Actions Speak Louder Than Words: Republicans Continue Pattern of Unfunded Mandates, Attacks on Local Control

By State Rep. Katrina Shankland, Urban Milwaukee

MADISON – Today Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point) released a memo from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, which revealed that Governor Walker and legislative Republicans have enacted 162 measures that represent either an unfunded mandate on local governments or a preemptive restriction on local control since they took control of state government in 2011.

In response, Rep. Shankland released the following statement:

“Time and time again, Governor Walker has signed legislation into law that has either restricted the authority of local elected officials or forced a burdensome mandate on local governments without providing state assistance to pay for it. The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau memo shows that legislative Republicans have restricted local governments 162 times in seven years – the majority of which were authored and passed without Democratic support. Actions speak louder than words – if you support local control, then you need to vote for local control.

“At a time when Republicans are pushing an extreme bill[i] that prohibits local governments from enacting ordinances to support fair scheduling, living wages, and worker discrimination protections, they need to be reminded that it is not the state’s job to prevent local leaders from doing their jobs. This bill would move the needle even further against local elected officials while giving the state more power over workers. Do they really want to add even more attacks on local control to this list?

“Local officials are elected by their neighbors to make decisions that are best for their individual communities, and no two communities are the same. While statewide standards make sense in certain circumstances, I’m perturbed by the fervor with which Republican lawmakers have worked to consolidate their power on the state level while taking away power from local governments. It’s time for everyone to respect the decision-making authority of locally elected officials and restore local control so communities can make decisions that are best for them.”