As I See It
La Crosse would lose local control under budget proposal
So much for progress. One day after praising our lawmakers for putting aside differences, Wisconsin’s Assembly Speaker is taking his ball and going home. After The Assembly approved a budget, Speaker Robin Vos says this is the final offer, and he’s done negotiating. Even though he doesn’t even know if the proposal would get past the state Senate, much less Governor Tony Evers. There is some agreement, mainly that cities and counties get more state aid to reduce their reliance on the local property tax. That is long overdue, especially as the state sits on a big fat surplus. But there is much in the Assembly’s plan that remain contentious, particularly efforts to do away with local control. If this were to become law, La Crosse would be banned from holding advisory referendums. Local public health officials wouldn’t be able to order a business closed for more than two weeks. And we would lose money from the state if we don’t spend it like they want, on police and fire protection. These ideas all strip local communities of having control. But Madison doesn’t know best. Needs are different in different parts of the state. Local communities should retain the right to spend their share of state aid in ways that best serves their community.