Death to Living Wages?!

Posted February 12th, 2014 @ 7:45 AM by

Ah, yeah, more ALEC bullshit attacks on the eve of the 3rd, yes third, anniversary of the uprising. 10AM this morning. Compliments of Sen. Glenn Grothman and Rep. Kapenga. It getting pretty routine to be under constant attack, most people have given up and gone home . . . consider going back to the capital. Something has got to change. Why can’t communities decide what is best for them? Who is the state legislature to tell our elected officials locally that they don’t have authority to make local decisions? The rest of the state doesn’t deal with our local economy, where housing prices are the highest in the state. We should be able to legislate for our local circumstances.

AB 750: Act 10 Tactics, All Over Again
Milwaukee County Executive Abele and Republicans’ anti-democratic preemption bill straight out of the ALEC playbook

Milwaukee – Statement from Wisconsin Jobs Now Executive Director Jennifer Epps-Addison:

After being introduced Monday night, getting a bill number assigned Tuesday morning, and with a hearing set for tomorrow, AB 750 is an underhanded attack the likes of which hasn’t been seen since Act 10 – the difference being that Democratic Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele is it’s main backer.

AB 750, ripped straight out of the ALEC model-legislation playbook, will decimate what remains of Wisconsin’s local control. The bill was introduced by Representative Kapenga and cosponsored by Senator Grothman but lacks the number of co-sponsors warranted by anything other than a sneak-attack. The anti-living wage initiative makes it impossible for local municipalities to enact living wage ordinances in a manner similar to the one used by Scott Walker to nullify Milwaukee’s paid sick day law. This would invalidate the City of Madison’s successful living wage law as well as the living wage law in Milwaukee County that just passed with a veto-proof majority.

County Executive Chris Abele lobbied 38 hours for this measure in December. That a Democratic official would work to reduce his own municipality’s power and his own citizens’ pay is preposterous, but that he would join with tea-party Republicans and ALEC in an unholy alliance is shocking. Clearly, Chris Abele is more beholden to his corporate friends and benefactors than the working families he claims to support.

Shame on Executive Abele for working to steal opportunity from hard working Milwaukee County residents fighting to make ends meet. He would rather underhandedly work against the wishes of working families at the state level, while bringing Madison down in the process, than work with his constituents to create a stronger community.

And also . . .

MADISON – The Assembly Committee on Labor is scheduled to hold a public hearing on AB 750 Wednesday morning. The Committee added the bill to the agenda late in the day as AB 750 had been announced less than 24 hours prior.

AB 750 would invalidate living wage laws currently on the books in the City of Madison and Dane County as well as the recently passed living wage ordinance in Milwaukee County.

Workers, elected officials, and activists will meet for a press conference before moving into the hearing to give testimony on the bill.

WHEN: 9:45 AM
Wednesday, February 12
WHERE: Wisconsin State Capitol, 225 NW
WHO: Dane County Executive Joe Parisi, Milwaukee County Supervisor David Bowen, City of Milwaukee Alderman Tony Zielinski, City of Madison Alderman Lisa Subeck, State Representative Christine Sinicki, State Representative Chris Taylor, affected workers, and living wage coalition members.

Honestly, as an Executive Director of a non-profit required to pay living wages, its sometimes maddening. The living wage has gone up about $3/hr since passed (city, county and UW all have different living wages, also confusing), but I’ve never been compensated by the funding sources that require it for that increased cost. On the other hand, my wages are still too low to support a family – they barely support a single person, it causes turn over and impacts the quality of the people who apply. I want high quality, well paid and secure staff providing services to people who need our assistance. And hell, its just the right thing to do. I support the law 100% despite my major issue with the funders – its a problem with the funders not the law.

Additionally, I’m sick and tired of the state government telling the local government what they can and can’t do. Why can’t our local government decide what is best for our city and county? Who knows better? We didn’t elect these clowns from the rest of the state, why should Glenn Grothman decide what is best for us?


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