Skip to comments.Month One: Walker Budget Working
Posted on 08/22/2011 3:09:32 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
MadisonOne month after the 2011-13 state budget was signed into law, tangible results from the reforms put in place by Governor Walker and the Legislature are being realized. According to media reports, local units of government and school districts have already saved more than $220 million, with millions more in potential savings not yet reported.
The state is also adding jobs. Between December 2007 and December 2010, Wisconsin lost over 153,600 private sector jobs. The state has netted over 39,000 new private sector jobs since the Governor called a special session to open Wisconsin for business. The state has seen 14,100 manufacturing jobs created since January. In June Wisconsin had a net job creation of 9,500 new jobs, including nearly 13,000 private sector jobs. Only four states created more private sector jobs than Wisconsin did in the last month.
Below is a sampling of local units of governments being able to balance their budget and improve services due to the reforms contained in the 2011-13 state budget and the budget repair bill:
Ashland School District
A health insurance provider switch saved Ashland School District nearly $378,000.
Reference: Ashland School District
Kimberly School District
The district saved $821,000 by dropping WEA Trust.
Reference: Kimberly School District
Edgerton School District
The district will drop the union's current health insurance carrier, the WEA Trust. The district is gathering bids to change to a different health insurance provider, which Pauli said could save at least $500,000 over the next year.
Baraboo School District
The Baraboo School Board expects to save about $660,000 next year after deciding to change insurance providers Monday evening.
Dodgeland School District
The Dodgeland School Board made the decision to change insurance companies.
Administrator Annette Thompson said the change will help the board deal with the expected $640,000 budget deficit from reduced state aid and expiration of some federal and AARA funds. The change in providers is expected to save the district $260,000 next year.
Elmbrook School District
The district originally had planned for $780,000 in savings through the health-care changes, but Brightman said the actual savings are estimated at $878,000. He said some of that money likely will be needed to pay for staffing - probably a half-time equivalent clerical position - to administer the new plan.
Mequon-Thiensville School District
Delta Dental's quotes also came in lower than those provided by WEA Trust. Beaudry said the district will save $49,000 in the 2011-12 budget cycle by switching to Delta Dental.
Reference: Mequon Thiensville
Marshfield School District
Marshfield will balance its budget despite the cuts. "Given the cost savings with health insurance and the turnover with staff and new hires, we will be able to preserve our programs and come up with a balanced budget," said Peg Geegan, the district's director of instruction who will assume the superintendent's position Aug. 1. The district will save $850,000 by switching health insurance carriers
Fond du Lac School District
District leaders believe when school starts in the fall they'll be operating with a balanced budget. They say the savings under the bill will offset their 4.4 million dollar budget shortfall. Class sizes and programs will also remain in tact.
Fond du Lac and Balanced Budget
City of Sheboygan and Sheboygan County
City of Sheboygan Mayor Bob Ryan and Sheboygan County Administrator Adam Payne said the collective bargaining reforms will provide enough savings to make up for the reductions in state aid. "We were able to lock in savings and certainty due to the discussions going on in Madison," Payne said.
Wauwatosa School District
The tax levy is projected to decrease, no programs will be cut, and class sizes wont increase by any significant measure. School board member Phil Kroner: "When students come to school in the fall, they're going to see the same things, have the same teachers, and they're going to see new things as well.
Laid-off city workers may get their jobs back after the city moves forward with the wage and benefit reforms contained in the budget. And Overtime rules have changed saving the county $100,000.
References: Manitowoc and More Manitowoc
They will see up to a 9% decrease in the school portion of their property tax levy. "It will be wonderful for our taxpayers, who have been extremely committed to our schools," School Board President Julie Strenn said, noting three years ago, voters approved a three-year revenue cap override that cost taxpayers an additional $175,000 each year "This is the first year we have not needed to short-term borrow.
Paul Hauffe, director of business services said, administrators are poised to introduce a balanced budget in mid-July We're very close right now, there's nothing monumental that we have to overcome."
Appleton Area School District
They will save $3.1 million just in health insurance costs alone due to competition among health insurance providers. Financial advisors for the school district said:
· Discussions at the state level over collective bargaining and budgeting issues have been beneficial to school districts from the rate perspective.
· It forced a lot of competition. I do think the landscape in the school marketplace has changed significantly over the last year that's put significant pressure on WEA Trust. Previously to this year, they didn't have a lot of competition. Historically, it's very difficult for other carriers to match them.
· The $3.1 million in savings for next school year is just in health insurance premium costs.
Inmates can do routine maintenance tasks so that county employees can spend more time working on projects that improve the community. CountyExecutive Jim Ladwig said inmates will be able to perform more tasks such as landscaping, painting, and shoveling sidewalks in the winter. We have a win-win when we use the inmates, Ladwig said. It gives them a sense of value they are helping the community. At the same time, he said it will help the county maintain property that has been neglected.
Another tidbit is that the Teachers'Union announced Saturday that they have laid off 40% of their administrative staff. All because they no longer have the money pipeline through the state. They have to collect their own dues now, and teachers have the option of whether to be long to the union, or not.
Scott Walker is my hero!
Ding, dong, the witch (Doyle) is dead! Ping the list for Walker’s accomplishments.
Nicely done Governor Walker.
That's pretty accurate. They sold their own health insurance (at nearly double the cost). The teachers no longer have to buy it, and it saves every one money. This is why the unions and the Dems pour $34,000,000 in here to try to unseat the Republican majority in the legislature and the conservative majority on the WI Supreme Court.
They were effectively doing business with the state. Perhaps an audit is in order?
Disclaimer: No golf balls were harmed during the creation of the "Wisconsin Miracle"
You know the union and dem thugs are p*ssed off. Look at what a Republican Governor has done for his state. Yippee!!!
Imagine this spreading across the country! Even shithole states like mine (which would be California) will be forced to go along or be left behind. Once the moron voters see that the unions are nothing but greedy bastards and thugs, even they won’t stay on the RAT bus any longer! Everything would be better if PE unions were legislated out of existence.
And it has the added benefit of defunding the Rats’ cash cow. I wonder how much the unions are losing because they are not getting automatic deductions from the teacher’s paycheck via the state.
Walker had the guts to do the right thing. Well done!
Check this out, it might say in here. I glanced at it this morning, but had to get back to work. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2767347/posts
As I understand it, the old union contracts mandated that the school districts contract with WEAC. But I can't believe that over all those years, all those school districts, not ONE finance administrator ever got a quote from another carrier, just out of curiosity, and then asked/wondered WHY WEAC was 30-40% HIGHER.
I'm not an atty, but that sure sounds/smells like price fixing/collusion/racketeering to me. Shouldn't the Wisconsin AG be investigating?
Wis. State Stas. require union dues be collected IF there is a formal contract in place. Simple, if a contract was signed and in currently in place, the government entity is obligated to collect union dues via payroll deduction.
I sit on a Union Negotiating Committee (for a county, with four unions) and made several attempts to get that particular State Stat. removed. Our current contract will expire in 2013 (unfortunately)but I will continue to get it out of the stats by hounding state legislators.
I’m NOT talking about the dues check-off...most of the union contracts had clauses that REQUIRED the school board to purchase the medical coverage from the WEAC insurance compnay..no competitive bidding....that’s what was wrong..and why wasn’t it ever questioned?
Well it was questioned by the public and by conservative talk show hosts a lot. That’s just part of the reason we elected Walker — to turn this around.