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.

State Budget Watch: I voted against the state budget

State budget

This was not one of the better days in the Wisconsin State Senate. The Senate approved what very well could be the most irresponsible budget in the history of the state of Wisconsin. I voted against the budget that was approved on a vote of 17-16. In just a few weeks, Governor Doyle will sign an irresponsible budget into law.

The taxpayers of Wisconsin are fully aware and understand what apparently too many Democrat legislators just can’t seem to grasp…..that we are in a recession.

It is unconscionable that as hard workers in the private sector are forced to endure salary cuts, benefits being taken away, or even loss of jobs that we are telling them state government is expanding. The message from this budget to the people who pay the bills is that you’re not paying enough. You’re not paying your fair share. You must and you will pay more. How much more? This budget increases taxes and fees by over $2 billion.

The Senate version of the budget increases capital gains taxes alone by $485 million. It increases spending $562 million more than the Finance Committee budget.

One of the most outrageous components in the Senate budget changes how capital gains are taxed, going from 60% to 100% full taxation of capital gains. The increase will affect 248,000 tax filers according to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau. The average tax increase would be $926 per tax filer. This change that will severely impact Wisconsin's ability to grow economically is made even worse because it is retroactive to January 1, 2009. 

How can we justify this budget to taxpayers making sacrifices in their homes, a budget that during a recession increases spending? This is the worst time to raise taxes and fees by billions of dollars. This is the worst time to increase spending.  How are taxpayers who have been getting pink slips or cuts in salary going to afford this budget?

There is far too much pork in the budget that the state can’t afford. This budget looks like the buffet line at an all-you-can-eat Sunday brunch. We all know that, and so does an angry public. They want legislators to take care of the state’s business in a fiscally responsible manner, not take care of themselves with pet projects.

There are plenty of dramatic policy changes that have been jammed into this budget that should be debated on their merits as separate pieces of legislation. 

I am not surprised that the overwhelming majority of this budget was crafted in secret, behind closed doors, outside the view of the public and the news media.  Too many tax increases. Too many fee increases. Too much spending. Too much pork. Too much policy. I wouldn’t want anybody to see all the damage that was being inflicted upon taxpayers, either.


Many taxpayers know the hits that are coming. Those that are unaware need to be prepared.

Your taxes are going up and up and up. You will be paying higher property taxes with the elimination of the Qualified Economic Offer.  
You will pay higher property taxes because state aid to local municipalities and school districts is being cut. Higher income taxes on small businesses will affect the jobs of many. You will pay higher capital gains taxes. You will be paying more in fees.


With the higher taxes come job cuts. This budget kills jobs at a time when Wisconsin needs them the most.


You will pay higher hospital care costs because a new hospital tax is being imposed in addition to the original hospital tax approved earlier this year by the Legislature.

You will pay higher car insurance premiums.


You will be less safe because many felons will be given early release. Your children will be less safe because GPS monitoring of sex offenders is being cut.

our local police department will have longer response times because they will be required to collect racial data at every traffic stop


Add it all up and you have what I call the Unaffordable Budget that is fiscally irresponsible and the taxpayers’ worst nightmare.


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