Public Sector Labor Reform in Wisconsin and Indiana

Updated at 2:45p.m.

The above title is from a new Manhattan Institute report which brings glad tidings to Illinois Republican elected officials. They need not travel to the far corners of the globe or even to the far corners of the United States to learn how to minimize the theft of tax dollars by public sector employees. Wisconsin and Indiana, those IL GOPers might be excited to find out, border Illinois. So the moral of the story from this research by Josh Barro might be summarized this way:

Wisconsin and Indiana Republicans set the standard.

Illinois Republicans still can’t locate their ass “with a guide dog” (to borrow David Mamet‘s line).

Here’s an excerpt from the MI report’s executive summary:

Indiana’s experience with reform of collective bargaining rules for government employees suggests that similar changes adopted by the administration of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, although uneven in their impact to date, hold the potential to control costs and limit public sector workforce layoffs over time.

Indiana abolished collective bargaining for state employees six years ago. According to the most recent data, Indiana has succeeded in limiting cutbacks in public employment, while not raising state taxes. The Indiana experience also contrasts with that of another Wisconsin neighbor, Illinois, which, although it also limited public employment cutbacks, did so only after a significant state tax increase. By contrast, Wisconsin enacted a sharp reduction in aid to municipalities that was effective immediately and led to significant layoffs and other reductions in headcount.

Over the next few years, as municipalities are able to take advantage of the bargaining reforms, they will, like Indiana, be better able to afford to retain and hire employees.

Read the entire report

P.S. I’ve been asked: what can Illinois Republican General Assembly members do since they’re in the minority in both chambers? Good question—and an easy one to answer. When you’re in the minority is when you really need to present a plan to the public. Why else would they vote to put you in charge unless you tell them how you’re going to fix the problems that government has created?