January 2, 2008

Resolutions for Every List

While everyone is talking about New Year resolutions, it seems appropriate to suggest a few for Wisconsin progressives. Below are a few items that should make every list.

Real Health Care Reform

It is certainly no secret that Wisconsin pays some of the highest health care costs in the nation. These out of control costs are having a major and hugely negative impact in every sector of our state. From bankrupting individuals and families to crippling business and local government, the impact continues to be overwhelming.
While everyone is talking about New Year resolutions, it seems appropriate to suggest a few for Wisconsin progressives. Below are a few items that should make every list.

Real Health Care Reform

It is certainly no secret that Wisconsin pays some of the highest health care costs in the nation. These out of control costs are having a major and hugely negative impact in every sector of our state. From bankrupting individuals and families to crippling business and local government, the impact continues to be overwhelming.

Last year the State Senate finally acted on the consistent call for health care reform. They forced the issue by introducing Healthy Wisconsin into the state budget. Assembly Republicans then obstructed the entire budget to prevent Wisconsinites from getting the same kind of health care coverage that they so eagerly receive.

The Healthy Wisconsin plan was removed from the budget but that does not mean that the fight for meaningful health care reform is over. The need is as great as the dysfunctional status quo is unacceptable.

Judicial Ethics

Last year we witnessed an unprecedented development for Wisconsin ‘s State Supreme Court. Newly elected Justice Annette Ziegler admitted to repeatedly violating ethics rules. After finally admitting to wrongdoing Ziegler had to face a three judge panel regarding the scandal and could face discipline from fellow justices on the high court.

The entire Ziegler scandal has not been helpful to the judicial system in Wisconsin . Great care should be taken in the upcoming year to hold those that aspire to the high court to the highest of standards.

Corporate Accountability

While Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce continues to bash Wisconsin complaining about taxes, another report was released showing that corporations cost the state over $600 million through tax loopholes.

State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) cited the report when introducing new legislation meant to end the tax secrecy that allows too many big corporations to avoid paying their fair share. The Hansen legislation is not suggesting that taxes be raised but aims to give all Wisconsin citizens the ability to engage in a fully informed discussion about our tax code and who is and isn’t paying their fair share.

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