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Summary of This Commentary
There was a time when the budget debate in Wisconsin competed for top major-media billing with the overthrow of a dictator in Egypt and major demonstrations in many other countries of the Middle East. Behind all the hoopla in Madison (the Wisconsin state capital) which, for a time, was featured on the national newscasts, not just in the U.S. but here in Canada as well, there was a serious debate which received much less attention from the major media. A primary purpose of our publication is to fill in the gaping voids in the major-media coverage of those issues which have an impact on local government. And, the Wisconsin budget debate of 2011 is certainly 1 of those issues. In this commentary, we answer questions like the following. Why were there major demonstrations in Madison? What are the specific issues at stake? What is the status of public employment in Wisconsin? What are those public employees paid? How much is deducted for their pensions? What do they pay for their health-care insurance? What permissions have state laws granted to public-sector unions in Wisconsin? What was done with the federal bailout money that this state received in prior years? And, the final question for part 1 of this series: is the opposition party assisting to find a solution? If your state, province, or nation is struggling with a budget crisis, you will want to see just what Wisconsin is proposing for its state and for its local governments. This commentary will provide you with information that most major-media coverage hasn't.
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