Saturday, December 3rd, 2016

What happened in Vegas? On Wisconsin!

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I’m a little behind, but last week for the MacIver Institute I reported on my trip to Las Vegas and a presentation by Brian Fraley of the MacIver Institute, and David Fladeboe and Luke Hilgemann of Americans for Prosperity – Wisconsin, on the real story of Act 10 and how the recalls were won.

At an afternoon seminar on Saturday, Brian Fraley of the MacIver Institute, and David Fladeboe and Luke Hilgemann of Americans for Prosperity – Wisconsin, were given the opportunity to tell the story of the public policy that spurred the uproar. They told the real story of Act 10: what it was, what necessitated the policy change, and how it was working.

Conference attendees learned about the joint effort of Americans for Prosperity Foundation and the John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy to educate the public about the real impact of the collective bargaining changes. They focused on the policy and not the politics, which informed and changed public opinion in Wisconsin.

Fladeboe explained to the audience what Act 10 was and how it passed. He explained the state constitutional requirement that Wisconsin have a balance budget and the dire situation Gov. Walker inherited.

He explained how Act 10 would not only resolve 2011’s short term budget mess, but would help stabilize state finances for generations to come.

“State employees were paying zero toward their pension… yet received a defined payout, and that needed to be changed.”

On health care, Fladeboe explained how the newly required contribution toward premiums still was modest compared to the private sector, noting Act 10 was “Not a huge ask of the state employees, public employees.”

The panelists also explained how the Walker Administration realized that the only way the changes could be made in time to balance the budget was to limit collective bargaining. They also provided anecdotes, familiar to many of us in Wisconsin, of how collective bargaining had hidden expenses beyond just pay and benefits and how ACT 10 would result in eliminating their burden on future budgets as well.

Anyway, you should read the whole thing, if only because it justified my trip.

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