Scott Walker

More Wisconsin Welfare Reform Coming?

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is pushing for additional welfare reform in the state. Reid Wilson reported Monday afternoon on The Hill website:

Twenty years after a Republican governor of Wisconsin spearheaded an ambitious welfare reform package, the current governor is trying to build momentum for a new round of reforms.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) on Monday said he would ask the state’s Republican-led legislature to undertake one of the most aggressive welfare reform packages since a wave of new measures passed in the mid-1990s.

Walker’s plan, “Wisconsin Works for Everyone,” would impose new work requirements on both able-bodied adults with school-age children who receive state food assistance and those who receive housing assistance. Both work plans, which would be tested on a pilot basis, would require recipients to be employed for at least 80 hours per month, or to be enrolled in job training programs. Those who do not meet work requirements would see part of their benefits cut…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Food stamp work requirements for abled-bodied adults without dependents have existed in Wisconsin since April 2015.

As for it’s neighbor to the south, critics contend the food stamp program in Illinois is ripe for abuse. A work requirement does not exist for even abled-bodied adults without dependents. According to the Illinois Department of Human Services:

“We expect people who can work to try and do so.”

Hmm.

Head on over to The Hill website here to read the entire piece.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Tuesday, January 24th, 2017 Employment, Government, Housing, Political Parties Comments Off on More Wisconsin Welfare Reform Coming?

Why I’m Relieved Wisconsin’s Scott Walker Ended His White House Bid

As I strive to find time in the coming days to head to my family’s residence in the southeastern part of Wisconsin, I’ve been thinking about Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker suspending his presidential campaign.

While Illinois has pretty much been run into the ground at this point, I’ve been under the impression that Walker and Wisconsin have been moving in the right (figuratively/literally) direction lately.

Perhaps somewhat selfishly, I became concerned about the governor’s bid for the White House. Why would this “F.I.B.” (“affectionate” Wisconsinite acronym for Illinoisans) care? Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity might remember something I wrote back on January 29, 2013, as part of this blog’s “Proejct Prepper” series of posts:

By the time I started this blog back in November 2010, I already had a pretty good idea I’d eventually be leaving the city of Chicago to reside someplace else. And every once in a while, I’d query the “best places” to live in America- should TSHTF or not. While the area of southeastern Wisconsin I’m looking at moving to in a few years is probably not “ideal” (even less so the suburbs of Chicago) from a prepper’s perspective, practitioners of modern survivalism would probably see more positives than negatives with the location. Keeping in mind that not only do I envision a certain lifestyle for myself down the road, but I also think I have a pretty good idea of what will be required to “survive and prosper” in America in the coming years, this part of the Midwest really appears to be a nice fit not only for me but my girlfriend as well. Here’s hoping it is…

Five years on, a permanent address in Wisconsin still looks to be part of the plan, so Scott Walker’s moving from the state scene to the national stage:

A. Had the real potential of hindering progress north of the Illinois state line

B. Might have made me scrutinize that future “Escape To Wisconsin” more so than I’ve been planning on doing

Thankfully, I hear Walker is returning to Madison- for now. Madeleine Behr reported on The Post-Crescent (Appleton) website Monday:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s once-promising presidential campaign has come to an abrupt end.

Walker announced his plans to drop out of the presidential race at a downtown Madison hotel Monday, returning his focus to his gubernatorial work in Wisconsin

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Best of luck with your future endeavors, Governor Walker.

In the coming days, perhaps I can mull over that Wisconsin plan with some sense of relief while taking care of tasks at my family’s place behind the “Cheddar Curtain.”

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Behr, Madeleine. “After Walker drops out, what’s next for Wisconsin?” The Post-Crescent. 21 Sep. 2015. (http://www.postcrescent.com/story/news/politics/elections/2015/09/21/after-walker-drops-out-whats-next-wisconsin/72583572/). 22 Sep. 2015.

