This is not the time to ask voters for new spending.
In the midst of a worldwide pandemic, with millions of Americans out of work and businesses struggling to survive, consider the tens of millions of dollars area voters are being asked to pony up through ballot questions on Nov. 3.
Clinton voters are being asked to approve $30 million in school spending.
Blackhawk Technical College wants $32 million for facilities.
The Janesville School District is hoping voters will approve $59 million.
Awhile back, in this space, we observed that the region and the nation and the world are experiencing uncertain and unprecedented times due to the coronavirus pandemic. Nothing has occurred since to change that view. There’s ample evidence another wave is beginning to roll across the upper Midwest and elsewhere. Cases and hospitalizations are up in Wisconsin. The governors of Illinois and Wisconsin have ordered tougher restrictions put in place to combat a rising outbreak. U.S. experts warn that a dark winter could be ahead for the country if seasonal flu joins with the coronavirus as a two-headed public health threat.
Put all that together and there’s a very real possibility the economy will face continuing challenges and people will be hard pressed to make ends meet until some semblance of normalcy returns. Whenever that may be.
We said it before and we’ll say it again: This is not the right time to plead for taxpayers to dig deeper.
As for the relative merits of the various referendum proposals, we take no position. The timing is off, that’s all. Voters should feel no regret for saying no. Governments can ask again later.