November 8, 2012

When the Legislature convenes in January, power will rest with Governor Walker and a Republican majority in both houses.  From day one, Wisconsin will be torn between the blatantly ideological goals of the Legislative leadership and Governor Walker’s desire to be re-elected by moderates.  So what does Wisconsin really need from the 101st Session of the Legislature?

Before January, I strongly urge the GOP and Governor Walker to speak out against the “fiscal cliff” that threatens both Wisconsin and the entire country.  Governor Walker can take advantage of his considerable GOP “star power” to convince other conservatives to work with President Obama and avoid a devastating sequestration.  Wisconsin CANNOT afford to lose staggering amounts of federal support. 

In our own state, the coming budget must focus on education first.  History shows that austerity in education has NEVER produced economic growth.  Education provides for a knowledge-based economy and should be taken seriously.  However, we must couple better funding with reforms that promote the policies of schools that work!  For example, Milwaukee’s Rufus King High School is the best-performing in the state.  Other Wisconsin schools can replicate their success.

The GOP must do more for economic growth in Wisconsin.  I believe that our economic development corporation WEDC is in desperate need of reform.  As the sole shareholders of WEDC, taxpayers have seen its board of directors fail in managing their $66 million public investment.  Additionally, Wisconsin must see actual growth where it is really needed.  Governor Walker promised to dedicate $100 million for the Transform Milwaukee Initiative.  Governor, where is that investment?

Democrats are ready to be partners in an agenda with a real vision for Wisconsin and Milwaukee.  On the other hand, it is now up to Governor Walker and the Republican to show positive leadership for the entire state.