25 December 2008

Glenn Grothman: assigned to cut eduational opportunities for taxpayers.

Hi everyone,

The Republican committee assignments have been made and Senator Grothman has been assigned to Education.

“The Senate Republican team is ready to get to work and hold the Majority Party accountable for their plans to address Wisconsin’s budget deficit,” Fitzgerald said. “We will spend the next two years providing a clear alternative and making our case that economic recovery can only begin by making Wisconsin more affordable for families, employers and entrepreneurs through lower taxes and less regulation.”
Senator Grothman, whose record on education is to cut educational opportunities for the taxpayer every chance he gets, is now the minority party's representative on educational spending?

How do you make education more affordable for Wisconsin taxpayers by shifting the tax burden to our less wealthy citizens?

Yeah, I don't know either.



Michael Horne said...

Check out the Daily Reporter December 31, 2008 to see the latest thing Glenn Grothman got wrong -- he wants to abolish Milwaukee City's EBE program, since it aids the wrong sort of people -- contractors with "bad attributes."

Michael Horne
Editor / Publisher

Senator slams city’s contracting preference
Grothman proposes withholding shared revenue

Sean Ryan , sean.ryan@dailyreporter.com

Posted December 31, 2008

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State Sen. Glenn Grothman wants to eliminate Milwaukee’s Emerging Business Enterprise program because, he said, it favors contractors with bad attributes.

To accomplish that, the West Bend Republican said he will introduce legislation terminating shared revenue for cities with programs similar to that in Milwaukee. Milwaukee received $230.6 million in state shared revenue in 2007.

“It looks like everything in society you are not supposed to do, you get a preference if you do it,” Grothman said.

Grothman’s suggestion drew criticism from Milwaukee Alderman Joe Davis, who said eliminating the EBE program sends the message Milwaukee is giving up on creating opportunities for entrepreneurs in the city.

“I think businesses here in the city of Milwaukee are working just as hard as any other business in the state of Wisconsin,” Davis said.

Milwaukee law defines an EBE as a business owned by someone lacking business training and with educational, social or employment disadvantages. According to the law, 18 percent of the money in each public works contract should go to contractors certified as EBEs.

Grothman took particular issue with the EBE law defining social disadvantages as including a lack of a traditional family structure and economic disadvantages as including a lack of creditor or bonding opportunities. He said he does not oppose public agencies giving contractors preference based on size, but he won’t stand for preferences based on family structure, poor credit or education level.

“I think the goal of the program, apparently, is to benefit people who under normal circumstances would have nobody to deal with,” Grothman said.

Davis said the EBE law targets small, emerging Milwaukee companies that need more public contracting money to generate more jobs.

“If one has not received (a master of business administration) to run a business but yet still has the capacity, but has the track record,” he said, “then the city of Milwaukee can utilize those folks and give them an opportunity.”

Karen Eaton, controller for Eaton's Asphalt Service Inc., a Milwaukee-based EBE, said her company qualifies for the program because of economic and educational disadvantages. As a company that supplies asphalt, the 30-year-old firm is at a bidding disadvantage when going against older companies that bought up properties with sand and gravel resources before her father, Leo Eaton, established the company.

Eaton said the EBE program opened doors by giving her company a chance to submit quotes to prime contractors bidding on city jobs. General contractors are more likely to give smaller firms a chance if they’re on the city’s EBE directory, she said.

“It’s not like we have an open check,” she said. “We definitely have to be competitive. We have to be competitive knowing they are going to choose the lowest price.”

Grothman said he hatched the idea after the city purchasing department recommended the city accept a $1.4 million bid from Goldfish Uniform Inc., Milwaukee, to supply police uniforms. Two other bidders were disqualified because they didn’t provide information about EBE subcontractors.

The city adopted its EBE program in the early 1990s to replace a program giving preference to minority-owned companies. The EBE language satisfies state and federal law, Davis said, and the city is working to legally create a preference for minority-owned companies.

“I would hope that (Grothman) could come to some type of rationale to understand that (the EBE laws) are well within the federal guidelines,” he said. “Since the late 1980s, we haven’t seen the change of what we see as a disparity in the utilization of minority businesses.”

A 1989 U.S. Supreme Court ruling said governments must prove a history of prejudice to minority-owned companies in past contracts before establishing a racial preference. Milwaukee next year will complete a study on the question.

Grothman said he will introduce a constitutional amendment in 2009 to ban state and municipal government from enforcing contracting preferences based on race. As for the EBE program, he argued the wording of the law is wrong.

“If people want to have a diverse number of businesses, they can have a diverse number of businesses,” he said. “I don’t view the Milwaukee program as benefiting primarily smaller contractors.”

Anonymous said...

In case you didn't know, a lot of Ozaukee County schools have unnecessary objects. For example, about 6 or 7 years ago TJ Middle School recieved new Gateway computer/TV systems, which I have seen used probably twice in the entire time I attended TJMS (2 years after they got them) They also had HBO packages. Tell me, is this really necessary on the taxpayers dollars?

Mpeterson said...

If a school buys computer equipment it doesn't use, then there's clearly a problem but, that's not the point I made here.

Cutting anything that moves is simply not the same as cutting prudently.