Thursday, November 03, 2011

This is what a jobs bill looks like

This is really very remarkable isn't it? Walker calls for another special session of the legislature to focus on jobs legislation. Then his rubber stamps in that body proceed to address every crack pot right wing piece of pet legislation that they can imagine. With this crowd that is to be expected but one may have also expected at least one actual jobs bill during this alleged special session on jobs. Instead we have witnessed a bum rush of extremist agenda items including some of the following:

  • Feed more Dirty Harry obsessions by introducing the Castle Doctrine (which actually takes away the jobs of Judge, Jury and Executioner).
  • Mandating abstinence "education" in public schools
  • Ignoring painfully obvious disparities by removing race as ONE factor for a scholarship program that serves disadvantaged college students.
  • Attempting to break the law (that Republicans already passed) by changing the gerrymandered redistricting maps. Nothing but a naked attempt to thwart the recalls to come.
  • Failed attempt to rush through legislation that would require a notary for each individual recall petition. Even though Walker and the author of this legislation both voted for the current system in the late 1990's.
  • Finding new ways to scapegoat and otherwise punish teachers.
The list goes on but you get the idea. We can certainly argue about these absurd legislative proposals. However there is no debate that none of them are designed to actually create jobs. And yet this is all that we have seen during another sham of a "special session on jobs". Give me a break, who do they think that they are fooling anyway?

If you want to look at what actual jobs legislation looks like, the Assembly Democrats introduced an entire package of bills that are clearly focused on creating jobs. They have named it the Make Wisconsin Work jobs package. You don't have to like the various bills or maybe you can find ways to improve them but at least they are on the actual topic of JOB, JOBS, and JOBS. Those Democratic bills include some of the following examples:

  • Workforce Growth Program - A grant program created under the Wisconsin Technical College System. It would address capacity issues at local technical colleges allowing them to partner with high growth/high demand industry sectors. It would create a better pipeline of newly skilled workers for the industries and businesses that most need them.
  • Extending the Transitional Jobs Program which helps people across the state gain the proper skills to reenter the workforce.
  • Apprenticeship Requirements for State Projects.
  • Business Match Training Grants which again partners local businesses with local tech colleges.
  • Wisconsin Agriculture Corps which connects youth with farm work and farm life in Wisconsin. The goal is to create long-term working relationships with those corp members and the farms with which they work. It will help create an entirely new group of skilled workers in our state's agriculture industry.
  • Entrepreneurial Assistance Grant Program - Provides grants to new small businesses for the costs of paid internships. It also gives funds to colleges and universities to establish a curriculum around the internship program.
UPDATE: Now read Rep. Mark Pocan on this "Anything But..." special session on jobs.

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