MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker got specific with his plans for nearly $1 billion in surplus revenue on Wednesday.
He delivered his fourth State of the State address at the State Capitol.
"Pass this Blueprint For Prosperity and return this money to the people of the state," he told the joint session of the legislature.
Walker made a new idea called the Blueprint For Prosperity the blueprint for his speech.
"Now is the time to send your money back to you, the hard working taxpayers of Wisconsin," he said.
The governor wants property and revenue tax cut of half a billion dollars to sit in the center of that blueprint.
"It's a pretty obvious political ploy for short term gains for the individual citizen to get a tax break," said Rep. Mandy Wright, D-Wausau, after the speech.
"We'd be much happier to see that money go to a place like our neighborhood public schools that have been woefully under-invested in during the past three years," said Rep. Katrina Shankland, D-Stevens Point.
While Walker stressed considerable tax cuts, he also hit on issues important to the Northwoods.
"In the coming years, resorts, guides, bait dealers, marinas, and all of the other businesses that depend on good fishing will benefit as Wisconsin becomes the premiere destination for walleye fishing in the Midwest," Walker said.
He highlighted his legislation to dramatically increase the stock of walleyes in state lakes.
"It takes a walleye to get all of you to stand," he joked upon a standing ovation. "I should say that throughout the whole speech."
But Walker completely skipped touching on another issue on the minds of Northwoods people - mining.
"There are a lot of questions, and maybe he is starting to hedge away from the mining bill," Wright said.
While walleye and mining impact the Northwoods disproportionately, Walker's tax plan, if passed, will affect all of Wisconsin.
"The state of our state is strong and improving every day," Walker said.
"We have a lot further to go than he thinks," Shankland countered.
Walker will call a special session of the legislature on Thursday to consider his tax proposals.
ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - Do bugs seem to be everywhere in your home, even though there's snow outside? One type of bug in Wisconsin spends the winter inside our houses! They look like Lady Bugs, but they are actually not native to this country.
"They're actually called a multi-colored Asian Lady Beetle. They can be anywhere from a pale yellow to a darker orange and they have black spots on them but you'll see some that don't have spots," says Kerri Ison, UW Oneida County Extension.
RHINELANDER - Our record breaking snow storm left more than 6,000 people across the Northwoods without power.
WPS had to rely on 20 extra crews from Green Bay, Wausau and Menominee to restore power.
But getting to the outages was a challenge.
A representative for WPS says workers are expecting even more outages to be reported.
"Not all of the back roads are plowed yet and that's where a lot of outages are located," said Leah Van Zile, WPS Community Relations leader. "Throughout the day as the temperatures warm, we expect to receive additional calls due to the unloading of snow off of the tree branches."
Eagle River had one of the highest number of customers affected by the outages.
Representatives for WPS say this was one of the hardest winters they've had to deal with.
"We've had some really, really severe wind chills which has really made the temperatures below zero. Typically, only in emergencies do we work in those conditions," said Van Zile. "But pretty much any other time, whether it's a rain storm, a snow storm, a wind storm, our guys are out there working, getting that power back on."
The number of outages dropped below 4,000 since earlier today.
If you're still without power to call 1800-450-7240.
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