ATR President Grover Norquist sent a letter to Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker and Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan urging them to forego a potential lame duck session of the legislature to consider union contracts. Wisconsin faces a $3.3 billion overspending problem that Governor-elect Walker and the future Republican legislature must tackle in the New Year. Hasty action by the outgoing Democratic legislature would only tie their hands.
In addition to opposing all tax increases as a matter of principle, ATR has been a leader in promoting transparency and accountability in government. In the letter, Norquist slammed the lack of openness in the contracts, praising Rep. Robin Vos and Sen. Alberta Darling for their request that all contracts be posted online to allow taxpayers to evaluate the proposals.
An excerpt from Norquist’s letter follows:
“I am writing to express grave concerns about a potential lame duck session to consider public employee contracts. With Wisconsin’s $3.3 billion overspending problem, this is certainly an inopportune time to tie the hands of the governor-elect and the next legislature. I urge you to consider the concerns of Governor-elect Scott Walker, Speaker-elect Jeff Fitzgerald and Senate Majority Leader-elect Scott Fitzgerald and call off any talk of a lame duck session.
“While union officials claim there are no pay increases in the contracts, taxpayers cannot be certain that other sweeteners and costly provisions will not be included. Governor-elect Scott Walker and the next state legislature need every option available to them to eliminate the hole in the state budget and get Madison’s fiscal house in order. Back room deals with public employee unions present a barrier to that goal.”
ATR maintains the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a written commitment by elected officials to their constituents never to raise taxes. Gov.-elect Walker joins 21 members of the Wisconsin Legislature and 6 members of the state’s Congressional delegation in having signed the Pledge.
For a copy of ATR's letter, click here.