Governor Jim Doyle has finally signed the state budget after a lengthy legislative fight left Wisconsin the only state without a spending plan.
We focused our energies here on the governor’s unconstitutional plan to tax oil company revenues but then make it a CRIME to pass those increased costs onto consumers. It was a horrible idea, violating the Commerce Clause, and Doyle indulged in populist cant in attacking the companies that provide energy to his state’s citizens. Terrible.
But there were other lousy proposals in the budget that have fallen by the wayside, thanks in part to the dedicated and active work of the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. And some good things passed, too. From WMC’s news release after legislative passive of the budget:
Key WMC victories include:
Defeat of a $15.2 billion state-run health care plan. Defeat of a new tax on gasoline, amounting to over 7 cents a gallon at peak summer prices. Defeat of “combined reporting” corporate tax hike. Defeat of higher taxes on real estate investment trusts. Restoration of property tax levy limits and continuance of the Qualified Economic Offer. Creation of a new state tax deduction for health insurance premiums, totaling nearly $150 million when fully phased in. Creation of new state tax breaks for college tuition, child care, retirement income, angel investors, and electronic medical records. Defeat of new health care insurance regulations relating to mental health and autism coverage mandates.
Good work. (WMC also ran full-page ads hailing the budget.)
And even better: “But Doyle said he would not try to resurrect his plan to tax oil company revenues.” So congrats, too, to the Wisconsin Petroleum Council.
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