Walker Signs WMC, Koch-Backed Bill to Limit Work Rules by Local Governments

April 17, 2018

Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill into law on Monday that prohibits local governments from passing or enforcing numerous employment rules.

The proposal, Assembly Bill 748, which was approved by the GOP-controlled legislature on a party-line vote:

Prohibits local governments from setting occupational licensing regulations that are tougher than state standards;

Prevents local governments from establishing minimum standards for employment benefits;

Forbids local governments from handling wage claims or passing ordinances that prohibit employers from asking about a worker’s salary history;

Prohibits local governments from setting higher minimum wages for contractors hired for public works projects;

Forbids local governments from using labor peace agreements where employers agree not to interfere with attempts by labor unions to organize workers.

Support for the bill was led by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC), the state’s largest business group, and the rightwing Americans for Prosperity, a secretive outside electioneering group created by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch.

WMC is among the largest special interest spenders on outside electioneering activities. The group has spent an estimated $19.8 million since January 2010 to support GOP and conservative legislative and statewide candidates.

Americans for Prosperity has spent an estimated $5.8 million since 2010 in Wisconsin to support conservative and GOP legislative and statewide candidates.