Justice drafting process. The new Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) webpage, doj.state.wi.us/OpinionRequests gives anyone the opportunity to weigh in on issues facing opinion review.

“With the changes announced today, we are making the AG opinion process transparent and open to input from the public,” said Attorney General Kaul.

With the new website, all commentary submitted will now be open to public review through the public records process. Public records requests can be made through the Department of Justice Office of Open Government by phone, mail or online. More information about making a public records request can be found here.

By statute, the Attorney General must, when asked, provide the legislature and designated Wisconsin state government officials with an opinion on legal questions. The Attorney General may also give formal legal opinions to district attorneys and county corporation counsel under certain circumstances. Wis. Stat. § 165.25(3) and 59.42(1)(c). Please see 77 Op. Att’y Gen. Preface (1988) for a more detailed explanation of the criteria for requesting a formal opinion.

Scott Walker Takes New Job and Won’t Run for Office

I wish him and his family the very best. This sounds like a good gig for his strengths.

Former Republican Gov. Scott Walker announced plans Monday to serve full-time as president of a national conservative youth organization and ruled out the possibility of him seeking political office in the next five years.

The board of directors of the Young America’s Foundation elected Walker to become president of the group in early 2021 when YAF’s current president will step down after more than 40 years.

YAF works to promote conservative ideas among young people.

This clears the way for someone to take the mantle in Wisconsin. Who will it be?

Madison Slaps Down on Catholic High School

Wow. Way to use a BS technicality to hassle a Catholic High School, Madison.

Edgewood High School was evaluating its options, including possible legal action, a day after Madison’s Zoning Board of Appeals decided the school’s athletic teams can no longer do something they have been doing for more than 90 years: Play games on the school’s athletic field.

School President Michael Elliott said Edgewood officials are “incredibly disappointed” after the board voted 4-0 late Thursday to affirm that the school’s master plan allows for only physical-education classes and practices — but not games or matches against other schools — at the school’s Goodman Athletic Complex.

[…]

Thursday’s decision hinged on wording in the school’s 2014 master plan that describes the intended use of the field as being for athletic practices and gym classes — without mentioning competitions.

Tucker said that within the plan, the school is required to explain the intended use of any space. Any uses that are not covered need additional approval from the city’s Plan Commission. Since competitions are not specified in the plan, Tucker said, the school needs to go through this approval process.

But Edgewood attorney Matt Lee and two other attorneys arguing on Edgewood’s behalf said there are other areas of the master plan that explain the space was meant for competitions.

In UW-Madison’s master plan, Lee said, the Natatorium and Goodman Softball Complex are both zoned recreational. He said the facilities host swim meets and competitive softball games, respectively.

Lee also noted that “classes and practices” was not meant to be an exhaustive list of all activities on the field.

Board members disagreed.

Sensenbrenner Pushed for Ratification of Trade Deal

I don’t know that it will result in accelerating our economic boom, but inaction is certainly crippling.

This new trade deal is good for America. I’m encouraged that the Mexican Senate overwhelmingly ratified the USMCA in June and that President Trump has met with Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau recently in Washington to shore up more support for the agreement. Now, the United States must act. House Democrats, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, must bring the USMCA before the House for immediate consideration. There should be no delay.

Failure to do so will leave American workers and businesses playing by an outdated set of rules as our foreign competitors move on without us.

I am hearing from small business owners, farmers, young people entering the workforce, and families who want us to rebalance our trade agreements and keep strengthening the American economy with balanced trade rules. Let’s get it done now.

Kewaskum Looking for New School Board Member

The most interesting part is that he sold his home in 2 hours! Housing is still hot.

KEWASKUM — The Kewaskum School Board is looking for a replacement after member Jay Fischer resigned Monday.

He wrote a letter to board President Mark Sette and fellow board members explaining his decision, and asked for a day to call the members himself before the information was shared.

“The reason for my resignation is that we will be downsizing our home situation and relocating out of the district,” he wrote. After another child graduated and moved out, he and his wife wanted a smaller home, and sold theirs in less than two hours.

Amending Governor’s Powerful Veto

Governor Baldauff isn’t wrong.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ spokeswoman is calling a Republican proposal to limit his partial veto powers a “temper tantrum.”

