Audit reveals over 100 preemption, other actions to shut down local democracy in Wisconsin

February 11, 2016
Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau
legislation mosaic mural from WI capitol

According to this review by Wisconsin's nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the state legislature in that state has enacted over 100 unfunded mandates and preemptions of local government authority since 2011.

We encourage you to read this document. It will give you a sense of the sweeping reorganization of government in Wisconsin and many other states, in which local, democratically enacted laws and policies designed to meet local economic, social, and ecological needs are being nullified at the request of lobbyists from the Chamber of Commerce and other corporate lobbies.

In Wisconsin's case, this process is especially contested since the state legislature there is governed by a political party that has repeatedly lost the statewide popular vote (in 2012 and 2014) and yet which, due to extreme gerrymandering, maintains an enormous majority in both legislative chambers. Furthermore, Wisconsin's Constitution provides for some of the strongest home rule protections for cities and villages in the country. A storm is brewing in Wisconsin, again.