Gov. Walker, Legislature Conclude Historic Pro-Growth Session

MADISON – Wisconsin’s business climate has improved significantly in the wake of the passage of historic pro-growth legislation supported by Governor Scott Walker and the Legislature, WMC said Friday.

“Wisconsin’s business climate has improved dramatically because of the reforms promoted by Governor Walker and passed by the Legislature,” said Kurt R. Bauer, WMC President/CEO. “This has been an historic legislative session for the business community with the passage of lawsuit reform, tax relief, regulatory reform and so much more. The reforms will improve our business climate for generations to come.”

The business community in Wisconsin has clearly taken notice of the positive improvements in the state’s business climate. Earlier this month, 87 percent of WMC members surveyed said they will be adding jobs in 2012.

And, a WMC survey of CEOs in December found 94 percent of those surveyed said the state is headed in the right direction. Also, CEO Magazine and others ranked the state’s business climate as improving. The CEO Magazine Survey saw Wisconsin leap from the bottom half of states into the top 25 – the largest one-year climb in the history of the survey. 

“The reforms have been breathtaking,” said James A. Buchen, WMC senior vice president of government relations. “In the 25 years that I have been advocating for business policies at the Capitol, I have never seen so many pro-growth reforms passed in a single legislative session. This is nothing short of historic.”

During the Legislative session that began in January 2011 and ended today, the Legislature and Governor Walker enacted:

TAX RELIEF – A no-tax-hike state budget ended years of deficit spending, and provided tax relief with a manufacturers’ income tax credit and other tax cuts for job creators. Property taxes came under control, and historic collective bargaining reforms helped state and local government bring government spending under control.

LAWSUIT REFORM – Comprehensive lawsuit reform passed that limits punitive damages, requires expert witness testimony, repeals a Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling regarding lead paint manufacturers’ liability, and clamps down on frivolous lawsuits and predatory personal injury lawyers.

REGULATION REFORM – Comprehensive regulatory reform will help businesses in Wisconsin cope with less red tape as the Governor has the power to stop new rules before they are developed, and to veto rules after they are written. Also, the Legislature clamped down on anti-business local ordinances, protected employers’ rights to educate workers during a union organizing campaign, and required a cost benefit analysis of new rules.

“These are the major reforms Wisconsin needed to send a message from Main Street to Wall Street that there’s a new attitude in our state,” Buchen said. “Wisconsin is one the best places in the nation to do business.”

For Further Information Contact:
Kurt R. Bauer, (608) 258-3400
James A. Buchen, (608) 258-3400 

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