News and politics from Madison, Wisconsin... with a twist. Everything contained herein is intended as satire. Please do not take it too seriously. It's pure madness!
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At a press conference this morning, Jennifer Alexander of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce announced that the sky really is descending upon Madison. The group shared the results of a study it commissioned through Northstar, a local research firm.
Northstar completed intensive research of the sky-to-ground ratio beginning before the passage of Madison's minimum wage ordinance. After the Minimum Wage ordinance passed, the sky moved a full 2 feet downward. The sky descended another 2 feet immediately after the City Council passed the Inclusionary Zoning ordinance requiring developers to include some affordable housing in all new developments. Northstar reports that the city's Big Box ordinance, placing restrictions on the development of certain commercial properties caused only a 1 foot change in sky level. According to the study, "This variance likely occurred because the Big Box ordinance does not effectively accomplish its goal. Had it passed in its original form, we would have seen a more significant dip in the sky to ground ratio."
The study found that Madison's Smoking Ban initially resulted in the sky falling 2 feet with an additional 1 foot decline immediately after each of 2 failed repeals. When Alderwoman Brenda Konkel filed a series of lobbying complaints, resulting in increased enforcement of the city's Lobbying regulations, the sky came another 2 feet closer to Madison. Chamber of Commerce member, Dan Guerra, points out the cumulative effect of such regulations, "The sky has fallen at least 11 feet in a period of just a few years. At this rate, we will all be crushed as flat as pancakes by the end of 2006."
The study provided some reassurance for Madisonians who fear a piece of the sky landing in their soup. "The effect is reversible. Complete deregulation of business in the city would insure that the sky will never descend upon the good people of our city." When the state passed its own Minimum Wage bill, raising the wage while preempting Madison's ordinance, the sky crept back upward 1 foot. Madisonians got another 2 feet of relief when the City Council passed a watered down and ineffective new lobbying ordinance.
The release of this research comes as the City of Madison considers passing a Sick Leave ordinance that would guarantee paid sick leave for all employees in the city. Northstar's research predicts that passage of this law could send the sky plummeting. Alexander shares, "The data indicates that the Sick Leave Ordinance will negate the scientific forces that keep the sky up in the air. The Mayor and Common Council must oppose this ordinance to protect us from the crushing effects of the sky hitting the ground."
Alderman Austin King, a proponent of the Sick Leave ordinance, doesn't buy it. "Take a look around and you will see that the sky is firmly in place and not going anywhere. It's not moving to Middleton or Fitchburg or Monona, and it's not falling down upon the city."