Capital Research Center
On January 3, 2011, Scott Walker was sworn in as Wisconsin’s new governor. The state’s finances were a mess; the economy stalled. Walker addressed the crisis head on that cold, January day, telling the crowd:
“What is failing us is not our people or our places. What is failing us is the expanse of government. But we can do something about it right here, right now, today.”
And the Governor proved true to his word. Within weeks he moved to tackle the driving factor behind his government’s “expanse”—the Badger State’s public employee infrastructure, specifically, the union-driven, gold-plated contracts. In particular, the cost of state employee health plans had risen 90 percent since 2002. Clearly the state needed a restructuring of the relationship between government and its work force.