The State Senate passed the state budget by a one-vote margin (GOP Sen. Dale Schultz voted "no"). Governor Walker may well use the line-item veto to remove some elements of the budget, but the main features will stand. Taxes will go down on families (barely in each paycheck for most families), the Medicaid expansion is rejected on the anticipation (hope, really) that those removed from BadgerCare Plus will enroll in the Affordable Care Act, school vouchers will expand, and the obviously-budget-related removal of the Center for Investigative Journalism from the UW-Madison campus, among other new provisions. In a governing sense, this budget and the one passed in 2011 mean Wisconsin is a bed of truly conservative governance. Considering district lines and the ineptitude of the state Democratic Party, it will likely remain that way until at least 2023.
Wisconsin's job creation is lagging the rest of the country. Sure, our industries are partially responsible, but if Gov. Walker's policities were strong enough to generate his promised 250,000 new jobs by the end of his first term, we'd be a lot closer than the about-49,000 jobs created thus far. Will 200,000 jobs appear in the next year-and-a-half? Highly doubtful. The conservative experiment in terms of job creation seems to be failing. We're now in Part II. What will directly bring back the jobs, and not merely help private (re: non-Democratic base-friendly) schools, make an ideological statement about Obamacare at the possible expense of those who need health care, sell off roads and buildings to the highest bidder or exact revenge against an investigative body? Good question. The results of the experiment are going to be ugly -- except to the legislators and our Governor, who will view it as reason to run Part III in 2015.