Boots & Sabers

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Tag: Leah Vukmir

Keep Wisconsin moving forward

Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News yesterday.

Early voting has been underway in Wisconsin for several weeks, but the end of the election season is rapidly approaching. Nov. 6 is the final day to vote. As a free people, we have the hardearned right to set the course of our public affairs for years to come. We must choose wisely.

There are many important choices on the ballot, but the three at the top of the ballot are paramount for the future of our state. Brad Schimel is asking for a second term as Wisconsin’s attorney general and he has earned it.

In his first term, Schimel has launched programs to support victims of domestic abuse and violent crime, fought the opioid abuse epidemic, supported local law enforcement, fixed the rape kit backlog that he inherited and much more. Schimel has led the Department of Justice as it should be run — as a no nonsense, law and order shop.

This stands in stark contrast to what his opponent, Josh Kaul, wants to do with the office. Kaul is part of the massive liberal effort, spearheaded by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, to elect rabid activists as attorneys general across the nation. Their objective is to use the power of the office of attorney general to wage liberal havoc against their enemies. For the sake of law and order, Wisconsin must reelect Attorney General Brad Schimel.

State Sen. Leah Vukmir is challenging U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin. This race is a contrast in work ethic as well as ideology. Baldwin is completing her first term and one struggles to come up with a single accomplishment to her name. Backbenching inaction has been the hallmark of Baldwin’s entire political career. In almost six years as Wisconsin’s junior senator, the only thing that is remarkable about Baldwin’s tenure has been that she is a tremendously reliable vote for the Democratic leaders and every lefty cause they dreamt up.

During the exact same time, one could find Vukmir at the center of every major reform enacted in Wisconsin. Vukmir was at the center of Act 10, advancing school choice, reforming welfare, lowering taxes, health care reform, expanding civil rights and has been instrumental in advancing the reforms that have led to an economic renaissance in our state. Wisconsin is dramatically better off than it was when Vukmir first stepped into the state Legislature. We need a senator like Vukmir who will actually work for Wisconsin’s interests in Washington.

Finally, Gov. Scott Walker is asking Wisconsin for a third and final term as our governor. He has certainly earned it. Perhaps the easiest way to measure Walker’s tenure is by asking the old question, “are you better off ?” By virtually every measurement, the answer is, “yes.”

When Walker first assumed office, Wisconsin’s unemployment rate was 8 percent. Now it is less than 3 percent for the eighth month in a row. Before Walker became governor, businesses were fleeing Wisconsin. Now businesses like Foxconn are clamoring to set up shop in our state. Before Walker, taxes were going up every year at almost every level with no end in sight. Now Wisconsinites have enjoyed a decrease in the tax burden and the elimination of the state property tax.

Before Walker, tuition at the state’s universities were going up faster than inflation. Now Walker has frozen tuition at UW schools and students can more easily afford a higher education. Before Walker, the state was running a deficit in the billions of dollars. Now the state regularly runs a small surplus that has been used to give money back to taxpayers or bolster the state’s rainy day fund.

Before Walker became our governor, the DNR was feared by businesses, homeowners and conservationists alike. Now the DNR works to help people comply with environmental regulations. Before Walker, our civil rights to keep and bear arms were unreasonably restricted. Now Wisconsinites enjoy the liberties to which we are entitled. Before Walker, some of Wisconsin’s workers were forced to be members of a union if they wanted to work. Now every Wisconsin worker enjoys the right to freely associate.

By virtually every measurement — economic, civil rights, taxes, regulatory climate, etc. — Wisconsin is much better off than it was before Walker took office. Unless you want to see all of our progress come to a screeching halt, vote for Walker.

Walker, Vukmir and Schimel have all helped make Wisconsin a great place to live and work. They deserve our votes. More importantly, we deserve to have them continue to work on our behalf.

So. Much. Winning.

Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News yesterday.

If there is an October surprise in the making, it may be that despite prophecies of a blue wave, President Donald Trump and the rest of the Republican Party are having a winning October.

The month began with news that the United States had come to a trade agreement with Canada and Mexico to replace the North American Free Trade Act. Overall, NAFTA had been a tremendous success. Since taking effect in 1994, trade between the three nations quadrupled and had a positive impact on America’s economic growth. Meanwhile, Americans benefited from lower consumer prices and access to less expensive labor.

