Local control has been the bedrock of democracy and is responsive to the needs and health of the community. At an alarming rate, the party in control of Wisconsin since 2011 has been assaulting our rights and freedoms to determine our destiny at the local level.
Since 2011, Republican lawmakers have passed 128 measures that restrict or reduce local control impacting Farmland Preservation, Public Instruction, Regional Transit, Shoreland Zoning Standards to name just a few. The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau reported this in a May 16 memo.
Eighty of these provisions were passed without any Democratic lawmakers’ support.
The assault on our rights and freedoms at the local level continues in 2016 with the clueless majority party dictating policies that will greatly impact us. Here is a partial list.
**SB355/AB481 Restricts public school districts and citizens to determine when referenda are needed to maintain programming and educational opportunities
**AB600 Shortens the list of protected waters under the public trust doctrine, makes it difficult for citizens to challenge DNR permitting decisions, increases the development of wetlands
**AB603 Expands Act 55, strips counties’ control over structure setbacks, increases the types of structures close to the shore that would not need approval, a fee, or mitigation requirements to make changes
**AB582/SB464 Removes counties’ ability to limit polluting industries, removes local control over zoning. Shifts property taxes to residential property owners by exempting developers from paying their fair share of taxes.
The brazen assault on our rights to establish local standards based on the needs and health of our communities must be stopped. This is “big government” at its worst. Contact legislators at legis.wisconsin.gov/about/contacts.