In a letter to Governor Jim Doyle on Thursday, gov-elect Scott Walker urged Gov. Doyle to stop being governor for the next two months, making the following “requests” of Secretary of Administration Dan Schoof:
- Stopping unfinished negotiations with unions on the 2009-’11 labor contracts so they can be considered as part of the upcoming 2011-’13 state budget. Walker campaigned on making public workers cover more of their benefits, including pension contributions.
- Freezing the implementation of the new health legislation, including the establishment of a state health insurance exchange that would allow individuals to purchase coverage.
- Making plans to shift the source of power from biomass to natural gas at a University of Wisconsin-Madison power plant that is being upgraded.
- Halting any civil service hiring decisions. In the past, political appointees in need of jobs have been shifted down into permanent civil service jobs.
- Halting work to finalize any new administrative rules.
In response to Walker’s letter, Secretary Schoof sent out a letter of his own making it pretty clear Scott Walker doesn’t know what he’s talking about:
I am writing in response to your letter dated November 10th. I am aware that there are those who would attempt to pit incoming and outgoing administrations against each other. As you know, Governor Doyle and this administration have worked hard to avoid this. We will continue to work with you and your team in an orderly and responsible manner.
With respect to the specific items you mention, obviously you have not had the opportunity to be briefed on these items. For example, the health care exchanges you mention will require legislation and will not go into effect until 2013 at the earliest. The Charter Street Plant, on which work has begun, has natural gas capabilities along with the biomass fuel purchased from Wisconsin farmers and foresters.
Our offer to brief you on these and any other measures still stands.
What I’m still trying to figure out is why Scott Walker thinks he should have any input over the labor contracts currently being negotiated between the state and its employee unions, contracts which, if approved, would cover the past two years, years that Scott Walker was Milwaukee County Executive, not governor.