But every agreement has a downside. That less expensive labor depressed wages in America and the nation lost a lot of manufacturing and textile jobs to Mexico. When Trump ran for office, he promised to renegotiate NAFTA to get a better deal for Americans and he has done just that.

The new trade deal that is to replace NAFTA is called the USMCA. It is not a wholesale restructuring of the NAFTA. In fact, it keeps in place many of the best parts of NAFTA, but it also makes some significant changes to the benefit of the United States. One of those changes is of particular importance to Wisconsinites as it opens up Canada’s dairy market to American milk.

A few days after the USMCA was announced, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its report that the nation’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.7 percent in August. That marks the third month in a row that the national unemployment rate has been below 4 percent. The reason is simple: The American economy is booming. There is no reason to not be working in America if one is able. We are in a state of full employment.

Then, just six days into October, President Trump’s second nominee for the Supreme Court was sworn into office. Brett Kavanaugh is one of the most qualified justices to ever be appointed to the Supreme Court. With a Yale law degree, a distinguished career in the private and public sectors, and more than a decade as a judge on the second most important appeals court in the country, Kavanaugh’s legal pedigree is pristine.

During his many years on the bench, he gained a reputation as a fair, smart, thoughtful and reasonable judge who was respected by people of all political persuasions. Perhaps most importantly, Kavanaugh is a proven judicial conservative who upholds the Constitution and respects the limited role of the court. His rulings over the years demonstrate a keen understanding of the Constitution, civil rights, separation of powers and bedrock legal principles like people being innocent until proven guilty.

Once again, President Trump kept his promise to appoint judicial conservatives to the courts and Senate Republicans followed through by confirming his appointment. Justice Kavanaugh solidifies a majority of judicial conservatives on the Supreme Court.

Perhaps all of this good news is why President Trump’s approval rating surged to 51 percent in the Rasmussen poll and is his highest rating in that poll since March of 2017.

Nothing lasts forever. The economy is great and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell predicts that unemployment and inflation will remain low through 2020, but things can change quickly. And while the Supreme Court now has a majority of judicial conservatives, not even Supreme Court justices are immortal.

If there is one thing that could disrupt the positive direction that America is moving, it would be for the Democrats to gain control of the U.S. Senate. We have all come to understand over the past few weeks that the Democratic Party is untethered from any traditional norms of civility, honesty and even decency. They will stop at nothing to oppose President Trump even if it means burning down the country in the process.

We saw this behavior from Wisconsin’s own Sen. Tammy Baldwin. Less than 48 hours after Trump announced the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, Baldwin announced that she would not vote for his confirmation. This was a radical break from traditional senatorial behavior to reject a nominee without researching him, learning about him, or even speaking to him. And although Baldwin admitted her opposition, almost all of the Democrats in the Senate had made the same decision. The brouhaha that Democrats manufactured over the last few weeks was not designed to change any minds. It was designed to attempt to rationalize the Democrats’ predetermined opposition to the American people.

Baldwin’s behavior reveals the larger psychosis currently infecting the Democratic Party. Their single- minded effort to #resist President Trump has become the only real plank in their platform.

If Senator Baldwin is reelected and Democrats take control of the Senate, will they vote down the USMCA to punish Trump even if it means Wisconsin’s dairy farmers will pay the price? Of course they will. Will they oppose every judicial appointment Trump makes — even when those appointments are eminently qualified? There is no doubt. Will Baldwin and her peers prevent Trump’s deregulation that has been a boon to American businesses? Absolutely. Will Baldwin and her peers seek to impose higher taxes and socialized health care? They have already said that they will.

There is something that Wisconsin voters can do this November to support and promote this economic and judicial renaissance we are enjoying. They can vote Tammy Baldwin out of office and replace her with a woman who will fight for Wisconsin’s interests — Leah Vukmir.

So. Much. Winning.

My column for the Washington County Daily News is out today. It’s also in the Waukesha Freeman, from what I hear. Here’s a taste.

If there is one thing that could disrupt the positive direction that America is moving, it would be for the Democrats to gain control of the U.S. Senate. We have all come to understand over the past few weeks that the Democratic Party is untethered from any traditional norms of civility, honesty and even decency. They will stop at nothing to oppose President Trump even if it means burning down the country in the process.

