Wisconsin’s worst legislator has a blog

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Sen. Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) wrote a blog post today lamenting the state’s fiscal situation, which she says is indicative of a national trend of states relying on federal stimulus money.

The next budget already has a huge gaping hole. The Legislative Fiscal Bureau projects the as yet to be addressed 2011-2013 state budget has a structural deficit of over $2 billion. In other words, projected revenues will not be anywhere near enough to cover committed costs in the next state budget.

Well Mary, no, that’s why you and your colleagues are supposed to get together every two years and write the budget. If our economy is still doing as poorly two years from now as it is currently – then you, as our state’s leaders, will probably be asked to address it through the budget. If the economy doesn’t improve, and the tax revenues don’t increase, there will be another round of crisis situation decisions that you, as an elected representative, might have to make. Generally this is how democracy works.

Unfortunately, democracy has a nasty habit of burdening the people with incompetents. People who are referred to as “literally nuts,” as Lazich was by a GOP insider. Another lobbyist called her “just an idiot.” He went on to say there was no legislator in Wisconsin taken “less seriously by her colleagues.” All of these insults came from an article in Milwaukee Magazine about the “Best and Worst Legislators.” Guess which side Mary ended up on? Note, the article reflected very positively on Madison. Both Mark Pocan and Spencer Black earned good reviews from legislature insiders.

It makes sense. Her top aide is Wisconsin’s own Sean Hannity-wannabe Kevin Fischer.

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6 Responses to “Wisconsin’s worst legislator has a blog”

  1. Sam Clegg Says:

    Make no mistake, I agree that Mary Lazich is a nutbar. Her rant on gay marriage and perversely unnecessary slamming of fair Wisconsin is the most pertinent example I know of. But then again, as her post says, I wouldn’t be surprised if another budget adjustment sesh had to be called, or if democrats did, in fact, raise taxes rather than cut services even if they don’t have a coherent plan for maintaining those services (hence the perpetual budget issues). And even some hardcore conservatives I know are appalled that Doyle shafted public education to the benefit of…wait for it…prisons. THIS post of hers seems somewhat reasonable; whether or not she is in part responsible for these shortfalls is something I’m not as familiar with.

  2. The Sconz Says:

    My point is she’s talking about the next budget, which isn’t due to be passed for another two years. We had a $5 billion shortfall this year, largely because of the recession, and we made tough cuts and closed it up. If the $2 billion shortfall for the next budget (which is based on recession tax revenues) still exists by the time it comes around, then there will be some hand-wringing, some tax raising, and some services cut.

    But her post is just another example of WI Republicans misleading voters on the issue of the budget. They use creative language to try to imply that the Democrats are running a deficit, even though a balanced budget is required by the constitution.

  3. capper Says:

    The worst senator’s worst legislative aide, is actually the worst author of the worst senator’s worst blog. Worst. Evah.

    http://punditnation.blogspot.com/2008/01/kevin-fischer-confirms-he-assists-sen.html

  4. Patrick McEwen Says:

    Craver, I’m a little late to the game on this one, but I’m pretty confused about your problem with her blog post. I have to side with Sam on this one. This particular point seems pretty reasonable to me.

    First of all, the project deficit for the next budget cycle is not based on current tax revenue, it’s based on future projections which include estimates for future economic growth. If anything the estimate for future revenue is too high. Actual economic growth historically tends to short of government projections.

    Secondly, you’re right that we are required to have a balanced budget, but not all balanced budgets are created equal. When one time revenue sources are used to close the budget deficits, they create the structural deficits she is talking about.

    While I agree that this discrepancy might confuse some voters, structural deficits are a real problem and I don’t really see any indication that her intent was to confuse anyone. I would argue in fact that structural deficits are a huge part of the problem behind UW’s struggles to get money from the state. They also can be hugely detrimental to our ability to plan for future spending because of the threat of auxiliary fund swipes. The $23 million that they took from the UW System this year to divert to financial aid isn’t going to be there 2 years from now when they go to write the budget. It also meant there were a number of planned building projects that will have to pushed back because their funding is gone. It also causes budgeting practices that result in things costing more. I’ve heard estimates that Union South will be costing a couple million more because of accounting practices that have to be used to protect the money from being taken by the state. The state’s structural deficit is a huge problem for this University’s finances.

  5. Poor State Budgeting Practices Says:

    […] light of some recent comments in the UW student blogging community with regards to our state’s structural deficits for the 2009-11 budget, I just wanted to echo […]

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