In order for the Governor to eliminate the deficit Wisconsin is facing and balance the budget, he must make tough decisions. His Budget Repair Bill proposed last week was met quickly with criticism for concessions asked of state workers.
What was ignored in the cacophony was the fact that asking state workers to pay a percentage into their pensions and pay more of a percentage of their healthcare premiums doesn’t even touch the surface of eliminating the $136 Million shortfall we face July 1st or the $3.6 Billion shortfall projected for July 1st 2013. What was ignored was Governor Walker’s call to refinance debt.
Governor Walker wants to make sure BadgerCare is left sound so those in Wisconsin who need the most help aren’t left behind. By refinancing immediately, the Governor says he can save $165 Million to cover the shortfall for this year. He will announce next week, February 22nd, how he intends on battling the $3.6 Billion shortfall for fiscal year 2011-20113. But, again, refinancing is the larger part of the solution.
What is needed now is restraint, not incendiary comments from either side of the aisle. We must all work together to bring Wisconsin back from the brink. It is steps like these, some that may be hard at first to take, that will return Wisconsin to sound fiscal policy.