We saw this behavior from Wisconsin’s own Sen. Tammy Baldwin. Less than 48 hours after Trump announced the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, Baldwin announced that she would not vote for his confirmation. This was a radical break from traditional senatorial behavior to reject a nominee without researching him, learning about him, or even speaking to him. And although Baldwin admitted her opposition, almost all of the Democrats in the Senate had made the same decision. The brouhaha that Democrats manufactured over the last few weeks was not designed to change any minds. It was designed to attempt to rationalize the Democrats’ predetermined opposition to the American people.

Baldwin’s behavior reveals the larger psychosis currently infecting the Democratic Party. Their single- minded effort to #resist President Trump has become the only real plank in their platform.

NRA Endorses Leah Vukmir

This is big.

State Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Brookfield) picked up a key endorsement in her race for the U.S. Senate. Vukmir announced on the Jay Weber show on WISN-AM that she received the endorsement of the National Rifle Association (NRA).

“I’m proud to announce today that I’m being endorsed by the National Rifle Association,” Vukmir told Weber. “I’m incredibly proud of this. It is a big deal. The NRA doesn’t always get involved in senate primaries but clearly they see a distinction between me and my primary opponent and today they are announcing they’re endorsing me in this race giving me an A+ rating for my work on the 2nd Amendment.”

Weber noted that it’s rare for the NRA to get involved in Republican primaries and asked Vukmir why she thinks she received the organization’s endorsement.

“They clearly see the distinction and I believe it’s because I have a proven track record,” Vukmir said. “They know my track record as standing up for the 2nd Amendment, standing up for the issues that matter to them. And people know they can count on me to take on the tough battles in D.C. because I’ve done it here in Wisconsin.”

In particular, in places outside of SE Wisconsin where Vukmir is lagging, this will carry a lot of weight.

Vukmir’s “Drain the Swamp” Plan

Yes, yes, and… yes.

Drain the Swamp:

  • Relocate federal office and agencies away from DC and across the country

  • Repeal Davis–Bacon’s prevailing wage laws and establishing project-labor agreement neutrality

  • Remove the stranglehold of public-sector unions from the federal government with collective bargaining reform


Senator Leah Vukmir Wins GOP Endorsment


MILWAUKEE — State Sen. Leah Vukmir has won the official endorsement of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, a key stamp of approval from the party’s grassroots heading into a primary battle with businessman Kevin Nicholson.

The vote came at the state GOP’s annual convention Saturday in Milwaukee. Vukmir, R-Brookfield, and Nicholson, of Delafield, were seeking their party’s nod to face Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin in November.

Vukmir won the support of about 73 percent of delegates. The threshold to secure the endorsement was 60 percent.

“Let’s tell Tammy Baldwin it’s time for her to go home,” Vukmir told cheering GOP delegates after securing the endorsement.

Vukmir’s speech was really, really good. You can watch it at this link.

Nobody expected Kevin Nicholson to win, but it was uncertain whether or not Vukmir could get the super majority necessary to win the endorsement. Vukmir got an overwhelming number of votes. I’m happy to report that Washington County was the county that took her over the top.

The party endorsement tells us a couple of things. First, as expected, Vukmir is the overwhelming favorite of the party stalwarts. This makes sense because Vukmir has been working in Wisconsin for years and has built a lot of trust a loyalty within the party. Nicholson will use this to affirm his spin that “Vukmir is the establishment candidate.” The basic messaging of the candidates is well established (pardon the pun) at this point.

Second, the party endorsement actually means something in Wisconsin. This gives Vukmir access to the party apparatus, donor lists, victory centers, etc. for the primary campaign. So while Nicholson is going to run a very strong, very well financed air campaign, Vukmir will have the grassroots activists working to her benefit. Given that we are talking about a primary election, turnout of the party faithful is critical. This endorsement will have a tangible benefit for Vukmir.

Wisconsin GOP Convention Drama

The Wisconsin GOP convention is going on this weekend. The big drama is who, if anyone, the delegates will support for their U.S. Senate candidate. I just listened to Senator Leah Vukmir’s speech on Facebook. WOW. I have never heard her sound so good (no offense). I’ll post it when the video goes up somewhere.

Hovde Endorses Vukmir

I agree.

