Madison – Governor Scott Walker’s office today released a new website, www.reforms.wi.gov that will help inform Wisconsinites about the results from the Administration’s reforms.
“Since our reforms passed a lot of people have wondered what kind of results we’re getting and why the reforms were necessary,” said Governor Walker. “Reforms.wi.gov shows the results from our reforms and how they’re working.”
So far local governments have saved over $450 million because of the reforms. That total is only the beginning of the potential savings. The savings are based on media reports and the Legislative Fiscal Bureau’s estimate on pension savings. For hundreds of governments there is no official estimate of savings from health contributions, but it is likely millions of dollars more.
Governments have seen savings not only from employee pension and health care contributions, but also by having the ability to do design plan changes and shop the market for better rates. So far governments have saved over $73 million through health plan savings.
Reforms.wi.gov goes beyond just the savings from pension and health care contributions to share how the reforms have improved government.
For example, in Baraboo School District is considering using the savings to rebuild the running track and athletic field at the high school, a project that had been on the backburner for years.
In Kaukauna, they turned a $400,000 deficit into a $1.5 million surplus. With the savings from the health care and pension contribution, they were able to hire additional staff to lower class sizes. The district is also now working on a merit pay proposal for teachers.
In Brown Deer, the reforms allowed the district to have teachers in contact with the students for only 310 minutes per day. According to the Finance Director, “if it got to be 311 minutes, they grieved it. You couldn’t even ask a teacher to walk her little first graders to art because that was 312 minutes.”
The website will be updated as more data becomes available and more results become public.