Wisconsin State Assembly Candidates Respond

Garey Bies


Garey Bies


The best way to raise state revenue is not to increase taxes. It has been shown repeatedly in history that the greatest gains in government revenue come when taxes are lowered and this past session was no exception. During the past two-year session, the party in charge increased taxes by $5 billion. The result? Wisconsin now faces a $2.7 billion deficit and a number of important businesses have made the decision to leave Wisconsin.

One of the most ill-advised tax increases of the past two years was the Democrats adoption of new business taxes, called “combined reporting,” that penalized big, multi-state companies doing business in Wisconsin. These new business taxes have been very detrimental to our business climate, as all of the newly unemployed Wisconsin workers will attest to. If I could craft a state budget, onerous taxes like combined reporting would be on my priority list to go.

For spending, the most important thing I would do would be to first and foremost freeze state spending. This past session, the Democrats increased state spending by over 10 percent during the worst recession in a generation.

Beyond simply instituting a spending freeze, the first step I would take after would be to move for the elimination of the thousands of vacant state jobs. There are some 4,000 state jobs that are currently vacant that are still on the books and being budgeted for the various agencies. If the agencies haven’t needed to fill these positions, we need to eliminate them.

Dick Skare

Dick Skare


My top priority in crafting the next state budget will be Wisconsin’s continued economic recovery and laying a solid foundation for a stable, prosperous future. I’m running to represent our community, because our spending decisions are too important to be left to special interests. As your state representative, I will make the budget by increasing efficiency, Wisconsin values, tax fairness and improving our economy.

We need to take a serious look into our spending priorities to preserve these priorities: quality education, access to affordable health care and public safety. But we also must make cuts and changes that get us to a responsible balanced budget.

We need to make Wisconsin government as efficient as possible. Education funding is already stretched. That leaves the other large area of the state budget to control costs – prisons. Wisconsin’s costs are far higher than other states of a similar size.

Another key to relieving the tax burden on small business and working families is making sure that Wisconsin’s system of taxation is fair. Large corporations should not be able to shelter profits out of state to avoid taxes here. One area where state government must do more – and the results will pay off – is investing in the workforce development strategies that bring real businesses and jobs to our state like the Wisconsin Development Fund.

As our economy rebounds, it will relieve pressure on the state budget. Strong, rapid job creation is the key I will emphasize in budgeting as your state representative.