Republican businessman Eric Hovde announced Tuesday that he is endorsing state Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Brookfield) for U.S. Senate. Hovde made the announcement on the Mark Belling Show on WISN-AM.

“I know Leah and I know where she stands,” Hovde said.

Hovde said it was not a slight against Nicholson, but he just doesn’t know Nicholson and is uncomfortable about Nicholson’s past as a Democrat.

A proven conservative for US Senate

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online. I’ve been waiting a long time to be able to cast a vote for Leah Vukmir (I don’t live in her district). Here you go:

There is still a little time for additional candidates to jump in, but it looks like there will be two Republicans vying for the right to challenge incumbent Sen. Tammy Baldwin. Republican primary voters will choose between Kevin Nicholson and State Sen. Leah Vukmir on Aug. 14. I will be delighted to cast my vote for Vukmir for the first time in her storied political career. It isn’t even a close call.

Vukmir is a career registered nurse who was compelled to run for the Wisconsin Assembly in 2002 with a passion for education. It is a passion that has never diminished. Vukmir has been a staunch advocate for education reform and school choice throughout her time in office. In 2006, she almost single-handedly rescued the expansion of the Milwaukee School Choice program by battling other Republicans to get it passed.

For the past 16 years, Vukmir has been at the epicenter of Wisconsin’s conservative movement pushing for smaller, more efficient, more effective government. In 2010, Vukmir was elected to the State Senate as Scott Walker was elected governor. Vukmir has been a powerful ally of Walker in Wisconsin’s conservative revolution. She voted to expand the exercise of our gun rights. She voted for tax cuts. She voted to protect the unborn. She voted for welfare reform. She voted for cutting back regulations. She fought for right-to-work even when many of her fellow Republican legislators opposed it. She pushed to end the corrupt Government Accountability Board.

Amongst her lengthy list of conservative accomplishments, Vukmir singles out her steadfast advocacy for, and defense of, Act 10 as one of her proudest achievements — and rightfully so. Act 10 was transformative for Wisconsin and faced a withering onslaught from entrenched special interests. Vukmir stood firm in the Legislature and in public.

Beyond Vukmir’s very public actions, she has also been tireless in supporting conservatism behind the scenes. For years, it has been common to find Vukmir working in Republican offices around the state helping get other conservatives elected. She has always been willing to show up and do the grunt work of working the phones, stuffing envelopes, or whatever else was needed to move the ball forward.

The reason it is easy for conservatives to supportVukmir is because she is one of us. She has been one of us for decades and has been a leader in the Wisconsin conservative movement. Furthermore, she went to Madison with her conservative beliefs and has been an effective leader who advanced mountains of conservative legislation into law. It is not an exaggeration to say that Vukmir has been one of the most important conservatives in Wisconsin in the past 20 years.

Nicholson also touts his conservative beliefs. After years of being a paid activist liberal Democrat, Nicholson went to war and returned a conservative. In 2002, when Vukmir was first elected to office as a conservative, Nicholson was still being paid to work for Democratic candidates in Minnesota. In 2005, the year before Vukmir helped save the Milwaukee School Choice program, Nicholson was living in North Carolina as a registered Democrat. Nicholson’s parents have donated to Baldwin’s campaign.

One must take Nicholson’s battlefield conversion to conservatism at face value. Certainly, many people have made the transition from liberal to conservative as they gain the wisdom that comes with age and experience. I welcome Nicholson into the conservative movement with open arms. We have a big tent. But now Nicholson is running for one of Wisconsin’s two seats in the United States Senate and he does not have any actual track record of conservative achievement to evaluate.

So far, Nicholson has proven to be an articulate spokesman for conservatism, but only since he began running for the U.S. Senate. Where was he during the battle for Act 10? Where was he when the Wisconsin Legislature was passing concealed carry? Where was his advocacy for the rights of the unborn? Where was Nicholson when Republicans were battling over right-towork legislation? Where was he when Republicans were cutting taxes? Where was he when liberals were protesting Walker and Republican leaders? Where was Nicholson when school choice was being expanded statewide?

I don’t know where he was. I know exactly where Vukmir was. She was right in the thick of it.

I am eager to cast my vote for Vukmir because she is an effective, proven, conservative leader. We need more of those in the U.S. Senate.

Priebus Endorses Vukmir

This is interesting.

