cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
Governor Doyle has included the ending of the Qualified Economic Offer (QEO) provision in the new biennial budget that he announced last evening. This would presumably happen coincident with the beginning of this biennium which would be July 1, 2009.
He did not, so far as I can determine by reading the budget summaries, provide any assistance to communities and their property tax burdens. There is a three percent (or gain from net new construction) property tax increase limit and that is extended for another two years.
That would seem to suggest that it is possible that a new contract could be entered into without the means to fund it, thus causing reductions in other already in-place programs.
The inclusion of the QEO subject in the budget will cause that to be well-protected from scrutiny.
In reality, since the Democrats control the Assembly, the Senate and the Governor's office, there wouldn't have been any meaningful debate anyway. They will ram through any and all their wants with no possibility of defeat. 'Taxpayers be damned' would seem to be their mantra.
Is this why the GEA negotiators have stepped up the campaign recently? I suspect they were already aware of this QEO measure being in the budget. WEAC had likely shared this information with all its bargaining units ahead of this announcement. And Governor Doyle would've told WEAC about this inclusion some time before it was done and announced. He is beholden to them for sizable contributions, and he is nearly certain to run for another term.
Can the school board even complete the QEO effort before this change has been made? If that is in place on July 1st, is it possible that an agreement made after July 1st would be able to look back to the beginning of a contract period prior to July 1st using this new-found tool? Possibly one of the members of the school board can shed light on this possibility.
There are a number of tax increases to be found; there are prisoners to be released early; there are sops to other constituencies. Isn't it great to have no control over what happens in your state?