State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.
The Appleton Post-Crescent is disappointed, writing that legislative Democrats blew their chances:
"What a disappointment. Given the chance to change how the state Legislature operates in devising the state budget, the newly empowered Democrats who hold the majority in the Assembly and Senate, as well as the governor's seat, chose more of the same.
Now, it's down to figuring out which version of bad to use."
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says it’s impossible to determine the authors of the pork and policy developed behind closed doors, writing:
“In the state budget bills currently before the Assembly and Senate, there are earmarks and other provisions that were inserted without public discussion, whose authors are unknown and whose effects on public policy could be significant. Meetings take place into the dead of night; deals are made and decisions are reached in secret and in the wee hours of the morning when - our guess - legislators often are too fatigued to think straight.”
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Sunday business columnist John Torinus says the state Senate last week failed to show any love for
“Relations between state business organizations and Democratic leaders were already on shaky ground before the Senate move to forgo a tax on oil companies and erase the capital-gains tax break.
Sen. Russ Decker, majority leader and unionist, obviously doesn't care much what business interests think. After 23 years out of power, his brand of Democrat must see this legislative session as the union movement's turn to get what it wants.
His anti-business agenda comes at a time when job losses in the state are horrendous. The loss of 133,800 jobs in the last year is the biggest in percentage terms in a half-century.”
A special conference committee comprised of legislators from both houses and both parties will now try to work out numerous differences between the Senate and Assembly versions of the budgets. The Wisconsin State Journal editorializes, “Six ways to save the state budget.”