Friday, June 17, 2011

Milwaukee Mayor Asks Walker To Veto Budget Provisions Penalizing City

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has asked Gov. Scott Walker to veto provisions in the state budget approved this week by the Legislature that have negative impacts on the City. I have bold-faced the provisions' numbers and subjects.

Below is the text of Barrett's letter:

June 17, 2011

Governor Scott Walker
115 East Capitol Madison, WI 53702
Dear Governor Walker:

With passage of the 2011-13 State Budget by the State Legislature now complete, I am writing to ask you to use your line-item veto authority on the following provisions that have a negative impact on the taxpayers of the City of Milwaukee:

Section 1727me Prohibits local governments from administering current ordinances with prevailing wage provisions.

The City of Milwaukee has had its own prevailing wage ordinance for decades and has successfully administered the program and relieved the state of needing additional resources to enforce its own. Inclusion of prevailing wages on city contracts has assisted with ensuring that middle class families have a greater opportunity to earn solid, family supporting wages.

Given high unemployment rates among various groups in our community, I am opposed to the state eliminating our ability to help reverse this trend.

Furthermore, if the proposed language stands it will end Milwaukee’s MORE Ordinance. This ordinance includes a prevailing wage requirement as well as increased apprenticeship training and job opportunities for residents of Milwaukee’s poorest neighborhoods.

Section 1715h Repeals current law and would force the city to pay fired police officers while their appeal is pending before the Fire and Police Commission. 

The majority of officers fired are for rule violations. These are serious offenses such as lying, refusal to follow an order, and engaging in sexual activity on duty, that violate the public trust.

Officers have current protection from frivolous firings due to statutory requirements that no other police chief in the state must meet, such as immediately providing the officer with any exculpatory evidence and the specifics of the charges rather than waiting to see if the officer files an appeal.

Before this law was changed in 2009, taxpayers paid more than $4.4 million in salary from 1990-2008 and, unlike any other police department in the state, Milwaukee is required by law to wait 60 days before scheduling an appeal hearing, allowing fired officers to collect even more money from the taxpayers while awaiting their removal from the payroll.

Few officers are reinstated to their jobs, and those that are receive all back pay and benefits under the current system, just like every other employee in the state.

Section 2536c & Section 2539 Increases the income limits and eliminates the enrollment cap on the Milwaukee Parental School Choice program.

Once again the state has not corrected the school choice funding flaw that burdens city taxpayers with higher property taxes to fund this program.

The fiscal effect is estimated to be an aid reduction of $2.5 million in 2011-12 and $5 million in 2012-13. Leaving the funding flaw in place means that MPS can increase property taxes because they will fall under your imposed revenue limits. Expansion of this program by the state without funding it is a punitive action against property taxpayers in Milwaukee and now Racine.

I have read your public comments that you wish to act quickly and sign the state budget into law. I ask that you thoroughly review the above requests before acting and grant the City of Milwaukee these requests to help us manage our budget more effectively given the large reductions in state aid we must absorb.

Thank you for your consideration of these requests.


Tom Barrett Mayor


Anonymous said...

Despite your hate and rage, you just never know. It is possible that Walker will do exactly that.

If he does though, you know you will ignore it.

James Rowen said...

I love these comments that predict that I won't post them, or that I will ignore something. You folks are mind-readers and seers!

Anonymous said...

video you might be interested in cross-posting re: scott walker.

Anonymous said...

Wow. That was a dumb video.

I hope this becomes viral. It will spread the disease that has become public employee unions and raise awareness regarding its anecdote.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Mayor Barrett, for sticking up for me. I didn't know half of the details you spelled out and I wonder if Scott Walker knew even a quarter.

It will be really nice if he does veto but nothing will make me vote for him again.

Fool me once...

Anonymous said...

"Once again the state has not corrected the school choice funding flaw that burdens city taxpayers with higher property taxes to fund this program."

Isn't the state funding this program? If so, it saves Milwaukee public school taxpayers, and state taxpayers money by educating children for almost half the cost of MPS. Which, of course, has nothing to do with the property taxes levied by the city.

You lost me on this alone Mayor.

Anonymous said...

Funding Flaw

The funding for this program comes out of existing state aid which was not increased. It is estimated to drain $7.5 million from that aid in the coming two years.

Boxer said...

What a class act. Too bad he could not have been our governor.

However, Interim Gov Walker is sure to ignore Barrett's letter and allow the Milwaukee-punitive measures to go through and as a side effect, punish a former rival. What a petty tyrant. I just don't get how he sleeps at night.