Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Revenue Amendment: Take Three

Rep. Jeff Wood (R-Chippewa Falls) has just released a third version of the revenue amendment. I haven't had a chance to look through it all in detail, but a few notable changes do jump out.

One, the authors eliminated the ability of the state legislature to exclude state service charges from the revenue limits. The inclusion of this ability in the second version is a major reason Rep. Frank Lasee (R-Bellevue) withdrew his support for the amendment last week. No word on whether Lasee is back in now that it's been changed again.

Two, there appears to be a significant change in the definition of "revenue." The definition now reads that "moneys received from the issuance of bonds" may be excluded from the revenue limits. If bonds are now excluded from the revenue caps, this would be a major loosening of the amendment--something I can't imagine will sit very well with Lasee & Co.

Three, the authors deleted the sentence at the end of the amendment that read: "This section takes precedence over any other provision of this constitution that conflicts with this section." Understandably, this sentence brought a lot of flak from people on both sides of the aisle. But simply eliminating the sentence doesn't change the fact that this amendment potentially conflicts with other aspects of the constitution, such as the equal funding for education provision.

The authors have also managed to get the amendment down to 8 pages by tightening up some language and simply eliminating some necessary definitions.

Nice work, guys. Now if you just trim 7 more pages off, it'll actually be a reasonable length for an amendment.

UPDATE: AFSCME just released a press statement on the new version of the revenue amendment, pointing out a provision that would supercede the Municipal Employment Relations Act instituted in 1978.

The new provision in the amendment reads: "No local governmental unit may be required under state law to increase its annual compensation for any employee or group of employees by a percentage that exceeds the allowable percentage increase in the revenue limit for that local governmental unit under this section."


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home