Wis. Gov. Scott Walker Touts $1 Billion in Savings from His Labor Reforms

The success of the labor and fiscal reforms in Wisconsin continues as total savings exceed a major milestone.

From today’s MacIver News Service report:

[Madison, Wisc…] One billion dollars.

That’s how much the state, school districts and local governments in Wisconsin have saved thanks to the budget flexibility provided by Act  10, according to the Governor’s office.

“This is a significant milestone—more than one billion dollars worth of documented savings for the taxpayers have been realized from the structural government reforms made last year,” said the Republican governor. “We made the tough decisions necessary to ensure our children and grandchildren were not buried under a mountain of economically crippling debt.”

Amongst the state’s 15 largest school districts, 12 have created substantial savings from using the budget bill’s tools. The three others, who refused to reopen their contracts to enact employee contributions, resorted to large layoffs of staff

Act 10’s labor reforms allowed many school boards and local governments to make job-saving changes when it comes to district costs. In no place has this been as apparent as when districts bid out for insurance coverage. Many communities are switching their health insurers through open bidding that allows private vendors to compete for contracts. Redesigning the benefit plan and providing options also is providing savings

Walker’s office announced the one billion dollars in savings are documented through hundreds of media reports, local budgets, and surveys of local government officials throughout the state. They say the results show that the total savings exceeded reductions in state aid.

Walker says the billion dollars saved through the reforms are one of the reasons that property taxes for the median value Wisconsin property taxpayer went down for the first time in over a decade.

Walker compared the path taken by Wisconsin with those chosen by others.

“While some states implemented massive tax increases and others laid off thousands of public employees, we chose a better way,” said Walker. “We protected property taxpayers and maintained services.”

Last week, Walker announced that for the first time in 12 years, the typical home owner in Wisconsin is paying a smaller amount of property taxes than the year before. The median tax bill for a home owner is now $2.952, compared to $2.963 last year, according to the Governor’s office

Findings highlighted by Walker’s office today include: READ MORE>>