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Razor Thin

by Jerry Bader

By one vote in the Senate, Republicans send a budget to Governor Scott Walker. I was told that earlier this week Green Bay area Senator Rob Cowles was a no vote but Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald was working with him. Cowles had issues with policy items in the budget was never completely honest about his opposition to school vouchers. That Cowles said he can live with the voucher compromise tells me he's not optimistic about its chances.

Speaking of vouchers, I'm mildly conflicted on Republican's decision to limit public release of data on voucher schools' performance. I understand the desire to avoid the kind of cherry picking of data the education establishment did during the Act 10 debate to skew the argument in their favor. On the other hand, this plays into the "lack of accountability" meme the left has been pushing. And the future of the statewide voucher program is contingent on Republicans holding both houses of the legislature and the governor's mansion long enough to grow it into a viable program.

But all in all, this budget is a very impressive follow-up to the ground-breaking Act 10. A massive shift in state income tax policy, school vouchers, now matter how meager. Impressive indeed.