Former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus is endorsing state Sen. Leah Vukmir in the tough Wisconsin GOP Senate primary.

The backing from the former Republican National Committee chairman and one of the most noteworthy Republicans in Wisconsin is a big get for Vukmir, who is locked in an increasingly-harsh primary against Kevin Nicholson, a Marine corps veteran who is new to Republican politics.

Speaking on 1130 WISN radio in Wisconsin, Priebus, a former Wisconsin GOP chairman, lauded Vukmir as “constantly pushing a conservative agenda” and said she would match up well against Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin.

“She was there every step of the way building what we built in Wisconsin,” Priebus said.

“She deserves credit but she’s highly qualified and without question the best choice for U.S. Senate.

In the one hand, this helps solidify the campaign as a battle of the “outsider” (Nicholson) versus the “establishment” (Vukmir). But Priebus is also a legendary fundraiser and his nod should help Vukmir raise funds.

Planned Parenthood Fights to Kill Babies

This lengthy story about how urgently and fervently Planned Parenthood wants to be able to kill babies without any accountability or consequences is grotesque. At least there is one piece of morality in the piece.

Sen. Leah Vukmir, R-Brookfield, argues that informed consent is “pretty much standard operating procedure” for any medical procedure. While Vukmir, a registered nurse, was raised to oppose abortion, she says her health care background has played a large role in her approach to the issue. She recalls a moment in the 1980s, when a colleague expressed disbelief that Vukmir could be “a nurse and … pro-life.”

“It’s precisely because I’m a nurse that I’m pro-life,” she says. “This is what we do; we save lives. There never was a question for me whether or not I would support legislation to protect human life, because it’s professionally what I’ve always done.”

Sen.Tammy Baldwin to face a tough re-election

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online. Here you go:

The next big election is 14 months away, but the electoral combatants are already sallying onto the field. Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin will be seeking her second term and the liberal backbencher is facing a formidable challenge.

Baldwin’s resume is notable for its remarkable lack of achievement. Born and bred in the belly of liberal Madison, Baldwin was first elected to the Dane County Board during law school in 1986. She graduated from law school in 1989, worked as a lawyer for three years, and then became a full time politician in 1992 when she was elected to the Wisconsin Assembly. In 1998, Baldwin was sent by Madison to Washington as their representative in the House of Representatives, and was then swept into the U.S. Senate by the Obama wave in 2012.

It is difficult to serve in public office for more than 30 years, get elected to higher offices, and not have a single achievement to one’s credit, but Tammy Baldwin has accomplished that incredible feat. The secret to Baldwin’s success is that she is gay and a liberal’s liberal who reliably supports every leftist idea proffered. This attracts gobs of money from every liberal/socialist/Marxist PAC and activist group throughout the nation.

Most recently, she gave her fullthroated support to complete socialist health care in the failure of Obamacare. This is particularly ironic given that Baldwin callously ignored repeated cries for help from abuse taking place at the Tomah VA Medical Center. Why would anyone want to hand over more control of our healthcare to politicians like Tammy Baldwin?

Without Obama on the ballot next year, Baldwin is vulnerable to a credible challenge. So far, two formidable and well-funded Republicans are vying for the opportunity to be the senator that Wisconsin deserves. There is still time for more candidates to enter the fray, but the window is closing.

Kevin Nicholson is a Marine combat veteran who now works in the private sector. Nicholson defines himself as a social and fiscal conservative who is pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, pro-strong national security, etc. Running for office for the first time, Nicholson relishes his status as an outsider who can attack the liberal redoubts in Washington.

Nicholson does, however, have a nagging problem in his resume. He used to be a vocal, activist Democrat. When he was in college, Nicholson served as the chairman of the College Democrats and was eventually the national president for the College Democrats of America. At that time, he was pro-choice and spoke at the 2000 Democratic National Convention.

Of course, Nicholson would not be the first person to convert from liberalism to conservatism with the advancement of age, life experience and wisdom. Some of the best-known, thoughtful, and stalwart conservatives in the nation used to be liberals.

The other Republican seeking to challenge Tammy Baldwin has no such history to overcome. Wisconsin State Senator Leah Vukmir has been a proven, reliable, accomplished conservative Republican for more than a decade. Vukmir is a registered nurse who worked as a nurse for more than 20 years before running for the Wisconsin Assembly in 2002 to replace Scott Walker. Vukmir was then elected to the State Senate in 2010.

