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Government and Political Roundup: Bill limiting employees' access to social media accounts gaining momentum

A Democratic state representative from Madison is sponsoring legislation which would keep employers from making their employees or job applicants provide access to social media accounts. Melissa Sargent's bill has bipartisan support. Republican state Representative Gary Bies is a co-sponsor. He says social media access should be protected. Schools or landlords would also be prevented from gaining access to the personal Internet accounts of students or tenants. Almost three dozen states are considering similar laws, with nine already having them on the books.


Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan talks about immigration reform during an appearance in Chicago today. The Janesville Republican will be speaking at a luncheon at the City Club of Chicago. Also appearing will be Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez of Chicago, one of the so-called "Gang of Eight" who are putting together a comprehensive immigration reform bill. Though not offering his total support, Ryan has saluted the group's effort on a broadcast last week. He says their work is getting this country closer to a solution to a problem which has dominated the national debate.


Even though several members of the Milwaukee County Board have presented a plan to reduce their wages and cut their total budget, legislation to cut even deeper could go to a vote by Thursday in the Legislature. Ten members of the county board are backing a proposal to cut the board's budget in half and reduce supervisor pay by 20 percent. State Representative Joe Sanfelippo is a former board member now serving in the Assembly. He says the idea offered last week is too little and especially too late, saying it's not a sincere offering. A Wisconsin Senate committee will take up a bill similar to Sanfelippo's on Wednesday.


Officials with the Milwaukee police and firefighters unions say contract talks take time. They say they aren't delaying the process. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett's chief of staff has another take. Patrick Curley says the unions are avoiding contract talks as they wait to see whether the Wisconsin Legislature gets rid of residency rules. Contracts for both unions expired at the end of last year and there has been little interaction with the city's labor negotiator since. Milwaukee has had a residency rule in place for 75 years. Local governments say the state should get out of the discussion, calling where those workers live a matter of local control.