The Governor recommends creating a human resources shared services program within the Division of Personnel Management at the department to consolidate human resources, payroll and benefits functions of most executive branch agencies. Agency staff related to these functions will become department employees beginning on July 1, 2018. However, vacant positions will be reallocated from three agencies in FY18 to begin the transition toward a shared services model….And sure, maybe there will be savings to the putting these services under one roof at DOA, but it also decreases the independence of hiring and operating in ways that might make an agency more responsive to the specific needs of their program and facilities. This is especially true if the DOA is filled with political operatives who might not know (or care) the first thing about an organization’s mission and history of why things are done in a certain way. And we know that in today’s GOP, it’s party and donor loyalty that gets you promoted over actual knowledge and competence.
The Governor recommends transferring vacant information technology positions from several agencies, to strengthen information technology and services procurement and purchasing. Additional staffing will ensure that individual agency information technology purchases are made in a way that considers technologies and products already in use across the enterprise and maximizes single, integrated solutions whenever possible…
The Governor recommends transferring information technology positions to the department from the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance in order to provide more efficient and effective information technology support….
The Governor recommends requiring the department to study the potential consolidation of state facilities staffing in a shared services model and include a request relating to that study in its 2019-21 biennial budget request.
Who needs the People's House when you got this?
Another benefit to the Walker Administration to this consolidation of power? It becomes much easier to put together pay-to-play scams! Lee Berquist of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel pointed out on Friday how GOP insider connections led to Governor Walker’s call for a pro-polluter change in “enforcement.”
Lobbyists for a farm group met with Gov. Scott Walker's staff and talked about moving more authority over large farms from the Department of Natural Resources to the agriculture department several months before Walker directed the move be studied in his budget.Speaking of pay-to-play possibilities, that seems to be behind another way this administration likes to grab power for itself- by eliminating independent boards that handle specific issues. One such example was described in Thursday’s Capital Times where the Walker Admin wants to oversee private schools themselves, after the current board reported on and oversaw a horrible recent track record for these types of schools.
John Holevoet, director of government relations for Wisconsin Dairy Business Association, said that he and contract lobbyist Bill McCoshen met with a Walker staff member last fall to discuss agricultural issues, including the merits of a larger role for the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection in regulating the state's largest farms.
On Wednesday, Walker's 2017-'19 budget included a directive that the two agencies evaluate moving regulation of large farms out of the DNR.
Environmental groups are wary of such a shift and noted that a state audit last year found numerous shortcomings in the state's wastewater program, which includes CAFOs.
The state Educational Approval Board is scheduling an emergency meeting next week to discuss Gov. Scott Walker’s intention to eliminate the agency, which oversees for-profit postsecondary schools.And look who was just hired as the DSPS Secretary to oversee these private and for-profit schools - the head of a major Milwaukee voucher school. Think a few DeVos-style campaign donations might make the DSPS look the other way on shaky businesses practices, bad curricula and student exploitation at these schools? If not, you should.
EAB members as a body have not yet decided if they support, oppose or are neutral on a proposal in Walker’s 2017-2019 executive budget to eliminate the 6.5-employee agency that authorizes private trade, correspondence, business and technical schools and provides consumer protection services to their students, said EAB executive secretary David Dies.
Those functions would be transferred to the Department of Safety and Professional Services under Walker’s proposal….
…among 66,819 students enrolled from 2012-2014 in 263 schools, colleges and universities approved by EAB, only 30 percent had completed their studies by April 2016, according to an EAB Student Outcomes Report. In comparison, 41 percent of students had dropped out and 29 percent were continuing in school.
“In an economy that places a premium on education, students who accumulate large amounts of loan debt, but fail to earn a credential, (are) a major concern,” the outcomes report states.
In its consumer protection role, the agency provides guidance to students lodging complaints about schools where they have enrolled. EAB has counseled students who had been enrolled at Globe University and ITT Technical Institute — for-profit college chains that closed last year after federal education authorities withheld student aid — about ways to complete their education or get federal student loans discharged.
There are similar plans in the budget to put hearings on worker’s compensation under the DOA (and therefore directly under the Walker Administration, and the governor also wants to end the state’s Labor and Industry Review Commission and instead would “[add] a secondary review process for administrative law judge decisions in order to streamline appellate functions and decrease the time to decision for unemployment insurance, equal rights and worker's compensation cases." So apparently stacking these boards with GOP hacks isn’t enough, Walker now wants the entire thing under DOA control, where they can be even more tightly controlled and allowed to carry out arbitrary "interpretations" of law.
But this is par for the course in 2010s GOP land, where they have no tolerance for checks and balances in our democracy if it keeps them from doing what they want to do ("SEE YOU IN COURT!"). We need to be emphasizing how these outlaw administrations in both DC and in Madison want to do their business out of sight of the taxpayers that pay their salaries, and to rule by fiat, instead of lead with the consent of the governed. This budget document in Wisconsin continues that troubling trend.