Vukmir has been one of the driving forces in the Wisconsin conservative movement for her entire tenure in office. She has been instrumental in advancing school choice, tax reform, education reform, healthcare reform and every other pillar of the conservative agenda. It is difficult to name a conservative issue in which Vukmir was not a staunch defender and advocate. All the while, Vukmir has maintained her career as a registered nurse.

While I don’t doubt the sincerity of Nicholson’s conservative conversion, there is no need to put it to its first political test in the crucible of Washington when there is already a proven conservative candidate in Leah Vukmir. She has been a granite conservative throughout all of the tempests in Madison and would serve Wisconsin well in the U.S. Senate.

Leah Vukmir Announces for U.S. Senate


State Senator Leah Vukmir tells Dan that she will challenge Democrat Tammy Baldwin in next year’s U.S. Senate election
Follow the link to hear Vukmir’s interview with WISN’s Dan O’Donnell.
Vukmir has been a rock of conservatism in the Wisconsin legislature for many years. I wholeheartedly support her.

Finish the job and repeal prevailing wage

My column for the West Bend Daily News is online. Here you go:

Another battle in the long war to repeal Wisconsin’s Prevailing Wage Laws was launched this month when Sen. Leah Vukmir (RBrookfield) and Rep. Rob Hutton (RBrookfield) reintroduced a bill in the state Legislature to repeal the prevailing wage law for state projects. The bill faces an uncertain future in the face of massive opposition from powerful special interests.

Wisconsin’s prevailing wage “law” is actually a series of laws that were passed during the Great Depression with the goal of protecting local workers from losing their jobs to migrant workers who were willing to work for lower wages. The law essentially requires that any businesses that work on a public project of any size must pay the prevailing wages for the area in which the work takes place.

The prevailing wage is determined by a flawed process by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development that heavily favors inflated union wages. The result is Wisconsin’s prevailing wage law protects large, unionized contractors at the expense of inflated prices for taxpayers and non-union contractors.

Intrepid conservative Wisconsin lawmakers fought hard to fully repeal the prevailing wage law in the 20152017 state budget. The result was a compromise that repealed the prevailing wage law for local governments and school districts, but left it in place for state projects. The bill from Vukmir and Hutton would finish the job by repealing it for state projects too.

The reason the fight to repeal the prevailing wage law is so heated is quite simple: money. As it stands, Wisconsin’s prevailing wage law props up the profits for some of Wisconsin’s largest private contractors. Those contractors donate an extraordinary amount of money and support to politicians on both sides of the aisle who like to spend taxpayer dollars on big, expensive projects.

In the 2015 battle over prevailing wage, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and other members of the Assembly leadership actively worked to thwart the repeal of prevailing wage. They could not resist the overwhelming public pressure and were forced into the compromise repeal. Last legislative session, Representative Andre Jacque had the temerity to hold a hearing on prevailing wage reform in his role as the Chairman of the Assembly Labor Committee. Jacque’s fellow Republican,

Vos, punished Jacque by stripping him of his chairmanship for the current session.

The reason to repeal the prevailing wage law is one of conservative principle – or of laissez-faire economics, if you prefer. The government should not enforce artificial labor prices or meddle in the free market. Wisconsin’s prevailing wage law does just that and it results in the government distorting the market and encouraging crony capitalism.

While one would like to think that our state lawmakers would consistently act on principle, repealing the prevailing wage law would also be in their self-interest.

There is another war waging in the Legislature over transportation spending. The prevailing wage law aggravates that issue by inflating spending on state transportation projects. A 2015 study by the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance showed the state’s prevailing wage law was responsible for up to $300 million per year in unnecessary costs. In terms of Wisconsin’s biennial budget, that is potentially $600 million that could be used for additional transportation spending without borrowing or raising taxes. Such a windfall would release a lot of the political steam that is heating up the debate over transportation spending.

While it was disappointing that Wisconsin’s prevailing wage law as not fully repealed in 2015, state lawmakers now have the opportunity to finish the job for the benefit of state taxpayers. They should quickly pass Vukmir and Hutton’s bill and put it on Governor Walker’s desk – preferably before the state budget so that lawmakers can include the potential windfall savings into their budget calculations.



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