Wisconsin. Ohio. Michigan. New Jersey. New York. Budget-battle showdowns are coming soon to a statehouse near you.
Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) has provoked the ire of labor union leaders in Wisconsin, but he’s not alone. Governors across America are confronting budget shortfalls — and looking to public employees to help make up the difference.
Walker’s budget repair bill asks government workers to make a 5.8% pension contribution (about the national average) and 12.6% health insurance contribution (about half the national average). In New Jersey, Republican Gov. Chris Christie proposed that public employees pick up 30 percent of their health care premiums. And in neighboring New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, asked public employees to pay $500 million toward benefits they’re currently receiving for free.
It’s a scenario all too common after years of out-of-control government spending. To tell the story, Heritage partnered with Reason.tv to showcase how states were grappling with the problem and what the consequences would be for public employees.