Wisconsin’s Bold Solutions for Regulatory Reform

Jun 24, 2019 | Press Release

How Wisconsin saved taxpayers money while reducing waste, fraud and abuse in state government.

Madison, Wis. — The Institute for Reforming Government issued its second policy paper today highlighting Wisconsin-based reforms for reducing burdensome regulations. Since Governor Walker and a reform-minded Legislature were elected in 2011, executive and legislation solutions have saved taxpayer dollars, reduced waste, fraud and abuse in government programs and promoted strong economic growth.

“Cumbersome regulations created by a bureaucratic government creates a burden that suffocates capitalism and makes it harder for businesses to create jobs for working families. Governor Walker and the Wisconsin Legislature hit the nail on the head with regulatory reform. They helped the government get out of the way to promote strong economic growth, while reducing waste, fraud and abuse in government spending. If other states around the country want to reform their regulations, look no further than Wisconsin,” said Rob McDonald, Chairman of the Board for the Institute for Reforming Government.

Highlights of Governor Walker and the Legislature’s Regulatory Reforms:

  • Act 21:
    • “…Act 21 provides that no agency may implement or enforce any standard, requirement, or threshold, including as a term or condition of any license issued by the agency, unless that standard, requirement, or threshold is explicitly required or explicitly permitted by statute or by rule…”
  • Reducing Waste, Fraud and Abuse in Government:
    • 2011 Executive Order #7, which “…require[d] that the appointed heads of each administrative department and independent agency create a team within their departments and agencies to assist the Commission on Waste, Fraud and Abuse to identify waste, fraud and abuse within each agency and recommend steps to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse…”
    • The Commission on Waste, Fraud and Abuse published a report “…detailing more than $370 million in potential savings to the state…” and it found:
      • “…Efforts to combat tax fraud and increase collections have shown results. Overall, anti-fraud collections are up $74 million, based on figures published by the state Department of Revenue…”
      • “…Similarly, anti-fraud efforts in state welfare programs have brought in $48 million more…”
      • “…The commission’s report talked about ways to get state agencies to return, or ‘lapse,’ unspent funds back to the state treasury… we think $112 million better reflects true savings in that category…”
  • Lean Government Initiative:
    • This initiative was implemented to“…eliminate waste, save time, standardize workflow, and decrease process complexity… [e]stablish measurement criteria for the services the agency performs with a focus on processes that…[r]educe workload, improve customer satisfaction, and improve processes…”

The Regulatory Reform Policy Paper can be found here.

The Institute for Reforming Government is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that seeks to simplify government at every level by offering policy solutions to thought leaders in American government in the areas of tax reform, government inefficiency, and burdensome regulations.

Learn more about the Institute for Reforming Government here.