State Budget Takes Effect

7/1/11 – Everyone’s lives in Wisconsin will change – at least a little – since the new state budget took effect at midnight. Republican Governor Scott Walker has said it will be easier to find a job, due to the tax breaks he approved for new-and-expanding businesses. But a U-W Madison think tank says many jobs Walker created so far don’t pay much. And if you lose a job, the budget forces you to wait an extra week to apply for unemployment benefits. Walker and his Republicans held the line on state-and-local taxes. But with a billion-dollars in state aid cuts, public schools and local governments say you won’t get all the services to which you’re accustomed – even with their savings in labor costs due to the new union bargaining limits. Political candidates will be on their own in raising money, as public financing disappears. And big donors can give up to 10-thousand-dollars to Supreme Court candidates instead of a-thousand. Critics say people will try to buy their brand of justice. But most of all, Republicans say you won’t have to worry about new taxes to cover huge state deficits every two years. The new budget carries over a much smaller amount of expenses into the following budget period in mid-2013.