State of the States
State of the States: Wisconsin
Gov. Scott Walker (R)
Date of Speech: Jan. 22
In a speech to lawmakers that was heavy on economic themes, Gov. Walker also touted his record on education issues during his first term, especially an expansion of vouchers and his controversial push to curb collective-bargaining powers for public workers, including school employees.
The collective-bargaining measure provoked massive protests, opposition from teachers' unions, and a failed attempt in 2012 to recall Mr. Walker from office. But the governor, in his address, argued that the law is now saving school districts money and giving them more freedom to base personnel decisions on performance.
The governor, who is up for re-election this year and has been mentioned as a possible GOP presidential contender in 2016, used the speech to draw a connection between his policies and recent, positive economic signs. He inherited a two-year, $3.6 billion budget deficit upon taking office. The state recently projected a surplus, based mostly on improved tax collections. The governor, in his speech, proposed using some of that money to pay for tax cuts for state residents.
Watch the Full Address
Vol. 33, Issue 19, Page 17Published in Print: January 29, 2014, as Wisconsin