Live blogging Oct. 26 2011 Milwaukee County budget hearing
1:20PM: Amendment 1C0005 was laid over, unanimous vote (6-0).
1:52PM: Patty Yunk, Director of Public Policy at AFSCME DC 48, is testifying on the proposed changes and greatly increased premium contributions to employee and retiree health insurance coverage.
2:10PM: A county retiree is now testifying on the same topic.
2:14PM: Another county retiree is now testifying on the topic. She is concerned about the effects on older retirees. A Medicare co-pay is being proposed as part of this. This would be “to ship us out to sea and throw us overboard without a life jacket.”
2:18PM: Now on budget for Land Sales, budget section 1933. (PDF; you will need to look through the non-departmental revenue document for section 1933.)
2:23PM: DAS Procurement Budget, and amendments 1A027, 1A028, 1A030.
– Amendment 1A027 (Harris, Thomas, Biddle, Dimitrijevic; De Bruin is chairing this amendment), which would create a way to get free birth certificates. This is in response to the voter ID law. In order to get a free ID to vote with, a person must present a birth certificate. The state has been totally uncooperative, and would not allow the county to waive the birth certificate fee. Rather than raise the tax levy, this would move money from DAS-Procurement. Supervisor Mayo moved approval. Sup. Johnson has asked to become a co-sponsor. Sup. Romo West emphasized “what a huge issue” this will be, as many central city residents to do not have a birth certificate.
Sup. Schmitt questioned how many birth certificates will be acquired. Sup. Harris is sharing statistics on the large numbers of citizens who do not have identification — nearly half of all minority populations. She added that this will pay for 5,000 birth certificates. Schmitt thinks the $100,000 figure is too high. He will support the next amendment that is for only $50,000. Sup. Jursik is commenting on the number of elderly voters who are very unhappy with the need to have ID just to vote. Also, will this be in effect if the League of Women Voters lawsuit against the voter ID law succeeds? Harris replied, if it succeeds, we’ll repeal this, but I don’t want to wait for that to be decided. Harris thinks it needs to be implemented now.
John La Fave, County Register of Deeds, is now speaking in support of the amendment. He noted that when a person comes seeking their birth record, they need to bring an ID. They do have procedures to deal with this (e.g. the person doesn’t need a free copy of their birth certificate.) People will still need to follow through on the state requirements to obtain a birth certificate.
Citizen testimony: Students and community members spoke in favor of the amendment. Describing people from Milwaukee who never had ID, birth certificate.
[At this point I was informed that my child’s daycare had called, and that he has vomited. I need to go get him now.]
Motion to approve passed 5-1 (Schmitt)