April 12, 2011
Dispatches (XII): Wisconsin Governor Walker Threatens Layoffs (Again!)
From WisPolitics today:
Gov. Scott Walker says he may have to again consider laying off state employees if his collective bargaining law remains tied up in the courts for much more than the next week or two.
Strangely, a week and a half ago, I read this:
The public union bargaining restrictions would not have to take effect in order to balance the current state budget.
That’s what the Legislative Fiscal Bureau said Friday, after it analyzed the new budget repair bill that Republican Governor Scott Walker proposed this week.
The union law was supposed to save $30 million with higher payments by state employees for their health insurance and pensions. But the Fiscal Bureau said Walker proposed enough other measures to wipe out a projected $137 million shortfall in the budget that expires June 30th.
The bill Walker proposed this week would re-finance state debt, and use federal money instead of state money to provide the earned income tax credit to low-income workers.
The extra state dollars would then be used to cover a cost overrun for the prisons, and increase Medicaid funding so benefits don’t have to be cut.
Democratic leaders have vigorously fought the union restrictions, but they favor the other measures in the budget repair bill. And those proposals will be taken up by lawmakers on Tuesday. [Emphasis added -- mdc]
The Legislative Fiscal Bureau is the legislature's nonpartisan budget assessment office, roughly analogous to the Congressional Budget Office. The assessment is here.
A slightly different take is provided by the 4/6 Journal Sentinel article:
Walker said Wednesday that the law likely would allow the state to avoid layoffs of state employees that he had warned about in recent weeks.
That's despite the fact that a separate budget-repair proposal remains hung up in court. That measure, which would repeal most collective bargaining for most public employees, was passed by the Legislature and signed by the Republican governor last month. But it faces legal challenges and at least for now has been blocked by a Dane County judge.
If that legislation doesn't take effect, the latest repair law that was signed Wednesday would leave the state with a projected balance of $46.3 million in its main account on June 30. That razor-thin balance is below what is required by state law.
If it takes effect, the repair measure could boost that balance to $83.8 million through savings such as cuts to state employee health and pension benefits.
The state shortfall as estimated by the Walker administration grew to $161 million in recent weeks as the projected costs rose for state health care programs for the needy. But the Legislative Fiscal Bureau notes that those figures assume that the Walker administration will make a payment owed to the State of Minnesota and resolve a shortfall in the state public defender's office, actions that won't necessarily take place. [Emphasis added -- mdc]
Side note 1: Governor Walker mentions in the WisPolitics article the following:
Walker attributed some of the missteps of his administration in the first 100 days to normal growing pains.
That includes the hiring of a prominent lobbyist’s son for a job over more qualified people despite a light resume and two drunken driving convictions on his record.
“Do you make dumb mistakes sometimes? Yeah. But I don’t think the measure of an administration is whether they make dumb mistakes or not,” Walker said. “It’s what they do to correct them.”
He said the most disappointing thing about the episode is it overshadowed what he said was the most qualified, most experienced cabinet the state has ever seen.
For more, read the Journal Sentinel's article:
Brian Deschane is gone from state government, but he won't soon be forgotten.
Deschane, the 27-year-old son of a prominent supporter of Gov. Scott Walker, resigned from his state job following public criticism over his appointment to an $81,500-per-year job in the Walker administration. He informed officials at the state Department of Commerce, where he had been named administrator of environmental and regulatory matters in February.
"He has resigned," said agency spokesman Tony Hozeny.
Hozeny said he didn't believe Deschane gave a reason for leaving the government job.
"Not that I know of," Hozeny said. "He just resigned."
Earlier this week, Walker demoted Deschane from the post after No Quarter highlighted how Deschane -- who has no college degree, very little management experience and two drunken-driving convictions -- had landed his plum assignment.
Walker's team gave Deschane the cushy job despite the governor's repeated statements that the state is broke and government workers are overpaid.
Side note 2: Professor Cronon reflects on the Wisconsin Republican Party's open records request of his emails here.
Posted by Menzie Chinn at April 12, 2011 01:40 PMdigg this | reddit
In essence, this post content, is dealing with nepotism and waiting to expel the cases of simony.All declining civilizations had to deal with such cases.They were the features nurturing revolutions.
The simony aimed at washing all sins through the purchases of excessive indulgences,when remorses were driven by the catholic faith.For the definition of remorses, guilt,ethic, please consult with the dictionary.These words are no longer widely in use. They are the orphan illness of the modern world.
Wisconsin case is quiet benign when compared to the world wide corruptive laissez faire.The list is still to be made of the current practices of nepotism.The collectivization of the offenses,violation of fiduciary duties,breach of constitutional contracts have driven a collective guilt to the practice of private indulgence.
Posted by: ppcm at April 13, 2011 04:56 AM
Hey, Walker could say he's just following a Dem's playbook: http://www.ctpost.com/news/article/Malloy-contingency-budget-plan-would-see-steep-1334488.php
Posted by: Rich Berger at April 13, 2011 07:41 AM
Wisconsin case is quiet benign when compared to the world wide corruptive laissez faire.
Right. Just lookit how our language is peelin away from that same rottin world.
Would you say "the collectivization of the offenses" puts a lil wax on that world or is that somehow getting on to the peel again?
Does your comment help us understand Wisconsin or your academic....case?
Posted by: calmo at April 13, 2011 08:22 AM
Yes languages have peeled away,to the extent that English words have a 70% latin content.The best exercise to realize it, is to read Robert Merle Fortune de France and his series, for instance "La pique du jour" all written in old French.Any English only, reader could detect many of what were his own native words, as brought by the Normand.
Agreed my comments, did not expand directly on the Wisconsin case,and yet they address the case by the mere fact in the USA, court decisions are made on precedent.My comments as supplied are for now the precedent on very large scales.
Academic they look, but not to forget history is always peeling onions.
Posted by: ppcm at April 13, 2011 10:32 PM
It's quite simple. The Businesses and workers in the private sector will not allow any further tax increases in WI. In particular, if you want a revolution in the streets by the private working class, just raise the property taxs a little more in WI and stuff will hit the fan. That said, the only choice is a shared burden by the Public Worker in terms of their benefits or the reduction of the Public Work force. The Unions which say they are their to protect the Public Worker have proven that they want the layoffs. Why? Simple really, the higher paid workers will not be the ones laid off. The dues paid would remain fairly high and should a recovery take root, they will regain the higher ground. Never mind that the young workers and their families suffer or leave the state. So, yes, there is an ideological war going on, within a financial crisis. The good news is no matter where we are now, the Public Unions are going to be dismembered because elections have concequences and the people of WI are in no mood for the BS that went on in Feb. I understand why the Unions are fighting, I'd be fighting to the death if I knew my $175,000,000 check from the treasury was about to be gone. However, the Unions are already DOA, they just do not know it yet.
The next target needs to be the big banks and the corps that have conspired to shut off the funding of the entrepreneurial class, via regulation and control of the the politicians on the other side of the aisle. It is going to involve the need for private capital to step up and a resurgence of private businesses, which may have do business with either cash or barter, to circumvent the nasty road blocks from the Feds. Take a look at what has been done to the U.S. Patent Service. They have under funded it to the tune of $800,000,000 so that it takes 36 months instead of the traditional 18 months. Now there is an attempt to change the rules from first to invent to first to patent. This will only further the huge advantage that Corps have in stealing inventions from their creators.
Posted by: Steve at April 14, 2011 01:01 PM