Republicans have introduced a constitutional amendment prohibit the governor from increasing funding levels in bills that appropriate money. The move comes after Democratic Gov. Tony Evers used his partial veto powers last week to increase funding for K-12 schools by $65 million in the state budget.

Evers’ spokeswoman, Melissa Baldauff, said in an email that the amendment is a “temper tantrum” in response to Evers using his partial veto authority to bring the budget closer to want people wanted. She says Republicans are sore losers who want to change the rules whenever they don’t get their way.

The problem is that whoever proposed amending the governor’s veto powers will be accused of throwing a tantrum or political gamesmanship because it will always be in response to some outrage. But it is worth having a serious discussion about how powerful the governor’s veto is. Should one man or woman have that much power? I don’t care who the governor is, that’s a lot of power for one person to hold. Wisconsinites wisely peeled back the Vanna White veto where the governor could veto individual letters to make new words. Should they take the next step and restrict the line item veto?

IMHO, we should restrict this power. Concentrated power is always dangerous. But this is probably not the time to do it.

Leaving an inheritance

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here you go:

Shortly after celebrating the birth of our great nation, my family and I celebrated the birth of my first grandchild. Such events cause one to pause and ponder life, posterity, and our state from a new perspective. God willing, my grandson will still be enjoying our wonderful state long after I have crossed into my immortality. What kind of state do I hope to leave him?

First and foremost, I want my grandson to grow up in a state where every child is allowed to be born. It is horrifying that some people would have accepted, even encouraged, my grandson to be killed right up to the moment he was born — and even for a few hours after — if his mother did not want him. I hope that Wisconsin will be a state that values every life and gives each baby the chance to live, grow, love, and be loved.

While they say that ignorance is bliss, it will not get you very far in life. Education is critical for one to be a contributing member of society and an active participant in our republic. Being educated also allows one to more fully enjoy life and the surrounding world with better understanding and knowledge. Education is a lifelong endeavor that begins in the home, but we also rightly expect our public and private schools to contribute to our education.

Most of Wisconsin’s public schools, and many of the private ones, are mediocre at best. In the case of public schools, we have too often used them as dumping grounds to solve societal ills instead of centers of education. We expect far too much of our teachers in terms of social work and not enough in terms of providing an exceptional education. I hope that Wisconsin can become a state where kids get the education that they deserve.

Wisconsin’s agricultural and manufacturing sectors have been the backbone of the state’s economy for generations and hopefully the state can continue to lead those sectors for many years to come. But Wisconsin needs a more diverse and dynamic economy if it is to stem the outflow of young workers. The technology sector is blossoming around Madison and the addition of Foxconn to the mix will help boost that sector in other regions, but the state needs to attract new businesses and industries. The easiest and most effective way to do this is to attract and encourage entrepreneurs to create and grow in the state. I hope that my grandchild will be able to enter a vibrant and diverse workforce when the time comes.

One of Wisconsin’s greatest assets is its stunning natural beauty. So many of us use and enjoy the many forests, lakes, streams, moraines, trails, and wildlife that Wisconsin has to offer. I hope that we will sensibly protect these natural assets while also ensuring that people are free to use them responsibly.

Nothing can rob a community or state of its potential more than crime. The vast majority of serious crimes are committed by a relatively small number of people, but those few people can sap the life out of a community. Crime not only directly impacts the victims, but carries over into the community by robbing the citizens of security and comfort. Crime scares away investment and pushes businesses, and the honest work they provide, beyond the reach of entire neighborhoods. I hope that Wisconsin takes the scourge of crime seriously by harshly punishing the offenders for the sake of the innocent.

High taxes have been a heavy yoke on the people of Wisconsin for so long that some Wisconsinites think such a burden is normal and acceptable. The burden is such that many young people choose to leave the state for the chance to take home more of their pay and many old people choose to leave because they can no longer afford to live here. High taxes drain money out of the private economy leaving less for people to invest in a business, save for retirement, buy a home, or educate their kids. I hope that Wisconsin will one day lighten the tax burden so that my grandson can afford to live and raise his own family in the state.

That is not to say that lower taxes should be replaced with more debt. Wisconsin must strive to lower government spending to enable lower taxes and less debt. There is no one quite as selfish as a politician who is willing to implement a debt tax on our grandchildren so that he or she can spend the money today.

