Walker's Budget Address: What Did You Think?

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 gave his budget address tonight at the state capitol, which focused on job creation, workforce development, transforming education, government reform and investing in infrastructure.

He 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.

Representatives React

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, issued a statement at the conclusion of Walker's address, praising the past budget as providing a road map to recovery and this budget as fulfilling promises made.

"Our last budget allowed us to make deposits into the rainy day fund, eliminate a structural deficit and finish with a surplus; all without raising taxes," he wrote. "We want to do more to help the people of Wisconsin, which is why our 2013-2015 budget will include an income tax cut for the average state resident. I believe that our constituents know best how to use their money, and have said repeatedly that any surpluses should stay in the taxpayers’ pockets."

But, Rep. Cory Mason, D-Racine, was deeply disappointed in the governor's proposed budget, saying the tax cut for those making $200,000 doesn't fit most people's definition of middle class and criticizing the expansion of education vouchers.

"I don't know what color the sky is in Gov. Walker's world, but here in Racine, $200,000 is well above middle class," he told Patch after the address. "After gutting education two years ago, that line item remains rather flat, which is good, but expanding vouchers just puts more public education dollars into private education and shows the governor does not support our public schools."

Rep. Tom Weatherston, R-Caledonia, was also in favor of the governor's ideas.

"I am encouraged by the Governor’s budget because it will promote job creation across the state by funding economic development and workforce training initiatives," he said in a written statement after the address. "I am especially interested in the income tax plan that will help by providing much needed tax relief for many families in my district.”

Sen. John Lehman, D-Racine, sided with fellow Democrats, deriding Walker's support for school voucher programs and pushing for better ideas on how to create more jobs across the state. He also released a written statement.

"The Governor’s education message was heard loud and clear – up to $1,400 more taxpayer dollars per student for unaccountable, underperforming voucher schools and $0 for public school students," he said. "The Governor is pushing the same policies that keep Wisconsin dead last in job creation. We can do better, instead of making new empty promises to cut taxes, Governor Walker should focus more on improving his dismal job creation numbers to fulfill his 250,000 job promise."

What did you think of Walker's speech?


