October 16, 2015

Fall Legislative Agenda Advances

This week the State Assembly has made significant progress towards enacting our fall agenda. Two pillars of our agenda, GAB reform and Civil Service Reform, are set to be voted on in the next few weeks.

Civil Service Reform
Assembly Republicansí Civil Service Reform Package will help modernize Wisconsinís hiring processes, ensure we can attract and retain good employees, and make sure we can remove unfit employees from their positions. This bill would allow government employers to focus on job performance, not seniority, when it comes time for raises or layoffs.

Perhaps most importantly, this bill would clearly define ďjust causeĒ for termination. Under the current system, employees could watch pornography at work, be insubordinate, or simply not show up for work for 4 or 5 consecutive days without notifying their employer with little threat of punishment. In one particularly shocking incident, an employee who spent an average of 4 hours every work day watching pornography was reinstated with back pay after initially being terminated. The bill, authored by Rep. Steinke (R-Kaukauna) and Sen. Roth (R-Appleton) will fix our archaic and ineffectual civil service laws.

GAB Reform
In addition to Civil Service Reform, Assembly Republicans have also committed ourselves to reforming the Government Accountability Board (GAB). The current GAB has proven to be incapable of enforcing the laws it was designed to enforce. Since its inception in 2007, the GAB has failed to complete its duties in 16 elections. Its failures include neglecting to remove felons from voter rolls, and ignoring its responsibility to audit electronic voting equipment. The GABís failures have watered down each Wisconsinís citizenís most fundamental right Ė their right to vote.

Assembly Republicanís GAB reform will form a bipartisan GAB in which Democrats and Republicans have equal representation. Wisconsinís experiment with non-partisanship has unequivocally failed. Bipartisanship will ensure that each side of the aisle is properly represented and, when necessary, can keep the other side in check.

I look forward to helping pass both of these pieces of legislation into law this fall. I encourage you to follow our progress as we do our best to move Wisconsin forward.

State's Fiscal Health is Strong

Recently, the state budget office reported that Wisconsin's general fund has $135 million surplus.  This is an encouraging sign that Wisconsin is on the right track.  We also learned that Wisconsin's unemployment rate is down to 4.3%, which is the lowest since April of 2001.


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