My take on what’s ahead

Jim Baumgart  Sheboygan County Supervisor

What will the New Year bring to Wisconsin’s working men and women?

One can never be sure what to expect, but when it deals with elections, legislature and legislation there is some history one can follow.

Take the 2010 election, Republicans won heavily and were then able to redraw the political lines in the state in such a way that when Wisconsin Assembly Democrats had 250,000 more votes then the Assembly Republicans in the 2012 election and they still lost legislative seats.

The governor and legislature early and quickly followed the 2010 election to pass Act 10 which all but destroys Wisconsin’s public employee unions. So, if Wisconsin recent history is a guideline, here are some things this writer would expect.

- The legislature, early on, will try to attack and weaken Wisconsin’s private sector unions. They will try to do it early, as they did it with public employee unions, so the voters will forget the outcry from these working men and women before the start of the next election.

Unless, the governor becomes a possible strong Presidential or Vicepresidential candidate and it is not wise to sign a bill that clearly will show him nationally as anti union.

- Look for the possible raising of Wisconsin’s sales tax, auto and other fees to cover needed state road building program and the increases in state tax dollars to private and religious voucher schools. It will be a tight state budget so you could also see increases in state borrowing

- The Knowles/Nelson Stewardship Program, used to preserve and save valuable Wisconsin lands, will likely see more attempts to cut this popular program. It has seen two major budget cuts in recent years, one can rightly assume more cuts in funding or restrictions so the money cannot used for its intended purposes thus acting the same as a tax cut.

- Voting restrictions making it harder for some in Wisconsin to vote will surely be put forward legislatively and be again called “fighting voter fraud”.

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