To: The Wisconsin State House, The Wisconsin State Senate, and Governor Tony Evers
WI state legislators should no longer be allowed to determine their own pay and benefits.
WI state legislators should no longer be allowed to determine their own pay and benefits (pay and benefits that are currently significantly better than what other WI residents receive). Their pay and benefits should be no better than what the average WI public citizen receives in order to motivate them to work on TRUE reforms that benefit ALL WI citizens rather than just a few elite citizens and out-of-state corporate interests. Rationale: members of the WI house, senate, and the governor's office are all elected state workers. They passed a law in March of 2011 that eliminated all other state workers' ability to collectively bargain for anything more than an increase in base wages that are indexed to the consumer price index and yet their pay and benefits continue to increase. They passed a state budget passed in June of 2011 that dramatically reduced funding for local municiple services and local school districts around the state. They promised that these changes would create more jobs in WI. As a direct result of these two actions by the WI state legislature and the governor, the number of good paying jobs (jobs that can support families) has actually decreased rather than increased around the state of WI. Because of the law passed in March and the budget passed in June, local municipalities and school districts are now drastically cutting jobs, wages and/or benefits such as health insurance coverage and retirement benefits for public workers in local communities around the state. This directly impacts over 300, 000 WI citizens and indirectly hurts local businesses around the state by taking this money out of local communties and sending it out of state. This law and budget were passed in order to give significant tax breaks to millionaires and billionares outside of WI. These tax breaks came with no strings attached and do not guarantee that recipients will ever use tax break money to create good paying jobs in the state of WI. WI cannot afford to provide members of the state legislative branches and the governor with better pay and benefits than other WI citizens currently receive. The pay and benefits received by members of the sentate, the house, along with the governor need to be directly tied to what the average citizen in WI receives rather than being left to the elected officials to decide--elected officials whose decisions are strongly influenced by those who contributes the most to getting them elected/reelected. If the pay and/or benefits of the average WI citizen increases, their pay and/or benefits increase by the same amount. If the pay and/or benefits of the average WI citizen decreases, their pay and/or benefits also decrease by the same amount.
Why is this important?
Legislators in WI should no longer be provided with premium healthcare coverage, premium retirement benefits and premium salaries at WI taxpayers' expense until ALL citizens in WI have decent paying jobs with decent benefits.