Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Walker focuses on filling open jobs during seventh State of the State addressSubmitted: 01/10/2017
Lane Kimble
Lane Kimble
News Director
lkimble@wjfw.com

Walker focuses on filling open jobs during seventh State of the State address
MADISON - Inside a full Assembly chamber, Gov. Scott Walker noted the job market is filled with opportunity.

"You see, without a doubt, Wisconsin is working," Walker said.

Walker focused heavily on employment through his 40-minute State of the State speech at the Capitol Tuesday afternoon.

"Wages are up,more than 50,000 new businesses have been created, and our unemployment rate, that's down to 4.1 percent," Walker said.

This coming session, filling those jobs is a priority. Walker admitted the state Workforce Development website has 80,000 openings. Meanwhile, five Northwoods counties (Oneida, Vilas, Forest, Florence, and Iron) have some of the highest unemployment rates in the state, including state Sen. Janet Bewley's Iron County.

"We've gotta make sure we're looking at the actual quality of life of people who do have jobs," Bewley (D-Delta) said. "Just because you have a job doesn't mean you're not poor."

Walker hopes to better prepare workers for those jobs by re-filling public schools with more funding.

"I want great schools for every student in the state," Walker said. "Our budget will include a significant increase for public schools. We will also help rural schools that have unique challenges such as transportation costs, broadband access, and declining enrollment."

Walker pledged $35.5 million more to help schools upgrade technology like fab labs, while promising to cut college tuition for all state undergrads.

Lincoln County Rep. Mary Felzkowski (formerly Czaja) thinks investing in schools will have a positive effect on the job market.

"We're going to be bringing in more employers," Felzkowski (R-Irma) said. "They're going to start looking at Wisconsin because we are leading the way."

As for getting to those jobs, Walker drew the lightest applause of the afternoon for his stance on filling an estimated $1 billion transportation shortfall standing by his word to not raise the gas tax or registration fees.

"Whether you agree with me or not, I hope you can respect that I keep my word," Walker said.

"If he is not going to raise revenue from some other place, he is going to cut something," Bewley said. "Soanother ax is about to fall and he didn't give us a clue as to what it's going to be."

State Senator Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) agrees with Felzkowski's take on transportation: wait for an audit for the DOT to come in first before making any funding decisions.

"I'm not quite in as firm a position as the governor, but I do believe we need to use the dollars we have most effectively first," Tiffany said.

It's a battle Rep. Rob Swearingen (R-Rhinelander) admits many Republicans don't agree with the governor on. But he says that, by and large the governor s priorities on jobs and schools are his.

"All of [today's speech focus] goes together, and hopefully those people will come and stay and hopefully those kids stay here and raise their own families," Swearingen said.

Those are families that Gov. Walker sees getting back to work.

"Wisconsin's future is bright, but there's more work to be done," Walker said. "We're not done yet."

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

MOSINEE - From here on out, Mosinee's Kevin Osterbrink will plow snow with a Stormy Kromer hat on his head--and a Stormy Kromer pattern on his plow.

Osterbrink entered his wife, Kayla Cisler-Osterbrink, in a prize drawing from Stormy Kromer and BOSS Snowplow. Her entry won, and BOSS delivered the red plaid patterned snowplow on Friday in Mosinee.

"I was tapping maple trees, and my wife showed up and said I had some homework to do because she won the plow," Osterbrink said, remembering how he found out they won.

"The first thing I told her was, 'That's the last thing I need, more work to do.' She said, 'Well, I think you want to do this, because you just won the Stormy Kromer plow," Osterbrink said.

+ Read More

MARATHON COUNTY - Police released the name of man found dead at a Marathon City motel last week. 

28-year-old Brian Kienast was reported missing from Adams County on November 22, 2017.

According to the press release, Kienast had been in Marathon City during the week of Thanksgiving. 

The Marathon County Sheriff's Office are asking people for information about Kienast. 

If anyone saw or had contact with Kienast since last November please contact the sheriff's office. 

You can submit a tip online or call 877-409-8777

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - A snow storm caught Hanson's Garden Village in Rhinelander off guard last weekend and collapsed a greenhouse. Now that spring weather is here, Hanson's is ready to move forward by making some adjustments.
"We got by for 25 years doing what we were doing," said Hanson's Garden Village Co-owner Brent Hanson.
Last weekend's spring snow storm set back Hanson's.
"We thought we were ahead of schedule having that greenhouse nice and filled," said Hanson's Manager Beth Hanson. 

"One bad storm and there you go. Things happen," said Brent.
The storm collapsed a greenhouse holding thousands of plants.
"For years we've gotten by with these lighter cheaper green houses," said Brent.
"We'll be down a greenhouse for a little bit here," said Beth.
Now Hanson's will only use sturdier and solid greenhouses so that collapses don't become a pattern.

+ Read More

Play Video

WOODRUFF - Hunters can decide whether to keep their turkey or donate it to families in need.

The DNR started a turkey donation program last year with hopes of expanding it this spring.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Oneida County needs more foster care homes. Right now, there are nine licensed foster homes in the area, most of which are full according to the county's social services department. 

Foster Care Coordinator Rachel Nelson says that in Oneida County there are 24 children currently living in foster homes. The department participated in a statewide foster care recruitment project last fall, and discovered just how great the need is. 

+ Read More

EAGLE RIVER - When you grab a bowl out of your cupboard, it probably came from a big box store.

You won't find those at The Warehouse Art Center in Eagle River.

These are hand-thrown bowls made right in the ceramic studio.

+ Read More

MILWAUKEE - Students willing to spend the summer on a Harley could ride off with a free motorcycle.

Harley-Davidson is making the offer for those who join its summer internship program.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here