State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.
A study by the non-partisan Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX) says that debt service has vaulted into the state’s list of top ten expenses, right up there with school funding and aid to local governments.
The principal reason the state faces major challenges whenever it has a budget crisis rests on how it spends its money. In addition to debt service, which it legally cannot cut, it devotes 55% of general fund expenses to aiding schools and local governments, and another 12% on health care for low-income individuals (Medicaid). That means that close to 70% of what the state spends is devoted to programs whose costs are difficult to control (Medicaid) or to programs that, if trimmed, would likely result in local property tax increases.
"What is not readily understood," observes WISTAX President Todd A. Berry, "is that the cost of operating state governments accounts for only 17% of general fund expenditures. The public and press often presume that cutting state agency budgets can solve a budget problem, yet the uncomfortable truth is that more than four of every five dollars in the state budget are spent elsewhere."
Read the press release from WISTAX and a Wisconsin State Journal editorial