Empower Wisconsin | April 29, 2020
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is dug in when it comes to protecting public employees. Despite the fact that an estimated 1.5 million Illinois residents are out of work and more than 750,000 have filed for unemployment, the mostly idle taxpayer funded workforce in the Land of Lincoln remains fully employed. In fact, they’ll actually be receiving a raise.
Next door in Wisconsin, Gov. Tony Evers, the Laurel to Pritzker’s Hardy, hasn’t said a word about the future of his state’s government employees, even as he closed schools and state parks and waterways, extended his stay-at-home order by a month and complained to President Donald Trump that the shutdown has cost Wisconsin $2 billion dollars.
Democratic governors in New York, Virginia, Minnesota and Pennsylvania made spending cuts during the pandemic, so is Evers following Prizker’s lead, or is he just waiting for the Legislature to ride in on a team of dark horses to make the tough decisions?
Both scenarios are familiar to Evers, who has not had an original thought or taken responsibility for a problem in years, maybe ever. Instead, during the worst economic crisis in state history, Evers has been working on his ping-pong game and trying not to trip over the misses in his 16,000-square-foot, taxpayer-funded mansion on the lake.
Evers earlier threatened to veto a bill to give the GOP-led Joint Finance Committee the ability to cut state spending on big-ticket items like education, health care and public employees if needed due to declining state revenue, but at some point, the completely fatigable Evers will have to come to terms with the fact that state employee salaries don’t grow on trees. Will he take action then or simply stop by paying state contractors like Illinois did last year?