Finally, I hope that Wisconsin continues on a path of expanding liberty wherever and whenever possible. I hope that the state reduces regulations, lowers taxes, protects the freedom of thought and word, protects the right to keep and bear arms, and ensures that whenever a balance must be struck between individual liberty and government power, that individual liberty wins the day.

I chose to live and raise a family in Wisconsin. I hope to do my small part to make it a better place where my grandson will choose to do the same.

Washington County To Hold Hearing on New Tax

From the Washington County Insider.

July 6, 2019 – Washington County, WI – The Washington County Planning and Parks Department will be holding a public hearing on Thursday, July 25, 2019 at 7:35 a.m. regarding the creation of an Annual Special Charge Tax Assessment for Washington County properties served by Private Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (POWTS) for the purposes of tracking and maintenance.

The POWTS Maintenence Program Special Charge report, which can be found here, states:

The number of parcels serviced by POWTS in Washington County continues to change and we continue to
refine the inventory of systems. As of June 13, 2019, staff estimates 20,313 parcels are served by POWTS
throughout the County. Staff is recommending program costs be assessed at $11 per parcel annually served
by POWTS or $11 per system, whichever is greater based on the above cost estimate. Approximately 20,209
parcels (99.5%) would be assessed an $11 fee ($11 x 20,209= $222,299). The remaining roughly 103 parcels
would be assessed between $22-$66 depending on the number of POWTS systems on the property as follows:
 4 parcels at $66 annually
 6 parcels at $55 annually
 4 parcels at $44 annually
 10 parcels at $33 annually
 80 parcels at $22 annually

The public hearing will be held on Thursday, July 25, 2019, at 7:35 a.m. in Room 1014 of the Herbert J Tennies Government Center, 423 E. Washington Street, West Bend.

I should mention that this impacts me since I have a septic system. Here’s the thing… I don’t mind fees. They are a rational way for the government to raise revenue instead of taxes. In general, I think that fees are fine when it is an optional government service. Toll roads, car registration fees, park fees, etc… fine. The use of fees get a bit more dubious when they are mandatory. In that case, the distinction between a fee and a tax ceases to exist. In this case, most people with septic systems do not have access to another choice, so the fee is simply a tax to them.

In this case, two things rub me the wrong way. First, the cost. Here’s how this works… I have to have my septic system serviced and inspected once every three years. The county keeps track of it and sends me a post card reminder when it is due. I pay a private contractor to do the work and then they send notice to the county to say that it’s done. The entire process can be run by an intern with a spreadsheet. Why does it cost over $200k per year? That seems extraordinary. I’d love to hear the reason.

The second thing that rubs me wrong is just that it is a change to support more spending. This system has been in place for nearly twenty years and now the county wants to shift it off the general tax and into a fee. If it had been a fee since the beginning, then fine. But since the general taxpayers have been paying for it all along, it means that the county wants to shift this cost to the septic system owners and presumably free up they general tax revenue for some other spending. I don’t see them offering to lower the county property tax or sales tax y $200k+, so it is just implementing a new fee on one hand to support more spending from the other hand.

$11 per year isn’t going to break anyone, but it is just another nagging fee that makes the county a little more expensive and a little more annoying to live in – especially for rural citizens.

Evers Signs Budget

The MacIver Institute has a good rundown of the budget after Evers’ 78 line item vetoes. Here’s the short version: Evers got 80% of what he wanted, so he signed it with a few tweaks. Big-spending Republicans got 80% of what they wanted. Conservatives got nothing.

Politically speaking, this was a disaster for Republicans. They managed to piss off conservatives in their base with a big-spending budget without appeasing or winning a single vote from the other side. Meanwhile, Evers walks away with a 80% win and can continue to demonize Republicans for not giving him everything.

Palmyra-Eagle School District Votes to Dissolve

Makes sense.

(WKOW) —  The Palmyra-Eagle Area School District plans to dissolve.

School board members approved the move Monday night.

Now, the district will wait to see what the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction says.

Schools will still operate for the 2019-2020 school year.

The decision in Palmyra-Eagle comes after a failed referendum in April that would have provided money to keep the district running.

West Bend to Add New Industrial Park

Excellent.

WEST BEND — The city could pay nearly $3.15 million to buy a swath of rural property off its southeastern border for a future industrial park — something city leaders have said West Bend needs but that some neighbors have said they don’t want.

