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Gov. Walker focuses on job creation in third State of the State addressSubmitted: 01/15/2013
Lane Kimble
Lane Kimble
Assistant News Director
lkimble@wjfw.com

Gov. Walker focuses on job creation in third State of the State address
MADISON - You get the impression Governor Walker knows exactly what his priority is in 2013: finding ways to get people back to work.

The Governor delivered his third State of the State speech at the Capitol building Tuesday night.

(NOTE: 10pm video coverage: play attached video via 'Play Video' option near photo. For Rep. Mandy Wright's reaction video, please follow link below full story text)

Last year, Walker faced a somewhat disruptive crowd. We saw several noisy protestors get thrown out during his speech.

That wasn't the case this time around. A mainly supportive group of lawmakers, family, friends and observers greeted Walker in the Assembly chambers.

His overall tone was positive too. The Governor didn't waste much time in getting to his main point, that we need to get aggressive in creating jobs.

He says one big way to do that: pass mining legislation that failed last year.

"Start with the legislation that was approved in the Joint Finance Committee last session," Governor Walker said. "Include some reasonable modifications. Send me a bill to sign into law early this year."

The Governor shook up the status quo this year by using props. He brought miners on stage here to hammer home his point about safe and productive mining.

Later, Travel Wisconsin reps joined him on stage to emphasize the Department of Tourism's role. That's an industry that the Governor noted brings in $16 billion a year and is a big draw for the Northwoods.

"Several years ago the previous governor closed Welcome Centers," Walker said. "As a candidate, I highlighted the importance of the tourism industry and pleged to open these centers. Tonight, I'm happy to report there are now eight Travel Wisconsin Welcome Centers staffed with people that direct visitors to all the attractions across our great state."

Walker also pointed to education reforms and new programs like last summer's online degree program as tools that can help the economy grow.

It's jobs where the governor began and where he ended Tuesday, giving his goal of creating 250,000 of them by the end of his term a personal spin.

"Our focus of creating 250,000 jobs by 2015 is much more than just a campaign promise," Walker said. "Simply put, it's about helping improve the lives of 250,000 more families in Wisconsin."

Walker also touched on his plans to lower income tax rates on all middle class families. He'll give his details on how that will work in his next budget, which comes out next month.

Newswatch 12 had a chance to get a response from Democratic state representative Mandy Wright from Wausau after the Governor's speech. Wright was happy with the tone of the night, but is cautiously optimistic about this session.

"I think it's really important, the tone that's set at the beginning of any gathering, especially something like this where we know we will be together long-term," Wright said. "I think it's really important we found a way to compromise on our first bill.

I'm sure we will have our differences, but I hope we find ways to respectfully disagree and really focus on things we can agree on, again, creating jobs, keeping our education system strong, so that we can more forward and do the work of the people that we were hired to do."

Wright touched on mining too, saying, "If [the Governor] is just going to skim over that and not acknowledge the problems with the bill from last session, I think there will be a lot of problems again," Wright said.

"On the other hand, I do think there really are ways that we can find a compromise so that we make sure the environment is clean for future generations and we have clean water and air and clean land. And that we create good, family-supporting jobs that will be sustainable and help our communities into the future."

Related Weblinks:
Democratic Rep. Mandy Wright's reaction to State of the State Address

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 07/26/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll take you to the preliminary hearing for a Merrill man charged with stabbing his father to death in January of 2016.

The Oneida County Department on Aging is offering vouchers to seniors good for 25 dollars' worth of fruit and vegetables at any approved farmers' market. We'll tell you how you can find out if you qualify.

And we'll take you to the annual Great Library Worm Race taking place today at the Rhinelander District Library.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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RHINELANDER - More than 120 people came out to the races today at the Rhinelander District Library. This year, rain moved the 29th annual worm race to the library basement, but local families still came out hoping for the fastest worm.

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RHINELANDER - One person went to the hospital Wednesday after a two car crash south of Rhinelander.

The car accident happened around 1:30 Wednesday afternoon on Highway 17 heading south between Rhinelander and Gleason.

One driver was rushed to the hospital, but Oneida County Sheriff's Sergeant Greg Gardner doesn't suspect any life threatening injuries.

"One vehicle started to slow to make a turn into their driveway and the vehicle following collided with them," said Gardner.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - A Northwoods organization wants to keep adding to the number of leaders we see in the community.

Leadership Oneida County is a nine-month program which aims to help build leaders and strengthen involvement. The group is currently accepting applications until August 1st.

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MADISON - An invitation to President Donald Trump's afternoon news conference with Wisconsin officials says electronics giant Foxconn will build a liquid-crystal display panel plant in Wisconsin.

The Associated Press obtained the invitation from a person with knowledge of the Wednesday afternoon event at the White House. The person doesn't have authorization to publicly release the information.

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THREE LAKES - Normally when we think of invasive species, we want to get rid of them. But on Tuesday in Three Lakes, people learned how to cook with invasive species.

It was all part of a cooking demonstration held at the Demmer Memorial Library. Oneida County AIS Coordinator Stephanie Boismenue led the class.

Boismenue says it's an effort to help educate the public.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - The summer may be half way over, but there is still time for seniors to get Farmers Market Vouchers.

Oneida County Department on Aging offers a limited number of vouchers every summer. 

Seniors can use the vouchers at any approved farmers' markets. 

It's good for $25.00 worth of fruit and vegetables. 

"It's only $25.00 but I tell you this is such a popular program. People are calling us in May and June asking when it's going to be available," said Oneida County Department on Aging Director Dianne Jacobson. 

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