Lieutenant governor touts $3 billion in savings from Act 10
Kleefisch tells Sunrise Rotary small business creation is double Walker’s goal


July 2, 2014

Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch speaks at Tuesday’s meeting of the West Bend Sunrise Rotary Club at the Top of the Ridge Restaurant at Cedar Community in the town of West Bend. Kleefisch cited several indicators that she said shows how much the state economy has improved.
Joe VanDeLaarschot/For the Daily News

WEST BEND - Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch vowed Tuesday at a meeting of the West Bend Sunrise Rotary Club that state officials will keep pushing to promote new business and industry and job creation in Wisconsin.

“Taxes are still too high in Wisconsin,” Kleefisch said. “The state ranks 10th in the country for overall taxes and 12th in the country in terms of property taxes, but we’re going in the right direction.”

Kleefisch told the audience the implementation of Act 10 has saved state and local governments $3 billion and the Walker administration has helped relieve property owners of $2 billion in property taxes in the same period.

“That works out to on average savings of about $681 that has been put back in the pocket of every Wisconsin taxpayer,” Kleefisch said. “The key to economic prosperity is for you to choose how to invest your money. That’s your money.

“It’s not just taxes, we’re working on overall economic development,” she said. “We’re not going to quit until everyone that wants a job in Wisconsin has a job.”

Kleefisch said when she last looked there were 69,931 open jobs listed on the state’s employment website.

“People ask me, if there are that many jobs, why aren’t people filling them?” Kleefisch said. “The reason? Many of the unemployed do not necessarily have the skills to fill those jobs. We need to build a bridge over that skills gap. We’ve tried to do that with $35 million in the current budget for worker training.”

Kleefisch said many people have forgotten one of Walker’s goals when he took office was to see 10,000 new small businesses created in the state.

“Do you know how many have been created since he took office?” Kleefisch asked. “There have been 20,000 new small businesses created in Wisconsin since Scott Walker became governor.”

Kleefisch reminded her audience that when Gov. Jim Doyle left office the state’s unemployment rate stood at 9.2 percent.

“It’s now at 5.7 percent under Gov. Walker,” Kleefisch said.

Kleefisch also said this week’s Supreme Court ruling that some nonunion workers do not have to pay union dues “validated Act 10 in Wisconsin.”

“It said you can’t force someone to do things with their dollars they don’t want to do,” Kleefisch said.

Kleefisch told the audience state officials need their help in preparing the 2015-17 biennial budget.

“You are what makes this state work,” she said. “We want your two-cents on taxes, not literally of course, but we want to know what you think we should do next.”