This article has been updated at 1 p.m. Monday to include comments from Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.
A state lawmaker from Waukesha is praising Gov. Scott Walker’s announcement that the state’s controversial budget repair law that significantly limited public unions in collective bargaining has reached $1 billion in savings.
After Walker appeared in Manitowoc Monday morning to make the announcement, State Rep. Bill Kramer, R-Waukesha, released the following statement
“Despite the histrionics of big government advocates, today’s announcement that Act 10 has saved Wisconsin taxpayers over $1 billion is welcome news.
“When I first began in the State Assembly in 2007, I advocated for legislation that would allow local units of government, including schools, to seek cheaper and more competitive health insurance plans. I am pleased that today’s announcement of statewide data caps those efforts.
“The reforms we put into place are expected to continue to yield additional savings, not just the nearly $4.5 million that the Waukesha School District is saving through reasonable pension contributions. The reforms are showing that we are moving Wisconsin forward and are on sound footing for economic growth.”
The $1 billion in tax savings was made in less than a year from when the law went into effect, according to a news release from Walker’s office.
"This is a great day for the hardworking people of this state who pay for the expenses of government," Walker said in the release.
Melissa Baldauff, research director for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, responded to Walker’s announcement by saying Walker’s numbers do not add up.
“Like pretty much everything else Scott Walker says, this claim is a distortion of reality that is a blatant attempt to distract from Walker’s real record of failure and dishonesty,” Baldauff said in a memo to reporters.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who is one of four Democrats running in the gubernatorial recall primary, said:
"Gov. Walker is desperate to distract attention from the fact that under his failed leadership Wisconsin lost 4,300 private sector jobs last month, and lost more jobs than any state in the country last year. What Walker isn't telling the people is that he made the deepest cuts to education in Wisconsin history, our state lost nearly 1,500 teacher positions over the past year, and we still have a $140 million budget deficit even though Walker raised fees on the people of Wisconsin by $110 million. This isn't a record to brag about – it’s a record that causes failed governors to be tossed from office."