|Wisconsin Legislative Council 11|
A scathing independent audit outlines the problems the Walker administration created when it rushed to privatize state economic development efforts. Read more >>>
New legislative proposals are rolling out, some good, some bad, and some very bad. Here's a look at a few recent bill introductions of interest to AFSCME members. Read more >>>
As members of the legislature's budget committee begin hosting a quick series of hearings, here are some tips for communicating your own concerns about the budget. Read more >>>
After abruptly ending budget briefings by state agency heads, the legislature's Joint Committee on Finance is hitting the road for a quick round of public hearings, starting April 4. Read more >>>
A bill that would blow up the Milwaukee County Board and shift power to the County Executive has been introduced, along with potential changes to the very successful Wisconsin Retirement System. Read more >>>
Additional details on the governor's budget proposal as it begins to undergo legislative scrutiny. Read more >>>
A week after the governor’s budget was introduced criticism surrounding the proposed expansion of private school vouchers is intensifying. The plan to spread the voucher program to more cities is meeting resistance. Several Senate Republicans have publicly voiced their concerns about the plan. Newspaper editorial boards are questioning the wisdom of expanding the voucher program. Read more >>>
The governor’s budget, known as 2013 Assembly Bill 40, is now in the hands of the legislature. AFSCME is reviewing the comprehensive $68 billion dollar two-year spending plan. Here are our initial thoughts and concerns with the Walker budget plan. Read more >>>
Speaking before joint session of the state legislature Wednesday night, Governor Walker will present his 2013-2015 budget proposal. The budget will be the focal point of legislative activity for at least the next five months. Read more >>>
Wisconsin turned down billions in federal money that could have provided health care for working people, and the beat goes on as Capitol insiders get ready for release of the governor's budget proposal. Read more >>>
A possible raid on state retirement funds, turning down federal dollars for low income health care and selling state power plants are among the trial balloons floating over the Capitol this week. Read more >>>
AFSCME’s Marty Beil tells legislators that corrections workers feel “devalued and at risk” Read more >>>
This week there was a dizzying level of legislative activity happening in Madison. Here’s an overview: Read more >>>
Candidates who won state legislative seats on November 6 were sworn into office this week as the newly-minted 2013-2014 state legislature was inaugurated on Monday. Read more >>>
Wisconsin's governor has put this state out of sync with the rest of the country because of his refusal to work on a state "health insurance exchange", a key part of the Affordable Care Act. Read more >>>
The state Department of Employee Trust Funds has announced an increase in the employer/employee contribution rate for next year. Find out more here, and also read about a series of pension-related meetings coming up in October. Read more >>>
Democrats who won control of the State Senate through a series of recall victories are getting to work and reaching out for your thoughts on a series of the most challenging issues facing the state. Work on mining laws is just beginning, but more topics will be addressed in the coming weeks. Read more >>>
A long-awaited study of the Wisconsin Retirement System was released on July 2, reaffirming the strength of the system. But people who care about the health of the WRS need to remain vigilant. Read more >>>
The governor painted a misleading picture in his "State of the State" address, while the legislature heads into the home stretch on this year's session. Read more >>>
A proposal to allow some UW employees to opt out of the Wisconsin Retirement System could spell trouble for what is one of the country's strongest retirement systems. Read more >>>
AFSCME lobbyist Susan McMurray takes a look back on the governor's destructive first year in office and looks ahead at some of the current and future issues percolating under the Capitol dome. Read more >>>
Ohio voters send a message about messing with worker rights, while Wisconsin legislators mess around with possible changes to state employee compensation plan, retirement issues and transfer rights. Read more >>>
The governor annouces a new compensaton plan that further consolidates his power while the legislature takes a scatter-shot approach to a special "jobs session" that seems to be about anything but jobs. Read more >>>
AFSCME Wisconsin Lobbyist Susan McMurray pored over the now-signed two-year state budget and provides a summary overview of some of the main items of concern to AFSCME members. Read more here.
The Supreme Court sided with Walker allies who rushed to pass collective bargaining changes. Meanwhile, legislative leaders pushed through a two-year budget that guts vital services and education. Read more here.
Legislative leaders say they will take up the two-year budget next week, after the Joint Committee on Finance added some of its own bad choices to Gov. Walker's bad choices. Read more here.
In the final days of its budget review, the Joint Finance Committee slipped a provision into the state budget that would force counties and municipalities to outsource most road improvement projects. Read more here.
In addition to continuing Joint Finance Committee on the two-year budget, a bunch of other mostly bad ideas are bubbling up in the State Capitol right now. Read more here.
Want to have your voice hear on the Walker budget proposal? Here's how you can do your part to help defeat the most anti-worker, anti-public services budget ever proposed. Click here for more.
