The State of the State of Wisconsin

Governor Scott Walker - GPH Consulting

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker delivered his State of the State Address on Tuesday.

This excerpt from the Governor’s speech helps to lay out a bold vision:

Still, there is much more work to be done in the coming year.  Our top priority is helping the people of our state create more jobs.  As you know, we have an ambitious goal: 250,000 jobs by 2015.

After all that we’ve gone through in Wisconsin over the past few years, some have suggested that this goal is too difficult to reach.  With the protests and recalls combined with the slow recovery at the national level, the fiscal cliff, and ongoing worries about health care mandates coming out of Washington, they say there are plenty of reasons why it has been hard to create jobs.

But in Wisconsin, we don’t make excuses… We get results.

With this in mind, we are going to double down and be even more aggressive with our efforts to improve the jobs climate in this state.  That’s what I heard during my listening sessions held around Wisconsin.  People want us focused on things that will improve the economy and our way of life.

That’s why I laid out five very clear priorities for the next two years: create jobs, develop the workforce, transform education, reform government, and invest in our infrastructure.  And it’s also why I’ve asked the members of the legislature to stay focused on these same priorities—and not get distracted on other issues.

One of the best ways we can show the people of Wisconsin that their state government is focused on jobs is to pass a bill that streamlines the process for safe and environmentally sound mining.  Start with the legislation that was approved in the Joint Finance Committee last session, include some reasonable modifications, and send me a bill to sign into law early this year.

Tuesday also provided news on the union fights front.

Court Rebukes WI Unions In Fight over Walker’s Reforms (via Red State):

The legal battle over Governor Scott Walker’s collective bargaining reforms isn’t over yet, and in a challenge that has now reached the Wisconsin Court of Appeals a local teachers union is arguing that the law is unconstitutional when applied at the local level. But the unions and their legal team may have suffered a quiet but important setback in late December when, with no fanfare, the Appeals Court requested both sides to file further briefs on the case. In the request, the court specifically noted that cases cited by the unions to prove their point in fact, did not back up the unions’ position.

According to the Appeals Court document, unions challenging Walker’s reform say that the Dane County court decision striking down the law in September of last year should apply to every county in the state. That means that the collective bargaining reforms used by local school boards and municipal governments across Wisconsin would be immediately thrown out, and local governments would have to return to the status quo of allowing unions to forcibly collectively bargain.


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