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Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015 Government, Preparedness Comments Off on Why I’m Relieved Wisconsin’s Scott Walker Ended His White House Bid

Guns & Ammo Publishes ‘Best States For Gun Owners 2015’

Yesterday I happened to come across an article entitled “Best States for Gun Owners 2015” on the Guns & Ammo website. Keith Wood wrote Tuesday:

For the third consecutive year and first time in print, Guns & Ammo presents our assessment of each state’s gun laws in a format that ranks them from worst to first for gun owners…

G&A has conducted a thorough review of each state’s laws and considered initiatives pending in state legislatures. Every effort has been made to create a ranking system that is fair, equitable, accurate and objective. States were ranked numerically in each of five categories: right-to-carry, right to own “black rifles” (i.e., firearms possessing a tactical appearance), presence of the Castle Doctrine, subjects relating to the National Firearms Act (NFA) and a catchall miscellaneous column…

Interesting. Considering the amount of activity in the state recently as it concerns gun rights, I was real curious to see where Illinois ranked on this list. From the piece:

43. Illinois

Illinois has gone from one of the worst states for gun owners to “not so bad as long as you don’t live in Chicago” these last few years. The state’s “shall issue” concealed carry permit system is up and running for both residents and nonresidents, and the sky did not fall. Illinois’ Firearm Owner’s Identification, or “FOID,” requirement remains in effect for all residents wishing to touch a firearm or ammunition except for those possessed by nonresidents in accordance with state law. Suppressors are not permitted in Illinois, though a bill to change that is currently before the legislature. Short-barreled rifles are not allowed. At the point of sale, there is a three-day waiting period before picking up a handgun, and a 24-hour waiting period is applied to all long guns. The state has strong use-of-force laws, and all tactical rifles are legal outside of municipalities such as Chicago and Highland Park…

To expand on that bit about “all tactical rifles are legal outside of municipalities such as Chicago and Highland Park,” Don Babwin reported on The State Journal-Register (Springfield, Illinois) website back on July 20, 2013:

According to the Illinois State Rifle Association, at least 16 municipalities – including Chicago – enacted ordinances banning or regulating assault weapons. Every one of them was in the Chicago metropolitan area. Around 30 other municipalities took up the issue but voted down the bans.

The list of towns that took action includes places such as Evanston, Highland Park, Hazel Crest and Calumet Park…

So that’s Illinois. How about north of the state line where I pursue the bulk of my outdoor activities (when I have the time, that is)? From the article:

25. Wisconsin

Life improved markedly for gun-owning Wisconsin residents when former Gov. Jim Doyle was replaced by Gov. Scott Walker. Wisconsin’s hard-won CCW law gets good marks for strong reciprocity and very limited “gun-free zones.” The state has a Castle Doctrine statute on the books and doesn’t restrict NFA items or tactical-looking firearms. A bill to repeal the state’s 48-hour waiting period on handgun purchases was recently signed by Gov. Walker, yet another step forward for gun owners. Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke is about as outspokenly pro-gun as it gets, which is a rare thing in a major metro area…

Nearby Indiana, by the way, actually placed 16th in this year’s rankings. Nice job.

Where does your state fall in the 2015 list? Head on over to the Guns & Ammo website here to find out.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Babwin, Don. “By deadline, few Illinois towns pass assault weapons bans.” The State Journal-Register, 20 July 2013. (http://www.sj-r.com/article/20130720/News/307209909). 23 July 2015.

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Thursday, July 23rd, 2015 Firearms, Government, Gun Rights, Hunting, Legal, Self-Defense, Shooting Sports Comments Off on Guns & Ammo Publishes ‘Best States For Gun Owners 2015’

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker Authorizes National Guard To Carry Weapons On Duty

I try to spend as much time as I can at my family’s place in Wisconsin. And it’s my opinion that these days, Illinois could learn a thing or two from its neighbor to the north, particularly as it concerns combatting terrorists- both foreign and domestic. From a press release issued today from Wisconsin’s Office of the Governor:

Madison – Governor Scott Walker today issued Executive Order #168 allowing Wisconsin National Guard members to carry weapons while on duty.

