In February, Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker, in a valiant attempt to get a handle on the Badger State’s out-of-control spending and pay off the state’s deficit, proposed a budget bill that would curtail the collective bargaining powers of some public employees.
You’d have thought the sky was falling. Union members from all over the nation left their employment duties behind and descended upon the Capitol in Madison, protesting in the streets and taking over the Capitol building for days on end.
Mark Miller, the Wisconsin Senate Democratic leader, called the governor’s proposal a disaster. He and his fellow Democrats, along with union officials and protesters, predicted catastrophe if the bill were to become law.
Well, well, well … the bill is now law, and early evidence is showing that perhaps the governor just might know more about the benefits of fiscal responsibility than the Democrats, unions, protesters, and news media, who were quick to pounce on him as if he were proposing to end civilization as we know it.
Let’s take a look at just one tiny school district nestled in the beautiful Fox River Valley near Appleton. The Kaukauna School District, with a student population of around 4,200, and approximately 400 employees, has been struggling. It faced a $400,000 deficit this year.
The new law went into effect Wednesday. Already, school officials have enacted new policies that are estimated to turn that $400,000 deficit into a $1.5 million surplus. And guess what? It’s all because of the very provisions that union leaders, Democrats and protesters said would be disastrous.
Until now, teachers and staff in the district contributed 10 percent of their pay toward helping cover the cost of their health insurance. Until now, they made no contribution at all toward their pension plan costs.
Now, however, they’ll pay 12.6 percent of the cost of their health insurance coverage. That’s still a much lower rate than most of the private sector pays. Now, they’ll also contribute 5.8 percent of their salaries to the cost of their pension plans. These changes are estimated to save the school board about $1.2 million this year, according to board President Todd Arnoldussen.
Not a bad start for such a disastrous bill, huh? Looks like Gov. Walker is a complete failure in his attempt to rain down catastrophe on the educational opportunities of the poor children of America’s Dairyland.
Source: Washington Examiner …