State Representative Janel
Great Unemployment Numbers
unemployment numbers continue to improve. Not only did
Wisconsin's numbers fall to an impressive 3.1% but the
Milwaukee Business journal is reporting that Milwaukee
has the 6th lowest unemployment rate among
major US metropolitan areas. There is no question that
these jobs numbers are a direct result of conservative
Referendum Reform Package
Last Thursday the Chairman of the
Assembly Committee on Education held a hearing on three
bills that would change how Wisconsin’s school districts
would deal with referendums. AB 282 would require school
districts to consider referendum resolutions only at
annual meetings, AB 268, my bill, would limit
reoccurring referendums to five years, and AB 269 would
require school districts to schedule referendums either
during the April or November general elections. None of
these bills limit the amount or the number of
referendums. In my opinion, they only make a modest
change in the existing referendum laws.
AB 268 is Local
Last week I issued a press release
entitled “Forever is Long, Long time”. AB 268, as noted
above, would require that school districts renew
operating referendums every five years. The main
objection that was voiced by the “educational
establishment” is that the state is somehow usurping
local control. I am in complete disagreement with that
synopsis of the bill. I believe the bill increases
local control by giving the local voters a continual
voice in how their hard earned tax dollars are spent.
Every five years the voters have the opportunity to say
yay or nay to the additional spending. Furthermore, the
districts would have the incentive to make sure that the
extra money was being spend productively. Win – Win is
the way I see it.
Ensuring YOUR voice for a $178.5 million dollar tax
Across the state, since 1996, school boards have been
instituting forever referendums that total $178.5
million. This is a tax that most voters don’t realize is
being forced on them. For instance, the Hamilton school
district in 1998 passed a referendum that costs over a
half a million dollars. I don’t take any issue with
passing referendums, but I have a feeling that most
people who have moved to Lisbon, Lannon, Menomonee
Falls, or Butler since 1998 aren’t aware our taxes are
half a million dollars higher than they have to be.
Outside the 22nd Assembly District, our
neighbors in West Bend passed a referendum in 2001 that
is still costing taxpayers nearly one million dollars.
Is it right to subject people who moved to West Bend 10
years ago to a tax they’ve never had an opportunity to
vote for? Way back in 2005 Dodgeville residents voted
for a forever tax totaling $1.3 million. The referendum
passed by 86 votes. I have a feeling that in the last 12
years, some voters may have changed their minds. My bill
simply gives these voters the opportunity to let their
voice be heard.
Attached is a list of school districts all over the
state that are taxing their residents extra due to a
vote taken up to 21 years ago.
God Bless Wisconsin!