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Jacobson's group believes some of the changes that Walker wants to work in the state's Medicaid system are, at the least, a blatant power grab by the governor. At the most, a violation of the state's constitution.
The week-long hiatus of the state senate democrats from Wisconsin continues. And UW La Crosse political scientist Joe Heim says absconding from their jobs wasn't a completely useless thing to do in the face of legislation they couldn't prevent from passing.
Heim says democrats wanted to get some compromises from governor Walker on his controversial budget repair bill. When those compromises weren't forthcoming, their last move to stall the bill was to just leave the state.
A hundred tickets for homeowners could have been written by now in La Crosse. It's been at least a hundred homes this winter that have had their snow-covered walks cleared by the city's contractor. And those property owners are already facing bills for the clearing: $2.50 per foot, plus a fifty dollar administration fee. But, so far, the city has yet to write a single ticket for a messy walk. The city engineer's office tells us, although it's not official policy, with sidewalk tickets they're generally adhering to the "three strikes and you're out" philosophy.
Just as Lacrosse School Superintendent, Jerry Kember, tried to get a clear picture as to what the district's financial state would be in the coming weeks......another bomb was dropped.
Wisconsin's public school administrators are being advised to approve preliminary layoff notices for staff by the end of the month -- even before they find out how much the state is expected to contribute to their budgets.
The Wisconsin Association of School Boards is urging local school officials to decide on staff cuts by Monday, or risk having those layoffs challenged later in court. State law requires school districts to provide staff layoff notices by March 15 for the following school year. Teachers must also receive a preliminary notice 15 days before that.
The state's collective bargaining law has allowed school boards to delay that deadline with the union's permission. Association attorney Barry Forbes says those deadlines could be wiped out with the passage of Governor Scott Walker's budget repair bill.
Just because firefighters aren't the focus of a budget repair bill right now, doesn't mean they don't have their turn coming, says La Crosse firefighters union president, Jeff Murphy. That's why his guys have been protesting this month in Madison alongside teachers, nurses, prison guards and others. Murphy says the attack on unions has been presented disingenuously by governor Walker. Murphy says, if the governor wants to end collective bargains and kill the unions, announce that and don't try to 'fool' voters into thinking the move will save tax dollars.
Murphy says, when governor announces huge cuts in shared revenue in the state, cities like La Crosse will have no choice but to make major reductions in police and fire protection.