MacIver News Service | January 17, 2011
[Madison, Wisc…] Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is forgoing a little vanity for the sake of luring businesses to the state.
On Tuesday, the newly elected Republican Governor will unveil signs along the state’s borders which proclaim that Wisconsin is ‘Open for Business.’
“Along with the symbolic nature of these signs, there are going to be substantive changes to the way our state government treats job creators,” said Walker. “The pro-growth initiatives I support stand in stark contrast to those policies being discussed in our bordering states.”
Walker is replacing attachments to the state’s 23 welcome signs. The previous Administration spent $3,000 on signs that included a welcome message that proclaimed Jim Doyle as Governor. Walker said the new signs, made in Wisconsin, will cost lest than $1,500.
The move mirrors an effort Walker undertook upon being elected Milwaukee County Executive in 2002, at which time he removed signs from Milwaukee County’s Mitchell International Airport that bore the name of his predecessor, but did not replace them with signs touting his office.
Walker said it’s the latest in his full court press to lure businesses from neighboring states.
“These signs are aimed directly at job creators to make them aware that they are welcome here,” said Walker. “As our neighbor states make it more difficult for private employers to create jobs, they can ‘Escape to Wisconsin.’”
In a release announcing the sign unveilings, Walker contrasted the efforts some of Wisconsin’s neighbors are undertaking to deal with the downturn in the economy.
- Governor Dayton of Minnesota recently made the following statement, “To those who sincerely believe the state budget can be balanced with no tax increase — including no forced property tax increase — I say, if you can do so without destroying our schools, hospitals and public safety, please send me your bill, so I can sign it immediately.”
- Illinois Governor Pat Quinn recently signed into law a budget bill that contained a 67% increase in the personal income tax, 46% business income tax increase, and new $4 billion loan to make an annual payment for public employee pensions.
Walker said he will provide those states with the example of how to protect core government services without increasing taxes.
The state legislature is currently in a Special Session, considering a series of initiatives authored by Walker that provide targeted tax relief to businesses and reform the state’s regulatory processes and litigation laws.