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.

More state issues to watch during 2010

The National Conference of State Legislatures believes state budgets and taxes will be the most pressing issues for states to confront during 2010. 

Governing magazine is also out with 2010’s Top 10 Legislative Issues to Watch. Topping the list: budgets.

I agree with the magazine that state legislatures will “consider painful service cuts and tax increases.” However, I disagree that tax increases are the solution, not when practically every state is still reeling from the recession.

Undeniably as Governing emphasizes, states have massive budget gaps to fill. In Wisconsin, the hole is over $2 billion. 

The Legislature will almost certainly have to convene to adopt a budget repair bill that I will not support if it contains tax increases.

Governing magazine reports, “There's still a clear partisan divide on the subject of taxes. In every state that raised personal income taxes last year, Democrats control both houses of the legislature. Resistance from Republican lawmakers remains strong. Resistance from voters remains strong, too. New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine was booted from office in November in large measure because of his inability to combat sky-high property tax rates.”

Even so, the magazine is unfortunately correct when it surmises that tax increases will be considered by cash-strapped states. Here in Wisconsin the concept is almost a given. My Republican colleagues and I will be ready to fight this short-sighted approach.

Read more from Governing magazine. 

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