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Charlie Sykes: Sykes Writes

A Busy 6 Months

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Do we really want to go back? Senator Glenn Grothman compiles a useful list of the accomplishments of the governor and GOP legislature so far this year. The list comes to an abrupt end if the Dems flip the senate next week.

 

In just the last six months, Governor Scott Walker and the legislature:

Passed a state budget (2011 Act 32) on time, without tax increases, that leaves Wisconsin in the black for the first time in over a decade:

*Turned a $3 billion deficit into a $300 million surplus

*Instituted the first permanent property tax cap in our state’s history

*Cut bonding (state borrowing) by nearly 20 percent

*Cut more than 1,000 government jobs, including 735 long-term vacancies

*Enacted sweeping business tax reforms that will save Wisconsin’s job creators over $130 million a year when fully implemented.

 

Results:

*In the first 6 months of 2011, Wisconsin showed job growth more than twice the national rate

*88% of Wisconsin businesses say the state is on the right track, up from 10% a year ago

*53% of businesses of all sizes predict they will add jobs and increase wages in the next 12 months1

 

The Budget Repair Bill (2011 Act 10) gave schools and other local governments the tools to control their budgets without sacrificing services:

*MacIver Institute: Wisconsin Schools Already In Line to Save Hundreds of Millions of Dollars2;

*Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Most state school districts dodge layoffs, cuts – some districts hiring new teachers for the upcoming academic year3.

 

Other Legislative Successes So Far:

*Protected our votes by requiring a picture I.D. at the polls (2011 Act 23)

*Became the 49th U.S. state to recognize its citizens’ Second Amendment rights to carry concealed weapons (2011 Act 35)

*Created a commission on Waste, Fraud, and Abuse that has already reported a potential $260 million in savings (Executive Order)

*Limited manufacturer liability only to those products they actually produced (2011 Act 2)

*Created a state tax credit for Health Savings Accounts (2011 Act 1)

*Passed legislation requiring a 2/3 supermajority vote to raise income or sales tax rates unless a statewide referendum supports the increases (2011 Act 9)

*Repealed higher auto insurance requirements enacted in the 2009 budget (2011 Act 14)

*Expanded the prohibition against tax money being used to subsidize abortion (2011 Act 32)

*Repealed in-state tuition for illegal immigrants (2011 Act 32)

*Repealed a mandate on local law enforcement to collect racial data during traffic stops (2011 Act 29)

*Expanded School Choice to Racine and potentially Green Bay (2011 Act 32)

*Required a successful drug test in order to receive unemployment benefits 2011 (2011 Act 32)

*Wisconsin paid off its $60 million debt owed to Minnesota under the former tax reciprocity agreement between the states (2011 Act 32)

*Wisconsin paid back the $200 million from Gov. Doyle’s unconstitutional raid of the Patients Compensation Fund (2011 Act 32) 

 

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