Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


Wisconsin skirts law so it can give raises to a few

Scott Walker won the governorship in next-door Wisconsin promising to hold down state spending. Wisconsin has a long-standing law that is designed to limit pay increases to state employees. That should help Walker hold down spending.

Wisconsin also has a long-standing tradition of skirting the law through a weird maneuver in which an employee is switched to a different state job for one day, then switched back to their original job, which magically makes the limit go away.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that even under Walker, certain public employees are so valuable β€” including at least one whose work was deemed politically valuable when Walker was facing recall last year β€” that it’s worth continuing the old switcheroo-for-a-day practice to reward them to avoid losing them to that nasty private sector. As in:

Gov. Scott Walker’s administration used phantom job transfers this year to give double-digit pay raises to two employees and a smaller raise to a third, quickly switching them from one post to as many as three others and then back to their original jobs.

The biggest pay increase β€” $14,416 a year β€” went to a longtime state economist who helped expose flaws in jobs statistics that were hurting the governor’s recall election chances, a Journal Sentinel review has found.

Comments (12)

  1. Submitted by Tim Walker on 10/14/2013 - 09:25 am.

    The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, allegedly a watchdog for the residents of Wisconsin, briefly wakes up from its decades-long slumber to do its job.

    The forecast is for another long nap to commence as soon as possible.

  2. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 10/14/2013 - 10:03 am.

    In other words

    Republican Scott Walker is protecting his political cronies from the consequences of a Republican action.

  3. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 10/14/2013 - 11:04 am.

    Quelle surprise!

    Anti-government Republicans find a way to game the system, to make bigger taxpayer-funded salaries. Who would have thought?

  4. Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 10/14/2013 - 11:19 am.

    Another one. . .

    After bashing state employees and their pensions, Walker hypocritically his former colleague and former Assembly Majority Leader, Scott Suder, head of the Water and Consumer Affairs Division of the Wisconsin Public Service Commission.

    Political hackery is alive and well in Wisconsin.

  5. Submitted by Leonard Foonimin on 10/14/2013 - 03:56 pm.

    Sign on the border …

    Welcome to Wisconsin, a wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries.

  6. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 10/14/2013 - 06:57 pm.

    At first I thought

    that Wisconsin passed a law banning short skirts πŸ˜‰

  7. Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 10/14/2013 - 09:22 pm.

    Some objectivity, please

    Today’s news:

    Wisconsin: State budget year ends $89 million better than forecast

    So maybe Gov. Scott Walker can get some credit? Oh, no, he is an evil republican who is against the unions…

    Can we ever go beyond this stupid partisanship?

  8. Submitted by jason myron on 10/15/2013 - 07:51 am.

    Sure, I’ll give Walker credit…

    for slashing education spending. His “surplus” was created on the backs of Wisconsin’s children. Walker is cut from the same cloth as Pawlenty…achieve a surplus by the use of accounting tricks and kicking the proverbial can down the road.

  9. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 10/15/2013 - 08:48 am.

    So Governor Walker Follows Close in the Footsteps

    of his own personal “Jesus;”

    George W. Bush,…

    in installing incompetent friends in key positions in Wisconsin State Government, then impoverishing thousands of newly-rendered-powerless workers across Wisconsin in in order that he might look good on paper,…

    and, still somehow, despite how “broke” he claims Wisconsin is, manages to pad the pockets of those cronies and close associates at the expense of Wisconsin Taxpayers.

    This looks less and less like state government and more and more like a criminal racket.

    Meanwhile, the overall economy of the State of Wisconsin (as opposed to the micro economy made up of Gov. Walker and his cronies), lags behind the entire region in this very slow recovery, a fact about which Gov. Walker doesn’t seem even the LEAST bit concerned.

    Buy, hey! Give him a few more years warming the Governor’s chair, while dragging the State of Wisconsin ever downward, and he can probably join our own former Gov. Tim Pawlenty as a spokesmodel for some very wealthy financial concern, one of the Koch Bros’ many “enterprises” or astroturf organizations, or even win the grand prize for “conservative” politicians: a gig on weasel news.

Leave a Reply