Katrina Shankland: Return Authority to Local Communities

By: Katrina Shankland  6/17/19 LaCrosse Tribune

One of my favorite meetings to attend to keep a pulse on what’s happening in the communities I represent is the local Towns Association meeting. Local leaders gather from every town in the county to discuss infrastructure, water quality, broadband, and local control.

It’s important to me to hear how the state can help our local leaders with resources needed in our communities, and just as important, we should let them do their jobs instead of limiting their authority.

For eight years, when Republican lawmakers had total control of state government, they preempted our local leaders from doing what’s best for their communities. According to our nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, these lawmakers have passed legislation 180 times to remove local control or create unfunded mandates. This includes limiting local oversight over our environment, and repealing employment protections and so much more.

Local officials are elected by their neighbors to make decisions that are best for their communities. And while statewide standards make sense in some circumstances, passing 180 laws to limit local control can only be described as a brazen power grab.

State lawmakers should be working with local officials to support policies that benefit our communities, not just calling the shots from Madison. With Gov. Tony Evers, we now have an opportunity to work together to pass meaningful legislation to improve the lives of folks in Wisconsin.

Democrats are committed to working with our elected officials at every level to support Wisconsin communities and protect local control.

Democrat Katrina Shankland, Stevens Point, represents the 71st state Assembly District.