Scott Walker in 2014 Governor's State of the State speeches


On Budget & Economy: Blueprint for Prosperity: Lower taxes & $100M Rainy Day fund

Tonight, I propose a Blueprint for Prosperity, which will continue to improve our economy, while preserving our strong fiscal standing. Specifically, I ask you to work with me over the next few weeks to return the vast majority of the new surplus directly to the hard-working taxpayers of Wisconsin and to add more than $100 million to the state's rainy day fund. As it has over the past few years, lowering the tax burden will contribute to a stronger economy and a better fiscal situation in the future.

Our Blueprint for Prosperity will put more than $800 million back into the hands of the hard-working taxpayers all across the state through tax cuts and withholding changes. Once passed, the total tax relief provided since I took office will be roughly $2 billion.

  1. We will reduce property taxes by $406 million.
  2. We will reduce income taxes by $98.6 million.
  3. We have adjusted withholding for state income taxes by $322.6 million.
Source: 2014 State of the State Address to Wisconsin legislature Jan 22, 2014

On Civil Rights: A Better Bottom Line & Project SEARCH: job help for disabled

Project SEARCH is a year-long program for high school students with disabilities. One young woman I met has acute autism. Through Project SEARCH, she found a position sterilizing surgical equipment. This was a way to use her unique abilities to do a job that few others could do as well as she does. They identified her ability instead of getting hung up on her disability.

Tonight, I am pleased to announce the start of a year-long initiative called A Better Bottom Line--it's about employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Make no mistake, A Better Bottom Line is not about charity. A Better Bottom Line means helping both the individual and the company do well. We are looking for ways to help employers hire people who will add value to their organizations.

A few might say these individuals have disabilities, but I want to talk about their unique abilities in the workplace. In 2014, I will highlight employers, who find the unique abilities and hire people with disabilities.

Source: 2014 State of the State Address to Wisconsin legislature Jan 22, 2014

On Corporations: Put in place manufacturing/agriculture production tax credit

Manufacturing and agriculture are two of our core industries in Wisconsin. Thankfully, both are playing a big role in our economic recovery. From Nov. 2012 to Nov. 2013, we rank 7th highest in the country in manufacturing job growth. Milk production went up at double the national rate over the past year.

To keep these positive trends going, we put in place the manufacturing and agriculture production tax credit last year. Now, if you are an employer in one of these key industries, you should look at growing in Wisconsin as this credit will eventually wipe out almost all of your taxable liability. That is a really big deal because it gives you the opportunity to invest the capital necessary to help create more jobs. This program is a game changer for employers in manufacturing and agriculture.

Source: 2014 State of the State Address to Wisconsin legislature Jan 22, 2014

On Free Trade: Milk exports up; but also ginseng exports to China

Agricultural exports grew by 6% through the first three quarters of 2013, while dairy exports grew by 34%.

We made major investments in agriculture this year. At the University of Wisconsin, we are expanding the Dairy Resource Center at Babcock Hall and building a new Meat Science and Muscle Biology Laboratory.

We are proud to be America's Dairyland, but we are also one of the top states for corn, soybeans, potatoes, cherries, and other foods. Many may be surprised to know we are the number one producer of cranberries in the US. And 95% of the ginseng exported to China comes from our state. Last April, we signed a ten-year agreement while on my trade mission in China worth between $150 and $200 million.

Not only is Asia a major market for our ginseng, many people now come to north central Wisconsin to tour our ginseng operations. Food- and beverage-related tourism continues to grow. From tours of breweries, cheese factories, and even spice operations, Wisconsin is a great destination.

Source: 2014 State of the State Address to Wisconsin legislature Jan 22, 2014

On Jobs: $35M for Wisconsin Fast Forward: technical skill training

Our Blueprint for Prosperity will increase the Wisconsin Fast Forward program by $35 million to focus on three new areas:
  1. Investment in our technical colleges to eliminate waiting list in high demand fields, like manufacturing, agriculture and Information Technology;
  2. Help high school students get training in high demand jobs through dual enrollment programs between our high schools and technical colleges;
  3. Support programs helping people with disabilities enter the workforce, in our Year of A Better Bottom Line initiative.
I ask that the funds already set aside in the Joint Finance Committee from the surplus at the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation be used for the expansion of Wisconsin Fast Forward. Tomorrow, I will call for a special session to move forward with legislation to return this surplus to the taxpayers and to invest in our technical colleges, train workers for high-demand jobs, and support employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
Source: 2014 State of the State Address to Wisconsin legislature Jan 22, 2014

On Welfare & Poverty: Help transition from government dependence to independence

Years ago, under Governor Doyle, eligibility for BadgerCare Plus went up, but not enough funds were budgeted, so many people living in poverty were put on a waiting list. This year, for the first time in Wisconsin history, everyone living in poverty will be able to access health care under Medicaid.

For those living above poverty, we transition them into the marketplace. I believe Medicaid is for those living in poverty, and our goal should be to help lift more and more people out of the depths of economic despair.

Our Wisconsin Plan is unique as we are able to cover everyone living in poverty, reduce the number of uninsured, and still not expose Wisconsin taxpayers to the uncertain potential cost of the federal Medicaid expansion.

Helping more people transition from government dependence to true independence is not only good for the taxpayers, it is good for employers, too. Most importantly, it is good for the people, who can now control their own lives and their own destinies.

Source: 2014 State of the State Address to Wisconsin legislature Jan 22, 2014

The above quotations are from 2014 Governor's State of the State speeches.
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Page last updated: Apr 20, 2014