Currently, cities, villages, towns, counties, school districts, and technical college districts (local governments) provide health care benefits for their employees. Some also provide postretirement health care benefits for their employees.
This bill prohibits a local government from providing health care benefits to any employee hired on or after January 1, 2014, for use upon the employee's retirement, including compensated absences but excluding the implicit rate subsidy, unless the cost of the benefit is fully funded in a segregated account on an actuarial basis or other method that complies with generally accepted accounting principles.
What this will do is sabotage the local governments and school boards even more. One of the reasons people take the lower pay in public sector work is because of the benefits. Now that the public sector workers are again being punished for looking at the big picture, it will really hamper the ability of the local governments to hire, much less retain, quality workers.
Not that the elitist Republicans give a damn if your garbage is picked up, whether your children receive a quality education, whether public safety is maintained, whether the roads are plowed. They figure that as long as their needs are met, it's all OK. The rest of that stuff, you can do without or pay a fortune as it is all privatized and the taxpayers no longer have a say in the cost of things.
There are two things that I wonder about this bill and how it will play out.
One, is whether this will pass constitutional muster since it interferes with the municipalities right to home rule, which is one of the bases used to strike down Act 10. And that leads to the second part, which is, given that Act 10 is not the law of the land, can the state order local governments to break their contracts. That would open them up to huge lawsuits.
And I wonder how Obamacare will play into this. It would appear that the Republicans are going to abuse the law and tap into that for which they have such an irrational hatred.
Doesn't this all make Tuesday look so important? Will it matter if we allow Roggensack to be reelected and don't allow ourselves to have an honest Supreme Court?