Wisconsin communities find themselves increasingly marginalized as a result of recent limits to local control enacted by legislative Republicans. Since 2011, Gov. Walker and the Republican legislative majority have approved more than three dozen bills and budget provisions restricting local oversight. Many of these proposals were designed specifically to appease special interest groups and shift more control to the Walker administration.
“In their ongoing effort to consolidate political power in Madison, big government Republicans have launched an all-out war on local control,” said SSDC Executive Director Matt Ullsvik. “Wisconsinites value local control and recognize that the government closest to the people tends to understand their unique needs best. Now, Republicans have turned those values on their head and enacted a top-down approach that restricts the independence of Wisconsin communities.”
Just this year, legislative Republicans passed nearly a dozen separate provisions limiting local control. Proposals restricting local oversight of water quality standards, zoning protections, school board policies, and even taxi regulations have all been handed down by legislative Republicans in Madison. Additional proposals to limit local school referendums, usurp the authority of school boards and prohibit communities from creating new occupational licenses are being pushed by a majority party increasingly beholden to special interests and out-of-touch with Wisconsin values.
“These new limits to local control are great for the wealthy special interests and out-of-state corporations who support them,” added Ullsvik. “But for the people who call Wisconsin home, these Madison mandates restrict local freedom and ignore decades of community independence. It’s time for legislative Republicans to stop selling out local communities to benefit their wealthy campaign supporters.”
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