One of the reasons behind our poor rating in Forbes and the migration of businesses from Wisconsin is our tax climate. We are among the highest taxed states in the nation and this will continue unless we halt our ever-increasing state tax rate. Instead of paying the government more and more money with each budget cycle, businesses could instead use that money to provide salaries and benefits to their workers and new hires. Freezing taxes and giving businesses the break they need to recover from this economy should be a priority in our efforts to initiate economic development.
I do not believe the answer to fixing our health care "crisis" is allowing the government to take control of it. Researching similar programs in other countries and states such as Massachusetts has indicated that such a measure only increases costs while negatively affecting the quality of the health care many of us currently receive. Rather than reforming the entire health care system, I believe we should specifically address the reasons why a certain percentage of the population does not have health care. From there, we can come up with solutions geared toward that population to ensure they have some kind of access to health care. I believe we can also tackle the rising cost of health care through TORT reform measures that are responsible for the ever-increasing malpractice insurance premiums physicians are confronted with. This is just one aspect of health care reform, but one that if properly address could result in significantly lower costs in the short term.
My top legislative priority has been getting Kenosha County residents back to work. During our two special sessions on jobs, the Assembly has created incentives for the private sector to create jobs. We’re already seeing our efforts pay off with nearly new jobs being created in Kenosha County in 2011. Wisconsin has seen two straight months of job growth in 2012 and our state unemployment rate is now at 5.8 percent, well below the national average. More work needs to be done, but I stand committed to doing what it takes to help revive our struggling economy and helping the private sector to thrive.
The Wisconsin State Legislature honored the Kenosha Chamber on 100th Anniversary in February.