Conservatively Speaking

State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.

Wisconsin makes little progress improving business climate


continues its unfortunate pattern of being one of the worst states in the nation to do business. has released its third annual Top States for Business report, and the news remains horrendous for Wisconsin. Wisconsin ranks #43 on the list of the best states for business. Wisconsin’s 2007 rank was #44 and its 2006 rank was #39. rated the states on six different criteria: business costs, labor, regulatory environment, economic climate, growth prospects, and quality of life.

Here is how Wisconsin ranked in each of the six categories:

1) Business Costs- Wisconsin ranks #37, down from #34 last year. This index is based on cost of labor, energy and taxes.

2) Labor-Wisconsin ranks #37, up from #38 last year. This index measures educational attainment, net migration and projected population growth.

3) Regulatory Environment- Wisconsin ranks #37, up from #44 last year. This index measures regulatory and tort climate, incentives, transportation and bond ratings.

4) Economic Climate-Wisconsin ranks #26, up from #38 last year. This index reflects job, income and gross state product growth as well as unemployment and presence of big companies.

5) Growth Prospects-Wisconsin ranks #46, down from #33 last year. This index reflects projected job, income and gross state product growth as well as business openings/closings and venture capital investments.

6) Quality of Life-Wisconsin ranks #16, down from #8 last year. This is an index of schools, health, crime, cost of living and poverty rates.

The rankings compiled by Forbes are revealing. Wisconsin continues its proud tradition of being a great place to live, given our high quality of life, although it is sad to see the state drop out the top ten in that category. In all other categories, Wisconsin’s business climate is woeful. 

Wisconsin taxes and spends too much, the state over-regulates, our income growth rate is one of the lowest in the country, and the brain drain is costing us many of our best and brightest workers.

The report is another wake-up call to Wisconsin to take dramatic measures to significantly improve our business climate. How did surrounding states fare? Minnesota ranks #11, Iowa ranks #22, Indiana ranks #25, Ohio ranks #39, Illinois ranks #35, and Michigan ranks #47.

Here are all the state rankings and the full story from

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