In the 2009-2010 state budget bill, the legislature adopted a new law that imposes a funding penalty to a local government if it reduces certain expenditures related to emergency services below a certain level. The WPPA was an integral supporter of this legislation to protect against cuts to public safety, which seemed appropriate given that the same budget also created a new telephone surcharge called the “Police and Fire Protection Fee.” This fee generates $100 million every biennium and is used to supplement funding to local units of government.
Assembly Bill 14 would eliminate the public safety spending protections while doing nothing to change the “Police and Fire Protection Fee.” In short, the state will no longer continue to prioritize and protect spending to support the very dedicated public safety employees whose names are used to generate a significant amount of money for local governments. This bill is unfair, horrible public policy, and will detrimentally impact the law enforcement community’s ability to keep Wisconsin safe.
To read AB 14, go to: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/2011/data/AB-14.pdf
The Assembly Committee on Urban and Local Affairs will be conducting a hearing on Assembly Bill 14 at 10 a.m. on April 26 in Room 300 Northeast of the State Capitol.
WPPA members are encouraged to attend this hearing to express their opposition to Assembly Bill 14. In the alternative, please contact the members of this committee to respectfully express your views. As always, please identify yourselves by your local association and not the department you serve.
The members of this committee and their contact information are as follows:
Representative Brooks (Chair)
Representative Thiesfeldt (Vice-Chair)
Anyone with questions is welcome to contact WPPA Executive Director Jim Palmer at email@example.com.