Posted on

Vox Pop - Says overturning Act 10 will bring dire fiscal implications

Vox Pop

Thirteen years ago, 2011 Act 10 was signed into law. At that time there was much angst and opposition to this legislation. Without reform, Wisconsin was headed for a $3 billion annual budget deficit. Since then, labor relations in Wisconsin have moved forward in a positive direction and Wisconsin’s Budgets have reflected fiscal responsibility.

As a Wood County Board Supervisor, I saw first-hand how the unions affected local government. Our counties and municipalities were held hostage by impractical union demands. Labor union negotiations were often lengthy and divisive, causing fiscal consequences that were often unreasonable.

According to the MacIver Institute, Act 10 has saved taxpayers $31 billion since being enacted. These savings came from government employees paying half their pension contributions and 12.6% of their health insurance premiums. Before Act 10, these employees were not contributing to their pension, and their healthcare was free. All of this was made possible with taxpayer dollars. Act 10 broke the stranglehold these costs had over local government budgets.

To reverse course now will result in grave financial consequences for Wisconsin, leaving taxpayers on the hook for billions in the coming years, not to mention threatening already strained local governments with default. Continuing increased taxation and borrowing is not a viable solution for local municipalities. Those advocating for overturning Act 10 have no plan or solution to fund the additional costs that will result. There is no concern that Wisconsin’s carefully constructed fiscal house will be trashed in the wake of that decision, nor do they care how it affects taxpayers.

A lawsuit challenging Act 10 is currently before the Dane County Circuit Court. It is only a matter of time before the Wisconsin Supreme Court has its opportunity to review Act 10. The fact of the matter is this Wisconsin Supreme Court will act as a ‘Super-Legislature,’ superseding the rightful authority of the Legislature to create law.

Overturning Act 10 on a fabricated case with a partisan court is not how our State’s government was intended to operate. The proper arena to change the law of Wisconsin is in the Legislature. If the Court continues to act as an arm of the Democratic Party regarding the cases it reviews, trust in our foundational institutions will continue to erode and we may never be given a chance to heal this partisan divide. As sad as it sounds, that may be the goal for a party that invested $10 million into a Supreme Court race.

Elections have consequences! Our government at all levels should work for the people who elected them, not special interests who have nefarious motives. — Rep. Donna Rozar, Marshfield