State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.
I believe the Governor is in denial. Wisconsin is to blame for the economic peril the state finds itself in, due to horrible budgeting and a failure to control spending. There is plenty of evidence to demonstrate how Wisconsin is responsible for digging a massive budget hole.
No matter the methodology used to examine our state finances, the final tally is alarming. The next state budget deficit, according to government accounting, is $900 million. Using real world accounting, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, the state’s general fund deficit for fiscal year 2007 is $2.44 billion.
The 2007-09 budget the Governor signed and that I voted against increased taxes and fees by $763 million. The Governor tampered with Indian gaming funds and the Patient’s Compensation Fund. Because of the Governor’s actions, millions of dollars budgeted on a hope and a prayer are now in jeopardy.
The current state budget assumes that a court will order the Ho-Chunk tribe to make payments to the state that the tribe says it does not owe. The state Department of Administration estimates the tribe will owe about $72 million in fees under its gambling compact by June 30, 2009. A lawsuit over the money is pending in federal court. There are no guarantees that the state will win the lawsuit, receive as much as it is seeking, or that payment will be received during the current budget cycle.
The State Medical Society has filed a lawsuit in an attempt to prevent $200 million from being transferred from the Patient’s Compensation Fund to the Medical Assistance trust fund to pay for Medicaid costs. The budget raid by the Governor is not uncommon. Remember, in the 2005-07 state budget, the Governor used his veto pen to transfer $427 million from the transportation fund to the general fund.
Wisconsin is suffering from a shortfall in tax collections. Collections are far below the three percent they were projected to be, coming in at only 0.8 percent. Blaming Washington is wrong. Wisconsin has taxed and spent itself into budget oblivion. If this trend continues, the state budget will be thrown into greater chaos. I fear the Governor will embrace tax increases and more funding raids. The Governor and the Legislature need to be more straightforward about the state of our state economy and the necessary solutions. With revenues down and a state in a huge deficit, we need to put the brakes on spending.
Governor Doyle began his State of the State address by saying we must make cuts. He proceeded to recognize and validate a looming recession. He then proceeded to light up the Christmas tree and place many new gifts under it. He did not explain how he would pay for the gifts.
The condition of state finances is that the next budget deficit, according to government accounting, is $900 million.
Using real world accounting, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, the state’s general fund deficit for fiscal year 2007 is $2.44 billion.
The recently approved 2007-09 state budget that I voted against increased taxes and fees by an incredible $763 million. Keep in mind there are millions of dollars at risk due to the Governor tampering with Indian gaming funds and the Patient’s Compensation Fund, not to mention the $427 million transportation raid. Tax collections are rapidly falling and expected to further decline during 2008.
The true state of the state economy is that every economic ranking shows Wisconsin in the top ten in taxes around the country. The Governor and the Legislature need to fully understand that the state cannot afford to continue its spiral of falling revenues and increased spending. That’s a recipe for economic disaster that will keep Wisconsin as one of the highest taxed states in the nation.
You can hear an audio clip of my reaction to the State of the State on badgerblogger.com.
Governor Doyle delivers the annual State of the State address tonight to the state Legislature.
Watch my blog tonight. I will post my reaction to the State of the State following the Governor’s speech.
I co-sponsored the constitutional amendment that will prohibit Wisconsin governors, Republican or Democrat, from using their expansive veto power to form new words, phrases or sentences to authorize spending the Legislature never approved. Here are more details.
Here’s a reminder of what prompted the constitutional amendment and why the Frankenstein veto must go.
Governor Doyle used his partial veto 139 times on the 2005-07 state budget. One of his Frankenstein vetoes increased a transfer from the transportation fund to the general fund from $268 million to $427 million.
Look at how Doyle did it.
The vote on April 1 is to get rid of the Frankenstein veto.
Once again, women from the Silent No More Awareness campaign were in the state Capitol last week to spread their message of the impact abortion has on women and men.
The campaign has three stated goals:
1) Educate the public that abortion is harmful emotionally, physically and spiritually with lasting consequences.
2) Reach out to those hurting after their abortion and let them know help is available.
3) Invite those who are ready to share their stories to join us in being silent no more.
The women talk about this controversial subject because, as they put it, “Abortion is the most common medical procedure performed in America, but the experience is rarely discussed.”
The co-founder of the Silent No More Awareness campaign, Georgette Forney has written a piece entitled, “What’s so bad about abortion?”
Forney provides the answers.
Learn more about the campaign here.