Gov. Scott Walker's Budget Address: What Did You Think?
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker focused on job creation, mining, transforming education, and infrastructure, but what did you think of his speech? And if you missed it, we've got the whole transcript.
Gov. Scott Walker delivered his budget address Wednesday night at the state capitol. His speech focused on job creation, workforce development, transforming education, government reform and investing in infrastructure.
The governor stressed the need for the passage of a mining bill, making Medicaid into more of a safety net, allocating more money for deer management and tying K-12 school funding with their performance.
Here are some of the highlights from Walker's speech:
"Bottom line—I want more freedom and prosperity for all. Improving the economy is my number one priority. Over the past two years, we lowered our overall tax burden, we streamlined the regulatory process—so what we do enforce is about common sense and not government red tape—and we put limits on lawsuit abuse that was a hurdle for small businesses and farmers."
"Think about it—more money in the hands of taxpayers will likely drive greater demand for goods and services, which will likely lead to greater production and eventually more hiring of employees. Overall, this would lead to more jobs for the people of Wisconsin."
"As we work to create more jobs, we need people with the skills to fill the jobs. Our budget includes nearly $100 million in new state support for workforce development."
Some state Democrats have already started criticizing Walker's biennial budget because of cuts to Medicaid and wanting to expand the school voucher program, according to a story in the Green Bay Press Gazette.
State Sen. Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls) issued the following statement about the governor's budget plan:
“Following the challenging budget and tough decisions we made last session, I am pleased that the current budget outlook provides us with opportunities to invest in our priorities as we work to maintain a sound financial position. The Governor’s budget address put an emphasis on building on our successes by reducing the tax burden on middle-class families and focusing on economic development, education, and transportation.”
“There are a number of important provisions in the Governor’s budget that address our state’s skills gap, increase access to capital investment for start-up businesses, and expand mental health services. Additionally, I appreciate the Governor’s action on enhanced DNA collection, an issue I have championed in the State Legislature.”
“As a member of the budget-writing committee, I look forward to learning the details of the Governor’s budget bill and listening to citizen input at the public hearings. As the budget process moves forward, I will be working with my colleagues on the committee as we consider modifications to the budget bill and pass a budget that focuses on fiscal responsibility and putting people back to work.”
State Rep. Dean Knudson (R-Hudson) issued the following statement on Thursday morning:
“Governor Walker has submitted his proposal for a pro-growth budget that builds on the reforms we enacted last session. The Governor has been working on this budget for months, but now it is time for the legislature to get to work.”
“Over the next few months, my colleagues and I will work with the Governor to pass a budget that protects taxpayers, fosters economic growth, and enhances opportunities for all citizens.”
“As a member of the Joint Finance Committee, it will be my privilege to listen to the people of Wisconsin as we move ahead in a budget process that will help ultimately help all citizens move from dependence to independence.”
What did you think of Walker's speech? Tell us in the comments.