“Safety must be our top priority, especially in light of the horrific attack in Chattanooga,” Governor Walker said. “Allowing our National Guard members to carry weapons while on duty gives them the tools they need to serve and protect our citizens, as well as themselves. I am also directing Adjutant General Donald Dunbar to evaluate longer-term plans to ensure the safety of our service members.”

A copy of Governor Walker’s Executive Order is attached.

I’ve read similar directives have been issued in Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas.

As for Illinois?

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Tuesday, July 21st, 2015 Military, Public Safety, Terrorism 2 Comments

Wisconsin Cuts Taxes While Illinois Looks To Make 2011 ‘Temporary’ Tax Hikes Permanent

Throughout the years, I’ve known/met a number of Illinois residents who can’t stand Wisconsin. Mostly from the Chicago area, they equate Wisconsin and its residents as being unsophisticated clowns.

I wonder if they haven’t noticed by now that the only circus around is in the “Land of Lincoln.”

While Illinois falls deeper into an economic abyss (public pension fix my butt), Wisconsin seems to have gotten their finances under control and look to be on the path to prosperity.

So much so they’re cutting taxes. Again.

Patrick Marley and Jason Stein reported on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel website Monday afternoon:

Lowering taxes for the third time in less than a year, Gov. Scott Walker signed his $541 million tax cut bill in a ceremony Monday at a farm in Cecil as he travels through central and northern Wisconsin touting it.

Speaking at Horsens Homestead Farms, about 35 miles northwest of Green Bay, Walker called it a great day for Wisconsin taxpayers and a sign of the state’s shifting financial fortunes in recent years.

“Now, instead of billion dollar budget deficits, we have a surplus — and today that money is on its way to the workers, parents, seniors, property owners, veterans, job creators and others. You deserve to keep as much of your hard-earned money as possible — because after all, it is your money,” Walker said.

With growing tax collections now expected to give the state a $1 billion budget surplus in June 2015, Walker’s tax proposal will cut property and income taxes for families and businesses, and zero out all income taxes for manufacturers in the state.

Though the state’s tax revenue is increasing, GOP lawmakers and Walker are trimming state spending slightly for the next three years rather than increasing it

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Meanwhile, across the Cheddar Curtain in Illinois there’s this on the website of The State Journal-Register (Springfield). Doug Finke reported Friday:

Hundreds of employees would be laid off, state facilities would be closed and thousands of prison inmates released without supervision, state agency directors told senators Friday during a hearing to gauge the effect of possibly severe spending cuts next year.

During a more than three-hour joint hearing of the two Senate Appropriations committees, agency after agency warned of drastic consequences should they be forced to cut their current budgets by 20 percent.

“There would be extreme consequences for the economy across Illinois,” warned Ben Winick of Gov. Pat Quinn’s budget office. “Over a dozen state facilities would have to close. Thousands of state employees would have to be laid off.”

The hearing occurred just days before Quinn is scheduled to finally deliver his budget outline for the fiscal year that starts July 1…

Translated? Illinois residents, this is what will happen if you don’t support making the Democrat-led temporary 67 percent personal income tax hike and 46 percent corporate income tax hike implemented in January 2011 permanent next year.

I hear Governor Quinn will be delivering his budget plan tomorrow.

Instead of ridiculing Wisconsin, us FIBs (F***ing Illinois Bastards as we’re known by up there) might want to start emulating our neighbors to the north in certain respects before we completely destroy Illinois.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

Marley, Patrick and Stein, Jacob. “Scott Walker signs tax cut legislation.” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 24 Mar. 2014. (http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/scott-walker-set-to-sign-tax-cut-legislation-b99231851z1-251936261.html). 24 Mar. 2014.

Finke, Doug. “State agencies outline cuts if forced to make 20% reductions.” The State Journal-Register. 21 Mar. 2014. (http://www.sj-r.com/article/20140321/NEWS/140329821). 24 Mar. 2014.

