UPDATE: Walker touts mining, jobs in State of State address - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: Walker touts mining, regulatory reform in State of State address


MADISON (WKOW) -- Governor Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) laid out his vision for Wisconsin in 2013, giving his third State of the State address Tuesday night.

Governor Walker focused on strengthening Wisconsin's economy, streamlining government efficiency and building a new workforce through education.

"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," said Gov. Walker.

The Governor still believes he can fulfill the promise of creating 250,000 new jobs by 2015, despite the fact the state is currently far off that pace.  Its clear he believes establishing an iron ore mine in far northern Wisconsin will help accomplish that goal.

"We have the potential for a $1.5 billion investment here in our state that could lead to as many as 3,000 construction-related jobs and 2,800 long-term jobs," said Gov. Walker.

Governor Walker also highlighted results of a state regulatory review report, two years in the making, which outlines hundreds of changes proposed by business owners themselves.

"Tonight, I am pleased to release this report, which identifies over 300 rule modifications in 218 administrative code chapters," said Gov. Walker.  "Making these changes will make it easier to do business in the state, while maintaining the safety and health of our citizens." 

But that alone won't help Wisconsin add all the jobs it needs.  That's why the Governor is proposing more training to bridge the skills gap facing employers. He also promises more changes to K-12 education.

"We continue to expand the number of choices for families in Wisconsin, be it a traditional, a charter, a voucher, a virtual, or a home school environment," said Gov. Walker.  "Moving forward, we want to continue to dramatically improve existing schools and give parents the opportunity to choose legitimate alternatives to failing schools."

That of course seems to suggest an expansion of the school choice program. 

How exactly the governor will accomplish all of this will become much clearer when he presents the next biennial state budget to the legislature in February.


MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Gov. Scott Walker said during his State of the State speech that he's doubling down on efforts to meet his 2010 campaign promise to create 250,000 jobs over four years.

Walker also touted a promised income tax cut for the middle class during the speech Tuesday night to a joint meeting of the Legislature.

The speech was short on details about what the governor's agenda will look like over the next year. The Republican says those will come in his budget address next month.

Walker says Wisconsin is moving forward "with bold vision and bright hope for the future."

Democratic Assembly Leader Peter Barca says Walker has shown no urgency or willingness to focus on job creation.

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