The State of the State We’d Like to Hear

Tuesday, February 1, 2011 at 4:27 PM by
Governor Walker is slated to give his first State of the State address tonight at 7 PM. If it’s not too late for suggestions, the Wisconsin Budget Project would like to offer some possible talking points for Governor Walker to consider. Here’s what we would like to hear in his State of the State address:

  • A declaration that a shift to responsible budgeting practices will be a top priority in the Walker Administration, starting with the upcoming 2011-13 budget negotiations. Governor Walker doesn’t even have to wait until he introduces his budget in February to get a start on better budgeting. Step one is to follow the old adage, “When you’re in a hole, stop digging.” Significant revenue cuts, such as the ones passed in the special session, contribute to the state’s budget deficit and increase the need for painful spending cuts that will have detrimental effects on our communities.
  • A recognition that the state will need to employ a balanced approach in developing the upcoming budget. Spending cuts will be necessary, but an all-cuts budget will degrade the public structures and services Wisconsin needs in order to be poised to take advantage of new economic opportunities that will arise as the recession ends.  If taxes were the primary consideration for where businesses locate, all the major corporations would have their headquarters in Alabama or South Dakota.
  • A pledge to keep fiscal policy out of the state constitution. Tying future lawmakers’ hands and reducing the range of choices available could result in cuts to critical services, harm Wisconsin’s long-term economy, and restrict innovation.
  • A nod to the Packers for their remarkable season. If Governor Walker congratulates the Packers in his address, you can be sure he got the idea from the Wisconsin Budget Project.

 Tamarine Cornelius

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