Under the Maple Canopy

Singing Union Songs Since 2009

Even Without the Collective Bargaining Issue, Governor Walker’s Budget “Repair” Bill Stinks

Why?  Tucked below the section on collective bargaining, Governor Walker included “provisions in the measure would hand sweeping new powers to the Walker administration to circumvent normal legislative processes, state rules, and public vetting.”  There are possibly constitutional issues here highlighting just how astonishing Governor Walker’s power grab is.

Consider more from the Capital Times article:

And explaining exactly what this bill does to Medicaid is complicated, since the bill is not yet calling for actual cuts to the program, it is laying the groundwork to make such cuts easier for Walker and Health Secretary Smith, who as I reported last month advocated that states walk away entirely from Medicaid when he was a senior fellow at the conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation. “They’re going after these programs in a backdoor way by changing the process,” explains Lisa Lamkin of AARP. “The impact and the implications are almost worse because you can rally people around a cut. But when you try to get people jazzed up over changes in the rule-making process, their eyes glaze over. It’s not an easy sound bite.”

This bill even removes the vital legislative processes and public hearings that are required under current law to make changes to Medicaid.  They’ve buried this stuff deep in a bill that claims to be about budgetary issues which makes the bill stink like a pile of rotting fish.  The speed for the bill seems clear to me – the faster they push it through, the less likely anyone would have realized what they were up to before it was too late.

As for the 14 Wisconsin Senate Democrats…I salute you!  Thank you for standing by those who most need a voice.  Thank you for slowing down this process so that all of these provisions will face the light of day.

Don’t just take my word for it, you can read the full text of the bill here.

P.S. – Ezra Klein’s comments about the bill’s provisions gutting collective bargaining apply here as well.

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