Catching up: Voter ID, Kooyenga Town Hall & Elmbrook
At long last, Wisconsin's Voter ID bill passed the Senate yesterday and now awaits Gov. Walker's signature. Hallelujah. No doubt it will end up in court, but Sen. Alberta Darling mentioned yesterday on Jay Weber that though she preferred passing 2 separate bills, at least the bill is severable. (The Voter ID portion, which has been upheld by the courts, can be separated from the more controversial portions of the bill.)
Voter ID will be in place for the 2012 elections. I wonder what those elections will look like with Voter ID in place and the end of mandatory Union membership for State workers. (Unions fund Democrat candidate advertising with their dues.) Though the Budget Repair Bill is stuck in the doldrums of the Madison court, the Republicans could just incorporate it into the overall Budget bill.
By the way, Voter ID does not eliminate same day registration, but that turned out to be the better avenue. If we had eliminated same day registration, we then would need to implement MotorVoter laws, which ties obtaining a drivers license with registering to vote. I don't think registering to vote should be such an autopilot arrangement. My understanding of same day registration is that it still requires an approved photo ID. If the person doesn't have this, then they cast a provisional ballot (sealed in an envelope) and are given an opportunity to bring back their photo ID for their vote to count.
Past Post: Call Wisconsin Legislature to move on Photo Voter I.D.
Rep. Dale Kooyenga Town Hall
I didn't know what to expect. Would protesters be there? Would the room be packed as Town Halls had been before the November elections? As it turned out, there were 6 of us there--8 in all if you count Dale and his assistant William Neville. The 6 citizens in attendance consisted of 3 men I didn't know and Elmbrook Schools Superintendent Dr. Matt Gibson, Elmbrook Board President Tom Gehl, and little ole me.
The discussion was informal, with Kooyenga sitting with us in a circle of sorts. One man was talking about the concealed carry legislation when I cam in. Kooyenga briefly talked about the Combined Reporting changes, some which are addressed in the budget bill. Dale said rather than repeal the whole law, they would be looking at lowering the corporate tax rate.
Incidentally, did you know there is now a CPA Caucus? Kooyenga and his fellow CPAs now have their own group. He said they are working on a constitutional amendment to require a balanced state budget, applying business accounting principles to the state.
Dr. Gibson stated his support for the Governor's budget and appreciation for Kooyenga meeting with them regarding the coming budget changes. However, Gibson was looking to influence the per student dollar allocation. He mentioned working with the Fair Aid Coalition that represents property rich districts like Elmbrook (donor districts), who contribute to other school districts through their property taxes. Gibson said he was looking at increasing taxing authority as a possible solution to Elmbrook's shortfall.
It does seem like there might be some wiggle room in the state aid formula, "Some Republican legislative leaders say that they are working on a plan to lessen aid cuts for some Wisconsin schools. The legislature’s budget committee will take up the issue Thursday." I don't know if Elmbrook is included in that group, but it shows there could be some adjustments coming.
You can sign up for Rep. Dale Kooyenga's Legislative Wisconsin Capitol Update by contacting his assistant William Neville at William.Neville@legis.wisconsin.gov
Petitioning Waukesha School District subdivisions can't join Elmbrook School District
Don't know if you saw this, but those 3 subdivisions to Elmbrook's west lost again at the state level in their quest to be included in the Elmbrook School District. I blogged about this in February of 2011 in What? Families who HAVE 4K petition to join Elmbrook WITHOUT 4K?
BrookfieldNOW reported in Neighborhoods lose bid to join Elmbrook, again that "The state's School Boundary Appeals Board last week denied the request of nearly 200 property owners in the Black Forest, Summit Lawn, Emerald Ridge and Shire subdivisions to leave the Waukesha School District and join Elmbrook.
The board voted, 3-0, to deny the Shire, Summit Lawn and Black Forest petition, and the Emerald Ridge request was voted down, 2-1."
I think the bottom line is that regardless of where the boundary is, there will always be someone living across the street who isn't in the same school district as their playmate in the district. That really isn't a valid argument for annexation. It isn't the state's place to take money out of one school district by allowing those homes to attend another school district. The decision of which school district your children will attend should be made at the time you purchase your home, not after the fact!