Every Wisconsinite deserves a government that is open and transparent. Unfortunately, the incentives of elected officials can sometimes get in the way of this goal. That's why we need explicit protections in place to ensure clean government. Below are the ones I have put forward this session.
Relating to: management and preservation of records and correspondence of members of the legislature
This bill would bring the legislature in line with other government agencies in requiring that they retain relevant records for a period of time after their creation. Currently, legislators are able to delete any correspondence they want at any time, and must only provide what records they have at the time an open records request comes in, not anything that was previously destroyed. This creates perverse incentives for lawmakers to delete records, which does not serve the public interest.
Relating to: the state civil service system
Wisconsin used to have a nationally respected civil service system that was created to protect taxpayers and employees from waste and cronyism. Unfortunately, over the years we have seen these thoughtful safeguards diminished and the integrity of our civil service system dismantled. This bill seeks to empower our dedicated public workers as well as prevent unwarranted discipline and dismissal.
Relating to: state procurement of products and services from businesses located in this state and setting a goal for local governments to purchase a certain percentage of products and services from businesses located in this state
This bill requires that Wisconsin make efforts to “Buy Wisconsin” whenever possible, requiring state agencies to set a goal of 20% of total spending going to Wisconsin businesses, and to maintain current-year levels or better in each subsequent budget year. It also creates similar goals for local governments. When taxpayer dollars are spent, we deserve accountability from vendors. When Wisconsin businesses are involved, it’s much easier to track and hold vendors accountable, while supporting local jobs in the process.
Relating to: call centers relocating to foreign countries, state procurement contracts for call center services, state benefits for call centers, and providing a penalty
This bill helps keep state government services accountable to the people of Wisconsin by forbidding the state from entering into call center contracts with out of state entities, and withholds favorable tax treatment or other public assistance to businesses that outsource their call center operations to a foreign country.