Rep. Leah Vukmir's Budget Update
Here is her budget report:
Overall spending in the two-year spending plan will increase almost 7% funded by $3 billion in new taxes and fees and hundreds-of-million of dollars from one-time federal stimulus funds.
The budget also contains a variety of policy provisions that will have an impact on all of us and could result in a property tax increase of almost $1.5 billion.
While the economic downturn has made Wisconsin's budget challenges more difficult, the problems facing the governor and the legislature are the product of more than a decade of spending beyond our means.
In 2007, the legislature approved a budget that increased spending by nearly 10% despite strong indications that our economy was heading towards a recession and our revenue projections were excessively optimistic. As a result, Wisconsin ended 2007 with the largest per-capita structural deficits in the country.
Instead of working to trim government spending by making agencies seek efficiencies, the governor and the Democratically controlled Joint Finance Committee did all they could to insulate state employees and agencies from the impact of the recession.
This budget once again relies on one-time funding and unrealistic economic projections meaning that our budget troubles will only grow with the next budget.
Families and businesses in our state continue to struggle. They are trimming expenses and finding ways to do more with less. Throughout our state, the people are all asking the same question... "why can't government do the same?"
Even more troubling are the new taxes and fees on job creators. It doesn't matter if you work for a large company, a small business or are self-employed, this budget will put an additional burden on you.
During the past year, more than 150,000 workers have lost their jobs in Wisconsin, yet this budget will reduce any hope of an early economic recovery.
I have voted against Republican budgets that I believed were irresponsible, but this Democratic budget is the most reckless and harmful I have seen in our state.
My colleagues and I will do all that we can to amend this budget to remove as many of these items as possible, however I am not optimistic about our chances.
I encourage you to stay informed, follow the process and get involved. The Senate could take up the budget as early as June 15th please let your senator know how you feel about this budget.
Phone: 608-266-9180 or 414-453-0024EMail: Rep.Vukmir@legis.wi.gov