Thursday, February 21, 2013

Walker Budget: Residency Requirement

From Governor Scott Walker’s 2013 Budget Address Speech:

Tonight, I want to share with each of you our ambitious plans to help more people live the American Dream—right here in Wisconsin.

Our focus is simple—more prosperity, better performance and true independence.

Going into this budget, we face a much different set of circumstances than we did two years ago. At the start of 2011, Wisconsin faced a $3.6 billion budget deficit and the unemployment rate was 7.8 percent. At the time, I stated that moderation and frugality in government would lead to freedom and prosperity for our people.

Two years later and Wisconsin has a budget surplus and our unemployment rate is down to 6.6 percent. It wasn't easy, but we're turning Wisconsin around.
"Our focus is simple—more prosperity, better performance and true independence."

That is simple.

The Leftists, of course, have a problem with that.

True dependence is their goal. It's their path to power.

True choice is the enemy of the Leftists, unless of course the "choice" is to kill an unborn child.

Like the failed mayor of Milwaukee and three-time Wisconsin gubernatorial loser, Tom Barrett, the Leftists believe municipal employees should be bound by a residency requirement. No choice.

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

As part of his budget, Gov. Scott Walker is calling for the statewide elimination of residency laws that require municipal employees to live in the city or village where they work.

The governor also said he wanted to freeze property taxes, except for new construction, and hold the line on any new shared revenue or new transportation aid.

The sweeping proposal on residency laws - a single sentence in Walker's budget - would affect an estimated 127 municipalities across the state, including Milwaukee, the state's largest city.

Under Walker's plan, local units of government, including school districts like Milwaukee Public Schools, and counties would not be able to institute or enforce residency requirements for current or prospective employees.

Walker had been widely expected to propose ending residency rules in Milwaukee, but it was unclear until Wednesday that he wanted to end the residency rules throughout the state.

In Milwaukee, the law has been on the books for 75 years.

Both the Milwaukee Police Association and Milwaukee Professional Firefighters' Local 215 had sought to end the residency rule in previous years.

In an interview, Mayor Tom Barrett said he didn't believe the governor's budget "should be used for political payback purposes."

"There's no question he's doing it at the behest of the Milwaukee Police Association and Firefighters Local 215," Barrett said. "They're the driving force behind this because they supported him."
Poor Tom. He has to deflect from his failures by accusing Gov. Walker of political payback. Pathetic.

The Leftists are terrified of people being free. They're into control. Individual freedom runs counter to their ideology.

The fact is the elimination of residency rules has been debated for ages. It's an antiquated policy that now functions to prop up Barrett's decaying Milwaukee.

People shouldn't be forced to live there because they happen to be employed by the city. They should want to make it their home because of the great quality of life it offers. Good schools and safe, stable neighborhoods, affordable taxes, and low crime make an area a desirable place to live.

Why are the Leftists afraid of lifting the residency requirement?

They fear a mass exodus of taxpayers.

If they had confidence in the city as a wonderful place to live and raise a family, they would have nothing to fear.

In effect, they believe the city is a hellhole people would escape if they could.

...Nationwide, there is no reliable data on what happened in cities where the residency rule was either loosened or dropped altogether.

...In Detroit there was a mass exodus of people when the residency law was repealed in 1999. But a host of other factors - a deteriorating economy, crime and a poor education system - also led Detroiters to flee in large numbers.
"[A] deteriorating economy, crime and a poor education system" are identified as reasons Detroit citizens fled when the residency requirement was lifted in 1999.

That "host of other factors" sounds a lot like Milwaukee in 2013. Don't the media Leftists recognize that? Wake up!

Instead of Barrett whining about political payback, he should get the city moving in the right direction or get out of the way. If he refuses to be held accountable for his awful leadership and miserable record, the people of Milwaukee should elect a mayor who will work to really improve the city.

Restore its health. The city can thrive again. The life support of the residency requirement is not a solution.


jimspice said...

Glad to see the WI-GOP has finally abandoned their ideal of local control.

Mary said...

"Control," in the case of Barrett and Milwaukee's residency rule, is the operative word.

Tom's wife isn't bound by the residency restriction. He sure seems like a hypocrite to be arguing against the freedom to choose where one lives and works.

jimspice said...

So you would contend this is NOT the state meddling in local affairs?

jimspice said...

BTW, wouldn't that be an issue between employer and employee and not state and locality? I mean according to conservative philosophy.

Mary said...

My concern lies in the state meddling in personal affairs.

I'm not a slave to anyone's definition of a political philosophy.

I think when it comes to residency, the individual should have the right to choose.