Now that the effort to recall the six Republican state legislators who helped pass Wisconsin’s “Budget Repair Bill” has proven unsuccessful, and citizens are seeing the benefits of living in a state which is fiscally responsible and business- friendly, optimism is growing throughout the state.
State Senator Rich Zipperer recently chronicled several reasons for this optimism in a 9/21/11 column emailed to his constituents. The Republican representing Wisconsin’s 33rd district listed a number of significant accomplishments the budget bill brought about:
- Balanced the state budget while holding the line on taxes, eliminating a $3 billion deficit in the process.
- Instated permanent property tax caps for the first time in Wisconsin’s history.
- Rooted out millions in waste from state government.
- Improved the security of elections with photo I.D. for voting legislation.
- Transformed the bureaucratic Department of Commerce into the more nimble Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.
- Reformed the state’s legal system, allowing job creators to operate without squandering millions on frivolous litigation.
Employers have noticed the steps Wisconsin has taken to position itself for long-term economic growth, and are becoming optimistic as well. Zipperer outlined dramatic improvements in employer attitudes toward the state:
Wisconsin improved four spots on CNBC’s “top states for business” list this year, an overwhelming 88 percent of the state’s business leaders surveyed by Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce approve of the direction the state is heading, and, according to CEO Magazine, we are now the nation’s 24th best state to do business in – 17 spots higher from 2010.
Not everyone shares Zipperer’s enthusiasm, however. Despite the futility and expense of the senatorial recall effort (which cost state and local governments over $2.1 million), the Democrats will attempt to recall Governor Scott Walker in November.
Plus, many Democrat-controlled counties and municipalities plan to meet mandated spending reductions by cutting critical Fire and Sheriff Department budgets instead of trimming non-essential services. In doing so, the Democrats and their union supporters hope to convince voters that the Governor’s budget cuts are a threat to public safety.
Having experienced many of the tangible benefits cited by Zipperer, the public isn’t buying this argument. If only the democrats and unions recognized this new reality …
A useless and costly gubernatorial recall election could be avoided.