On March 1, 2011, the governor introduced his budget bill as 2011 Assembly Bill 40 (AB 40) and 2011 Senate Bill 27 (SB 27). They are identical companion bills. The bills were introduced by the Joint Committee on Finance, and both bills have been sent before the Joint Committee on Finance. They have also been referred to the Joint Survey Committee on Tax Exemptions because legislative rules require that committee to review any bill that creates tax exemptions. Read more of the summary by AFSCME Lobbyist Susan McMurray by clicking here.
Gov.’s Two-Year Budget Plan Will Hurt Workers, Schools, our Communities and the Future of our State: Sources to Help Stay Informed. Read more here.
On Feb. 1, Governor Scott Walker gave his first “State of the State” speech in which he laid out two key policy goals: to improve the state’s business environment and to use Wisconsin’s budget situation as an “opportunity to reduce government” and “transform the way government works in Wisconsin”. Registered members can read more here.
Gov. Scott Walker says local governments and school districts may see “changes” in state aid, but he promises they’ll get “new tools” to deal with aid cuts. Read more here.
The Capitol has been abuzz this week with legislative hearings on bills the Walker Administration claims could improve the state’s business climate, as well as press conferences from critics. In addition, lawmakers are busy issuing press releases outlining bills they will formally introduce to carry out their campaign promises. This report touches on only some of those proposals, but your AFSCME lobbyists are trying to keep tabs on all of this activity. Read more here.
Wisconsin's new governor and a much-changed Legislature took office on Jan. 3. Read more about it here.
We’ve developed this timeline based on legislative tradition over the last two decades, although it may be somewhat different this year. Nevertheless, this timeline may be helpful to understand what’s next at the Capitol and with the upcoming state budget cycle. Please note that the date for the annual AFSCME “Lobby Day” has not yet been determined, but is likely to be sometime this winter/spring. See the timeline here.
The State and the Wisconsin State Employees Union (WSEU-AFSCME Council 24) have reached a tentative agreement on State Employee Contracts for 2009-11. The contracts between the State and workers cover five state bargaining units represented by AFSCME: professional social services (PSS), blue collar (BC), administrative support (AS), technical (Tech) and Security and Public Safety (SPS). Read more here.
Newly- elected legislators have chosen their leaders for the 2011-2012 legislative session. As is the tradition in the weeks after elections, legislators of both parties and in both houses met to decide who their leaders will be for the next legislative session. Read more here.
Mid-term elections on Nov. 2 brought many new faces to office in Wisconsin. For results, read more here.
This November, voters in over 50 counties will be asked to weigh in on the question of whether to amend the Wisconsin Constitution to prohibit the transfer or use of money in the transportation fund for purposes not related to transportation. Read more here.
With the September 14th Primary Election over, Wisconsin looks toward the November 2 General Election. Read more here.
With the media and elected officials focusing on the upcoming September 14 primary election, one might think that legislative activity and public policy discussions would be on the back burner these days. But that’s not the case. Read more here.
“Budget Cuts and Broken Promises” Forums Aim to Protect Long-Term Care Services and Caregiver Jobs. Also, legislative leaders call for an audit of state efforts to ensure health and safety of public service employees. Read more here.
AFSCME led the fight to improve our health care system for decades, and this past spring we notched a huge victory on that front. But, now that health care reform is law, many AFSCME members want to know what it all means for them and their families. Read more here.
This “Green Sheet” addresses AFSCME’s concerns with privatization of services provided by the state of Wisconsin and describes legislative efforts to rein in privatization practices by state government. The same arguments against privatizing apply to county and municipal governments as well so we will do a subsequent “Green Sheet” on privatization by local governments and provide an update on issues relating to that. Read more here.
July 13th marked the filing deadline to officially declare candidacy in Wisconsin for a wide range of offices from Governor to Congress to the State Legislature among others. Read more here.
The Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) is nationally recognized for the service it provides 557,000 (active and retired) members and their families, who live and work in our communities. The WRS was established decades ago to recognize the contributions of public employees and to provide them with some security in retirement. Despite its success, the system is under attack on a number of fronts. Read more here.
The governor’s Juvenile Corrections Review Committee issued a report this week that could help decide which of the Wisconsin’s two male juvenile correctional schools might close. Read more here.
Child care providers are facing a new rating system that could disqualify hundreds of providers and displace thousands of children. A key legislative committee is expected to revide the proposal on June 23. It's a good time for AFSCME members to weigh in. Read more here.
This week's Green Sheet looks at how federal stimulus dollars helped Wisconsin avoid economic catastrophe. While stimulus has helped on a number of levels, Wisconsin is not yet out of the woods. Read more here.
