Finally A Wisconsin Republican Who Understands Politics

'We are capable of thoughtful approach' on budget repair bill

" I share Gov. Scott Walker's goal to eliminate our more than $3 billion state budget deficit without raising state or property taxes.

On March 1, the governor will introduce his two-year budget plan, revealing what he meant by his recent statement he intends to reduce state government to what is "essential."

The budget will likely include cuts of around 10 percent in state aids to schools, counties and municipalities, leading to many public employee layoffs and fewer people served by programs.

The governor's budget repair bill starts cutting costs quickly by requiring state and local public employees, except for police and firefighters, to contribute at least 12 percent of their health insurance coverage and half their retirement contribution. Lengthy negotiations on public employee union contracts wouldn't provide the prompt, deep savings local governments will need to cope with far less state aids.

That's why it's warranted to prohibit collective bargaining for the upcoming biennium.

I agree with the long-term goal to have balanced state budgets without tax increases, transportation fund raids, and excessive borrowing. We can achieve that goal and preserve the Wisconsin community we want without having to eliminate collective bargaining in perpetuity.

With collective bargaining, Wisconsin residents have enjoyed high-quality and uninterrupted public services for decades. Our thinking and our decision about collective bargaining in Wisconsin should revolve around what is fair for our middle-class neighbors with public sector jobs in our own community..."

Read more by Dale Schultz @ Wis. State Journal

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