Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Walker focuses on filling open jobs during seventh State of the State addressSubmitted: 01/10/2017
Lane Kimble
Lane Kimble
Assistant 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

MINOCQUA - Marshfield Clinic representatives still want to build a hospital in Minocqua. They're appealing that plan's rejection this fall. 

On Tuesday, the Oneida County Board of Adjustment, Marshfield Clinic representatives, and Howard Young representatives toured the site where the proposed hospital would be built. 

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - You can find everything from edible berries to garnishes right in your own backyard.

"Master Gardeners of the North" wants to teach you how.

Tonight's class will be on foraging for edibles in the Northwoods.

Even though edibles can be easy to find, volunteer Tom Jerow says you should leave enough behind for wildlife and next year's crop.

" You should really link up with a mentor, someone who knows what they're doing. Someone who can identify the food that you're looking for," says Jerow.

You can find nuts, grapes, and sumac pretty easily this time of year.

The Master Gardeners meet tonight at 6:00 p.m. at the Oneida County Senior Center.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander church opened its doors for a blood drive Tuesday. More than 20 people signed up to donate.

Immanuel Luther Church has hosted an annual blood drive for more than a decade. The drive was held from two to six in the evening. 

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Most people can't ignore the stunning images of flooded homes and roof-tops torn away out of the south and Caribbean after two hurricanes rolled through.

Hearing about constant fundraisers and donation drives can wear you out.  A Rhinelander pastor hopes your spirit to give hasn't been broken yet.

+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - Pipelines dating back to the 1960s will get swapped out for new ones this fall. WPS crews in Minocqua started upgrading the natural gas distribution system in September. 

The upgrades include two and a half miles of natural gas mains and several service pipelines. WPS says these upgrades will benefit many people.  

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Deer hunters across the Northwoods can finally get back in their tree stands.

After a long off season, the much anticipated archery deer season opened this past Saturday.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - A car crashed into Friendship House in Rhinelander on Tuesday. It turns out the crash happened, in part, because of a shoe.

Rhinelander Police Chief Lloyd Gauthier says investigators discovered the 79-year-old female driver's shoe had fallen off. She reached down to grab the shoe, and her foot accidentally hit the gas instead of the break.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here