Sunday, February 14, 2016

Call To Action! Stop Abele's Attack On The Poor!

A few days ago, I reported that Milwaukee County Emperor Chris Abele wanted a special bill passed in the state legislature that would allow him to go after Milwaukee County's poorest of the poor to make them pay for his share of the cost of the Bucks arena.

Over the past few days, I have learned a bit more about this awful bill, including these facts:

  • The County could already enter such an agreement if they wanted.  The reason they haven't is because the County Comptroller, the County Treasurer and the County Clerk of Courts - the three elected county officials that deal with unpaid debts - are all opposed to it.
  • The deal would add a cost of $1 million per year that the county would have to pay for a local workforce development board. That means that the cost to the county for the arena would be $5 million per year instead of the $4 million.
  • The $1 million add-on has no sunset day.  Even though the arena portion should end by 2036, the extra million could be perpetual for all time.
  • The county's uncollected debt isn't enough to cover the original $4 million, much less the new $5 million per year cost.
  • The county would be responsible for the $5 million whether there is enough uncollected debt to cover it. The balance owed would be taken from the county's revenue, meaning big cuts to services.
  • The county must certify all debt past 90 days old.  If a county department fails to meet this deadline, their budget would be cut by the amount of the debt that could have been collected.
  • Only the county executive could approve payment plans for debtors and only under certain conditions, such as the debtor will be below 150% of the federal poverty level due to hospitalization, disability or unemployment and only if that condition existed before the debt was incurred.
  • The courts would no longer be able to approve payment plans because of the restraint that only the county executive can approve the plan.  That means if a person is fined an amount more than they could pay at once, the court couldn't approve a payment plan.
  • As noted before, the state could charge an extra penalty in the form of a collection fee, making it a usury type of deal.  It could also lead to the cost to the county being much more than any money received.
Pretty horrible stuff, right?  

Ah, but there's more. There's always more.

Abele is apparently feeling very nervous about his chances of being reelected this spring and is pushing to have this bill passed before the end of the legislative session on Thursday.

He has convinced his Republican friends to have this bill moved to the State Committee on State Affairs and Government Operations.  The Republicans have agreed to have the bill heard on Tuesday.

Abele also got them to agree to the idea that they would take the unusual step of making it an executive session, meaning that they would have the hearing on the bill and vote on it on the very same day.  That way, if it were to pass, it could go before the entire assembly on Thursday, the last day of this session.

That's where we come in.  We have to stop this bill in committee.  

Sadly, Representative Joshua Zepnick and Senator Lena Taylor have already sold out their constituents by cosponsoring this dreck.  Now, word is another one of the Milwaukee representatives, who sits on this committee, is considering supporting Abele's latest power grab.

Please call or email the following Milwaukee representatives and ask them to support Milwaukee County taxpayers and citizens by opposing AB 885.  

The representatives we need to contact are:
  • Representative Jonathan Brostoff : 608-266-0650 and/or
  • Representative JoCasta Zamarripa: 608-267-7669 and/or
  • Representative Christine Sinicki: 608-266-8588 and/or
Please call and/or email these three today and ask them to support the people and not the plutocrats!

We need to have the Milwaukee delegates oppose this bill.  The representatives from outside of Milwaukee don't really give a damn about these types of bills and if the Milwaukee three show a unified front opposing the bill, there's a good chance that it won't pass.  But all three Milwaukee representatives have to be opposed.  One voting in favor of it could doom the county.

1 comment:

  1. This man has no conscience or heart if he thinks what he wants to do to the poorest of Milwaukee when they are already taxed to death is wrong most will NEVER be able to afford to go to a game