The Wall Street Journal today detailed some of the immediate benefits from the reforms championed by Gov. Walker and the GOP lead legislature: a balanced budget without tax increases (see Ohio and Indiana, too), huge savings for school districts on health-care plans who are now free to get competitive bids, and an announcement from the education union that it is laying off 40% of its staff.
Here is a recap of the recall elections from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that gave Democrats two more seats in the Senate (but left the GOP in control by one vote).
There is much to admire and emulate in Wisconsin and other Midwestern states but given the DFL’s and Gov. Dayton’s allegiance to all things union, Minnesota will first need to retain a GOP-lead legislature in 2012 and give the GOP a Hat Trick in 2014. Divided government will not produce these results.
In the meantime, if the state of Minnesota wants to champion choice for state employees, they should give them the right to re-certify their unions at regular intervals and make the unions collect their own dues. These measures force unions to listen to their members.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has all the latest on our neighbors in Wisconsin. Republicans held the Senate against massive public union spending aimed at reversing the 2010 hat trick that gave Republicans control in the Badger State. “Democrats won two state Senate seats in Tuesday’s historic recall elections, but failed to capture a third seat that would have given them control of the chamber.”
Democratic Sens. Jim Holperin of Conover and Bob Wirch of Pleasant Prairie face recall elections next week. Both fled to Illinois to avoid voting on Gov. Walker’s curtailment of collective bargaining rights.
Stephen Moore thinks that the Republicans in Congress could learn a lesson from the GOP leadership here in Minnesota. Here is his conclusion:
Republicans did agree to new revenues through bonding tobacco settlement money and shifting education payments — an accounting trick to create the fiction of savings. They also may have to agree to drop policy riders on abortion and other issues unrelated to money.
Still, it’s a big victory for House Speaker Kurt Zellers and Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, who led the fight. It’s also a win for Minnesotans, who won’t face new taxes or unsustainable spending. Republicans remained committed to the principles that won them legislative majorities in November for the first time in more than two decades. Let’s hope lawmakers in Washington were watching.
The St. Paul Solution appeared in WSJ’s political diary. Moore is not the only observer to note the similarity between President Obama and Governor Dayton.