The Common Council on Monday night approved a purchase agreement authorizing the city to pay $20,500 an acre for the targeted roughly 153.5-acre plot near the corner of River Road and County Highway NN.

Closing on the sale could take place in January, and Mayor Kraig Sadownikow noted the final sale price could depend on the land’s precise acreage,

which has yet to be officially platted. The seller, meanwhile, would keep a small portion of property near the River Road-County NN intersection.

City Administrator Jay Shambeau had previously said West Bend would combine the newly acquired land with a neighboring 63-acre parcel the city annexed earlier this year. That would give the city room for a new, roughly 215-acre industrial park — which Shambeau and other city leaders have said West Bend badly needs.

Of course, this is not without controversy. There is a lovely little neighborhood next to this parcel. It is farmland now and contributes to a nice, quiet, rural-like neighborhood. That will change when there are a bunch of light and heavy industrial businesses popping up. That’s a shame, but it’s no reason to retard the city’s growth. This particular site is ideally located with easy access to the interstate, a railroad spur, and across the street from several other businesses that run semi trucks up that road all the time.

Citizens look to future after failed school referendum

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. I till say… worst. acronym. ever. Here you go:

Earlier this year, the West Bend School Board asked the voters to approve a referendum to borrow $47 million to build a new Jackson Elementary and do some major renovations to the West Bend high schools. The referendum failed and now a group of community members are stepping forward to take a hard look at the facilities at Jackson Elementary and the high schools.

It should come as no surprise to readers of this column that I was quite happy that the school referendum in West Bend failed. I believed strongly that it would have been a gross misallocation of tax dollars that would have squeezed out higher priorities. Others in the community thought differently and thought that the facilities had become dilapidated enough to warrant the taxpayers absorbing more debt. The voters in the community had a robust public debate about the issue and decided against the referendum.

While the voters have decided that they do not want to spend $74 million (the loan plus interest) on new and refurbished buildings, there are legitimate facility needs. As long as the school district provides education to kids, those kids will need buildings with classrooms, gyms, lunchrooms, playgrounds, and more. The debate is not about the need for those facilities. The debate is about the size, features, and expense of those facilities. Resources are not infinite and there is an opportunity cost of every dollar spent on a building.

One of the aspects of the referendum debate in West Bend that sowed distrust was the people who the School Board engaged to develop the proposals. Always follow the money. Both the survey firm and the architectural firm that the School Board contracted with make their business getting school referendums approved. In the case of the architectural firm, they were paid to develop plans for new and refurbished building for which they would almost certainly receive the contracts to design and build. The financial motive for the firm to go big on the taxpayers’ dime is irresistible and many people in the community did not trust that the people putting together the plans had the community’s interests at heart.

In the wake of the election, several prominent members of the community put their heads together to help the community and school district make some tough decisions on how to move forward. Delta Defense CEO Tim Schmidt, West Bend Mutual Insurance CEO Kevin Steiner, and West Bend Mayor Kraig Sadownikow decided to assemble a private task force to take a hard look at Jackson Elementary and the high schools with an eye to assessing and prioritizing the needs. Schmidt and Steiner also committed financial resources to hire an independent architectural firm to help assess the existing facilities and provide expertise on the construction of modern educational facilities.

Members of the West Bend School District Private Task Force include people who supported the referendum, people who did not, engineers, construction experts, facilities management experts, current and former local elected leaders, and your favorite rabble-rousing local columnist, me.

The goal of the WBSDPTF is straightforward. It is to assess the facilities at Jackson Elementary and the high school and present the findings to the School Board. The WBSDPTF will not be making any recommendations about how to address those findings. That is up to the elected School Board. The WBSDPTF is not sanctioned or funded by the West Bend School Board. Perhaps most importantly, the WBSDPTF is not just another group looking for a way to build support for another referendum. It is purely an effort by a group of local private citizens who believe that education is important and are willing to donate their time, money, and expertise to help the community make some decisions.

The effort may be the start of a new chapter of uniting factional interests in the West Bend School District. The effort may be a useless waste of time and money that doesn’t go anywhere. Time will tell.

Special thanks should be extended to Kevin Steiner and Tim Schmidt. Both of these local business leaders have been generous in supporting countless local organizations, charities, public, and private initiatives. The WBSDPTF is merely the latest on a long list of things that these two CEOs have supported to help improve our community. West Bend is privileged to have such strong business leaders.

