ROCKFORD - A potential budget
surplus is in the cards for the state of Wisconsin,
according to Governor Walker's State of the State Address, Tuesday night. Even though Wisconsin
is Illinois' neighbor to the north, the budget
surplus hasn't made its way to the Prairie
State. Political analysts say a wide difference in
political ideology is why Wisconsin could get
their ducks in a row and why Illinois
still has its problems.
budget didn't come without protest in Wisconsin. Protests erupted because of Governor Scott
Walker's extremely conservative measures to help curtail spending and fix the
"About $800 million
was cut in education in Wisconsin and that's
jut not going to happen in Illinois,"
said P.S. Ruckman, political analyst.
unions just have much more power here."
that any union in Illinois has more arguing
power than in Wisconsin, especially after
Governor Walker rid collective-bargaining rights for unions in the Badger State. Wisconsin public employee benefits were
slashed too, and Ruckman says that even republicans in the Prairie State
would be against that.
they claim to be fiscal conservatives and tax-payer protectors, but they spend
and allocate money by the millions from the state which is bankrupt," said
But in Wisconsin they are "real"
fiscal conservatives. Georgia
Duerst-Lahti, political science professor at Beloit College,
says that plays to a republican governor's advantage.
has a really conservative leadership and majority in the senate and a really
conservative leadership and majority in the state assembly," said Duerst-Lahti.
"He's got a clean
sweep," comments Duerst-Lahti, "he can do whatever he wants right now."
drastically conservative measures even fix Illinois' budget crisis? Both Duerst-Lahti and Ruckman say Wisconsin didn't have as big of a problem that Illinois does now.
"Wisconsin didn't have a pension problem,"
said Duerst-Lahti. "So if you're
factoring that in to what you're going off of, you're starting out in a very
And Ruckman says
this supposed budget surplus is projected and not certain. For all we know, Wisconsin could be in a budget deficit as
"These kinds of
projections are as many times as much an advertisement as they are facts and
you can't push that entirely aside," said Ruckman.
Both analysts say Illinois and Wisconsin,
aside from the big cities, are predominantly "red" states. Milwaukee
would be most comparable to Chicago, and it
doesn't nearly have the population power that Chicago has.
That's why the democrats in Madison
don't have as big a pull.