Stealth Budget Proposal Attacks Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS)
At 5pm on Thursday, July 2nd, as the holiday weekend got underway, the leadership of the Joint Finance Committee amended the proposed state budget (Budget Modifications #999) to, among other items, restructure the Joint Survey Committee On Retirement Systems (JSCRS) which is responsible for overseeing WRS changes.
It is currently composed of Senate and Assembly legislators of both parties, representatives from the offices of the Attorney General, Insurance Commissioner, Department of Employee Trust Funds and the public.
It would become entirely composed of 10 appointed legislators (five Assembly and five Senate) with majority party control of appointments and seat assignments.
This amendment (see wispolitics.com/1006/150702999Motion.pdf item 27a for text) threatens the integrity and operation of America’s most successful public employee retirement system. 572,000+ active employees and retirees (+/- 12% of the WI’s population with families) DEPEND on the WRS to be there for them!
Provision 27a: 1) is NOT a budget item and has no place in the budget; 2)has no reason/justification for change cited in Resolution 999; 3) politically commandeers a vital legislative oversight committee, removing other critical expertise from direct participation, and 4)opens the door to political manipulation and corruption.
This is horrible public policy. It is a mockery of the due diligence and public involvement in a democracy! If the JSCRS needs change (debatable), let it come up through the natural bill-making process with drafts, background papers, hearings, and final bill preparation.
It threatens the independence of the WRS.
It opens the door for all sorts of political chicanery.
The majority party would have complete control over the WRS.
It reduces broad public oversight of a significant public trust fund ($100 billion).
Contact your legislator now to have this proposal removed! There’s no time to waste. The budget WILL BE PASSED this week! Your senator or assembly representative’s names are at: http://www.legis.wisconsin.gov/
|POWRS is a statewide group of volunteer citizens concerned with retirement issues. It advocates for the protection of existing public retirement programs and enhancing retirement security for all Americans, including stronger and better retirement options for private sector employees and businesses.This material is NOT COPYRIGHTED. Use it freely to educate and promote action on this issue.
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