One of the first places to test the new pro-business push will be Wisconsin, where Republican Gov.-elect Scott Walker has promised to call the new GOP-led Legislature into an emergency session on his first day in office Jan. 3.
Walker wants to lower taxes on businesses with fewer than 50 employees, impose new business-friendly limits on liability lawsuits and transform the state Commerce Department into a public-private partnership to lure companies to the state.
“I think it’s basically put-up-or-shut-up time,” Walker said after his November election. “We have a mandate from the voters of the state, and it’s one we don’t take lightly.”
In Michigan, voters elected the former chief operating officer of computer manufacturer Gateway Inc. to turn around a state that has consistently had one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation. Republican Gov.-elect Rick Snyder immediately chose the former president of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. to lead his transition team.
“The business people we represent across the state are very excited about this change of leadership,” said Rich Studley, president and CEO of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.