Act 10 Working for Wisconsin
Monday, Governor Walker announced that the reforms of 2011 Act 10 have saved the taxpayers of Wisconsin over $1 billion. Here in the 28th Assembly district, taxpayers saw a savings of over $4 million.
In the past, Wisconsin put special interests first and taxpayers second, but this trend has come to a stop. State government has finally put the focus on the taxpayers. As a result of these reforms, the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) estimated that school tax levies state-wide decreased by $47 million. Overall property taxes for the typical homeowner in Wisconsin have decreased for the first time in over a decade.
These reforms have been portrayed as negatively impacting public education here in the state. According to school district survey results released by the Department of Public Instruction, new teacher hires outnumbered layoffs and non-renewals by almost 1,800 positions state-wide. The same survey also noted that approximately 75% of districts have maintained or decreased K-6 class sizes. Overall, Wisconsin’s teacher to student ratio remains below the national average.
In 2010, the Department of Corrections (DOC) allowed workers who called in sick to collect overtime if they worked a shift on that exact same day. This resulted in a cost to the taxpayers of $4.8 million in one year. In order to eliminate this wasteful spending, Act 10 eliminated the ability of employees to stack overtime hours in order to inflate their salaries. In just three months, DOC reduced overtime cost by over $2 million.
Rather than avoiding difficult decisions and pushing our fiscal problems off onto the next generation, my colleagues and I made the tough decisions to put Wisconsin’s fiscal house back in order by putting the taxpayers of this state first.