Madison – Governor Scott Walker announced today that his budget repair bill would save local governments and school districts at least $724 million dollars annually ($1.44 billion over the biennium).
“Our budget repair bill will save local governments and school districts hundreds of millions of dollars enabling them to maintain services even as the state grapples with a $3.6 billion deficit,” said Governor Scott Walker. “These savings, in addition to the savings that local governments can realize through collective bargaining reform, are a vital part of our budget repair bill. The Senate Democrats need to come do their jobs so we can lock in savings at the local level and avoid thousands of layoffs.”
Under the Governor’s budget repair bill, school districts would save $488 million ($976 million over the biennium). Municipalities would save $98 million ($196 million over the biennium). Counties would save $64 million ($128 million over the biennium). Technical colleges would save $58 million ($116 million over the biennium). Special districts would save $15.5 million ($31 million over the biennium).
On top of these savings reforming collective bargaining would allow governments to realize additional savings. For example, currently many school districts participate in WEA trust because WEAC collectively bargains to get as many school districts across the state to participate in this union run health insurance plan as possible. Union leadership benefits from members participating in this plan. If school districts enrolled in the state employee health plan, it would save school districts up to $68 million per year.
In Milwaukee County alone, because the union collectively bargained for paid time off, fourteen employees receive salary and benefits for doing union business. Of the fourteen, three are on full-time release for union business. Milwaukee County spent over $170,000 in salary alone for these employees to only participate in union activities such as collective bargaining. The budget repair bill reforms would help counties, like Milwaukee County, save on these costs.