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Gov. Walker: Judge's Ruling on Act 10 'Fundamentally Flawed'

Gov. Scott Walker talks about the Dane County judge's ruling on the state's collective bargaining law during this week's radio address.

The state partnered with the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association to produce and distribute brief radio address once a week.  Audio files and a written transcript of this radio address can be accessed on http://www.wi-broadcasters.org and http://walker.wi.gov/Weekly-Radio-Addresses.  To download an mp3 file, you can right click the radio address link and click “save link as.”

Hi, this is Scott Walker.

As you may have heard, recently, a Dane County judge in Madison issued a ruling that struck down key provisions of the budget reforms enacted late last year.  We are confident this ruling will be overturned because Act 10 is constitutional.  This would not be the first time a Dane County judge's decision on Act 10 was held to be wrong by a higher court.

Since enacting the reforms contained in Act 10, taxpayers have saved more than one billion dollars, property taxes on a median value home have decreased for the first time in twelve years, we balanced a $3.6 billion budget deficit at the state level without increasing taxes, and government services have improved.

This week, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen filed a brief seeking a stay of the ruling, which would help keep Act 10 in place, until the appeals process is complete.

Independent legal experts and those from both sides of the aisle already noted the judge’s ruling is fundamentally flawed and pointed out that seeking a stay is the reasonable course of action, given the confusion caused by the judge’s flawed ruling.

While we are confident the law will be upheld, if the current ruling on Act 10 stands, it would result in public employee layoffs, increased debt for local units of government and school districts, and it could return us to a system where a handful of special interests control huge portions of our government budgets.  This ruling strips power from local elected and school board officials and reduces their ability to effectively manage their budgets.

Voters spoke more than two years ago about the need to reform government, reduce spending, and balance our budget.  The voters reaffirmed their decision on June 5 of this year. 

When this ruling is overturned the reforms will continue to be enacted, we will continue down the path of balanced budgets, and we’ll be able to focus on helping the people of our state create more jobs.

Geoff Tolley September 26, 2012 at 09:17 PM
So you think Ristow got it wrong, that it is not the case that Act 10 "effectively prevents all employees from receiving a raise equal to the increase in CPI" ?
James R Hoffa September 26, 2012 at 09:42 PM
@Geoff Tolley - Hoffa believes that Ritsow's letter was limited in scope to addressing changes in collective bargaining, wherein it's stated in the introductory "WERC has prepared three scope statements for rule-making related to the determination of base wages under Act 10 bargaining changes." Accordingly, when Ritsow references "all employees" in the passage your quoted, he is clearly referring to activities solely within the scope of collective bargaining and the new limitations placed upon them by the Act, and not in regards to activity occurring outside the confines of collective bargaining. Come on - you must have realized the limited scope of the letter, as you're a very intelligent and logical guy!
James R Hoffa September 26, 2012 at 09:50 PM
@Mr. Tolley - You're presuming that the union elected representative always reflects the vote/choice of the individual union member. In reality, it doesn't work that way as it's a majority consensus as opposed to a unanimous consent system. Thus, where the non-union employee always has their own interests represented at the bargaining table, the union employee might not - especially if the union rep that the individual member voted for lost the union election.
James R Hoffa September 26, 2012 at 10:05 PM
@Mr. Tolley - If what you are saying is correct, and given the cuts that were in fact made, then shouldn't the projected budget surplus be much larger than it actually is?
Geoff Tolley September 26, 2012 at 11:51 PM
No. Some of the most significant biennial increases, over all funds base allocations: - the DoA got $314m (17%) more funding - the Department of Health services got $1,835m (11%) more (this is on an all funds basis, so this is the increase in excess of the replaced stimulus dollars). - Program Supplements was $77m higher (225%) - to be fair this value tends to swing wildly from year to year. - the Department of Regulation and Licensing got renamed to the Department of Safety and Professional Services and a $105m (381%) increase - the Department of Transportation received a $67m (1%) increase - the WEDC was created and given $161m to play with. To be fair, some departments were eliminated and their responsibilities reassigned. But Walker and his legislative enablers picked winners and losers: the only reason Wisconsin education got the budget shaft as it did was because Walker wanted it to.

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