Debate over bill limiting local living wage ordinances on Capito - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Debate over bill limiting local living wage ordinances on Capitol City Sunday

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Rep. Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield) says there is no reason county governments should be using state or federal dollars to pay workers under local living wage ordinances. 

That's why he introduced Assembly Bill 750 last week, which is the subject of a debate on Capitol City Sunday this weekend between Rep. Kapenga and Dane County Executive Joe Parisi.

"They will have to determine under this law, hey, do we have the dollars coming from the state or federal government and if they are, we will not be able to utilize them on this contract," said Rep. Kapenga, who added that it may require municipalities that have living wage ordinances to tweak their accounting systems.

"Our initial read on this, is that it can't be done," said Parisi.

Most of the workers who earn $11.33/hour under Dane County's living wage ordinance are personal caregivers, according to Parisi.

"The bulk of the services that we contract for are for people like these personal care workers whose clients mostly - they might be on Medicaid so there's federal pass-through dollars or state dollars, and there are county dollars," said Parisi.

While Rep. Kapenga says he specifically wrote the bill in reaction to the Milwaukee County Board's recent vote to approve a living wage ordinance there, he doesn't want to exempt Dane County or any other local government.

"It is good for a state to have a uniform law if we're gonna put it in place," said Rep. Kapenga.

The second half of the show features an interview with Scott Spector, President of Wisconsin Progress.

Spector recruits and trains progressive candidates to run for local and state office.  He says a second Democrat may soon join Ernie Witter to challenge Rep. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) for the 17th Senate District seat Dale Schultz will step down from at the end of the year.

"This is a must win for Democrats and I think that you're going to see a Democrat get elected in November, for that district," said Spector. 

Spector also talks about a realistic number of seats he thinks Democrats can pick up in the State Assembly in November.

Capitol City Sunday airs at 9:00 a.m. on WKOW.
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