Jayant February 23, 2013 at 01:41 PM
Tuco,You guys and gals in Wisconsin have elected greedy republicans who care not for anyone but themselves.You have the most people trying to leave the state because of the a-holes you,ve elected.One of the worst states for job creation,and of course crazies like yourself which for some reason keeps electing Walker types to rip off your state.Congradulations,good show..not!
Jayant February 23, 2013 at 01:53 PM
Wisconsin has one of the worst records for job creation in the country.Wisconsin has the most people trying to leave the state in the nation.Wisconsin is slowly stripping women of their rights .Wisconsin is actively selling out to special interest who care not about your air,water,or land..or wallets.Only how much money they can make exploiting your state.Walker and his ilk were elected by the cave men and women of wisconsin,and everyone suffers because of that.
Jayant February 23, 2013 at 01:58 PM
Your income tax funds many things you take for granted.Including our armed services,schools,postal service,regulatory personal to keep big business from polluting your water ,air,land and bodies.What the hell planet did you escape from.Go back,please.
Jayant February 23, 2013 at 02:03 PM
Where are the jobs promised?You have one of the worst job creations in the union.If Walkers plan was sound where are the jobs?Your Governor is looking like a complete ass.And the people that stand by the ass look lake ass kissers.
Jayant February 23, 2013 at 02:07 PM
Greg,You regressive want so much to live in the fifties,why not go to North Korea?They have an ass running their country,and everyone suffers but a small sliver at the top.Thats Walkers model.And you elected the ass to office.
skinnyDUDE February 24, 2013 at 03:11 PM
@Jayant We have the worst job creators in history in the White House . The federal Policies have killed jobs though out the entire country . The areas where jobs have been created are RED states . Doyle promised not to raise taxes and passed the biggest tax increase in state history and still robbed trust funds and borrowed money from Minnesota. Again compare Apples to Apples. If I recall , Walker won re election so this is what the majority of the state chose for its leadership twice. Get use to it as the legislation is republican as well. Milwaukee and Madison liberals do not reflect the state.
skinnyDUDE February 25, 2013 at 01:46 AM
@ Jayant I guess ignorance is bliss.....Enjoy :)
Brian Dey February 25, 2013 at 12:33 PM
Under Democratic Governor Jim Doyle, the job losses were a staggering 11% unemployment. An envirnoment existed that chased businesses en masse to leave the state. That trend has reversed and we have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. That we have stopped the exodus of jobs and and have turned the corner on job creation is stunning considering the crappy economy that Obam continues to ignore. Nice try, but once again, the left is out of touch with reality.
Brian Dey February 25, 2013 at 12:36 PM
Jaycabt- You have mistaken Walker with Obama. Walker is not President yet, but soon...
Jayant February 25, 2013 at 10:27 PM
Again,Walker is one of the worst states for job creation.Wants to destroy your rivers,land and air with backwards minning,and is number one in people trying to leave this state because of such a screwed up governor.Brien Dey,you gotta be kidding about Walker being president.Look at the nation as a whole,most people would not support a repub period.And this is Obama"s second term.If I saw Walker and tell him to move to North Korea,where their president has screwed most of its citizen so a small sliver of people can live high o the hog.
morninmist February 25, 2013 at 10:57 PM
Walker does not care if families can not afford health care. He just does NOT care! @CoffeeBean26 Oops: Gov Walker refusal of Medicaid expansion "forgot" $4200 deductible/copay chippewa.com/news/state-and… #wiunion #wipolitics #ctl #p2 #p2b Walker's budget raises questions for families losing Medicaid
morninmist February 25, 2013 at 11:03 PM
As longer as Walker pays back his weathy donors, he is happy widdle man. @Progress2day Remember Walker's Budget Speech and Tax Cuts? bit.ly/XTIUlE #WalkerMiddleClassFail #wiunion #wiright #p2 #p2b #wipolitics #wigov So, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's on to Governor Walker's sham tax cut to the wealthy in Wisconsin: Madison - The top 20% of Wisconsin households - those making more than $90,000 a year - would take home more than half of all of Gov. Scott Walker's proposed income tax cut, an analysis has found. The top 5% of tax filers - those with incomes above $162,000 - would pull in 20% of Walker's more than $300 million tax cut. But, it looks like someone is trying to spin this whole point from the Governor's office: "Governor Scott Walker's income tax cuts are targeted toward the bottom three income tax rates - the middle class," Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie said. ...
Jayant February 27, 2013 at 12:38 AM
Just listened to a report on the radio about the minning bill shoved thru by the republicans of wisconsin.Does the states residents really want to destroy the land ,water and air just so a Florida based minning company can profit.Wake up Wisconsin,your governor is a complete ass..hole!
morninmist February 27, 2013 at 04:20 PM
Walker is losing some support: @Progress2day New Wisconsin poll finds voters evenly split over @GovWalker jsonline.com/blogs/news/193… #wipolitics #wiunion "In the poll of 1,799 voters in the state taken Feb. 21-24, 48% approve of Walker and 49% disapprove."
morninmist February 27, 2013 at 04:33 PM
Walker is a scam artist and silly folks fall for his scams! Scott Walker's creative bookkeeping will scare off businesses: http://bit.ly/ZJ0wEN Gov. Scott Walker is running for re-election in 2014, so he is peddling the fantasy that Wisconsin has a budget surplus. He can get away with that comic claim on "Fox News Sunday," where the Washington-based host of the show knows nothing about Manitowoc or Mineral Point or Madison. But no one who cares about Wisconsin should be taken in by Walker's creative bookkeeping. There is no surplus. In fact, Walker is trying to sell off state-owned power plants in order to pay for road projects. He’s shuffling money from fund to fund to cover deficits. He’s tossing tens of thousands of working Wisconsinites off health care programs. And he continues to underfund public schools and public services. That’s not the outline of a balanced budget. That’s a scam intended to fool some of the people some of the time – sort of like Walker’s Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., which seeks to win the confidence of business but can’t even keep track of taxpayer dollars. Walker’s budget math might work for the governor’s apologists. But it won’t work with business owners who are considering where to locate production and start hiring. Wisconsin now ranks No. 42 in job growth, trailing every state in the region.