With the state legislative session now over, as reported last week, legislative activity now shifts to special study committees looking in-depth at complex issues. AFSCME lobbyists are tracking the work of these committees. They also will produce special "Green Sheets" that offer detailed looks at issues of importance to AFSCME members. The first covers transportation funding. You can read it here.
A rash of retirements will change the face of the next Legislature and more are likely before the July 13 filing deadline for November's election. For more about retirements and the upcoming legislative study committees, click here.
This week marked the deadline for the governor to take action on bills sent to his office by the state Legislature. Read more about what was signed and what was vetoed, along with news of a new study that shows how tax cheats are undercutting public budgets and vital services. Read more here.
This week's Bulletin includes a call to action about bringing vital Medicaid dollars to Wisconsin and a summary of bills being signed into law. Read more here.
The legislative session may officially be over, but important issues like the future of juvenile corrections and a proposed quality rating system for Wisconsin child care providers remain under active consideration. Read more here.
The Legislature is in the midst of the final days of the legislative activity for 2009. Like college students in final exam days, lawmakers are scrambling to get their bills scheduled for votes by the full Assembly or Senate (or both houses) before the clock runs out April 22. There are literally hundreds of bills under consideration this week, but many bills will fail to make it through the legislative process.
Click here for an update on the most recent legislation of interest to AFSCME members.
Here's a last call for action as the Legislature heads into the final week of its scheduled session. Read more here.
As the Legislature's session heads into the home stretch, AFSCME is working to make sure some key priorities make it across the finish line and raising questions about potential problems with a few other pending bills. Read more here.
As the legislative pace quickens, AFSCME lobbyists are working on many fronts, including a bill to ban possible sale of the Milwaukee Water Works, Truth in Contracting legislation and a proposal to give correctional officers a legal Right to Know about exposure to contagious disease. Read more here.
Highlights of this week's state legislative activity include committee action on Milwaukee Water Works, juvenile offenders, labor and hunting bills. Read more here.
A little St. Patrick's Day humor crept into this week's report, along with a look at "Truth in Contracting" legislation, efforts to prohibit the sale of Milwaukee's Water Works and opposition to changes in uncased weapon law. Read more here.
AFSCME members showed up in force last week to stage one of the most successful AFSCME Lobby Days in recent memory. More than 450 AFSCME members from all three Wisconsin Councils and all corners of the state descended on the State Capitol and turned the hallways into a sea of green. AFSCME members from all 33 State Senate Districts and 93 of the 99 State Assembly Districts lobbied their legislators on dozens of bills. Read about some of the issued discussed here.
AFSCME's lobbyists outline the central issues AFSCME members will be focusing on for Lobby Day 2010. Additional information will be available on a wide range of other bills should AFSCME members who attend want to talk to their legislators about other topics important to them. Read more here.
Contracting reform legislation is available for a vote before the full Senate and a bill to improve safety around snowplows is up for an Assembly Committee vote as AFSCME Lobby Day nears. Read more here.
Retiree dues deduction, protective status, the definition of juvenile offenders and a possible new revenue source for Milwaukee County parks, transit and schools all all being discussed as the pace quickens in the Legislature. Read more here.
The governor's State of the State address raised the possibility of more budget cuts on the horizon. Meanwhile, the legislative timetable leaves a narrow window for action before this session is history. Read more here.
Protective Status legislation and an effort to rein in excessive use of outsourcing the work of public employees are moving forward while a ban on texting while driving appears close to the finish line. Read more here.
Bills to strengthen the arbitration process and additional protections for emergency, law enforcement and correctional workers were discussed in the Legislature this week. And planning for Lobby Day continues. Read more here.
Legislation making Protective Status a mandatory subject of bargaining for all who work in secure institutions is moving forward. Read more about it and and preparations for All-AFSCME Lobby Day here.
The future of Milwaukee County Parks set for legislative review on Nov. 12 while protective status and many other concerns are under review as the fall session begins winding down. Read more here.
Texting while driving, reforms to Wisconsin Shares, changing who selects the top dog at DNR and offender reentry monitoring are among the legislative proposals moving in the State Capitol featured in this week's report from AFSCME Lobbyists Susan McMurray and John Grabel. Read the report here.
The fall legislative session is in full swing, with loads of hearings and bills being introduced nearly every day. Lawmakers are expected to be “in session” only a few days this fall, and only a few days in the spring, so the pressure to get bills passed is on before the Legislature adjourns next spring. Here is another snapshot of recent activity at the Capitol. Read more here.
Stopping privatization of the Milwaukee Water Works, workers compensation issues for emergency workers and protection for volunteer emergency workers are issues that matter to AFSCME members this week. Read more here.
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