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Tuesday, March 25th, 2014 Debt Crisis, Deficits, Entitlements, Fiscal Policy, Government, Political Parties, Spending, Taxes Comments Off on Wisconsin Cuts Taxes While Illinois Looks To Make 2011 ‘Temporary’ Tax Hikes Permanent

CEO Survey: Illinois 3rd Worst State In Which To Do Business

Last week, Chief Executive magazine announced the results of its 9th annual survey regarding the best and worst states in which to do business. From their website:

In its ninth annual survey of CEO opinion about the best and worst states in which to do business, 736 CEOs—the highest response on record—rendered their verdict. Business leaders were asked to grade states with which they are familiar on a variety of competitive metrics that CEOs themselves regard as critical. These include: 1) taxation and regulation; 2) quality of workforce; and 3) living environment. The tax and regulatory grade includes a measure of how CEOs grade a state’s attitude toward business, a key indicator.

The best states in which to do business?

1. Texas (9 consecutive years now)
2. Florida
3. North Carolina
4. Tennessee
5. Indiana

Nice job Indiana!

The “Top 5” were unchanged from last year.

And the worst states in which to do business?

1. California
2. New York
3. Illinois
4. Massachusetts
5. New Jersey

Nice going Illinois. Second year in a row in that position.

The faster Illinois residents dump incompetent and ill-intentioned lawmakers, the sooner the state will be able to make headway on a number of real issues. Avoiding insolvency (somewhat of a stretch at this point) and job retention/attraction readily come to mind here.

By the way, our neighbors to the north- Wisconsin- climbed three spots in this latest survey to number 17. JP Donlon wrote on May 6:

More and more states are getting the pro-growth message. Wisconsin governor Scott Walker’s position is typical of this new thinking. “I’ve never seen a store get more customers by raising its prices, but I’ve seen customers knock down doors when they cut prices,” he says.

You can view the rankings of all 50 U.S. states on the Chief Executive website here.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Donlon, JP. “States More Aggressive in Competing With One Another.” Chief Executive. 6 May 2013. (http://chiefexecutive.net/states-more-aggressive-in-competing-with-one-another-2013). 13 May 2013.

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Monday, May 13th, 2013 Business, Debt Crisis, Employment, Fiscal Policy, Government, Taxes Comments Off on CEO Survey: Illinois 3rd Worst State In Which To Do Business

Democrats Win Veto-Proof Supermajority In Illinois House And Senate

Even though I think my home state of Illinois is heading in the wrong direction, plenty of my neighbors appear to be very pleased with the way the “Land of Lincoln” is being run. Monique Garcia, Ray Long, and Rick Pearson wrote on the Chicago Tribune website yesterday:

In Springfield, where Republicans have long been the minority party in the state Legislature, Democrats won a veto-proof supermajority in the state House and Senate. In the House, it’s 71 Democrats and 47 Republicans. In the Senate, it’s 40 Democrats and 19 Republicans.

Mike Garrigan added on the website for Rockford, Illinois, CBS affiliate WIFR Channel 23 Wednesday night:

Before the election, Democrats held a 64-54 majority in the state house, but that has been increased to a 71-47 majority, making it a veto proof or super majority.

There is also now a democratic supermajority in the Illinois senate after the majority party picked up five more seats on Tuesday.

North of the border in Wisconsin, where I spend a good deal of my time, the opposite is happening. From an Associated Press piece Wednesday:

Wisconsin Republicans have retaken full control of state government, winning majorities in both the Senate and Assembly and erasing Democrats’ gains in last summer’s recalls.

Results from Tuesday’s elections show Republicans captured an open Senate seat and four incumbent GOP senators fended off challengers, allowing them to capture the majority, and their colleagues in the Assembly easily held onto their advantage in that chamber.

With Republican Gov. Scott Walker in office, the GOP now has complete control in Madison. And the ramifications are huge: Republicans will be able to pass legislation without a single vote from Democrats and Walker should be able to push through the next state budget with ease, setting himself up for his 2014 re-election bid.

Seeing that Illinois looks to continue on the same course it’s been going on for some time now, and Wisconsin appears to be heading in the right direction as it concerns their state’s finances and economic outlook, I intend to give strong consideration to the “Badger State” as my future home as part of Project Prepper.

