Gov. Scott Walker Goes to Washington

Mike Brownfield /

After standing off against union protesters in Wisconsin over collective bargaining rights, Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) came to Washington today to testify before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. His message? The reforms he is implementing in his state are necessary and “truly progressive.”

Many Governors, Democrat and Republican alike, are cutting state aid to schools and other local governments – which forces massive layoffs, massive property tax increases or both.

In Wisconsin, we are doing something truly progressive. In addition to holding the line on spending and finding efficiencies in state government, we are implementing long term budget reforms focused on protecting middle class jobs and middle class taxpayers.

While our idea may be a bold political move it is a very modest request of our employees. We are reforming the collective bargaining system so our state and local governments can ask employees to contribute 5.8% for pension and 12.6% for health insurance premiums. These reforms will help them balance their budgets. In total, our collective bargaining reforms save local governments more than $700 million each year.

In March, Walker faced a confrontation with unions that Reuters reported, “could be the biggest since then President Ronald Reagan fired striking air traffic controllers nearly 30 years ago.”

You can read Gov. Walker’s full testimony here.

What do you think of Gov. Walker’s reforms in Wisconsin? Join the discussion by leaving a comment below.