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Republicans Go After Local Control in Milwaukee

January 4, 2016

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign

December 30, 2015

Two Republican legislators in Wisconsin are sponsoring a bill that would prohibit towns or counties from issuing photo ID cards for their residents.

Sen. Van Wanggaard and Re. Joe Sanfelippo are sponsoring the bill.

“This is yet another assault on local control, which Republicans used to favor,” says Matt Rothschild, the executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. (Other examples include limiting the funding referendums that school districts can offer, restricting local zoning authority, and prohibiting the regulation of companies like Uber.)

“It also appears to be an effort to meddle in the affairs of Milwaukee,” Rothschild adds. In December, the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors voted to approve the spending of $150,000 on a joint task force with the City of Milwaukee to provide local ID cards.

“We have a very big target on us,” says Milwaukee County Supervisor Peggy Romo West, who introduced the proposal to offer a county ID.

The Wanggaard-Sanfelippo bill would preempt this effort, since it would make it illegal for any town or county to “expend any funds for the issuance” of a local photo ID.

“The local ID is important because there are big groups that are disadvantaged by not having an ID, and getting a state ID can cost money,” says West. “You need an ID to do just about everything in society: when you get prescriptions, when you open bank accounts, when you write checks.” She said the local photo ID would help “homeless individuals, ex-offenders, the elderly, victims of domestic violence, and members of immigrant communities.”


Read more here.