The Failure to Say YES to BadgerCare (and kick over 90,000 off the program)
The new compromise that legislative leaders are working on would help the hospitals without doing anything to protect the parents who would lose eligibility in January 2014.
Of course, the proposed solution that is apparently in the works will only add to the price tag of the Governor’s approach – which the Fiscal Bureau already estimated would cost state taxpayers $460 million more from 2014 through fiscal year 2020.
By conceding that hospitals will be damaged by an increase in uncompensated care, such a deal would be an admission that Walker’s plan will cause tens of thousands people throughout Wisconsin to lose health coverage. This has been denied by the Governor and his allies in the Legislature up to now.
A detailed analysis of the plan by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau finds that many of the people now receiving state Medicaid coverage would likely not buy the more costly insurance through the federal program.
It’s still not too late: Click here to send a message to your legislature to save BadgerCare!
The measure cuts the power and resources of the County Board, while beefing up the authority of County Executive Chris Abele.
Supervisors would lose power on contracts, labor negotiations and land sales under the measure. The County Board’s budget also drops by two-thirds, though some staff and other costs previously counted as part of the board’s current $6.6 million budget are excluded from a new funding cap for the board.
Opponents argued that the legislation was a power grab for the county executive that could put county assets at risk.
The Destruction of Unemployment Insurance, As We Know It
Wisconsin’s unemployed are being subject to a double attack by the state legislature. In the state that fell to 44th in the nation in job creation in March, a bill introduced to the Wisconsin State Assembly on May 24 would make it more difficult for jobless workers to collect unemployment benefits. Then, in what Representative Chris Taylor (D-Madison) called the “ultimate bait-and-switch,” a hearing on that bill occurred at the same time as a meeting of the Joint Committee on Finance that passed yet more changes related to unemployment insurance, which critics called even more extreme than the first.
Assembly Bill 219/Senate Bill 200 would make a raft of changes to the state’s unemployment insurance law and would, “Allow the state to inspect and freeze private bank accounts in order to recover overpayments of unemployment insurance benefits;”
In addition, the Joint Finance Committee proposed and passed new rules that include “seven new ways to get people kicked off unemployment insurance.”
Representative Cory Mason (D-Racine) asked, “When are we going to start talking about getting people back to work instead of kicking them when they’re down?”
The Education Catastrophe
On the campaign trail in 2010, Walker had pledged to “strip policy and pork projects from the state budget.” But at least 46 non-budgetary items have been slipped into the proposed 2013-2015 budget, including ALEC-connected proposals limiting local school board oversight for charter schools, expanding “voucher” programs, and creating new teaching licenses for individuals with no education background.
The Resurrection of Voter ID
A Wisconsin legislator has managed to bundle nearly all of the excesses associated with dirty elections into a single bill that good government advocates are describing as a “sweeping assault on democracy:” the legislation would try reinstating restrictive voter ID requirements, make it easier for donors to secretly influence elections, expand lobbyist influence, restrict early voting, and make it harder to register, among other measures.
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