Let’s start with the leftist Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel – no fan of Wisconsin governor Scott Walker.
For the first time Thursday, Walker committed to drug testing recipients of BadgerCare Plus health coverage and also pledged free treatment and job training for those testing positive for drugs.
But the governor offered no details on how the state would cover the costs of that or the testing or whether he expected it to cost the state money overall, as a similar program did in Florida, or save tax dollars. The budget, he said in a statement, would also drop to four years from five the limit on how long a recipient could be in the Wisconsin Works, or W-2, program, the replacement in this state for traditional welfare.
“We know employers in Wisconsin have jobs available, but they don’t have enough qualified employees to fill those positions,” Walker said. “With this budget, we are addressing some of the barriers keeping people from achieving true freedom and prosperity and the independence that comes with having a good job and doing it well.”
The governor said the drug-testing proposal would apply only to able-bodied adults, not the elderly or children, and would include transitional jobs initiatives. Walker wants to test all FoodShare and BadgerCare applicants but limit the drug testing for unemployment benefits to certain applicants.
The idea expands on another requirement passed by Walker and Republicans in 2013 to make able-bodied FoodShare recipients receive job training.
Michigan Republican governor Rick Snyder has the same idea, and his bill was signed into law last month.
The Daily Signal reports on the latest effort by South Carolina Republican governor Nikki Haley to cut income taxes.
The governor of South Carolina has proposed lowering the state’s income tax rate from 7 percent to 5 percent, accompanied by a 10 cent hike in the state’s gas tax.
In her annual State of the State address on Wednesday, Gov. Nikki Haley, R-S.C., said the state’s income tax puts it at a competitive “disadvantage.”
“In order to keep the ball rolling in our economy, we must bring down our income tax,” Haley said.
She acknowledged that despite her desire to cut the income tax rate, South Carolina needs to invest in its infrastructure. Greenville Online reports that the South Carolina Department of Transportation “has rated almost half the state’s primary and secondary roads in poor condition.”
Haley proposed doing “three things at once that will be a win-win-win for South Carolina.”
The first would be lowering the income tax over the next decade, which amounts to a 30 percent reduction. The lower 5 percent rate would take South Carolina’s nationwide income tax ranking from 38th to 13th.
While the income tax rate would go down, the gas tax would increase by 10 cents over the next three years. Haley said that the revenue generated from this tax will go “entirely toward improving our roads.”
I have no problem with raising consumption taxes in exchange for cutting business and/or income taxes.
And here’s leftist ABC News discussing Kansas governor Sam Brownback latest proposal.
Notable among them is a first-of-its-kind measure being drafted in Kansas, with the backing of the National Right to Life Committee, which would ban doctors from using forceps, tongs or other medical implements to dismember a living fetus in the womb to complete an abortion.
Proponents have titled the bill the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act and say it targets a procedure used in about 8 percent of abortions in Kansas.
“Dismemberment abortion kills a baby by tearing her apart limb from limb,” said National Right to Life’s director of state legislation, Mary Spaulding Balch, who hopes the Kansas bill will be emulated in other states.
Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri has vowed to fight the bill “every step of the way.”
That article has a few more pro-life measures being pushed by Republicans in other states, although Democrat governors are threatening to veto them.
The American Enterprise Institute talks about the job creation juggernaut created by Republican governor Rick Perry in Texas.
The Texas Workforce Commission released state employment data today for the month of December, and job growth in the Lone Star State continues to lead, and in fact carry the nation’s improving labor market as the chart above shows. Here are some highlights of the December employment report for Texas:
1. Texas ended the year with the state’s largest ever year-over-year payroll gain with the eye-popping addition of 457,900 new jobs between December 2013 and December 2014. That’s more than 1,700 new payroll jobs that were added every business day last year in the Lone Star State, and 220 new jobs every business hour or almost 4 new jobs added every minute!
2. In just the last month of December, which marked the 51st consecutive month of employment growth, Texas added 45,700 new payroll jobs, which was more than 2,000 jobs every business day, almost 260 jobs every hour, and more than 4 new jobs every minute! The strong job growth in December brought the state’s jobless rate down to 4.6%, the lowest Texas unemployment rate since May 2008.
[…]It’s a pretty impressive story of how job creation in just one state – Texas – has made such a significant contribution to the 1.169 million net increase in total US employment (+1,444,290 Texas jobs minus the 275,290 non-Texas job loss) in the seven year period between the start of the Great Recession in December 2007 and December 2014. The other 49 states and the District of Columbia together employ about 275,000 fewer Americans than at the start of the recession seven years ago, while the Lone Star State has added more than 1.25 million payroll jobs and more than 190,000 non-payroll jobs (primarily self-employed and farm workers).
So, what have we learned? We learned that if you like more job creation, fewer abortions, lower taxes and drug-testing welfare recipients, then you are a Republican. I’ll be doing posts like these regularly until the 2016 election, so that everyone understands what Republicans actually get done.