Capitol Commentary

James L. Palmer, II
WPPA Legislative Lobbyist

Over the course of the last few months, the WPPA legislative staff has been busy voicing our opposition to the “Taxpayer Bill of Rights,” or TABOR. TABOR is a proposed constitutional amendment designed to control state and local government spending permanently, and would require that spending increases be approved by voters in a referendum. In addition, the legislature discussed plans to pass yet another property tax freeze, which Governor Jim Doyle had indicated he would veto.

In opposing stringent cost controls, the WPPA explains to lawmakers that, while addressing Wisconsin’s property tax burden is a worthwhile objective, laws that reduce the quality of the local services that people have come to expect … Continue reading

Executive Director’s Message

By Thomas W. Bahr, Interim Executive Director

This past May, the WPPA held its 72nd Annual Convention at the Kalahari Resort in Lake Delton. I am pleased to report the convention was well attended by our members and delegates representing their respective locals from across the state and Upper Michigan.

This was the first year that the WPPA held its annual convention at the Kalahari Resort, and their recent expansion and remodeling provided us not only excellent meeting facilities but also provided our members’ families with entertainment at America’s largest indoor Waterpark. To those that chose to see the sites, the Wisconsin Dells/Lake Delton area provides a wealth of opportunities ranging from sightseeing trips to specialty shops and, of course, … Continue reading

Ordinance vs. Collective Bargaining Agreement: Who Wins?

By Attorney Gordon E. McQuillen, WPPA Director of Legal Services
and Attorney Anne Debevoise Ostby, WPPA Legal Researcher

One question which arises frequently, especially in smaller Wisconsin municipalities, is whether a municipality may adopt an ordinance that conflicts with an existing collective bargaining agreement. The issue arises most frequently when newly elected officials attempt to “undo” an agreement that had been made with a bargaining representative by the officials’ predecessors. In fact, oftentimes the newer officials have campaigned on some such issue as reducing labor costs, requiring employees to pay more toward health insurance, etc. So, can a municipality adopt an ordinance which conflicts with an agreement between the municipality and the bargaining unit of its employees? In a … Continue reading

Legislative Report

By Steve Werner
WPPA Legislative Representative

All of us at the WPPA have been working hard at fighting legislative measures like the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, the tax freeze, or any other measure that might affect our ability to give our various jurisdictions the utmost in police protection. We have also been bombarded on a daily basis with inquiries regarding the upcoming elections and the legislation that you, as members, are interested in for the January 2005 legislative session.

In “Capitol Commentary,” Jim Palmer presents recent developments regarding TABOR (Taxpayer Bill of Rights) and any statewide tax freeze.

Business Agent Gary Wisbrocker and I attended the Wisconsin Attorney General’s Conference held in La Crosse on May 27 … Continue reading