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Walker Touts Education, Lower Taxes in State Address
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 01/20/2016

Governor Scott Walker says Wisconsin has made great progress over the past year. In his annual State of the State address to the legislature, the GOP governor says there are more people working in the state than at nearly any other point in history, and the state ended its last fiscal year with a $135 million budget surplus.

"State finances are stable; our school students are doing well overall; college tuition is frozen; and property and income taxes are down from 2010," Walker said Tuesday night. "The Wisconsin Comeback is real."

He added that the rainy day fund is the largest in state history and touted that Wisconsin is one of only two states with a fully funded pension system.

Walker also announced that property taxes on a median-valued home were $116 lower this past year than they were when he took office.

"We also helped farmers and manufacturers in our state with a production tax credit that is phased in through this year," he said. "This helps some of our most important industries. And we helped lower the tax burden on small businesses. Our reforms help them invest more into their companies and to expand their workforces."

For rural areas, the state has tripled the amount of funding dedicated for broadband access. He says that without those allocations, many areas would be deprived of quality Internet access because private companies could not justify the rate of return on investment.

"Our program helps small businesses, family farmers, tourism attractions, and public schools across the state," he said.

And the governor announced that he plans to visit every part of the state to hold listening sessions throughout 2016.

But not everyone sees the picture of Wisconsin as rosy. Assembly Democratic Caucus Chair Andy Jorgensen of Milton released a statement after the speech that said the state of our state is in real trouble.

"Wisconsin remains dead-last in the Midwest in private-sector job growth over the past four years," Rep. Jorgensen said. "In 2015, layoff notices topped 10,000--the highest single-year total since Governor Walker took office."

He also took issue with Walker's grandstanding on the ballooning student loan crisis, claiming that the governor's ideas helped 32,000 people over five years, but crippled more than a million Wisconsinites with student loan debt.

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