Gov. Walker emphasizes workforce, education in State of the State
He said he's pleased with the progress the state has made since his administration took over.
"The state of our state is strong," he said, particularly when it comes to employment. The state saw its lowest unemployment rates in history last year.
Moving forward, Gov. Walker said his top priority of 2017 is filling jobs and keeping workers in Wisconsin.
Education plays a key role in building that workforce.
"It is a moral imperative that every child has access to a great education. But it is also an economic imperative, as we need to grow the workforce in Wisconsin," said Walker. "We invested more resources this past year into college and career readiness initiatives, including dual enrollment, FAB labs and youth apprenticeships."
Additionally, Walker announced plans to cut in-state tuition for UW students.
Republican legislators back his stance on workforce and education.
"When I look at what we can do from the standpoint of jobs and education," said Rep. John Spiros (R-86). "I think everything works hand in hand."
"It's really important we put money to fast forward grants," added Sen. Jerry Petrowski (R-29). "To train people to fill the vacancies that are out there."
But Central Wisconsin's sole democratic legislator, Katrina Shankland (D-71), wanted to see more from Walker.
"I think it really provided an overly rosy picture of whats really going on in Wisconsin," she said. "Republicans have had control of state government for six years, and in that time we've seen Wisconsin ranked last in the nation for the middle class."
Meanwhile, in an uncustomary move, Gov. Walker invited his wife to the podium, where she spoke about mental health.
By her side, and with the help of his legislature, the governor said he's ready for 2017.
"Together we can move Wisconsin forward," he said.