Thursday, March 10, 2011

That doesn't make sense, rep Murtha.

Early in the whole Wisconsin budget thingy, I sent emails to my State Senator, Sheila Harsdorf and assembly representative, John Murtha. I explained that this bill would severely limit the ability of Wisconsin Universities to remain competitive in providing valuable opportunities for students. Opportunities like research and training in the skills they'll need to become strong job candidates, future leaders and decision-makers. I haven't yet heard from Harsdorf. In fact, I've known more about the locations of the "hiding" Democrats, than my own senator in the last month.

On Feb 14th, I did get a courteous email form letter early on from rep. Murtha:

Dear Matthew :

Thank you for your email. I appreciate knowing where you stand on this
important issue.

At this time, my office is fielding a barrage of calls and emails in
regards to this issue. I am pleased to be of service to you and please
be assured that I am taking all views into consideration when deciding
on this most important proposal.

I want to let you know that this legislation, now known as Special
Session Assembly/Senate Bill 11, has been referred to the legislature's
Joint Finance Committee and has been scheduled to receive a Public
Hearing tomorrow, Tuesday, January 15th {sic - it was Feb 15th] at 10:00am in room 412 East of
the State Capitol.

All citizens are invited to take part in the public hearing to have
their voices heard. We are expecting a large number of citizens to be
taking part in the public hearing. If you are planning on attending the
hearing, I want to encourage you to arrive at the State Capitol early to
ensure that your concerns and views are heard or registered properly by
the committee.

Again I thank you for your email and for sharing your concerns with me.


John Murtha
State Representative
29th Assembly District

A few days ago, I got a form letter in the mail from Murtha. I'll let you decide if it's tone is as courteous:

But I'm still struggling with the inherent contradiction of the decision to split the collective bargaining off and pass it separately. If the decision wasn't budgetary in nature, why the pretense that it was/is? If it is budgetary, how did they manage to pass it without quorum?

Oh, and be sure to check out the bill itself (pdf) - it contains some lovely repeals of wetland protections (Page 33 - why mention a specific parcel in Ashwaubenon?) and health care policies (most of the bill). Pay close attention to Part 3, Page 16 - as soon as this goes into effect, what are the chances that the governor can call a "state of emergency" and start changing things?

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