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

CONOVER - Three years ago, Vilas County decided to turn land near Torch Lake into a campground.

Tuesday those plans became reality.

"It's great in Conover. What more could you ask for?" said Vilas County Supervisor Art Kunde. 

After nearly three years of planning and building, Kunde was finally able to officially open Torch Lake Campground Tuesday. 

+ Read More

Play Video

CRANDON - Every school in Wisconsin teaches its students the basic academic subjects--math, science, and reading. Few schools set aside forgiveness as a special area of study.

High schoolers in Crandon will get a weekly class on forgiveness this year.

This summer, Superintendent Dr. Doug Kryder spoke at an international conference on forgiveness in Jerusalem.

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - Nowadays, Marge and Wally Engel spend their nights playing Scrabble inside their home in Wausau's Primrose Retirement Community. But that wasn't always the case.

"I've been with him for 77 years," said Marge. "It's been quite a long time and I must say enjoyable, and I'm very thankful that we are still together."

+ Read More

MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker says he and Republicans who control the Legislature have reached a deal "in principle" over transportation funding and other issues to end an impasse that's held up passage of the state budget.

Walker said Tuesday that the deal does not include any gas tax or vehicle registration fee increases.

He also says there will be a reduction in the personal property tax favored by the state's business community, but not a full repeal.

+ Read More

GREEN BAY - A Green Bay police captain and a secretary needed to be checked at a hospital when they got sick after after opening an envelope.

Police Chief Andrew Smith says the police station was evacuated Monday afternoon.

The heating and air conditioning system was shut down while the fire department investigated.

+ Read More

KEWAUNEE COUNTY - A man has been shot and killed by a sheriff's deputy in Kewaunee County.

Sheriff Matt Joski says the incident happened about 8 p.m. Monday in the Town of Franklin.

+ Read More

Play Video

LAND O'LAKES - Millions of people all the over the U.S. looked up to see the first total eclipse here in almost 100 years.
While we only had a partial eclipse here in the Northwoods, it made the first day of class for students at the Conserve School in Land O'Lakes one they'll likely never forget.

"It's nothing like anything I've ever actually experienced. It's very different from normal school, and we've gone outside for every class too," said student Nora Henson.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here