State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.
Results of the 2009-10 session show Wisconsin taxed more, Wisconsin spent more, Wisconsin was more hostile to business, and Wisconsin did little to create jobs and revive its sputtering economy.
A review of the disappointing session must begin with the 2009-11 state budget that increased spending 9.4 percent during a recession. The budget eliminated the QEO, the Qualified Economic Offer causing school property tax levies for 2009-10 to increase six percent according to the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance that also reports the tax increases from the 2009 budget adjustment bill plus the tax increases in the 2009-11 state budget total $3.03 billion.
Jobs. Getting the unemployed back to work should have been the top priority of the Legislature. According to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue,
Global warming legislation. A study of comprehensive green policies in
Election system overhaul. Problematic legislation that would have allowed on-line voter registration and automatic voter registration at the time of driver license registration, an open invitation to voter fraud, also died.
Regional Transit Authorities (RTAs). RTAs managed by members that are unelected and unaccountable to the taxpaying public enjoy wide powers. An RTA may operate a transportation system or provide for its operation by contracting with a public or private organization and impose a half percent sales tax. The Legislative Fiscal Bureau has reported that a half-cent sales tax increase to fund RTAs would cost about $172 per household a year.I oppose the creation of boards or authorities with appointed members having taxing power. This is taxation without representation. I was pleased RTA legislation died.
High speed rail. During February 2010, the Joint Finance Committee voted along party lines to approve spending over $800 million in federal stimulus money to construct a high-speed rail line between
Waste and fraud. A Pulitzer Prize winning series by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel found rampant fraud in Wisconsin Shares, the state subsidized child care program. A Legislative Audit Bureau review found even more problems. Yet
The true highlights of the session were actually the many lowlights. The message I heard loudly and clearly during the session was, how can the state keep taxing and spending at high levels during a recession? We cannot tax and spend our way to economic recovery. We must put a stop to expanding current state programs and/or creating new ones until we get our fiscal house in order. Wisconsinites that expected economic remedies from the Legislature were deeply disappointed by the general legislative session.