Sources:

Garcia, Monique, Long, Ray, and Pearson, Rick. “For Illinois Republicans, the gloom settles in.” Chicago Tribune. 8 Nov. 2012. (http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-11-08/news/ct-met-illinois-politics-1108-20121108_1_gop-leader-christine-radogno-illinois-republicans-republican-chairman-pat-brady). 9 Nov. 2012.

Garrigan, Mike. “Supermajority for Illinois Democrats.” WIFR Channel 23. 7 Nov. 2012. (http://www.wifr.com/news/headlines/Super-177752381.html). 9 Nov. 2012.

“GOP wins back control of Wis. state government.” Associated Press. 7 Nov. 2012. (http://www.wifr.com/news/headlines/Super-177752381.html). 9 Nov. 2012.

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Friday, November 9th, 2012 Fiscal Policy, Government, Political Parties, Project Prepper Comments Off on Democrats Win Veto-Proof Supermajority In Illinois House And Senate

‘FIBS’ Get An Earful From Wisconsin Governor Walker

Not too many people outside of Wisconsin know what the term “FIBS” stands for.

It’s a derogatory term used by Wisconsin residents to describe their neighbors to the south, as in “f—ing Illinois bastards.”

Blessed with being able to split my time between both Wisconsin and Illinois over the years, I learned about the term a long time ago as I can be considered one.

Anyway, on Tuesday Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker came to Springfield, Illinois, the state capital and seat of state government in the “Land of Lincoln.” From Andrew Maloney on the Chicago Sun-Times website last night:

Walker addressed his own precarious political position in the “Badger State” while patronizing Illinois’ elected officials, including Gov. Pat Quinn, for passing personal and corporate income tax increases last year that were meant to bolster the state’s financial health.

“With all due respect, and I think Gov. Quinn and others are trying to do their best, but it is a clear choice in Wisconsin come June 5th,” Walker told reporters after his speech in front of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, referring to the date when Wisconsin voters will decide whether to recall him.

“If voters in our state want to know the difference between going forward or backwards, they need only look at the mess that you have in state government here in Springfield to know what it would be like if ultimately the recall would prevail,” he told reporters.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Ouch.

The Republican governor of Wisconsin pointed out those massive tax hikes in Illinois where personal income taxes jumped by 67 percent and corporate income taxes rose 46 percent back in January 2011. The tax increases were pushed through the Democrat-controlled Illinois General Assembly and signed by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn without any significant streamlining of state operations at the time.

Not surprisingly, revenue collections are up in Illinois. Abdon Pallasch wrote on the Chicago Sun-Times website yesterday afternoon:

Illinois income tax collections jumped 31.9 percent in 2011 — the second-highest jump in the nation — thanks largely to a hike in the state income tax from 3 percent to 5 percent, new numbers from the Census Bureau show.

Only North Dakota saw a bigger jump: 42.6 percent.

Sales taxes and corporate income tax collections are also up, said Sue Hofer, spokeswoman for the Illinois Dept. of Revenue.

Perhaps the State of Illinois might now want to tackle that $9 billion backlog in unpaid bills it has, and start setting aside more funds for the $83 billion in unfunded pensions and $54 billion in health liabilities owed to its employees/retirees down the road? Just a thought.

Sources:

Maloney, Andrew. “Wis. Gov. Walker visits Illinois, blasts ‘mess’ in government.” Chicago Sun-Times. 17 Apr. 2012. (http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/11966761-418/wis-gov-walker-visits-springfield-blasts-mess-in-ill-government.html). 18 Apr. 2012.

Pallasch, Abdon M. “Illinois income taxes jump nearly 32%, second-highest in nation.” Chicago Sun-Times. 17 Apr. 2012. (http://www.suntimes.com/news/11961044-420/illinois-income-taxes-jump-nearly-32-second-highest-in-nation.html). 18 Apr. 2012.

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Wednesday, April 18th, 2012 Fiscal Policy, Government, Political Parties, Spending, Taxes Comments Off on ‘FIBS’ Get An Earful From Wisconsin Governor Walker
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