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For at least 30 years, a favorite speech for Wisconsin Republican legislators was "You are robbing schools and other local governments of their control control. They can make decisions for themselves. They don't need Madison to tell them what to do."

About 10 years ago, when they gained total control of the Legislature, Republicans lost their songbook. In less than four legislative sessions, they have passed more than 160 bills and budget provisions that interfere with local self-government.

A sample of the 160 Republican anti-local control bills:

  • Local governments can no longer require employers to offer paid sick leave.
  • They have prohibited local governments from imposing their insurance requirements on pipeline companies.
  • Cities and counties can no longer adopt ordinances regarding the siting of cell phone towers.

Once they teamed up with former Gov. Jim Doyle to prohibit local governments from establishing a higher minimum wage.

Who would want to take controls from local governments, you ask? Behind most if not all of these bill are the real controllers, not the Republican legislators but the special interests that want to control everything including the legislators.

I could go down the list and identify the special interest behind each of these bills, but it is sufficient to say it is not you or your fellow citizens.

Tom Krajewski, Onalaska