In a recent, editorial titled “State Leadership Lacking,” the Wisconsin State Journal lamented the Democrats’ wasted opportunities after securing majorities in both Legislative chambers. With Democrat Jim Doyle also occupying the governor’s office, most pundits predicted bold initiatives and major reforms. Instead, according the State Journal, “creativity and courage were lacking.” The editorial continued:
Unnecessary Fee Increase Creates More Uncertainty for Main Street Businesses
Agency officials could not have picked a more devastating time to increase the cost of weights and measures fees for businesses across the state. A proposal tucked inside last year's budget bill included a fee increase by the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) and authorized the Department to determine the increase through the administrative rule process.
The administrative rule process is now underway and DATCP has approved a 300 percent increase on weights and measures fees from $100 to $420 that will target the pocketbook of grocery stores, co-ops and manufacturers in my district and throughout the state. Businesses simply do not have unlimited resources to absorb this drastic increase from the state and ultimately the consumer will pay for it.
The Oshkosh Northwestern recently summed up the last 17 months in Madison this way: “Politically, it could be described as the most underwhelming display of leadership from Democrats, who failed to capitalize on holding the governor’s office and majorities in both chambers of the legislature.” It was the first time in 24 years that Democrats claimed complete control of state government and I, for one, expected an ambitious (and misguided) agenda.
Wisconsin’s legislative session wrapped up early this morning after the state Assembly worked through the night for the second time this week. With Democrats controlling both the governor’s office and the Legislature for the first time since 1986, the only thing standing in the way of an agenda 24 years in the making was them. While they united last year to approve $3.1 billion in state tax and fee hikes, a 6.2% increase in government spending and a host of controversial new laws in a budget bill and a budget repair bill, competing priorities, policy divides and voter discontent tripped them up this spring. That’s both good news and bad news for Wisconsin families and employers.
I recently uncovered a series of troubling e-mails using Wisconsin's Open Records Law showing Governor Jim Doyle's Administration used taxpayer money to fly in a radical "environmental rights advocate" from California to promote a job-killing, tax-raising global warming bill. A bill that is so extreme, that most Democrats are refusing to back it now.
It is outrageous that an environmental extremist was flown to Wisconsin, paid for by the taxpayers, to specifically refute General Motor’s effort to educate lawmakers and the public about the impact a “global warming bill” would have on our state’s manufacturing-dependent economy. This all took place before GM made the decision to shut down major Wisconsin operations.