Post-Recall Wisconsin Open for Business, Governor Says
By Pamela M. Prah, Staff Writer
The recent recall election in Wisconsin that let Governor Scott Walker keep his job was apparently also good for businesses in the state, or so says the governor.
During a jobs summit at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce headquarters near the White House, Walker said the recall results provided the certainty and stability that employers wanted before adding jobs. “June was a big month in terms of settling uncertainty,” Walker said, which along with lowering taxes and regulations he said were key for creating jobs.
“Last Tuesday, June 5, without a doubt gave people a clear answer to what was going to happen in Wisconsin,” Walker said, referring to the day he won a historic recall election over Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.
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Source: “Enterprising States: Policies that Produce,” 2012 U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Walker said before that election, that 87 percent of Wisconsin employers in a poll said they would add jobs in 2012, but were holding off because of the recall. The same poll found that 94 percent of the employers polled said the state was headed in the right direction, up from 10 percent two years ago, when he took office. Walker also touted that the state was now in the top 20 in some lists of states that were good for businesses, up from 41 before he took office.
A new report from the U.S. Chamber, however, shows the state still has a ways to go. In its “Enterprising States: Policies that Produce,” released at the conference, Wisconsin didn’t make any of the top 10 states for growth, exports, innovation, talent or other major categories.
Walker and the three other governors on the panel all agreed that the uncertainty over the legality of the federal health care law has made employers reluctant to invest, and offered different opinions on what they hoped would happen.
Republican Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman and that he hoped the U.S. Supreme Court would rule on whether the federal law is constitutional or not “because anything in between will create more uncertainty.” Republican Utah Governor Gary Herbert said he would rather “push the reset button and start over.” Both Walker and Delaware Governor Jack Markell, a Democrat, said that regardless of how the court rules, there was no going back to the health care system before the law was enacted.