Planned Parenthood Owns Wisconsin Democrats

And they are getting a good return for their money.

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, which provides reproductive and other health care services and education, has spent more than $3.4 million on lobbying and electioneering activities in Wisconsin elections.

[…]

Since 2010, the group has used independent expenditure committees to sponsor more than $2.7 million in electioneering activities in Wisconsin elections. Most recently, Planned Parenthood spent $704,000 on spring, fall, and special elections in 2018 and 2019, including:

$220,230 to help elect Evers and his running mate Mandela Barnes

$182,147 to help elect Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul

$123,695 to support Appeals Judge Lisa Neubauer, who lost to Appeals Judge Brian Hagedorn in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race.

The group’s electioneering activities involved door-to-door canvassing, mailings, robocalls, and online advertising.

In addition to outside electioneering, Planned Parenthood employees and PACs made about $107,900 in individual and PAC contributions – all to Democrats – between January 2010 and December 2018.

Governor Leaves Kids to be Abused in Prison

That’s how the headline would have been written if Walker was still in office.

Gov. Tony Evers announced he has signed into law a bill that delays the closure of the troubled Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake youth prisons by six months.

Monday’s announcement, which came after the governor signed the bill on Friday, means the northern Wisconsin facilities won’t likely close until at least July 2021.

[…]

The new July 2021 deadline Evers signed into law runs counter to the indefinite delay he had wanted to accommodate construction of the replacement facilities. Evers shortly after taking office said he wanted to delay closure by as much as two years.

Much like the schools, the problems at Lincoln Hills have very little to do with the building. It has to do with what’s going on inside it.

Washington County Board to Reconsider Elected County Executive

From the Washington County Insider.

June 30, 2019 – Washington Co., WI – It was June 12, 2019 when the Washington County Board voted 13-13 on a resolution to change the form of government to an elected county executive, rather than an appointed county administrator. A tie vote resulted in failure of the motion.

Two short weeks later, the issue is being brought back for review.

On Friday, June 28 Supervisors Chris Jenkins, Russ Brandt and William Symicek requested a county executive resolution be placed on the July 10 county board meeting for reconsideration.

Governor Evers Considers Budget

Frankly, I hope Evers vetoes the entire thing.

Evers received the budget on Friday. He has until July 5 to decide what to do.

The Journal Times asked Evers’ office about specific provisions in the budget regarding transportation and education, along with several Racine County-centered provisions. Evers’ office did not specifically respond.

Evers’ office stated that the governor’s “team is reviewing the Legislature’s changes to the budget, and the governor looks forward to receiving the biennial budget bill as soon possible.”

The worst case scenario is that Evers vetoes out the few good things in this budget, like the tax cut, and leave the rest of the crap (massive spending increases, fee increases, etc.) in place. Wisconsin would be better off if Evers vetoes the whole thing and we revert to the previous budget. And then, perhaps, the Republicans will realize that their duty is to their constituents and not Evers and the Madison swamp.

—————————

One more thing… this is a big part of the problem:

“The reality is he’s the governor for four years, so you can either choose to argue 24/7, or set aside things that would cause arguments and focus on the things where you can hopefully find that middle ground,” Vos said.

What an incorrect vision of the job of the opposition leader. If Speaker Vos is just going to lead the Republicans to “set aside things that would cause arguments,” then what is the point? The entire point of having more than one party is that they DISAGREE and ARGUE about it. If Vos is just going to do his job with the goal of avoiding arguments, then he is the wrong person for the job.

 

Senate Passes Crap Budget

With the help of a “yes” vote from my Senator, Duey Stroebel. It’s been a pretty disappointing and pathetic day for the Wisconsin GOP.

Senate Republicans on Wednesday approved their two-year state budget by a slim 17-16 margin largely along party lines, guaranteeing it will land on Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ desk in coming weeks.

[…]

Sen. Chris Kapenga, R-Delafield, one of three skeptical Republicans who kept the roughly $81 billion budget’s prospects in limbo this month, announced his “yes” vote earlier Wednesday, eliminating the possibility lawmakers needed to make further major changes to ensure its passage.

[…]

Two Republican senators — Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, and David Craig, R-Big Bend — voted against the plan because they argued it spends too much.