So long 2005 and thanks for the memories. The Wisconsin State Journal puts on their thinking caps and comes up with ideas on where to site in the political focus going forward. An Agenda For 2006
Build the economy: Wisconsin's economy is doing better and diversifying, thanks to hard work, innovation and quality education. Yet higher health and fuel costs, worker shortages in key sectors, an aging electrical system and government meddling threaten to limit growth.A strong economy is the best anti-poverty program and State Government should continue to remember the difference between establishing rules of fair play and trying to actually be the game itself. The balance of the agenda is entirely about the role that money plays within government and this many faceted problem is best left for the coming days. Tonight is a night for celebration and reflection. Happy New Year one and all.
Purify state politics: Tying all of these cases together is an insatiable thirst for campaign dollars. All of these fallen leaders, representing both major political parties, had to help raise huge amounts of money to pay for expensive campaigns to hold onto power.
Fix school financing: At the heart of the problem is a formula that essentially requires schools to spend at a faster rate than it allows many of them to collect in revenue. About the only way around the formula is to ask voters for more money in referendums, which are difficult to pass and hinder efficiencies while creating financial instability. Districts also have dramatically different transportation and special education needs, which a new system must better account for.
Frame Madison's future: Madison turns 150 years old this year. That's cause for celebration and for a retracing of the city's colorful past. It's also an opportunity to look ahead to what the city should become.