February’s Budget “Repair” Bill received – and continues to receive – a lot of attention nationwide. The bill included many more provisions than the stripping of collective bargaining rights. Here’s Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters’ summary of what the bill did to natural resource protections:
It threatens Wisconsin’s forests. Large companies like Time-Warner use Wisconsin's forests for their paper needs because of our excellent sustainability practices. Without collective bargaining, Wisconsin foresters won't be able to qualify for forest certification standards, a move that will threaten the health of Wisconsin's forests and lose Time-Warner's and other magazines' business to other states.
- What's at risk? Thousands of acres of healthy forest land and a $20.5 billion dollar forest products industry that supports more than 300,000 jobs in Wisconsin! Learn more here.
It decimates public transportation. Wisconsin receives federal transportation dollars to support its local transit systems – only if our transit workers are protected under state law.
- What's at risk? Without collective bargaining for our transit workers, Wisconsin could lose $51.3 million in federal dollars that promote our local transit systems, like buses and rideshare programs. What would this mean for Wisconsin? – Fewer transit options or higher fees for these programs.
It further politicizes the Department of Natural Resources. Buried in the bill is a provision that would make legislative liaisons, lawyers, and spokespeople political appointees of the Governor, making it harder for them to represent the public - Us! - without fear of retribution.
- What's at risk? If having a political appointee as Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources wasn't harmful enough, just imagine MORE people in our agencies who are only accountable to the Governor. This is an unprecedented power grab that does nothing to create jobs or solve the budget shortfall!