Why are legislators taking such a long vacation?
VIEW FROM THE JANESVILLE GAZETTE.
Dear state legislators:
We understand you’re about ready to take a “vacation.”
A 10-week vacation that spreads across the holiday season, that is.
Anyone around these parts enjoying such a “vacation” usually does so without pay. Maybe you noticed that there are a lot more of those types of workers out here right now.
Many Wisconsinites, your constituents, are looking for work, any work, but they aren’t finding it.
Meanwhile, as we understand it, you’ll continue to pull paychecks during the Assembly and Senate “floor period” break, scheduled to start now and last all the way until Jan. 19.
How does that jibe with all those state employees on mandatory furloughs, say nothing about those of us in the private sector swallowing unpaid furloughs, as well?
Sure, we understand that you’ll claim you work very hard and will be involved in meetings, research and “constituent service” during this break period.
You won’t mention publicly that this time off also gives you a chance to start re-election campaigns. You’ll devise strategies, maybe hold a few fundraisers, knock on doors and tell folks at those “meetings” how much you’ve done for them-all while earning money from us taxpayers. That’s an advantage your potential election opponents won’t have.
Then your work on the current two-year legislative session appears to wrap up next June 9, giving you even more time to go home and campaign.
Talk about a mixed-up system.
Last week, Gov. Jim Doyle hinted that he might call you back for a special session later this month to focus on education. Topics could include giving Milwaukee’s mayor the power to take over that city’s broken-down school district and changing the K-12 public education law to tie student test results to teacher evaluations.
Those topics deserve further attention, and we would be happy to see you return for such a special session.
Of course, we’re glad you don’t work 52 weeks a year. After all, that likely would only provide you more time to find more ways to spend and tax.
So what’s our quibble? As we’ve stated in the past, why are we paying you full-time salaries for what is part-time work?
It beats us. But if any of you have a good explanation, we’d be glad to print it.