I support Walker’s budget repair bill

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In April, I will conclude nearly 40 years of public service – as a high school teacher, deputy sheriff, sheriff and county executive.
I am proud to serve with Racine County public employees; I’ll stack them up against employees of any county in Wisconsin. And I want to publicly acknowledge the fact that Racine County employees have stayed at their jobs, serving the people of our county, when other public employees have been advancing their personal interests in Madison.
But, regardless of my genuine respect for our people and the effort they consistently deliver, I’m an elected official who has had to fight to balance a budget eight years in a row.
In tough economic times, meeting increased service needs while keeping taxes down requires flexibility. Wisconsin’s municipal collective bargaining law too often stands in the way of flexibility. I know that and so do many of my fellow elected officials.
As passed by the Assembly, AB 11 permits public employees to join unions, to bargain for wage increases that protect them from inflation and to seek redress on matters of discipline, termination, and workplace safety. But it also assures state and local governments – and the people who pay the taxes to support those governments – that they will have the flexibility to deliver essential services in the most cost-effective manner.
I strongly support AB 11. I commend Governor Scott Walker for proposing this bill, and I encourage state senators to debate this bill and act upon it. Racine County taxpayers need this.

William McReynolds is the county executive of Racine County.

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