morninmist February 27, 2013 at 06:22 PM
For your reading enjoyment! SCOTT WALKER = NO JOBS" http://www.unitedwisconsin.com/scott-wal... "Gov. Scott Walker Begins Lent With A Confession - NO HEALTH CARE & NO JOBS" http://www.politiscoop.com/wisconsin-pol... "States Private Sector Job Creation SLOWED, Census Data Showed" http://www.jsonline.com/business/states-... "One Year Under Scott Walker's Policies Produces No Jobs In Wisconsin" http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/07/20... "UFF DA! SCOTT WALKER JOBS FAILURE NOW BUTT OF MINNESOTA JOKES" http://www.politiscoop.com/wisconsin-pol...
CowDung February 27, 2013 at 06:34 PM
...funny how nobody ever seems to mention that our unemployment rate remains one of the best in the region. Instead they keep banging on the same 'low job growth' drum. I thought Walker was going to be giving away the power plants to his Koch buddies? Has the Lefty talking point propaganda been changed? What does Spudlover have to say about this?
morninmist February 27, 2013 at 06:40 PM
Here you go Cow...... ENJOY! @SpudLovr Median Wisconsin household would receive a $6 per month tax cut. political-heat.blogspot.com/2013/02/median… #wiunion #wiright #p2 #tcot
morninmist February 27, 2013 at 07:03 PM
I am hoping young Wisconsinites are included in dropping Faux "news"! @politicususa Fox News Could Be Facing Extinction as 29% of Their Younger Viewers Drop Fox politicususa.com/fox-news-facin… #p2 #p2b #topprog #ctl
morninmist February 28, 2013 at 06:19 PM
Send Walker a one way ticket OUT OF STATE! @Progress2day U.S. Depart of Labor: Wisconsin #1 in Jobs Sent Overseas uppitywis.org/blogarticle/us…... #wipolitics @GovWalker #wipolitics Includuded in Wisconsin's recent TAA-documented jobs sent overseas: •Ford Motors / Johnson Control: Because Ford Motors moved their production of the Ford Ranger to Brazil and Thailand, Johnson Controls plant in Hudson, which made seats for the Ford Ranger plant in St. Paul, MN has been shuttered and hundreds of jobs have moved to Thailand and Brazil. Johnson Controls also sent their call center jobs in Milwaukee to Manilla. •Harley Davidson sent their data center jobs department to India. •Badger Meter (water meter maker in Milwuakee) is sending manufacturing jobs to their Nogoles, Mexico plant. •Thermo-Fischer in Madison sent production jobs to China and Thermo-Fischer's Two Rivers plant was shuttered and all 249 workers lost their jobs to a Mexico plant. •Hutchinson Technology (a computer components manufacturer in Eau Claire) is sending jobs to Thailand. •Koch Brothers' Georgia Pacific is sending their folded paper napkin line jobs to China. •Regal Beloit Corporation (they make electrical and mechanical motion control products) have sent more jobs to their Mexico plant. •Wausau Paper's Brokaw Mill shuttered and the jobs were sent to China, resulting in a loss of 450 jobs. •Brake Parts Inc. is moving their rotor production jobs in Waupaca to China.
CowDung February 28, 2013 at 06:38 PM
How many of those were union jobs? Certainly it can't be the inflated union wages prompting the moves, can it?
Jayant March 01, 2013 at 10:12 PM
CowDung,Why anyone would support your governor is curious,Why?Do you really think that this guy is supporting you?I,m not a union worker,and there are some issues that can be worked through,as forwarded by the unions.But the union issue is a smoke screen for opening up Wisconsin for outside interest that want only to profit at the expense of the water,land,air,and of course your wallets.I,ll bet that you voted for that dick-head Bush as well.Get your head out of your ass and Wake-Up.
Greg March 01, 2013 at 10:23 PM
Please provide examples of the outside interests.
CowDung March 01, 2013 at 10:26 PM
Not sure it's worth the bother Greg. No details to be found, just repeats of the same lefty talking points, with insults thrown in for good measure.
Greg March 01, 2013 at 10:43 PM
So I should not ask for an explanation of how the smoke screen works?
Jay Sykes March 01, 2013 at 11:04 PM
@Greg... Here is a demo on the smoke cloak. The Gov had Batman and the Boy Wonder do the install. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phBYqaogKT8
Lyle Ruble March 01, 2013 at 11:22 PM
@Greg...What is the Progressive Aid Coalition PAC?
skinnyDUDE March 02, 2013 at 12:32 AM
Obama on the national level is the worst job creator ever. Hence, federal policies do matter as the entire GDP for the nation shrunk last quarter . After spending 6 trillion in 4 years it is clear that business recognize bad policy and are either making plans to just survive rather than to grow in the USA .
morninmist March 02, 2013 at 04:51 PM
Whow. Good for these WI Republicans. Wisconsin Senate President Mike Ellis proposes $400 million more for schools http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/senate-president-ellis-proposes-400-million-more-for-schools-el903f3-194394361.html Madison - State Senate President Mike Ellis offered the outlines Friday of an alternative to Gov. Scott Walker's school funding plan - one that would put nearly $400 million more toward schools over two years. The plan would be funded with a mix of state money and increased property taxes. Ellis, a Neenah Republican, called the property tax increase slight, saying it would raise property taxes on a $150,000 house by $16.50 the first year and another $15 the second year. "Both are meager increases," Ellis said. The plan has the backing of Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon), the chairman of the Senate Education Committee and a member of the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee. Ellis and Olsen said they expected support from other Republicans who control the Legislature because others have been seeking ways to add school funding to the GOP governor's budget.
morninmist March 02, 2013 at 05:05 PM
I agress. Wisconsin needs to have an open discussion on this policy issue. Walker will not allow it because he knows he would lose. Appleton, Green Bay superintendents critical of Scott Walker's school spending plan ow.ly/ibZww #wiunion #wiright ..Green Bay School Board President Brenda Warren said state lawmakers should discuss school vouchers as separate legislation, rather than a budget item.


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