Wisconsin, Minnesota Become Partners to Fight Economic Blues

Two states in the upper Midwest — Minnesota and Wisconsin — are hoping they’ve found a way to endure the tough times by forging a partnership, sort of like Tango & Cash, Rodgers & Hammerstein, etc.: 

The governors said they hope to save "tens of millions of dollars" in the coming years by cooperating on everything from buying road salt and prison food to running state telephone call centers.

"This is an opportunity for neighbors to help each other during a very difficult economy," Doyle said at the Madison signing of the agreement, adding later, "I am prepared to think very big about this."
Doyle and Pawlenty outlined the measures in St. Paul and Madison to help cope with the deficits facing both states.

Wisconsin has a projected budget shortfall of $5.4 billion and Minnesota faces a gap of $4.8 billion, both by the end of their upcoming two-year budgets.

Experts praised the proposal but cautioned it could provide only modest help at best in fixing the current budget gaps.

The effectiveness of such a pact is yet to be seen, but it’s potentially a practical and encouraging solution for some problems nonetheless. Perhaps Indiana’s governor may one day find it useful to forge a partnership with our neighboring … governor … in … Illinois … ooooohh, riiiiiight. Perhaps not.